A fascinating glimpse behind the big suits
and deadpan looks to the heart and soul of a band
that made it big by playing it cool
With their minimalist beats, sophisticated lyrics, and stoic mien, the Talking Heads were indisputably one of the most influential and intriguing bands of their time. Rising from the ashes of punk and the smoldering embers of the disco inferno, they effectively straddled the boundaries between critical and commercial success as few other groups did, with music you could deconstruct and dance to at the same time.
Culture critic David Bowman tells the fascinating story of how this brain trust of talented musicians turned pop music on its head. From the band’s inception at the Rhode Island School of Design to their first big gig opening for the Ramones at CBGB, from their prominence in the worlds of art and fashion to the clash of egos and ideals that left them angry, jealous, and ready to call it quits, Bowman closely chronicles the rise and fall of a stunningly original and gloriously dysfunctional rock 'n' roll band that stayed together longer than anyone thought possible, and left a legacy that influences artists to this day.
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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.From Publishers Weekly:
Who better than a novelist-cum-music journalist to depict "a group that was completely of its time and totally outside of it"? From the Talking Heads' individual roots to their electrifying collaboration and breakup, Bowman (Bunny Modern) portrays brilliant odd-bird David Byrne, even-keeled and Harvard-educated Jerry Harrison, happy-go-lucky Chris Frantz and enigmatic Tina Weymouth, who told Bowman: "I have to rewrite your book for you.... You know nothing about us." Or maybe he knows more than she'd like? Bowman interviewed them (and 50 others) and studied their every mention e.g., New York Times writeups, Andy Warhol's diary to understand how they got the nation singing "Psycho killer/ Qu'est que c'est/ fa fa fa.... " While their dysfunctions intrigue, their unconventionality, hilarity and creative synergy fascinate. David, Chris and Tina met in art school in the 1970s and later shared a New York City loft. Months after Tina learned bass, the trio opened for the Ramones at CBGB, where a record exec pounced. Rounded out by Jerry's keyboard, they shook underground and mainstream audiences, tempering curious lyrics about religion and politics with infectious melodies. They experimented with African polyrhythms and funk while maintaining New Wave followers. They split up in 1991 while "still sound[ing] like the Next New Thing." Bowman's funny, astute book tells how they pulled it off and why they pulled the plug. Bibliography, discography and filmography included; photos not seen by PW. (Apr.) Forecast: No other Talking Head-ography covers the breakup or beyond. Byrne's forthcoming album will boost reader interest. Bowman's cult-crit banter will appeal to New York music and art scene followers.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description It Books, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110060507314
Book Description It Books, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060507314