Adrian Belew Embraces Talking Heads Era (Westword 2/14/23)

by Adam Perry for Westword 2/14/2023

Legendary guitarist Adrian Belew first heard Talking Heads in concert at the tiny Exit/In in Nashville. And likely the first time Talking Heads members heard Belew was in 1978, when he was playing lead guitar with David Bowie at Madison Square Garden in New York City. “They were in the front row,” Belew recalls, “and I think that’s how they first heard me.”

But Belew’s relationship with Talking Heads really took off when the band went on tour in support of Fear of Music, its Grammy-winning dive into psychedelic new-wave music with producer Brian Eno.

“At that time, I lived in Illinois. They played three shows in Illinois. I went to all three of them, and naturally they brought me backstage and wanted to talk to me and stuff,” Belew says. “On the third show — which was in Macomb, Illinois — they asked me to come out and play their encore, which was ‘Psycho Killer.’ I said, ‘Of course, I know the song, but I don’t know the chords or anything. They said, ‘That’s okay; just freak out at the end like you do.’”

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