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You Never Knew About Talking Heads | Talking Heads

Article from Making Music, August 1986

David Byrne was born a Scot. He entered the world in Dunbarton on May 14, 1952. When he was two his father took the family to Canada to pursue his career as an electrical engineer.

Martina Weymouth and Chris Frantz share a military background. Tina's father was in the Navy, Frantz was raised as an army brat in Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

Byrne eventually chose the Rhode Island School of Design to study (where he met Frantz and Weymouth), principally because he "liked the graffiti".

'Psycho Killer' was written by Byrne in an experimental mood to see if he could pen a song with someone else's style. He was actually following Alice Cooper having just listened to 'Billion Dollar Babies'.

Frantz and Byrne first collaborated in a university band they called The Artistics (frequently dubbed The Autistics because of the high volumes they used). Weymouth was a fan.

One of Byrne's earlier bands had been a duo with friend Mark Kehoe. They called themselves Bizaldi. Byrne played violin and ukelele and they worked on Sinatra songs.

Chris Frantz's first instrument was trumpet. He swapped to trombone when he decided he couldn't supply the required wind power, and converted to drums.

When Tina Weymouth was 12 she used to be a member of Mrs Tuft's English Handbell Ringing Group touring American churches dressed in Elizabethan costumes and playing English folk songs and medieval melodies.

Adrian Belew was invited to join the Heads in early 1981. But they told him he could only play if he didn't use any effects.

Eno first met the band in the spring of 1977 when they were playing on a date with the Ramones during a British tour.

The name "Talking Heads" was taken from a TV guide in May 1975.

Jerry Harrison first rose to fame as a keyboard player for Jonathan Richman's Modern Lovers.

Weymouth, Byrne and Frantz moved to New York looking for a bassist to complete their line up, expecting the city to be littered with them. After a depressing lack of success, Weymouth eventually bought a bass.

Lou Reed used to invite the band to his apartment, mainly, it would seem, to spend the first hour of every conversation insulting David Byrne.

Chris Frantz described the making of the "Speaking In Tongues" album as the easiest and most agreeable experience he'd ever had with Talking Heads.

Byrne picked up the phrase 'Burning Down The House' from an audience chant at a Parliament-Funkadelic concert.

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Publisher: Making Music - Track Record Publishing Ltd, Nexus Media Ltd.

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Making Music - Aug 1986


Talking Heads




Previous article in this issue:

> Two Pay

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> Taping Tips

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