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David Byrne admits Talking Heads split “wasn’t handled well”

By | Published on Friday 18 August 2023

David Byrne

David Byrne has admitted that he regrets the way Talking Heads came to an end in the late 1980s, adding that he could be something of a “little tyrant” when touring with his former band.

Talking Heads officially split at the end of 1991, three years after the release of their final album ‘Naked’. Fellow founding member Chris Frantz has since said that there was never a formal decision to disband and that he found out that Byrne was no longer part of the group through a newspaper article.

Both Frantz and his wife Tina Weymouth, who played bass in the band, have been critical of Byrne over the decades since Talking Heads split up. And it will be interesting to see if those criticisms are dealt with when the band’s members come together for an in conversation at the Toronto Film Festival next month alongside a screening of the remastered version of their 1984 concert film ‘Stop Making Sense’.

But ahead of that, Byrne has given an interview to People magazine in which he admits that the ending of Talking Heads “wasn’t handled well – it was kind of ugly”.

“As a younger person, I was not as pleasant to be around”, he adds. “When I was working on some Talking Heads shows, I was more of a little tyrant. And then I learned to relax, and I also learned that collaborating with people, both sides get more if there’s a good relationship instead of me telling everybody what to do”.

Confirming he now has “regrets” regarding the way in which he departed Talking Heads, he says: “I don’t think I did it in the best way, but I think it was kind of inevitable that would happen anyway. We have a cordial relationship now. We’re sort of in touch, but we don’t hang out together”.

Except at film festivals in Toronto, of course. That in conversation will take place on 11 Sep. After its premiere at the festival, the remastered version of ‘Stop Making Sense’ will start screening at IMAX cinemas and then more widely.