Once upon a time, I worked for a bigtime national public radio show. One day, our literary producer booked a bigtime music star who was in town promoting a book of his photography. And of course there was a Canadian connection -- this was government funded radio, don't you know -- as this fellow had spent 6 years of his life in Hamilton Ontario. But he left Steeltown to become the guy in the big suit in the 1980's art band, Talking Heads. The guy was David Byrne.
I was quite excited about this because I spent a lot of time in the 1980's. Was there for all of it, really. I remembered David Byrne as the guy in that video (a way new thing in my formative years) who kept hitting himself in the head and repeating "same as it ever was..." and I just knew I had to meet him.
But you know, he was a little guy! I know he doesn't wear that big-ass suit everyday, but this grandaddy of new wave wasn't even as large as life. And to be honest, his photos were just adequate, and touching him was anticlimactic. When we shook hands his grip was underwhelming.
But let's give the guy a break. Something more exciting was going on that Tuesday, October 3, 1995. We brought David back to the green room which really was just a green couch in the production office. We called him a cab. Then we turned our eyes to the television set above his head. The O.J. trial was about to wrap. We all waited for the verdict... "not guilty on all counts..."
Well. Screams of anger, tears of rage. The office exploded in a chorus of expletives with one voice ringing out louder than the others: "I hate f___ing Americans!" Then all eyes turned toward a bewildered David Byrne still sitting on the green couch. The same voice said to him: "Not you, David, just all the other Americans." It was touching really.
So that was the day I touched David Byrne. He was quite amazed that we Canadians would care at all about the trial of the century. But really, I was more amazed that he was a little guy in a little suit.
Tomorrow: Weekend funnies!