Talking Heads members once tried to get Debbie Harry to front the band - The Strut

Talking Heads members once tried to get Debbie Harry to front the band

An interview with Talking Heads founding members Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz is featured in this week’s New York Magazine and they had a lot to share about their early days as a band. One of the claims shared by Tina was that in their formative CBGB years they initially reached out to Debbie Harry to be their lead singer. From NY Mag:

eventually that led Chris to looking for other people. One person he asked to be our singer was Debbie Harry. She said, “Well, I already have a band, but you can buy me a drink.”

An interesting tidbit, but one can’t help but wonder if this is partly a post breakup dig at David Byrne especially given some of the other quotes in the piece. Tina mentions Byrne ‘freezing’ during a TV appearance with Dick Clarke:

I couldn’t explain to the record-label people why David’s behavior could be so incredibly odd. He had a freak-out on our first television appearance, on Dick Clark, on American Bandstand. David sort of froze, and Dick Clark sort of whirled around, and hands the microphone to me.

I watched the TV appearance in question, and yes it’s awkward all around but Byrne was somewhat funny and no more ‘freaked-out’ than everyone else.

So what would Talking Heads be like with Debbie Harry fronting the band instead of David Byrne? We actually got to find out as Tina and Chris had her sing on their 1996 post breakup album title song No Talking, Just Head.

I think we can agree that the world is a better place for the lives of David and Debbie playing out just how they did.

Read more of the interview at New York Magazine.

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