Watch Talking Heads reunite for the first time in over 20 years

Virgin Radio

12 Sep 2023, 15:24

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Talking Heads Reunite for a Legendary Q&A, it's true, we don't aim to Stop Making Sense!

In a momentous reunion that left fans everywhere burning down the house (figuratively, of course), Talking Heads came together for a Q&A at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Yes, you read that right, the iconic band featuring frontman David Byrne, bassist Tina Weymouth, drummer Chris Frantz, and guitarist Jerry Harrison made their first public appearance in over two decades!

Leaving long term fans to let a resounding Psycho Killer scream.

This long-awaited gathering was in honour of the 40th anniversary of Talking Heads' legendary concert film, Stop Making Sense (1984).

Spike Lee, who produced and directed Byrne's American Utopia, joined the band as the moderator for a lively Q&A session following the debut screening of A24's 4K restoration of the movie.

Frantz, with an air of nostalgia, exclaimed: "It's so good to be here with my bandmates tonight. It's been a long time."

While the band members sat in separate rows to watch the screening, reports claim that no tensions were on display. Phew!

Despite rumours, Talking Heads didn't serenade the audience acoustically or dive into their tumultuous break-up saga. Instead, they focused on discussing the brilliance of Stop Making Sense, which Lee boldly described as 'the greatest concert film ever.'

Byrne chimed in, sharing his awe at watching the film on the big screen: "When I was watching this just now, I was thinking, 'This is why we come to the movie theatres.' This is different than watching it on my laptop – this is really different."

Harrison, not one to be left out, celebrated the lasting power of the film and how it captured the band's infectious onstage energy.

He remarked: "[There is] love and fun, and the audience is brought right into it. Every time anybody watches it, it brings back that wonderful emotion."

Ever wonder about Byrne's iconic oversized suit from Stop Making Sense?

Well, he spilled the ketchup, uh, beans.

"The origin of that was… we were in between tours, and I was thinking, 'What are we gonna do next? Maybe I should rethink what we wear onstage,'" Byrne recalled.

He continued: "I was having dinner in Japan after we finished the tour, and this designer there said, 'Well, David. In the theatre, everything is bigger than [in] real life.' He's referring to like gestures… you sing louder and all that."

With a chuckle, he added: "I'm thinking, 'Oh, my suit should be bigger too.'"

Harrison then shared the behind-the-scenes scoop about the suit, revealing that it was one of two designed for the performance.

"Actually, the one that [Byrne] used… [it] was a friend of mine who made it," he said. "Because the second one had sort of plastic. [It] was lighter, but it didn't move with your body the same. This one reacted with you."

Towards the end of the conversation, Harrison, who had previously played in The Modern Lovers, marveled at how Talking Heads' music felt groundbreaking when he joined the band.

"When I joined the band, I went, 'There's nothing – nothing – going on like this,'" he said. "I don't know how big an audience we're going to get, but I know that we are going to be treading new ground. And I think we did, and that's why [the group's music] is timeless."

In case you missed it (shame on you if you did), you can watch the full Q&A session at the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival.

It marked the first public appearance of the former bandmates since their 2002 Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony.

Now, here's the juicy part. Harrison spilled the beans (again, not ketchup) that working on the re-release of Stop Making Sense acted as a sort of 'healing experience' for Talking Heads.

Byrne, on the other hand, confessed that during their breakup, he was a 'little tyrant.'

Yikes! However, he later compared their breakup to a 'divorce,' and it seems like they've all moved on to more 'cordial' pastures.

Byrne summed it up nicely, saying: "We get along OK. It's all very cordial and whatever. It's not like we're all best friends. But everybody's very happy to see this film coming back out. We're all united in the fact that we really love what we did here. So that kind of helps us talk to one another and get along."

So, while Talking Heads might not be Burning Down the House anymore, they're definitely keeping the spirit of their iconic music alive. Can we get a Once in a Lifetime round of applause for this fantastic reunion?