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New Talking Heads Instagram Account Spurs Reunion Speculation

Hoping that your favorite band will reunite is a lot like wishing your divorced parents might come together again. It’s wishful thinking that willfully ignores the facts for the heart.

When an official-looking Talking Heads Instagram account appeared Tuesday, fans were quick to speculate the band just might be getting back together.

Don’t get your hopes up, though. Chris Frantz responded on Facebook that “it doesn’t really mean anything.” In fact, the account was set up by Talking Heads member Jerry Harrison’s new manager in connection with an upcoming 40th anniversary of “Remain in Light” tour featuring the keyboardist/guitarist, Adrian Belew and the Harrison-produced funk band Turkuaz performing songs from the album. The group’s first gig is booked at the Floyd Fest in Patrick Country, Va., which runs July 22-26 next summer.

Ever since David Byrne essentially disbanded Talking Heads in 1991, announcing their break-up following 1988’s “Naked,” the band has topped the reunion wishlist for festivals like Coachella. Members have turned down increasingly large advances for the reunion that that is right up there for rock fans with the likes of Led Zeppelin and the Smiths.

So, the internet practically exploded when leading Chicago alternative station WXRT wrote on its blog that the band had launched an Instagram account, noting, “[it] does provide a new way for the band to stay engaged with their fans.”

With group from the Black Crowes to Rage Against the Machine and My Chemical Romance announcing reunions, it only served to fuel online speculation as to what the announcement meant, if anything.

Byrne, who formed the band with fellow Rhode Island School of Design alums Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth in 1975 when they moved to New York City and opened for the Ramones at CBGB, is presently in the middle of his critically acclaimed Broadway run with “American Utopia” at New York’s Hudson Theatre. That New Orleans-inspired second line presentation reprises such Talking Heads classics as “Don’t Worry About the Government,” “This Must Be the Place,” “I Zimbra,” “Slippery People,” “Once In a Lifetime,” “Burning Down the House” and “Road To Nowhere.”

Of course, no one believed David Byrne would launch a Talking Heads Instagram account just to promote someone else’s tour, though other posters suggested he might tour under the name fronting a new group, with suggestions for a rhythm section including Gail Ann Dorsey and Matt Chamberlain.

Byrne has constantly deflected talk of a reunion over the years, and his relations with Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth have remained increasing chilly and combative through the years, much like divorced parents who have stopped talking to one another except through their children.

Frantz, who found out about the break-up in the L.A. Times, said at the time, “As far as we’re concerned, the band never really broke up. David just decided to leave.”

Frantz, Weymouth and Harrison reunited the band without Byrne in 1996 as The Heads for a one-off album, “No Talking, Just Head,” which featured Debbie Harry, Violent Femmes’ Gordon Gano, Johnette Napolitano, XTC’s Andy Partridge, Michael Hutchence, Live’s Ed Kowalczyk, Happy Mondays Shaun Ryder, Richard Hell and Maria McKee as vocalists, followed by a tour. At the time, Byrne sued them, effectively preventing them from using the name Talking Heads, which didn’t help relations between the ex-bandmates.

 

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