I love hearing this story from this story teller, and it never gets old. This week Salman Rushdie told Jimmy Fallon about how U2’s song “The Ground Beneath Her Feet” came about from his 1999 novel The Ground Beneath Her Feet. Rushdie was on The Tonight Show on September 2 to promote his new novel Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights, but before he could get to that Fallon asked about the time he “wrote a song for a giant band called U2.”
Rushdie gamely regales us with the story, complete with his Bono impression, and then before long is talking about how going to one of Bono’s dinner parties gave him the chance to dance with Van Morrison (we even get his Van impression too.)
Rushdie wrote out this account for his webpage about his 1999 book, and you can read more about here. He’s also written about his now legendary onstage appearance with the band in 1993, which started all the way back in 1986 when Rushdie nearly met Bono in Nicaragua, as they were both there independently trying to understand the political scene and its human toll. It wasn’t until 1991 after a Zoo TV show that they first met, which then led to “The Night Salman Rushdie Joined the Band Onstage.”
Here’s the music video U2 recorded for the song, with Rushdie and scenes from The Million Dollar Hotel in it.