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How Talking Heads beat the break-up blues

Peter Howell

Movie Critic

Time heals all wounds, as the saying goes, but the bad blood of rock band breakups tends to keep flowing.

Reunions — for everybody from ABBA to the Velvet Underground — are usually temporary, transactional and often decades after the initial split, if they happen at all.

In the peculiar case of Talking Heads, the New York avant-funk quartet that imploded at the height of its fame in 1991, a reconnection of any kind seemed downright impossible.

Mercurial frontman David Byrne simply left the group without informing bandmates Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison. Byrne shut them out of his life as he pursued a solo career, refusing even to return their phone calls.

The four Heads, all now in their early 70s, were last seen together 21 years ago, at their 2002 induction to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Yet the impossible happened ...

(Originally published in the Toronto Star.)

Bassist extraordinaire Tina Weymouth in a scene from “Stop Making Sense.”

David Byrne dancing in his Big Suit in a scene from “Stop Making Sense.”

Talking Heads and friends in full flight in a scene from “Stop Making Sense.” (L-R) Tina Weymouth, Ednah Holt, Lynn Mabry, David Byrne, Chris Frantz (drums) and Alex Weir (guitar).

Members of Talking Heads and their supporting musicians and singers from “Stop Making Sense,” the 1984 classic concert movie newly released to theatres. (L-R) back row, Jerry Harrison, Ednah Holt, Lynn Mabry, Chris Frantz; (L-R), front row, Steve Scales, Bernie Worrell, David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, Alex Weir.MICHAEL OCHS ARCHIVES / SIRE AND WARNER MUSIC GROUP


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