Monday, February 16, 2009
Sorry, Talking Heads
When I was about 16, the New York band Talking Heads were everything to me. My mate Joe and I were staying on his uncle's farm at St. Marys. We caught a lift into Launceston to go to the Basin Concert (Mental As Anything headlining) and while we were in town, we raided Wills Record Bar. They had a lot of far-out stuff that you never saw in Burnie. I came away with Remain In Light and Joe snared Fear of Music. After the concert we hitched back to St Mary's. That night we commandeered the stereogram and introduced the Fingal Valley to New York art school new wave music.
Through the rest of the vinyl era I steadily gathered all of their albums, and the various wierd side projects of David Byrne and occasionally the others. I played them on my Radiola portable record player, so small that the LP hung over the side and obscured most of the controls. Choose the volume you want before you put the record on.
Then CDs came to town. This was my first experience of technological redundancy. CDs were so easy. They didn't need to be turned over. If you fell asleep listening to one you didn't wake up to "..thrrrp.....thrrrp.....thrrrp....."
Of course I didn't buy CDs of things I already had on vinyl. After a while my record player disappeared the way things do when you move. No great loss, didn't play the records much anymore anyway. Etc etc. I feel so guilty recounting this now. I was asleep at the wheel!
So - only now do I realise I have lost a good ten or twelve years of Talking Heads listening opportunities. I've got one CD and a few mp3s that crop up occasionally, and that has been enough to dull my senses to the reality that I have let a really great band effectively slip out of my life. And particularly this one album, Remain in Light.
We visited Matt and Mem and Edie and Callie yesterday, and in talking music with Matt I blurted out my feelings on the matter. He sent me home with all his Heads CDs. Today I felt quite emotional as I listened to this great, great album again for the first time since about 1996.
David Byrne actually played in Melbourne a couple of weeks back, and my friend Alex met him. Alex was at the right hip 3rd floor warehouse bar when DB stepped out of the lift right in front of him. (I'm not jealous because I met Don Lane at Mascot airport in 1979.) I think hearing about this might have been what woke me up from my dreadful slumber.
So - sorry about that Talking Heads. I'm back on board again now.