Talking Heads were an American rock band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, Jerry Harrison. Described by the critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine as "one of the most critically acclaimed bands of the'80s," the group helped to pioneer new wave music by integrating elements of punk, art rock and world music with avant-garde sensibilities and an anxious, clean-cut image. Former art school students who became involved in the 1970s New York punk scene, Talking Heads released their debut album, Talking Heads: 77, to positive reviews in 1977, they collaborated with producer Brian Eno on a trio of experimental and critically acclaimed releases: More Songs About Buildings and Food, Fear of Music, Remain in Light. After a hiatus, Talking Heads hit their commercial peak in 1983 with the U. S. Top 10 hit "Burning Down the House" and released the concert film Stop Making Sense, directed by Jonathan Demme, they released several more albums, including their best-selling LP Little Creatures, before disbanding in 1991.
In 2002, Talking Heads were inducted into the Roll Hall of Fame. Four of their albums appear in Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, three of their songs were included among the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll. Talking Heads were number 64 on VH1's list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time". In the 2011 update of Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Artists of All Time", they were ranked number 100. From 1971 to 1972, David Byrne was a member of a duo named Bizadi with Marc Kehoe, he developed an interest in performing. He attended the Rhode Island School of Design in the 1970–1971 term, the Maryland Institute College of Art in the 1971–1972 term.. Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth were alumni of the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. There and Frantz formed a band called "The Artistics" in 1973. Weymouth was Frantz's girlfriend and provided transportation for the band; the Artistics dissolved the following year, the three moved to New York sharing a communal loft.
Tina Weymouth became the band's bass player. Frantz encouraged Weymouth to learn to play bass by listening to Suzi Quatro albums, they played their first gig as "Talking Heads" opening for the Ramones at CBGB on June 5, 1975. In a interview, Weymouth recalled how the group chose the name Talking Heads: "A friend had found the name in the TV Guide, which explained the term used by TV studios to describe a head-and-shoulder shot of a person talking as'all content, no action', it fit." That year, the trio recorded a series of demos for CBS, but the band was not signed to the label. The band drew a following and were signed to Sire Records in November 1976, they released their first single in February the following year, "Love → Building on Fire". In March 1977, they added Jerry Harrison of Jonathan Richman's band the Modern Lovers, on keyboards and backing vocals. During this time, Byrne asked Weymouth to audition three more times to keep her place in the band; the first Talking Heads album, Talking Heads: 77, received acclaim and produced their first charted single, "Psycho Killer".
Many connected the song to the serial killer known as the Son of Sam, terrorizing New York City months earlier. More Songs About Buildings and Food was Talking Heads' first collaboration with producer Brian Eno, who had worked with Roxy Music, David Bowie, John Cale and Robert Fripp. Eno's unusual style meshed well with the group's artistic sensibilities, they began to explore an diverse range of musical directions, from post-punk to psychedelic funk to African music; this recording established the band's relationship with Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas. More Songs About Buildings and Food included a cover of Al Green's "Take Me to the River." This broke Talking Heads into the general public's consciousness and gave the band their first Billboard Top 30 hit. The Eno-Talking Heads experimentation continued with 1979's Fear of Music, which flirted with the darker stylings of post-punk rock, mixed with white funkadelia and subliminal references to the geopolitical instability of the late 1970s.
Music journalist Simon Reynolds cited Fear of Music as representing the Eno-Talking Heads collaboration "at its most mutually fruitful and equitable". The single "Life During Wartime" produced the catchphrase "This ain't no party, this ain't no disco." The song refers to two popular New York nightclubs of the time. Remain in Light was influenced by the afrobeat of Nigerian bandleader Fela Kuti, whose music Eno had introduced to the band, it explored West African polyrhythms, weaving these together with Arabic music from North Africa, disco funk, "found" voices. These combinations foreshadowed Byrne's interest in world music. In order to perform these more complex arrangements, the band toured with an expanded group, including Adrian Belew and Bernie Worrell, among others, first at the Heatwave festival in August, in their concert film Stop Making Sense. During this period, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz formed a commercially successful splinter group, Tom Tom Club, influenced by the foundational elements of hip hop, Harrison released his first solo album, The Red and the Black.
Byrne—in collaboration wi
New York (state)
New York is a state in the Northeastern United States. New York was one of the original thirteen colonies. With an estimated 19.54 million residents in 2018, it is the fourth most populous state. To distinguish the state from the city with the same name, it is sometimes called New York State; the state's most populous city, New York City, makes up over 40% of the state's population. Two-thirds of the state's population lives in the New York metropolitan area, nearly 40% lives on Long Island; the state and city were both named for the 17th century Duke of York, the future King James II of England. With an estimated population of 8.62 million in 2017, New York City is the most populous city in the United States and the premier gateway for legal immigration to the United States. The New York metropolitan area is one of the most populous in the world. New York City is a global city, home to the United Nations Headquarters and has been described as the cultural and media capital of the world, as well as the world's most economically powerful city.
