Monday, January 08, 2007

Talking Heads live 1980

Heatwave was a rock festival August 23, 1980, outside of Toronto,
Canada at Mosport Park, Bowmanville, Ontario. The slogans used
to promote the show were variously the "Punk Woodstock", the
"New Wave Woodstock", or "The 1980s Big Beat Rock and Roll Party".
The band that toured for the Remain in Light album, including
Adrian Belew, performed for the first time at Heatwave as the
sun was setting. Their segment began with the four original
members and then as the songs progressed, they added musicians
and vocalists, including Nona Hendryx (vocals), Busta Jones,
Steve Scales, Dolette McDonald, and Bernie Worrell (keyboards).

When David Byrne ran offstage after Talking Heads’
appearance at the Heatwave Festival near Toronto,
he was ecstatic; the group’s first performance as
an enlarged, funk-oriented band was an overwhelming
success--from the point of view of both the audience
and the musicians. Though that appearance--and a
subsequent Talking Heads concert in New York’s Central
Park--was originally intended as a sort of limited
special event, the group is now trying to put together
a major tour in support of its new album, Remain In
Light, which is due from Sire Records on October 8th.

"As far as I’m concerned, this is the only way I’d
want to do it," Byrne said of the band’s revamped
sound and lineup (the original four musicians plus
several guest artists). "It represents a complete
about-face. I’ve really marveled that a group can
do that."

According to Byrne, the "about-face" is a result
of the interest that he and producer Brian Eno
share in African music and rhythms. "We wanted to
develop an understanding of the African musical
concept of interlocking, interdependent parts and
rhythms that combine to make a coherent whole,"
Byrne explained. "It’s completely different from
playing rock songs; it’s not just a band executing
a tune." - James Henke, Rolling Stone, 10/16/80

The new material - and the Nigerian music that played over the PA
before their set - showed that the Heads have been listening to
both American and African funk. Like "I Zimbra," David Byrne's
latest compositions stay on one chord for long stretches but are
broken up by all sorts of percussive interplay. The extended band
was designed to show clashes in every register. Tina Weymouth's
stolid bar line versus Jones' syncopated thunks; Belew's sustained,
weightless leads versus Byrne's choppy chording and Worrell's
chattering clavinet; Byrne's reedy voice versus his gospel-toned
backups. Most of the new songs also used interlocking vocal lines,
with short interjections punctuating long, chantlike phrases. The
many layers of cross-rhythm kept the songs from sounding like
disco, and while there was jamming galore, the tunes weren't

- review by Jon Pareles, published in Rolling Stone 10/30/1980


David Byrne
Chris Frantz
Jerry Harrison
Tina Weymouth
Adrian Belew
Dolette MacDonald
Busta Jones
Bernie Worrell
Steve Scales


Psycho Killer
Warning Sign
Stay Hungry
I Zimbra
Once in a Lifetime
Houses in Motion
Born Under Punches
Crosseyed and Painless

I’m missing:
Life During Wartime
Take Me to the River

***there are some pretty bad backup vocals.
It pretty much ruins "Once In a Lifetime" as serious music...
but it rocks if you want to laugh****

Check out some 1980 live video from Rome Italy
& Minneapolis, Minnesota over @ my
SLC Library Boy blog


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