If you believe David Byrne, the Talking Heads are never, ever getting back together. Their last tour, chronicled in the 1984 film Stop Making Sense, was pretty much impossible to top, and Byrne is unwilling to try. The other members grew so frustrated with the situation, in 1996 they toured and released an album under the name the Heads. David Byrne still sued them. It got ugly.
The group put aside all the animosity in 2002, however, when they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The quartet spend a couple days rehearsing, and they played an amazing three-song set of “Psycho Killer,” “Life During Wartime” and “Burning Down the House.” They began the set as a four-piece, and then fleshed out the line-up with percussionist Steve Scales and keyboardist Bernie Worrell.
“It had been a long time since we’d had much of a conversation,” drummer Chris Frantz told Rolling Stone in 2009. “We’d bump into David at Lou Reed’s house or something like that. But that was the first time we’d sat down and talked.”
Their reunion was the highlight of the ceremony at New York’s Waldorf Astoria, which also featured performances by Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Gene Pitney, Isaac Hayes and Brenda Lee. “With the exception of Tina, we all could have been a little bit looser,” Frantz says. “But gimme a break — we hadn’t played together for something like 18 years. So I think we did good.”