The next four most populous cities in the state are Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse, while the state capital is Albany. The 27th largest U. S. state in land area, New York has a diverse geography. The state is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south and Connecticut and Vermont to the east; the state has a maritime border with Rhode Island, east of Long Island, as well as an international border with the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the north and Ontario to the northwest. The southern part of the state is in the Atlantic coastal plain and includes Long Island and several smaller associated islands, as well as New York City and the lower Hudson River Valley; the large Upstate New York region comprises several ranges of the wider Appalachian Mountains, the Adirondack Mountains in the Northeastern lobe of the state. Two major river valleys – the north-south Hudson River Valley and the east-west Mohawk River Valley – bisect these more mountainous regions. Western New York is considered part of the Great Lakes region and borders Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Niagara Falls.
The central part of the state is dominated by the Finger Lakes, a popular vacation and tourist destination. New York had been inhabited by tribes of Algonquian and Iroquoian-speaking Native Americans for several hundred years by the time the earliest Europeans came to New York. French colonists and Jesuit missionaries arrived southward from Montreal for trade and proselytizing. In 1609, the region was visited by Henry Hudson sailing for the Dutch East India Company; the Dutch built Fort Nassau in 1614 at the confluence of the Hudson and Mohawk rivers, where the present-day capital of Albany developed. The Dutch soon settled New Amsterdam and parts of the Hudson Valley, establishing the multicultural colony of New Netherland, a center of trade and immigration. England seized the colony from the Dutch in 1664. During the American Revolutionary War, a group of colonists of the Province of New York attempted to take control of the British colony and succeeded in establishing independence. In the 19th century, New York's development of access to the interior beginning with the Erie Canal, gave it incomparable advantages over other regions of the U.
S. built its political and cultural ascendancy. Many landmarks in New York are well known, including four of the world's ten most-visited tourist attractions in 2013: Times Square, Central Park, Niagara Falls, Grand Central Terminal. New York is home to the Statue of Liberty, a symbol of the United States and its ideals of freedom and opportunity. In the 21st century, New York has emerged as a global node of creativity and entrepreneurship, social tolerance, environmental sustainability. New York's higher education network comprises 200 colleges and universities, including Columbia University, Cornell University, New York University, the United States Military Academy, the United States Merchant Marine Academy, University of Rochester, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rockefeller University, which have been ranked among the top 40 in the nation and world; the tribes in what is now New York were predominantly Algonquian. Long Island was divided in half between the Wampanoag and Lenape; the Lenape controlled most of the region surrounding New York Harbor.
North of the Lenape was the Mohicans. Starting north of them, from east to west, were three Iroquoian nations: the Mohawk, the original Iroquois and the Petun. South of them, divided along Appalachia, were the Susquehannock and the Erie. Many of the Wampanoag and Mohican peoples were caught up in King Philip's War, a joint effort of many New England tribes to push Europeans off their land. After the death of their leader, Chief Philip Metacomet, most of those peoples fled inland, splitting into the Abenaki and the Schaghticoke. Many of the Mohicans remained in the region until the 1800s, however, a small group known as the Ouabano migrated southwest into West Virginia at an earlier time, they may have merged with the Shawnee. The Mohawk and Susquehannock were the most militaristic. Trying to corner trade with the Europeans, they targeted other tribes; the Mohawk were known for refusing white settlement on their land and banishing any of their people who converted to Christianity. They posed a major threat to the Abenaki and Mohicans, while the Susquehannock conquered the Lenape in the 1600s.
The most devastating event of the century, was the Beaver Wars. From 1640–1680, Iroquoian peoples waged campaigns which extended from modern-day Michigan to Virginia against Algonquian and Siouan tribes, as well as each other; the ai
Robert Thomas Christgau is an American essayist and music journalist. One of the earliest professional rock critics, he spent 37 years as the chief music critic and senior editor for The Village Voice, during which time he created and oversaw the annual Pazz & Jop poll, he has covered popular music for Esquire, Newsday, Rolling Stone, Billboard, NPR, MSN Music, was a visiting arts teacher at New York University. Christgau is known for his terse, letter-graded capsule album reviews, first published in his "Consumer Guide" columns during his tenure at The Village Voice from 1969 to 2006, he has authored three books based on those columns, including Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies and Christgau's Record Guide: The'80s, along with two collections of essays. He continued writing reviews in this format for MSN Music and Noisey—Vice's music section—where they are published in his "Expert Witness" column. Christgau was born in Greenwich Village and grew up in Queens, the son of a fireman.
