U2 help Rushdie to rock literary world

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The Independent Online
The rock group U2 has provided inspiration for Salman Rushdie's next novel.

The author disclosed the subject matter of his still unfinished book yesterday as the Irish band dropped a four-year legal action against the Performing Right Society, the body responsible for collecting royalties when music is performed or broadcast.

Last night Rushdie told the new Channel 4 books talk-show Booked that his next novel would be about rock'n'roll.

He said that he had spent some time with U2 to research the book, and has written the lyrics for the hits of his fictional rock star. He hopes to get some pop stars to set these lyrics to music and release a CD to accompany the book.

The band once broughtRushdie on to the stage during a concert at Wembley Stadium. Rushdie said last night: "Rock stars should never let novelists on stage. They end up writing novels ... Given the size of the average book reading being on stage in front of 85,000 people is different."

He told the programme's David Aaronovitch, columnist with The Independent: "I was nine when "Rock Around The Clock" came out and now that I'm 51 the music is also middle-aged so I'm writing the first dinosaur rock novel."

The book is to be called The Ground Beneath Her Feet. The title stems from an episode in which one of the characters is killed in an earthquake.

U2 announced that while they had claimed that PRS took too long to collect foreign royalties, the organisation had improved their procedures, driven down the deductions they make from income collected and speeded up payments.