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David Byrne on Talking Heads’ breakup: “I have regrets on how that was handled”

Bill Davila/FilmMagic

It’s been over 30 years since Talking Heads split up on bad terms, and frontman David Byrne is feeling bad about what went down.


“As a younger person, I was not as pleasant to be around. When I was working on some Talking Heads shows, I was more of a little tyrant,” he tells People in a new interview. “And then I learned to relax, and I also learned that collaborating with people, both sides get more if there’s a good relationship instead of me telling everybody what to do.” 

He adds, “I think [the end] wasn’t handled well. It was kind of ugly.”

Talking Heads released their last album, Naked, in 1988, and in 1992, drummer Chris Frantz revealed in a Los Angeles Times interview that Byrne basically left the band and they were over. 

“I have regrets on how that was handled,” Byrne says. “I don’t think I did it in the best way, but I think it was kind of inevitable that would happen anyway.” He now describes his relationship with his former bandmates as “cordial,” adding, “We’re sort of in touch, but we don’t hang out together.” 

Talking Heads did reunite in 2002 to perform at their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and they are set to unite again September 11 at the Toronto Film Festival. All four members — Byne, Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison — will take part in a Q&A to mark the 40th anniversary of their iconic concert film, Stop Making Sense.

The film is also being rereleased in theaters September 22; a new trailer for it has just dropped. 

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