Monday, January 30, 2012

1-29/30-12 Survival Jobs for Writer-Musicians – Starter Job #27 - 28 (Rock Writer Trixie Meets More Kindred Spirits in Downtown NYC, Pt. 3)

As before stated, there’s no shortage of kindhearted, kindred souls I’ve known, period. And like I said, if they were famous, I wasn’t intimidated because I believe people are more alike than not, and besides, who’s to say one person’s more valuable than another? Let’s enjoy life together and have a laugh, live and learn from each other. That’s cool!

Tina Weymouth had a way about her that was fascinating -- not self-conscious, she seemed intelligent and sophisticated; everybody had a crush on her and she wasn’t stuck up, or even aware of it. A real classy chick, Tina was everything I’d aspire to. I guess she could have symbolized a big sister to me. . . One night when we were all at a loud music party or somebody’s gig, Tina confided in me, earnestly sotto voce. I couldn’t quite make out everything, but I knew she’d gone through something very traumatic. . . I nodded reassuringly, I hope, but the music was so loud I wasn’t sure what she was saying or if I was being at all helpful.

I also was kind of clueless about the relationship between Chris & Tina. . . they were very careful to not be demonstrative in public, no PDAs. . . and I didn’t ask, they didn’t tell. Back when the Beatles started, the press really played down John Lennon’s marriage to Cynthia; I guess young pop rock musicians tend to carry on the illusion of sexual availability so their fans will continue being interested, thinking they might have a chance. . . (I was very conflicted about people knowing whether Shawn & I were in a relationship. . . in fact, all my life up to now, unless married, I have kind of liked to keep my “private life” private -- so I definitely understand where Tina & Chris were coming from.)

Fittingly, I think Tina was maybe one reason why I started playing bass in earnest in the Dave Rave Conspiracy in 1991. . .

Anyhoo, when I visited la maison T-Heads -- their loft on Chrystie Street -- Tina would often be practicing the bass. The band had their gear set up in the loft to rehearse, which is one big reason why they eschewed the comforts of a middle class home and lived in a rough industrial loft in downtown NY in the ‘70’s, before lofts became gentrified. The people who originally lived in these spaces were generally artists, musicians, or bohemians in spirit. By the ‘90’s, lofts became chi-chi and pricey, luxury open spaces with industrial-grade kitchens for people who only opened and closed a refrigerator to grab an Evian.

I doubt that the T-Heads had heat, hot water, and working showers most of the time! I sometimes would ask them to join me on a trip out of NYC to do something kind of fun and outdoorsy, like apple picking one autumn. We drove to upstate NY in my car, to one of the many picturesque apple orchards where they handed you bags and a “picker” and you could rove the rows of MacIntosh, Cortlands and Delicious apples. Afterwards, we went to a diner. It was really nice & fun.

Soft spoken and gentlemanly, Chris Frantz had a very natural, friendly manner and was great at putting people at ease. He was extremely well liked (and still is -- he & Tina, both) and really, there was nothing you couldn’t like about him. He radiated confidence, humility, warmth, and success. He treated Tina like a queen, a jewel, a cherished friend -- just a dream of a guy. Tina, I’m sure, agrees that she was lucky (and vice versa for Chris); I also believe that David Byrne was extremely lucky to be a college friend of his from RISDEE and get invited to NYC to join Chris’s band.

Oh, didn’t you know? Talking Heads was the brainchild of drummer Chris Frantz, who recruited his semi-secret girlfriend, Tina, and their college buddy, David Byrne, to move to NYC and play in the band.

I can pull some quotes from an interview I did last year with Chris to add my next blog. . . so be sure to come back, y’hear??

1 comment:

  1. The article called Talking Heads Speak Out... where could I read it in full? The clipping here is very interesting I would love to read all of it.