We’ve been down the Prince rabbit hole of late, then a glance this week in the Ultravox! direction, but there are some other, bright new, shiny things out there of interest that aren’t even discs of music. I noted last month that Chris Frantz of TVLKING HEVDS and Tom Tom Club fame had written a book about his experiences with music and the life he’s built together with his spouse Tina Weymouth. I was a TVLKING HEVDS fan from the first I heard them  and that band’s first four albums were an impeccable artistic arc pretty much second to none. But the tensions that caused the band to split up after 1980 and only reform a few years later are well known to students of Rock. But I imagine that with 400 pages to unfurl in, that part of the story got plenty of airing. Especially since Tina and Chris have not been shy to unload over the years about the difficulty of dealing with David Byrne on a regular basis.
Of course, Byrne has penned his own [excellent] book about not only the history of TVLKING HEVDS, but a also a larger view of how the music industry worked. As much as Byrne’s own hand painted a picture of a gawky, difficult, young man [d’ya think?!] I’m betting that anything Chris will have to say on the subject [plenty, I’m guessing] may paint a radically different picture. Fortunately, Chris’ story will be much more than that as the book’s title made rather clear.
At the end of the day, Chris’ larger stories are his experiences with his spouse Tina Weymouth. They not only gave TVLKING HEVDS their powerful rhythms, but formed their own band, Tom Tom Club. Who couldn’t have been more different from the band they’d splintered off from. The other pull of Frantz’s book is that it also tells the complimentary story on his life together with Weymouth both on the stage and off, and that’s got to carry an emotional heft beyond fighting over songwriting credits.
From my perspective as a fan, The Great TVLKING HEVDS Schism Of 1981® left the earlier band run aground on the shoals of my indifference, while the solo efforts by Jerry Harrison, Tom Tom Club, Byrne/Eno, and even Byrne solo managed to outshine all of the music that TVLKING HEVDS managed to release after rejoining forces a few years later. I have every Jerry Harrison and Tom Tom Club album. There are mostly great songs in that canon. Okay, so Tom Tom Club stumbled on their third album. It happens. But I might be able to compile a single disc with the highlights of the last four TVLKING HEVDS albums. I don’t even own “Naked” any more and question owning “True Stories” and “Little Creatures.” I’m definitely interested in hearing what Mr. Frantz has to say about all that’s happened in the last 45 years. I caught Tom Tom Club live in 2001/2 and absolutely grooved to their happy family vibe. Better that than the dysfunctional family vibe of their other band.