David Byrne Reflects On Regrets About Talking Heads Breakup And His Disco Opera On Broadway
David Byrne, the iconic musician and co-founder of Talking Heads, has recently shared candid insights into the band’s tumultuous breakup and his personal journey in an exclusive interview with PEOPLE. He also discusses his latest endeavor, the disco opera “Here Lies Love,” which made its Broadway debut last month.
Acrimonious End and Regrets
In the interview, Byrne expresses regret over the way the Talking Heads’ breakup was handled. Acknowledging that the dissolution of the band could have been smoother, he admits to his younger self’s imperfections and acknowledges his role in the acrimonious end of the group. He reflects on his evolution from being a “little tyrant” during the band’s active years to learning the value of collaboration and better relationships.
Divorce and Cordial Relations
Byrne, now 71, co-founded Talking Heads in the early 1970s alongside drummer Chris Frantz, bassist Tina Weymouth, and keyboardist/guitarist Jerry Harrison. The band achieved fame with hits like “Burning Down the House” and Byrne’s captivating stage presence. However, by 1988, Talking Heads had ceased producing new music. Byrne mentions that divorces can be inherently challenging, even with the best intentions, and that despite the past rocky relations, he and his former bandmates now maintain a cordial but distant relationship.
Despite the strained relations among its members, Talking Heads is poised for a resurgence in pop culture with the re-release of their iconic 1984 concert film, “Stop Making Sense.” The remastered version of the film, known for Byrne’s eccentric wardrobe choices, will be presented in IMAX and theaters, providing a chance for a younger audience to discover the band’s legacy.
Byrne’s Ongoing Pursuits
David Byrne’s creative journey continues unabated into his 70s. Rejecting the idea of retirement, he expresses a desire to challenge himself and embark on new projects. He believes that taking leaps of faith can lead to rewarding outcomes, citing his disco opera “Here Lies Love” as an example of his willingness to push boundaries.
“Here Lies Love” and Imelda Marcos
Byrne’s latest project, “Here Lies Love,” is a disco opera that delves into the life of former Filipino First Lady Imelda Marcos. The idea for the opera emerged from Byrne’s observations of disco’s narrative potential during his visits to dance clubs. Drawing inspiration from Imelda Marcos’ extravagant lifestyle, Byrne collaborated with Fatboy Slim to craft a story based on her experiences. The opera premiered off-Broadway in 2013 and recently made its Broadway debut.
David Byrne’s interview offers a glimpse into his growth as an artist and his willingness to confront the past, particularly the challenges of Talking Heads’ breakup. As he continues to explore new artistic horizons, Byrne’s passion for creativity and self-discovery remains undiminished.
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