Synopses & Reviews
Could there have been a more improbable band to rise from the ashes of punk and the smoldering embers of the disco inferno than Talking Heads? Made up of art school students, "military brats," and an Ivy League dropout, the Heads came of rock age in New York, 1976--the Summer of Sam--thrilling the arty downtown crowd that filled the hallowed dirty halls of the infamous CBGB. This ain't no party, this ain't no disco: This was something no one had heard the likes of before.
In This Must Be the Place, David Bowman gives us a stunning in-depth view of the changing world, the unique sound, and the remarkable clashing personalities of four exceptional artists who refused to paint inside the lines: Jerry Harrison, Chris Franz, the beautiful blond bass player Tina Weymouth ... and her nemesis, a brilliant, loose-limbed, bug-eyed "carny geek" named David Byrne. No band in rock 'n' roll history was ever less mainstream yet so adept at producing FM hits and MTV eye candy, securing the group remarkable pop success. Bowman examines the band's collaborations with artists as diverse as Brian Eno, Robert Rauschenberg, and Robert Wilson, as well as the group's cultural borrowings from African pop, minimalism, and Tin Pan Alley.
Few bands managed to hold on to their original personnel as long as the Heads even while enduring the staggering intensity of internal jealousies and all--out ego warfare. Here is Talking Heads with all their flaws and finery, a classic story of the inner workings of a great American rock band told in superlative style and with vivid backstage detail. It is a fascinating mélange of complex personalities, twisted relationships, and dazzlingly creative brio. It has love and anger, genius and pettiness, bitterness, recriminations, even a broken heart or two. This is American pop culture at the end of a millennium, in a city in the throes of a cultural renaissance. This is Byrne, et al., ineffably innovative and relentlessly hip, blurring boundaries and breaking rules with their uncompromising commitment to excellence in the offbeat as they musically confront the volatile discordance of an uncertain future.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -384) and index. Includes discography: p. -393. Includes filmography: p. -396.
About the Author
David Bowman is the biographer Talking Heads deserves. The Salon.com Reader's Guide to Contemporary Authors says, "There's no writer quite like Bowman...He writes brazenly, without shame--the way a toddler runs in circles through the sprinkler, gleefully naked and free." He was shortlisted as one of Granta's "Best Novelists Under 40" and is the author of the novels Let the Dog Drive and Bunny Modern. As a journalist, Bowman has interviewed musicians as diverse as Lou Reed for the New York Times Magazine and Kris Kristofferson for Salon. Bowman lives in Manhattan. He has a wife. They have a dog.