Talking Heads’ Tina Weymouth On “Insecure” David Byrne: “Why Does He Refuse To Refer To Chris And I Or Jerry By Name?”
In 2020, Talking Heads/Tom Tom Club drummer Chris Frantz released a memoir, Remain In Love: Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Tina, which described the Talking Heads’ formation after Franz recruited then-girlfriend (now wife) Tina Weymouth on bass, guitarist/keyboardist Jerry Harrison, and David Byrne. In a couple of as-told-to essays in the Sunday Times Weymouth and Frantz (who are still married and live in Connecticut) are opening up about their longstanding relationship and complicated history with Byrne, whom Weymouth says “refuses to refer to Chris and I or Jerry by name.”
“I recently described David Byrne as Trumpian, which didn’t go down well with everybody,” writes Weymouth. “What I meant was that, from my experience, everything with David is transactional — he will use you until he has no more use for you. He always seemed very insecure about himself and would often try to blame other people if things went wrong. Chris and I loved him dearly and we did our best to overlook these disastrous character flaws, but it seemed obvious that Talking Heads wasn’t going to last.”
She adds: “In interviews David always says he’s happy and I’d like to believe that. But if he’s happy, why does he refuse to refer to Chris and I or Jerry by name? He calls us ‘people he used to play with.’ Isn’t that odd? I’ve been around the block a few times and I’ve realized that people act like animals. Some are doves: beautiful and peaceful, like Chris. Unfortunately some are sly foxes.”
Frantz also recalls the end of Talking Heads, noting how “David stopped communicating with us.” He says: “The end of the band [in 1991] was messy and sad. David stopped communicating with us. That was another time when having Tina with me was so beneficial. We talked about the future. We continued to make music as Tom Tom Club [the offshoot band formed by Frantz and Weymouth in 1981]. And we enjoyed being Mr and Mrs Average Suburban Couple.”
Talking Heads last reunited in 2002 at the ceremony of their Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction. Byrne, who recently appeared at the Oscars sporting Everything Everywhere All At Once hotdog fingers, has previously said it was unlikely the band would ever reunite again. Weymouth has also been critical of Byrne in the past, calling him “a man incapable of returning friendship” in 2005.
Weymouth and Frantz’s interview comes just days after A24 announced a new 4K restoration of Stop Making Sense would return to theaters later this year. Likewise, the Stop Making Sense (Deluxe Edition) vinyl will be released on August 18.
Read Weymouth and Frantz’s essays here.