This Must Be the Place

This Must Be the Place

The Adventures of Talking Heads in the Twentieth Century

Book - 2001
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Could there have been a more improbable band to rise from the ashes of punk and the smoldering embers of the disco inferno than Talking Heads? Made up of art school students, "military brats," and an Ivy League dropout, the Heads came of rock age in New York, 1976--the Summer of Sam--thrilling the arty downtown crowd that filled the hallowed dirty halls of the infamous CBGB. This ain't no party, this ain't no disco: This was something no one had heard the likes of before.

In This Must Be the Place, David Bowman gives us a stunning in-depth view of the changing world, the unique sound, and the remarkable clashing personalities of four exceptional artists who refused to paint inside the lines: Jerry Harrison, Chris Franz, the beautiful blond bass player Tina Weymouth ... and her nemesis, a brilliant, loose-limbed, bug-eyed "carny geek" named David Byrne. No band in rock 'n' roll history was ever less mainstream yet so adept at producing FM hits and MTV eye candy, securing the group remarkable pop success. Bowman examines the band's collaborations with artists as diverse as Brian Eno, Robert Rauschenberg, and Robert Wilson, as well as the group's cultural borrowings from African pop, minimalism, and Tin Pan Alley.

Few bands managed to hold on to their original personnel as long as the Heads even while enduring the staggering intensity of internal jealousies and all--out ego warfare. Here is Talking Heads with all their flaws and finery, a classic story of the inner workings of a great American rock band told in superlative style and with vivid backstage detail. It is a fascinating m#65533;lange of complex personalities, twisted relationships, and dazzlingly creative brio. It has love and anger, genius and pettiness, bitterness, recriminations, even a broken heart or two. This is American pop culture at the end of a millennium, in a city in the throes of a cultural renaissance. This is Byrne, et al., ineffably innovative and relentlessly hip, blurring boundaries and breaking rules with their uncompromising commitment to excellence in the offbeat as they musically confront the volatile discordance of an uncertain future.

Publisher: New York : HarperEntertainment, c2001
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780380978465
0380978466
Call Number: 780.2 ZT1443b
Characteristics: 406 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm

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lukasevansherman
Sep 04, 2017

"Home is where I want to be, Pick me up and turn me around."
According to the book jacket, David Bowan is the biographer that the Talking Heads deserve. Talking Heads are one of my favorite bands, but I'm not sure how accurate that statement is. Bowan offers up a serviceable, occasionally insightful, history and analysis of the band, which is marred by his personal, expressive writing style that, like so many critics, owes something to Lester Bangs. What does emerge that I didn't really know about was the tension between David Byrne and Tina Weymouth. Any Heads fan will enjoy it, even if the band deserves better. I'd also recommend Byrne's book, "How Music Works," and Jonathan Lethem's book on "Fear of Music."

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