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American Mavericks:
An Ordinary Guy Burning Down the House: Sound Portrait of David Byrne

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 59 min
Event Type: Documentary Program Origin: KUSC

David Byrne has firmly established himself as a star in two worlds, rock and avant-garde music. Best known as the squawky lead singer, songwriter and guitarist of the critically acclaimed art rock group, Talking Heads, he has forged a new amalgam of intellectual, neurotic, edgy, rock and roll that sells a respectable million albums at a pop. His mark on the avant-garde was first made in 1981 in company with Twyla Tharp when he wrote the virtuosic 73 minute dance score, “The Catherine Wheel,” for her. Since then, independent of Talking Heads, Byrne, who admits he reads music with difficulty, has composed music for film, dance and the stage and has also created videos, a feature film and performance pieces. David Byrne’s ease in these two worlds is described by Ken Emerson of the NY Times as an “ability to work both sides of the street, to jaywalk, as it were across the lines dividing high and low art.”

To explore these divergent worlds of David Byrne, this sound portrait includes interviews with Byrne; Jonathan Demme who directed the extraordinary Talking Heads documentary, “Stop Making Sense,” in 1984; theater director Robert Wilson with whom he collaborated on “The CIVIL warS”; and Brazilian musician Johnny Pacheco, a frequent song writing collaborator of Byrne. This one-hour portrait is produced by Lucia DeLisa and Gail Eichenthal as the third and final part of American Mavericks.

Note: Program description taken from promotional materials, probably provided by Eichenthal, et al.

Musical Selections:  Wild Wild Life [excerpt] / Talking Heads -- Take Me To The River [excerpt] / Talking Heads -- Daytripper [excerpt] / The Beatles -- Walk on the Wild Side [excerpt] / Velvet Underground -- Psycho Killer [excerpt] / Talking Heads -- [unidentified excerpts of traditional African music] -- Listening Wind [excerpt] / Talking Heads -- [excerpts from “The Catherine Wheel”] / David Byrne -- Big Business [excerpt] / David Byrne -- The Democratic Circus [excerpt] / Talking Heads -- Totally Nude [excerpt] / Talking Heads -- [excerpts from “The Knee Plays”] / David Byrne -- Once in a Lifetime [excerpt] / Talking Heads -- Take Me To The River [excerpt] / Talking Heads -- Loco De Amor (”Crazy For Love”) / David y Celia [David Byrne and Celia Cruz, lyrics trans. by Johnny Pacheco] -- [excerpts from the soundtrack for “The Last Emperor”] / David Byrne and Ryūichi Sakamoto -- [excerpts from the soundtrack for “True Stories”] / David Byrne -- Ponta de Lanca (Umbabarauma) [excerpt] / Jorge Ben -- [excerpts from “Rei Momo”] / David Byrne -- The Call of The Wild [excerpt] / David Byrne & Johnny Pacheco -- Burning Down the House [excerpt] / Talking Heads --
Genres:  Popular Music; Music Theater
Subject:  Byrne, David, 1952-; Rock music; Music theater; Motion picture music
People:  Eichenthal, Gail ; Byrne, David, 1952-; Henley, Beth ; Chernoff, John Miller ; Demme, Jonathan, 1944-; Wilson, Robert, 1941-; Pacheco, Johnny ; Cruz, Celia ; Sakamoto, Ryūichi, 1952- ; Goodman, John, 1952- ; Ben, Jorge ; Tharp, Twyla; Anderson, Laurie, 1947-; Frantz, Chris, 1951-; Weymouth, Tina; Harrison, Jerry
Recording Date:  11/7/1989
First Broadcast Date:  11/7/1989
 
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