Follow TV Tropes


Trivia / Talking Heads

Go To

  • Big Name Fan:
    • When John Cale met Brian Eno at a late 70s Talking Heads gig, Cale said "I want them, you bastard!" Which startled Eno, who up until then hadn't thought about producing them. Eno subsequently wrote them a tribute song, "King's Lead Hat", and co-produced their second, third, and fourth albums.
    • When Dave Eggers was a teenager in the mid-80s, at a time when the video for "Road to Nowhere" was on heavy rotation on MTV, he developed a ritual of coming home from school and fixing himself a snack and watching the video obsessively, convinced that it contained important occult knowledge.note 
    • Advertisement:
    • Jonathan Lethem wrote an entire book about Fear of Music for the 33 1/3 series.
    • Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright named the band as one of his favorites in a 1980s interview. He also said that Byrne and Eno's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts "knocked him sideways" when he first heard it in a 1996 interview, and that he played Remain in Light constantly when it was first released. Wright also lamented not being able to see the band live because of his own commitments with Pink Floyd. (Wright was fired during the sessions for The Wall but was kept as a salaried musician for the tour, which coincided with Remain in Light.)
    • According to Tina Weymouth's essay in the Once in a Lifetime box set, Peter Gabriel, Robbie Robertson and Brian Wilson were in attendance for the Stop Making Sense concerts and met the band backstage.
  • Advertisement:
  • Breakthrough Hit: Critical darlings from the get-go, their cover of Al Green's "Take Me to the River" on More Songs About Buildings and Food was their first single to reach the Top 40.
  • Breakup Breakout: David Byrne has had a successful solo career since the band's breakup, while the other members have kept a lower profile. Jerry Harrison has worked as a Record Producer, notably working with Live, Crash Test Dummies and The String Cheese Incident, among others. Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz have continued with the Tom Tom Club.
  • Creative Differences: Part of the reason the band never reformed. The other part is the other band members' personal issues with David Byrne, with the relationship between Tina Weymouth and Byrne appearing to be the most acrimonius.
  • Creator Breakdown: The Darker and Edgier tone of Fear of Music and Remain in Light stemmed from Byrne suffering from burnout as a result of Talking Heads' constant touring and performing. While it thankfully didn't cause any worse issues, it did impact both Talking Heads' artistic output and Byrne's own solo work prior to Talking Heads stopping touring in 1983.
  • Advertisement:
  • Creator Couple: Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz have been married since 1977.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Byrne's creepy breathless singing on "Drugs" was caused by him running on the spot while he was doing the vocals.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The 2005 and 2006 remasters of the band's catalog by Jerry Harrison & Andy Zax haven't been in-print since 2009; since then, whenever a new CD copy of a Talking Heads studio album shows up on the store shelf, it's guaranteed to be a re-pressing of a CD release from the 80's.note  This is notable because it's extremely unusual for something like this to happen to a band's back-catalog. Typically, it's the older releases that go out of print, with the most recent remasters being the ones that stick around. The extended albums are still available on Spotify and iTunes, so this might just reflect the decline of the CD format.
  • Name's the Same: The "Gene Wilder" credited with playing congas on "I Zimbra" is not the actor, but rather some dude David Byrne met in a park.
  • Reality Subtext: "Sax and Violins", the band's final song, was written and released in the months leading up to their break-up; much of the lyrics seem to reflect on the band's legacy and the future of the individual members as they each go their separate paths.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: "Love → Building on Fire" was written after the building Byrne, Frantz and Weymouth lived in caught on fire.
  • Similarly Named Works: The band has two compilations named Once in a Lifetime. One is a single-disc version of the Greatest Hits Album Sand in the Vaseline for non-U.S. markets, and the other is a box set.
  • Trope Namers: My God, What Have I Done? (from "Once in a Lifetime")
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The band considered supporting True Stories with a tour of drive-in theaters. This would have been the band's first tour since the one supporting Speaking in Tongues captured in Stop Making Sense.
    • Adrian Belew lobbied to be a full member of Talking Heads, but David Byrne declined; Belew went on to front the revived King Crimson instead.
    • The band were approached to perform at Live Aid, but turned down the offer, likely due to them feeling that they wouldn't be able to deliver anything that hadn't already been done in previous live performances.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: Many of the songs on later albums, particularly on Remain in Light, Speaking in Tongues, and Naked, were created from jams in the studio.


Example of: