Soundtrack Of My Life: Talking Heads’ Tina Weymouth

Bass legend and new wave pioneer with a love of hula dancing

The first song I fell in love with

Burl Ives – ‘Frosty The Snowman’

“I remember hearing classical music before I even heard pop songs – ‘The Nutcracker Suite’, I loved that one. ‘Dance Of The Flowers’. But when I was about six or seven years old, I bought a 45, it was Burl Ives singing a Christmas song. I loved Burl Ives’s voice. It was this friendly, deep basso. I was already madly in love, since I was three, with Liberace playing at the piano because he was he was always showing his rings. He would go to the apron of the stage and almost offer people his hand to kiss his rings. What a joker!”

The first album I bought


The Beatles – ‘Meet The Beatles’

“I bought that simultaneously with The Beach Boys. They were also equally important. I was living on the Naval Air Station at Keflavik in Iceland. I just arrived and it was a night in 1965, long after the albums had come out. I had to give a party for my classmates. And so I said, ‘Mummy, I have no music to play’ – they really like pop music’. So she gave me 50 bucks to go and get all these albums. I bought three or four Beatles and three Beach Boys and probably a Peter, Paul And Mary. I was trying to learn to play guitar and sing at the time.”

The first gig I went to

Hula dancing, Hawaii

“The first gig I went to was when I was five. It was in Hawaii and it was hula dancers and it was really great, really beautiful. They’d tell stories and the men are very dominant and the women are very feminine and it was kind of amazing. They gave us the split bamboo sticks to keep rhythm and time with. I went to a lot after that.”

The song that reminds me of home

Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers – ‘New England’


“I absolutely adore that. I live in New England and it’s been the best. We’ve been so lucky. We’ve had some terrible storms but no hurricanes, no tornadoes, no water spouts, no earthquakes, knock on wood. It’s really nice, and I’ve lived all over. Let me fill you in. In 1980, [record producer] Chris Blackwell built Compass Point Studios at the far end of the island of New Providence, nine and a half miles from Nassau. Talking Heads were the first band to record an album there. Chris was trying to form an artists’ colony there and he was building an apartment building behind the studio. We ended up buying an apartment from him in exchange for our first Tom Tom Club album.”

The song I wish I’d written

Lou Reed – ‘Perfect Day’

“It’s just amazing, everything about it – the arrangement, the production, the performance, the sentiment, gosh, we all wish we’d written that one.”

The song I do at karaoke

Donna Summer – ‘Love To Love You Baby’

“I’d never do karaoke. Would it go down well if I sang it? I don’t think anybody would even hear me. I’d be all like [shyly] ‘Oooooh…’”

The song I can’t get out of my head

Eurythmics – ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)’

“They were so good. ‘Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)’ or ‘Here Comes The Rain Again’, either one of those. They’re both perfect creations. Great lyrics, great arrangements, great performance. I would also have to rank anything by Kraftwerk, instrumentals and tunes as well. They also just blow my mind.”

The song I can no longer listen to

Woody Guthrie – ‘Old Man Trump/I Ain’t Got No Home In This World Anymore’

“Anything to do with Trump is so disturbing and triggers so many negative emotions. Woody Guthrie wrote this about The Donald’s father and the terrible, terrible conditions of the apartments that they rented. I would love to forget Trump ever existed. There’s such severe cognitive dissonance happening nowadays in this country. A mayor can say ‘we abhor this gun violence and yet I like to go hunting’. It’s not violence when you’re killing Bambi.”

The song that makes me want to dance

Daft Punk – ‘Get Lucky’

“There are so many. KC And The Sunshine band wrote some of the best dance tunes ever created, but Daft Punk did a really good job with ‘Get Lucky’. I thought that was a brilliant collaboration of various singers and musicians and just wonderful. The first time I heard it was in Japan and I thought, ‘Oh, this is going to be a hit’. And it was. I love to dance, it’s kind of a be-all and end-all. I keep dancing even though I don’t know that I’m good. I’m not a good ballet dancer, that’s for sure but certain kinds of dancing I can do fairly well. If there is such a thing as another life then maybe in the next life, I will be a better dancer.”

The song I want played at my funeral

Unwritten funk track by Tina Weymouth

“I guess I should write one. ‘Dancing on My Grave or ‘Dancing Permitted’. Something funky, something fun. Something inviting and hospitable.”

Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz’s Remain In Love tour – a series of intimate live on stage interviews – comes to the UK in May

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