Creating a "Talking Heads Reality Tour" of NYC
November 15, 2022 9:56 AM   Subscribe

My kid is 13 and a big Talking Heads fan. I'd like to gift them with a trip to NYC (we're just a few hours away driving and they have been once before), but base the trip around Talking Heads trivia and landmarks.

I do not personally hold this level of knowledge, so I'm turning to you all to help build this trip. No level of trivia or landmark is too arcane. I'm thinking it will be two full days at most. My budget is flexible but not unlimited and I haven't fully landed on when it will be happening, but not until next year (it's either going to be the Christmas present or the early January birthday present). Thanks all!
posted by stefnet to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: If I remember correctly, Chris Frantz's book has a lot of specifics as far as buildings where they lived and practiced, sites of early gigs, etc.
posted by Clustercuss at 10:08 AM on November 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I highly recommend contacting this guy about giving you a walking tour. He has some set tours about various eras/artists in NYC but he is also able to give personalized tours based on your interests and I'm certain that he has a wealth of Talking Heads information. He's a friend of mine and a fantastic person, in addition to having an encyclopedic knowledge of New York music history.
posted by otolith at 10:15 AM on November 15, 2022 [21 favorites]

Best answer: My husband's band was on the scene with them back in the day and remembers some places.

Former venues where they played:

CBGBs 315 Bowery in East Village
Max's Kansas City 213 Park Avenue South by Union Square
Mudd Club 77 White Street in TriBeCa
Lower Manhattan Ocean Club 121 Chambers Street in TriBeCa
The Ritz is now Webster Hall 125 East 11th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues Maybe you could see a show here?

In the early 80's they all lived in a loft at 9-01 44th Drive, Long Island City Queens (across the East River).

I'll post more if he thinks of them.
posted by kimdog at 10:28 AM on November 15, 2022 [4 favorites]

Very low hanging fruit:

"This ain't no Mudd Club, or CBGB! I ain't got time for that now!"
posted by box at 11:05 AM on November 15, 2022

Most of the places kimdog listed aren't there anymore -- but you probably know that.
posted by The Bellman at 11:07 AM on November 15, 2022

Best answer: 195 Chrystie.

David Byrne used to live on E. 7th and Ave. A, on the edge of Tompkins Square Park. Not sure of the exact address but the area around TSP was part of the inspiration for "Life During Wartime"'s vibes.
posted by praemunire at 11:33 AM on November 15, 2022

In case you're going through Baltimore, you could track down the Yoo-Hoo Bottling Company that is supposedly near where the subject of "And She Was" had a pleasant elevation. (I have been unsuccessful, but it might be Garrett Park -- maybe I'll have to scan to pick up more clues!)
posted by credulous at 4:13 PM on November 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

not in NYC, but in related: Rhode Island School of Design is where members of Talking Heads met and played in The Artistics. The Chris Frantz memoir mentioned above has details.
posted by ovvl at 5:21 PM on November 15, 2022

Best answer: Came here to suggest Walk on the Wild Side but otolith beat me to it.* I recently went on his Life During Wartime tour, which has a lot of Talking Heads in it, and loved it. I'd say though that unless your kid is digging into the rest of the world around the band the tour might be a bit hot an cold — there's a lot of non TH material! He does do custom tours, as well, and would do a killer Talking Heads one I'm sure. No clue on the price on the customs, but it may be worth hitting him up to ask.

*And he's a friend of mine, too, so hi otolith! See u around mebbe
posted by wemayfreeze at 6:41 PM on November 15, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You could stop by the David Byrne Bike Racks...
posted by staggernation at 7:21 PM on November 15, 2022

This is more trivia than something you can stop and see, since it's more a New Orleans/Southern thing, but this is what the shotgun shack that you may find yourself living in looks like.
posted by umbú at 8:39 PM on November 15, 2022

To add to credulous: if you are passing through Baltimore, David Byrne grew up in the nearby community of Arbutus.
posted by champers at 3:02 AM on November 16, 2022

Response by poster: Thank you all! This is perfect and more than enough to build a trip around.
posted by stefnet at 5:36 PM on November 25, 2022 [2 favorites]

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