Talking Heads members David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz, and Jerry Harrison, reunited Monday night (September 11) at the Toronto International Film Festival -- their first public appearance together in over 20 years -- for a Q&A during the final night of the event which featured a 40th anniversary screening of their 1987 concert film, Stop Making Sense.
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Hosted by filmmaker Spike Lee (who helmed David Byrne’s American Uptopia), the reunited Talking Heads sat for a question and answer session following the debut screening of A24’s 4K restoration of their iconic 1987 concert flick -- “the greatest concert film ever” according to Lee. Although the members each sat in separate rows for the screening, they did join up on stage immediately afterward. "It’s so good to be here with my bandmates tonight,” said drummer Chris Frantz. “It’s been a long time.”
“When I was watching this just now, I was thinking, ‘this is why we come to the movie theatres,'" frontman David Byrne said of the restored footage. "This is different than watching it on my laptop – this is really different.”
Guitarist Jerry Harrison remembered back to how the band was “having so much fun onstage” at the time of the recording, saying the audience was brought right into the "love and fun" displayed between them on stage. “Every time anybody watches it, it brings back that wonderful emotion,” he adds. Harrison, who had previously played in The Modern Lovers, also spoke about his joining the group, and his feeling that Talking Heads’ music was unlike anything else out there, remembering at the time saying, “‘I don’t know how big an audience we’re going to get, but I know that we are going to be treading new ground.' And I think we did, and that’s why [the group’s music] is timeless.” Bassist Tina Weymouth also quipped during the Q&A that her contribution to the film was to never turn her amp up past three. "That left room for everyone to shine," she said, "because if the bass player gets too loud -- forget about it.”
Byrne even addressed his iconic oversized suit during the session, saying the idea came to him in between tours, when he was thinking, "‘what are we gonna do next? Maybe I should rethink what we wear onstage,’” he explains. “I was having dinner in Japan after we finished the tour, and this designer there said, ‘well, David. In the theatre, everything is bigger than real life,’" referring to his wild gestures, which got him thinking, "Oh, my suit should be bigger too.” Best. Decision. Ever.
Take a look at some fan-shot footage from the event right here.
Stop Making Sense will be in IMAX theaters exclusively for one week beginning on September 22 before getting its wider release in regular theaters on September 29. CHeck out the remastered trailer below.
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