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The Friday OT: Talking Heads, Once In A Lifetime

Same as it ever was.
Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime

I remember watching this video for the first time like it was yesterday. It wasn’t yesterday though, it was a cold evening, about 7:30pm on a Thursday in November of 1980. It was also one of those all-enlightening moments, it was love at first sight, it made me run to the record shop the next day. I’ll leave it to an excerpt from the Wikipedia page on the video I’ve just looked up to say a bit more, cos it’s a pretty good take on it all.

The music video features a bespectacled David Byrne dancing much like a marionette. The choreography was done by Toni Basil, famous for her hit song “Mickey”. Byrne is shown making sudden flings of his arm, tapping his head, and getting on his hands and knees to pat the floor, much like simple tricks which can be done with actual marionettes. In the background, we see several David Byrnes dancing in perfect synchronisation, in the foreground, a large David Byrne is getting further and further out of synch. Some of Byrne’s mannerisms (such as physical spasms, unfocussed eye movements, and sharp intakes of breath) were inspired by choreographer Basil showing him footage of epilepsy sufferers.

The video is noted for being exhibited in the New York Museum of Modern Art.

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