Talking Heads Ask Themselves, Where’s David?
And you may ask yourself: With three-fourths of the Talking Heads teaming up with the Ramones and Deborah Harry on a current tour, what has happened to the Talking Heads?
“You’ll have to ask David,” says bassist Tina Weymouth, referring to band leader David Byrne, who is continuing his solo “Rei Momo” tour this summer. “It’s on ice. He’s got five years planned in advance, none of which includes Talking Heads, as far as I know. None of us want to break it up. We had an emotional investment in it.”
“We haven’t broken up,” says keyboardist Jerry Harrison, who has just released his second Casual Gods album, “Walk on Water.”
“But,” he adds, “until we do something, what are we? He’s just very, very excited about what he’s doing with his Brazilian tour and the album he made. And he wants to make another one.”
Unlike Byrne, Harrison says, “I think there’s room to do both (solo and group projects). So I was quite disappointed when I learned we weren’t doing an album this year. But that’s life.”
Still, that hasn’t kept Harrison from working with Weymouth and drummer Chris Frantz on their side project, the Tom Tom Club, for which he has done some writing recently. “We really like working together. There’s no use waiting around for the Talking Heads to do it. We’ll just do it now.”
“I suppose initially there was a fear that if we did anything together without David, it would be less than the Talking Heads,” Weymouth says. “But it seemed a shame to ignore each other when we really do enjoy playing together.”
The Harrison collaboration will turn up on the next Tom Tom Club album. The three called themselves the Shrunken Heads when they appeared at a Roy Orbison benefit and tribute in California earlier this year. “The other name we thought of was the Band With Three Heads,” Harrison says.
But they won’t use any of those names on the current tour, during which the Tom Tom Club and Harrison will be appearing jointly and merging their bands.