U2‘s THE EDGE has spoken exclusively to NME about reports in Irish newspaper The Sunday Independent (Sunday October 11) that author Salman Rushdie had lived at Bono’s Dublin home.
The story had suggested that Rushdie stayed at the residence for a long period during the 10 year fatwa passed against him by Iranian religious leader Ayatollah Khomeni, during which time the Satanic Verses author was under the protection of Special Branch bodyguards. “It’s not really accurate,” The Edge told NME last night (Thursday October 15). “In fact we’re a bit pissed off about it because it implies that Salman was staying for long periods of time in Bono’s house, which wasn’t the case. He did stay for the weekend on maybe two occasions. But it wasn’t like he was living with Bono for months on end, which was sort of what the story claimed.”
Bono and Rushdie have reportedly collaborated on lyrics together and U2 have been long time supporters of the author during his years in hiding. “He’s been on stage with us,” said The Edge. “We don’t have a problem with standing beside him. But the focus of that story seemed to be on Bono’s house, which we could have done without, from a security point of view.”
Although the Iranian government have said that they would not support anyone trying to kill Salman Rushdie, isolated Islamic groups throughout the world have said that they regard Khomeni’s fatwa as still being in force; only Khomeni could revoke a fatwa and he is now dead.
The Edge also said that there was little chance of U2 playing Slane Castle next year as has been reported elsewhere. He did, however, confirm that the BBC are doing an episode of the next series of Classic Albums about ‘The Joshua Tree’ and the band are currently going through old multitrack tapes, rediscovering the genesis of songs for the multi-million seller.
For the full U2 feature, read NME next week.