A friend led me to a video of Talking Heads performing the iconic song “Psycho Killer” from their first gig ever back in 1975. I knew this was post-worthy, but it also prompted me to do a little bit more research.
The setting was the legendary CBGB club which opened in 1973 as a refuge for Country, BlueGrass, and Blues in New York City’s Bowery District. Today we all know CBGB, and that iconic brand, as the birthplace of American Punk and New Wave. It was the home turf of bands like the Ramones, Misfits, Television, Patti Smith Band, Blondie, Talking Heads, and oodles more. CBGB closed in 2006, and there are constant rumors that they will reopen somewhere in the country. There was talk of moving everything movable (even the urinals) out to Las Vegas to open it back up, and recently I even heard that they were going to reopen in New York. Of course, they would have to remove designer John Varvatos from their building to reopen the original location, but it’s probably just another rumor anyway.
I digress… we were here to talk about the Talking Heads first gig. They were discovered by Seymour Stein of Sire Records, when he came to check out the Ramones (who he had just signed to Sire). He got a little treat when he saw the Talking Heads opening for the Ramones that night. You can hear Seymour talk about that experience, and then check out the version of “Psycho Killer” that he stumbled upon… it’s worth a few minutes of your time.