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Tom Tom Club- If Talking Heads Reform . . .

Author: Jonty Skrufff
Sunday, February 20, 2005
Tom Tom Club drummer Chris Franz chatted to Skrufff this week and revealed that he's open minded about the prospects for Talking Heads if the seminal punk funk band one day get back together.

"If Talking Heads were to reform, I think we could pick up right where we left off and still be miles ahead of the musical pack, though of course, that's just, like, my opinion," said Chris. "We could even give James Murphy a run for his money."

"We love the new funky punks," he continued. "In fact, about a year ago we took James out to dinner just to tell him how much we enjoyed what he's been doing with DFA and LCD Soundsystem. He replied in no uncertain terms that our bands, Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club, had saved his soul when he was a young kid growing up in the suburbs of New Jersey," Chris laughed.

Talking Heads formally split up twice in both 1991 and 1996, 20 years after they emerged as one of New York's original punk bands, a time he still looks back on fondly.

"When we were performing at CBGB's alongside Television, The Ramones, Patti Smith, and Blondie, there was never any doubt in my mind that something unforgettable was going on," he recalled," To me it was obvious that history was in the making; in no small part thanks to Hilly Kristal who owned CBGBs and gave these bands a stage to play on when no one else would."

The punk pioneer also denied Talking Heads had ever got caught up in fights in the early punk days, "certainly never with our old friends The Ramones, although Johnny's manners could be appalling at times.'

"But Rat Scabies of The Damned tried to start a fight with me once backstage at The Greyhound in Croydon in '77," he revealed, "Though I think that was just the sulphate talking."

Chris also said he's optimistic about New York's future, despite or even because of, the city's current cultural stasis.

"The great architect I. M. Pei once told us that, in China, the best art always came at the end of a dynasty when the artists were working purely for their own enjoyment with little hope for financial reward," he revealed.

"With our current government and economy, we have all the signs that we are at the end of an empire. Hopefully, the arts and music will soon explode with a new vitality."