He has said he became a rock and roll fan when disc jockey Alan Freed moved to the city in 1954. After attending a public school in New York City, he left New York for four years to attend Dartmouth College, graduating in 1962 with a B. A. in English. While at college his musical interests turned to jazz, but he returned to rock after moving back to New York. Christgau has said that Miles Davis' 1960 album Sketches of Spain initiated in him "one phase of the disillusionment with jazz that resulted in my return to rock and roll", he was influenced by New Journalism writers such as Gay Talese and Tom Wolfe. "My ambitions when I went into journalism were always, to an extent, literary", Christgau said. Christgau wrote short stories, before giving up fiction in 1964 to become a sportswriter, a police reporter for the Newark Star-Ledger, he became a freelance writer after a story he wrote about the death of a woman in New Jersey was published by New York magazine. Christgau was among the first dedicated rock critics.
He was asked to take over the dormant music column at Esquire, which he began writing in June 1967. After Esquire discontinued the column, Christgau moved to The Village Voice in 1969, he worked as a college professor. From early on in his emergence as a critic, Christgau was conscious of his lack of formal knowledge of music. In a 1968 piece he commented: I don't know anything about music, which ought to be a damaging admission but isn't... The fact is that pop writers in general shy away from such arcana as key signature and beats to the measure... I used to confide my worries about this to friends in the record industry, they didn't know anything about music either. The technical stuff didn't matter, I was told. You just gotta dig it. In early 1972, he accepted a full-time job as music critic for Newsday. Christgau returned to the Village Voice in 1974 as music editor, he remained there until August 2006, when he was fired shortly after the paper's acquisition by New Times Media. Two months Christgau became a contributing editor at Rolling Stone.
Late in 2007, Christgau was fired by Rolling Stone, although he continued to work for the magazine for another three months. Starting with the March 2008 issue, he joined Blender, where he was listed as "senior critic" for three issues and "contributing editor". Christgau had been a regular contributor to Blender, he continued to write for Blender until the magazine ceased publication in March 2009. In 1987, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in the field of "Folklore and Popular Culture" to study the history of popular music. Christgau has written for Playboy and Creem, he appears about the Replacements. He taught during the formative years of the California Institute of the Arts; as of 2007, he was an adjunct professor in the Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music at New York University. In August 2013, Christgau revealed in an article written for Barnes & Noble's website that he is writing a memoir. On July 15, 2014, Christgau debuted a monthly column on Billboard's website. Christgau is best known for his "Consumer Guide" columns, which have been published more-or-less monthly since July 10, 1969, in the Village Voice, as well as a brief period in Creem.
In its original format, the "Consumer Guide" consisted of 18 to 20 single-paragraph album reviews, each of, given a letter grade ranging from A+ to E−. These reviews were collected and extensively revised in a three-volume book series, the first of, published in 1981 as Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. In his original grading system from 1969 to 1990, albums were given a grade ranging from A+ to E-. Under this system, Christgau considered a B+ or higher to be a personal recommendation, he noted. In 1990, Christgau changed the format of the "Consumer Guide" to focus more on the albums. B+ records that Christgau deemed "unworthy of a full review" were given brief comments and star marks ranging from three down to one, denoting an honorable mention", records which Christgau believed may be of interest to their own target audience. Lesser albums were filed under categories such as "Neither" and "Duds" (which indicated bad records and were listed without fur
New wave music
New wave is a genre of rock music popular in the late 1970s and the 1980s with ties to mid-1970s punk rock. New wave moved away from blues and rock and roll sounds to create rock music or pop music that incorporated disco and electronic music. New wave was similar to punk rock, before becoming a distinct genre, it subsequently engendered fusions, including synth-pop. New wave differs from other movements with ties to first-wave punk as it displays characteristics common to pop music, rather than the more "artsy" post-punk. Although it incorporates much of the original punk rock sound and ethos, new wave exhibits greater complexity in both music and lyrics. Common characteristics of new wave music include the use of synthesizers and electronic productions, a distinctive visual style featured in music videos and fashion. New wave has been called one of the definitive genres of the 1980s, after it was promoted by MTV; the popularity of several new wave artists is attributed to their exposure on the channel.
