Best known as the drummer with Talking Heads, this memoir by Chris Frantz is really as much about love as it is about music. After an unremarkable childhood in a military family, he meets both David Byrne and future wife Tina Weymouth at art college and eventually Talking Heads are formed, He’s obviously devoted to Tina – they’ve been together for over forty years – but paints Byrne in a less than flattering light, accusing him of not sharing writing credits and arbitrarily declaring the band to be over when it suited him – I don’t think a reunion is on the cards! Frantz has vivid detailed recollections of the fellow artists they met on the New York club scene of the mid-late seventies, particularly at CBGB’s – Patti Smith, Debbie Harry, Tom Verlaine, etc. However, the bulk of this book unsurprisingly is devoted to the recording and touring career of Talking Heads, including detailed and lengthy travelogues of US and European treks – the most interesting is their first foray into the UK and Europe supporting The Ramones. As the band becomes more successful, it increasingly becomes a vehicle for Byrne, to the frustration of the other members, and Frantz and Weymouth gradually drift into other projects, most notably Tom Tom Club. Best known here for their one off hit Wordy Rappinghood, it’s actually one of their other pieces, Genius of Love, that is now one of the most sampled songs ever – indeed this band earned a gold disc well before Talking Heads did! Frantz comes over as an amiable sort of guy, utterly devoted to his wife, and this book is a goldmine for not just Talking Heads fans but for anyone with an interest in the New York music scene of the seventies and eighties,
Length of Read:Medium
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Debbie Harry’s ‘Face It’, Patti Smith’s ‘Just Kids’.
One thing you’ve learned
Any band that produced remarkable albums such as Fear of Music, Remain in Light and Speaking In Tongues must have been doing something right!