There are two live shows available for download by Talking Heads. ( If you want these, you should hurry up and get them. Download sites take stuff down after a few days) They are from 1977 and 1983.
The 1977 show was when punk rock/new age was a rumor to much of America. David Byrne teamed up with straight couple Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz to start the band. ( They thought they were very modern to have a woman play bass, instead of being featured for her voice or breasts). Many say that the three piece band was the best line up of the band, but they added Jerry Harrison to play guitar at some point or another. The phrase Talking Heads was a tv slang, meaning a face on camera that does nothing but talk.
The first time T Heads played Atlanta was a “New Age Spectacular” at the Capri Theater in Buckhead. They were the headliners, with Elvis Costello as the opener. The house was full of people with free passes, and the majority of the house left after Mr. Costello played.
In the fall of 1978, PG heard a radio station giving away passes to see Talking Heads at the Agora Ballroom. He called the station, asked to be put on the guest list, and got his passes. Six friends of PG were called, and all were either busy or not interested. The seventh person called, “Bradley”, agreed to ride the 23 Oglethorpe bus downtown.
The Agora was only about a third full that night. No one really knew much to expect, other than the bass player was pretty. A security team stood in front of the stage, and had almost nothing to do. ( At one point, PG raised his hand to a ceiling tile, and pushed it half an inch above its frame. A security guard came over, and told him to leave the ceiling alone.) The band was impressive to those who were into the music, which PG really wasn’t.
About a year later, the Talking Heads returned to the Agora. This time the place was packed with a paying crowd. The Fans opened, and were horrible. (Their keyboard player was at the ’78 show, grooving with his eyes closed to the sound) The T Heads played a tight set, with PG observing that none of the players was an instrumental virtuoso. They did play very well together, and created some compelling grooves. It was written somewhere that, where most bands created a release, the Talking Heads created tension, then more tension, then more.
As the eighties got going, PG got a job and didn’t go to many rock and roll shows. The Talking Heads got bigger and bigger. They hung out with an artsy New York crowd, made movies and videos, and got just a bit pretentious. The band expanded, with up to nine musicians on stage at one time. The second download set is of the 1983 version of the band. It is not as much fun as the early days.