Monday, March 26, 2012

Life During Wartime

In case you missed it over at love of my life Charles Pierce's place the other day, here's the best Etch-A-Sketch related story that has nothing to do with that Mormon game show host who's running for the Republican presidential nomination.

Via Pierce, and I quote:
"When David Byrne, eventual leader of Talking Heads, was applying to the Rhode Island School of Design, his application project reportedly consisted of a collection of Xerox copies of Etch-A-Sketch maps of each of the 50 states.

How he did Michigan and Hawaii, I will never know."
I have no idea if this is true, but it really sounds like something Byrne would have done.


Gummo said...

Don't know if it's true, steve, but it's been a standard part of Byrne's bio for 35 years. I remember reading that when the Heads were brand new.

The next part of the story goes that the Admissions person took a long look at Byrne's submission and said, Um, you might do better in New York.

And a star was born!

buzzbabyjesus said...

He's so clever I want to puke.
I guess here is where I drop another turd in the punch bowl by revealing a deep dislike for David Byrne and his music. Of course there is a lot worse out there like Sting, for instance, and this is leaving out all the top 40 product which doesn't even register as music to me.
I saw The Talking Heads once, and The B52's, who I'd never heard of, opened and blew them right off the stage.

Anonymous said... each his (or her) tastes. There's much music out there that other adore but is not just my "cuppa". But, for what it's worth, I saw the Talking Heads in concert in the old Forest Hills tennis arean in Queens, New York, (1980's, after Remain in Light) and it was just stunningly good. I mean I was just amazed at how good that show was. Pretty sure I read somewhere, years later, that Chris Frantz had referred to that show as one their best.



steve simels said...

If this has been part of Byrne's resume for ages, I'm apparently always the last to know -- never heard the story before.

Speaking of which, an old girlfriend of mine (who I've written about before) designed the "Remain in Light" album cover. A couple of interesting stories there, which I'll tell one of these days.

TMink said...

That story reminds me of Laurie Anderson "teaching" art history as a performance. The other version of it is that she would forget the details and started just wining it.

She DID learn a lot about standing up in the dark and showing slides while talking though.


Gummo said...

I saw the B52s/Talking Heads double-bill in Central Park back in '79. Both band were amazing but no way the 52s blew the Heads off the stage.

TMink said...

Gummo, I never saw them on the same bill, but I love both bands and saw them live a few times. They were really, really different shows, weren't they?

And nobody the 52's ever toured with had the chops of Adrian Belew or Bernie Worrell. They did not have that virtuoso esthetic that the Heads had even when it was just those 4.

The best 52s shows I went to were a gas, but the Heads were somewhat transcendant and took you beyond on a great night for me.


buzzbabyjesus said...

It was just the four of them touring FEAR OF MUSIC. They pretty much stood there, while the B-52's were unexpected fun.
I have to admit that REMAIN IN LIGHT is a great album, and the band that toured, and the movie with the big suit doubt he's talented.