Monday, March 16, 2015

Great moments in Rock Hall history - Talking Heads induction, 2002: Can we get this over with already?

So I was watching VH1 Classic's "120 Minutes" the other day, which for those who haven't seen it is a bastardization of the early '90s juggernaut of alternative rock videos. The Classic incarnation of the
show was actually pretty decent until pinhead Matt Pinfield, a former host of the original show, reappeared in the form of self-indulgent animated shorts that tell of his experiences rubbing elbows with rock royalty (for my take on it, visit I can't find any evidence to suggest that Pinfield is involved in the selection of the videos, but since the shorts started airing, the selection of videos has been stale, repetitive, lacking in variety and not representative of the era or bands that influenced it (or came after, for that matter). It's Soundgarden, The Smiths, Pearl Jam, Blur, R.E.M., Alice In Chains, wash, rinse, repeat. There were other bands in the '80s, you know.

Anyway, a Talking Heads video came on - in fact it was the clip for "Nothing But Flowers," an OK
song but insipid clip featuring inane ultra-left wing factoids, artsy fartsy scenes and a taking-himself-too-seriously David Byrne striking all kinds of ridiculous poses with his now-40 piece Talking Heads unit.

The video got me thinking about the band, and whether the Heads are talking and over the early 1990s legal spat over Jerry Harrison, Tina Weymouth and Chris Franz using the name The Heads, which led to a lawsuit from Byrne.

They aren't talking, and they aren't over it.

And that got me thinking well, if that's the case, were they over it in 2002, when they went into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and was that an utterly awkward event?

No, they weren't, and yes, it was.

A few things to look out for:

1) Jerry Harrison giving CBGB's owner Hilly Kristal the cross-arm stance and not sticking his hand out for a shake. Really? Who the f*ck are you Jerry Harrison? If Byrne can be on the stage with you and Franz and Weymouth, you can shake the hand of the dude who made your crappy band famous.

2) Red Hot Chili Pepper's frontman Anthony Kiedis comparing his discovery of Talking Heads to the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. It's not really offensive, just indicative of the fact that whatever brains were rolling around in his skull have been melted into something resembling Flea's scrotum.

3) Weymouth's visible rack.

4) Byrne's inability to face the microphone, as if he's worried Franz is gonna jump him.

5) The sleepy, soulless, pointless performance of "Psycho Killer" and the slightly better but still limp run through "Burning Down The House." (Both not in the video below).

There's plenty of awkward to savor, so without further ado, dig in and enjoy:

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