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Flashback: Talking Heads Play Insanely Funky ‘Crosseyed & Painless’ in 1980

King Crimson guitarist Adrian Belew jammed with them at this ‘Remain in Light’ show

Two months after Remain in Light hit arrived in record stores in the fall of 1980, the Talking Heads played a show at the Palazzo dello Sport in Rome. It was the tail end of a long tour and they were absolutely on fire, with future King Crimson guitarist Adrian Belew and Parliament-Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell supplanting their already killer live lineup. Thankfully, cameras were rolling to capture the all the intensity on film.

The 1983 Speaking in Tongues tour gets all the attention since it was the subject of Jonathan Demme’s immortal documentary Stop Making Sense, but this performance of “Crosseyed & Painless” shows that, had the director come around three years earlier, this might be the band’s most famous tour. The intro here is insanely funky, and it builds up to an orgasmic rendition of the Remain in Light tune that has become a staple at Phish concerts. The entire concert is on YouTube and really deserves an official release at some point, even if the DVD market is a tiny fraction of what it was a decade ago.

Talking Heads fans continue to fantasize that there will be a reunion at some point, and with Adrian Belew no longer in King Crimson, even he could come back. Bernie Worrell would definitely be down, as would Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison. It would be the ultimate Coachella headlining act, and only a single person on earth is standing in the way of it happening. Sadly, his vote is the only one that matters and he’s quite the stubborn fellow.

In This Article: Talking Heads

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