Friday, October 16, 2009

Friday Night Videos: Slippery People

In 1984, a somewhat obscure yet very experienced band called Talking Heads, in coordination with film producer Jonathan Demme, created a phenomenal piece of history in the form of a live concert movie called Stop Making Sense.

Talking Heads had been together for about ten years at the time they produced Stop Making Sense. Not known in the 'pop' music scene, they were quite popular within an underground circle who found their music on "College Radio" stations. These often were exactly what their name states - radio stations operated by college campuses. Other times they were stations with less powerful signal strength, with little funding, that often opted to offer play lists not from the mainstream of current music. In the 80's these stations were quite popular, as both 'punk' and 'heavy metal' aficionados of the day searched for more obscure bands to follow.

One of these bands was the brainchild of three graduates of the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI.

David Byrne, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth first started playing music together as members of a band called The Artistics in 1974. The Artistics dissolved within a year, and the three moved to New York, eventually sharing an apartment. Unable to find a bass player in New York City, Frantz encouraged Weymouth to learn to play bass, and shortly thereafter they played their first gig as "Talking Heads," opening for the Ramones at CBGB on June 8, 1975.

Over the years, the band received great critical acclaim, but failed to create much excitement in the pop music scene. This all changed in 1984, when in theaters nationwide music lovers witnessed the eccentric Byrne, nearly swimming in an over-sized off-white suit, standing on a stage by himself, with only an acoustic guitar and a boom box. The introductory song to the film, Physcho Killer, locked viewers in for an 88 minute festival of song and dance. As each song closed, more instruments and additional band members joined Byrne on the stage, until finally the entire band was performing before enthralled audiences.

The film was a critical and box office success, and was the highlight of the career of Talking Heads. The band went on to create more music, but eventually disbanded (officially) in 1991.

One of the highlights of this film was the song "Slippery People." With lyrics that lead one to believe the song may be about murder or suicide, it is a somewhat haunting, yet thoroughly enchanting tune that displays the fun side of Talking Heads in their prime.

And so, at a time in which it seems that all we have in our political world is a bunch of "slippery people" - enjoy.


Opus #6 said...

Very catchy tune. Great for a Friday night.

Soloman said...

Opus - glad you liked.

My new (and only) "theme" is Friday Night Videos. I am borrowing it from the old show in the 80's NBC used to run late at night - it was their pathetic attempt to grab some of the MTV crowd, back when MTV was still playing videos, not the nasty celebrity and teen sex-fest that it has become today.

It gives me a chance to take an easy night if I wish by just throwing one put there, but usually I'll do something more like tonight, or the past few weeks, in which I have tied the video into current events.

So program your DVR... lol...

Pedaling said...

always loved talking heads.

Soloman said...

Pedaling.. I thought this would be a fun one.

I loved this movie - I went to see it about 20 times in the theaters, and still play it once in a while.

Glad you enjoyed.