In my interview with Salman Rushdie this week, I talk about how the Satanic Verses author and Emory professor has not just a rock star level of fame, but comes close to being an actual rock star. He's not a musician (that I know of), but his novel The Ground Beneath Her Feet concerns a fictional Indian rock band that becomes as big as The Beatles. U2 took inspiration from the book to pen a song titled "The Ground Beneath Her Feet," using the words from Rushdie's own lyrics in the book, and giving him a "writer" credit. Here's the video for "The Ground Beneath Her Feet" (from the soundtrack of Wim Wenders' film The Million Dollar Hotel):
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/hQ-XKz0eNb8" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
But that's not all...
Now that the Iranian government's fatwa against Rushdie has cooled off, it turns out that he's not exactly a Thomas Pynchon-esque recluse. His appearance on "The Colbert Report" last year even had fun with his loosened security concerns. This year Rushdie plays Helen Hunt's doctor in the film Then She Found Me (which David Lee Simmons reviewed earlier this year) and makes a cameo appearance in the music video for "Falling Down," Scarlett Johansson's cover of the great Tom Waits tune:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/eKma-pBoRTw" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
Incidentally, I find Scarlett as scrumptious as the next moviegoer, but her take on the song sucks it's overproduced, echoey slush. (Chanteuse Holly Cole did a cover album of Waits songs, and her version of "Falling Down" is awesome.)