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Talking Heads to reunite for ‘Stop Making Sense’ Q&A in Toronto

It will be the band's first public appearance together in two decades

By Will Richards

a screenshot from the trailer of Talking Heads' 'Stop Making Sense' film
Talking Heads' 'Stop Making Sense' film (1984). CREDIT: Madman Films/YouTube still

Talking Heads are set to make their first public appearance together in 20 years for a Q&A at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).

All four members of the band – David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison – will appear to discuss their lauded 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense, which is being remastered in 4K by A24. The Q&A will be hosted by Spike Lee.

The band previously reunited to promote the 15th birthday of the film in 1999, and made their last public performance together in 2002 at their Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony.

The latest reunion comes as somewhat of a surprise, with warring words shared between Byrne and Frantz over recent years.

Directed by Jonathan Demme (‘The Silence of the Lambs’, ‘Philadelphia’), the 1984 project documents a performance by the band at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles, California. Per an official description, the movie “expertly captures the music’s energy, fusing cinema with performance to create something more than the sum of its parts”.

Talking Heads were out on tour in support of their fifth studio album ‘Speaking In Tongues’ (1983) at the time.

In September 2020, Byrne said his use of brownface in a promotional skit for ‘Stop Making Sense’ was a “major mistake in judgement”.

“In the piece I appear as a number of different characters interviewing myself, and some of the characters portrayed are people of colour,” he wrote on Twitter, adding that the sketch had been brought to his attention by a journalist.

“To watch myself in the various characters, including black and brown face, I acknowledge it was a major mistake in judgement that showed a lack of real understanding,” Byrne continued.

“I’d like to think I am beyond making mistakes like this, but clearly at the time I was not. Like I say at the end of our Broadway show American Utopia “I need to change too”.. and I believe I have changed since then.”