In the August 1979 issue of Oui Magazine, there appeared a revealing single-page interview with all four members of Talking Heads conducted by Scott Cohen. According to the intro, the interview took place at the group’s loft in Long Island City, which is where the basic tracks for Fear of Music were laid down in late April and early May of the same year. So the timing on that works pretty well; this interview probably occurred right around the recording sessions, and the album came out the same month as the interview.
Although the magazine wasn’t his creation, Oui ended up being Hugh Hefner’s attempt to compete with the more explicit Penthouse. (Interestingly, the group didn’t merit inclusion on the cover, which touted instead their interview with Gregg Allman.) In that spirit, Cohen’s interview is kind of rude and frank, the questions have the flavor of ones that Howard Stern might ask. Here is a representative sample, with one Q and A for each member of the band:
Oui: Which Talking Head has the biggest microphone?
Jerry: My microphone is about eight inches long and two inches wide. Everyone in the band is about the same size.
Oui: As the Talking Heads get better, do you get laid more?
David: About 25 percent more.
Oui: As the Talking Heads get better, did you get higher?
Chris: Yes, but basically there seems to be something inadequate about drugs in that they’re so temporary. I wish they were better, longer lasting and more beneficial in a permanent way.
Oui: Do you wish your tits were bigger?
Tina: No, I think my tits are perfect, by themselves. I don’t wish they were bigger. I wish one was exactly the same size as the other. They usually aren’t. I wish they both were the same size as my big one.
In the interview, Tina Weymouth does the most talking, probably for the simple reason that she’s a woman and it’s more fun for a porn mag to put her on the spot and make her say things like “I like cock,” even though she meant more like a linguistic thing.
In an issue of Sounds a bit later, Weymouth said (a little hilariously) that “she was out of her head after a party when the tape recorder was switched on, and when she saw the interview in print she didn’t know whether to be more annoyed about being taken advantage of or about the fact that Oui had left all the best bits out, about butt-fucking and so on.”
I think I’d probably feel the same way….....
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Check out the earliest known Talking Heads recordings, 1975
‘Once in a Lifetime’: Talking Heads’ mind-scrambling concert video