In the mid-1980s, differences between new wave and other music genres began to blur. New wave has enjoyed resurgences since the 1990s, after a rising "nostalgia" for several new wave-influenced artists. Subsequently, the genre influenced other genres. During the 2000s, a number of acts, such as the Strokes, Franz Ferdinand and The Killers explored new wave and post-punk influences; these acts were sometimes labeled "new wave of new wave". The catch-all nature of new wave music has been a source of much controversy; the 1985 discography Who's New Wave in Music listed artists in over 130 separate categories. The New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock calls the term "virtually meaningless", while AllMusic mentions "stylistic diversity". New wave first emerged as a rock genre in the early 1970s, used by critics including Nick Kent and Dave Marsh to classify such New York-based groups as the Velvet Underground and New York Dolls, it gained currency beginning in 1976 when it appeared in UK punk fanzines such as Sniffin' Glue and newsagent music weeklies such as Melody Maker and New Musical Express.
In November 1976 Caroline Coon used Malcolm McLaren's term "new wave" to designate music by bands not punk, but related to the same musical scene. The term was used in that sense by music journalist Charles Shaar Murray in his comments about the Boomtown Rats. For a period of time in 1976 and 1977, the terms new wave and punk were somewhat interchangeable. By the end of 1977, "new wave" had replaced "punk" as the definition for new underground music in the UK. In the United States, Sire Records chairman Seymour Stein, believing that the term "punk" would mean poor sales for Sire's acts who had played the club CBGB, launched a "Don't Call It Punk" campaign designed to replace the term with "new wave"; as radio consultants in the United States had advised their clients that punk rock was a fad, they settled on the term "new wave". Like the filmmakers of the French new wave movement, its new artists were anti-corporate and experimental. At first, most U. S. writers used the term "new wave" for British punk acts.
Starting in December 1976, The New York Rocker, suspicious of the term "punk", became the first American journal to enthusiastically use the term starting with British acts appropriating it to acts associated with the CBGB scene. Part of what attracted Stein and others to new wave was the music's stripped back style and upbeat tempos, which they viewed as a much needed return to the energetic rush of rock and roll and 1960s rock that had dwindled in the 1970s with the ascendance of overblown progressive rock and stadium spectacles. Music historian Vernon Joynson claimed that new wave emerged in the UK in late 1976, when many bands began disassociating themselves from punk. Music that followed the anarchic garage band ethos of the Sex Pistols was distinguished as "punk", while music that tended toward experimentation, lyrical complexity or more polished production, came to be categorized as "new wave". In the U. S. the first new wavers were the not-so-punk acts associated with the New York club CBGB.
CBGB owner Hilly Kristal, referring to the first show of the band Television at his club in March 1974, said, "I think of that as the beginning of new wave." Furthermore, many artists who would have been classified as punk were termed new wave. A 1977 Phonogram Records compilation album of the same name features US artists including the Dead Boys, Talking Heads and the Runaways. New wave is much more tied to punk, came and went more in the United Kingdom than in the United States. At the time punk began, it was a major phenomenon in the United Kingdom and a minor one in the United States, thus when new wave acts started getting noticed in America, punk meant little to the mainstream audience and it was common for rock clubs and discos to play British dance mixes and videos between live sets by American guitar acts. Post-punk music developments in the UK were considered unique cultural events. By the early 1980s, British journalists had abandoned the term "new wave" in favor of subgenre terms such as "synthpop".
By 1983, the term of choice for the US music industry had become "new music", while to the majority of US fans it was still a "new wave" reacting to album-based rock. New wave died out in the mid-1980s, knocked out by guitar-driven rock reacting against new wave. In the 21st-century United States, "new wave" was used to describe ar
Richard Barone is an American rock musician who first gained attention as frontman for the Bongos. He works as a songwriter, author and record producer, releases albums as a solo artist and has created concert events at Carnegie Hall, Hollywood Bowl, SXSW, New York's Central Park, he serves on the Board of Governors for The Recording Academy, the Board of Advisors for Anthology Film Archives, is affiliated with the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music at New York University and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. Richard Barone was born in Tampa and began his career at age seven on local top-40 radio station WALT as the Littlest DJ. By age sixteen he was producing recordings for local bands as well as for idiosyncratic performer Tiny Tim, who suggested Barone should live in Greenwich Village. Moving to New York, he lived at the Hotel Chelsea and landed small acting roles. An ad in the Village Voice newspaper led him to co-found and become the lead singer and songwriter for the Bongos, a critically acclaimed new wave band that helped to create the early 1980s Hoboken, New Jersey, music scene.
After independent singles released on the UK-based Fetish label and compiled for the U. S. as Drums Along the Hudson, the group signed to RCA Records where, with the advent of MTV, they made commercial impact with the Barone-penned "Numbers With Wings". He has been called a "gifted pop-rock tunesmith"; as a solo artist, Barone's albums have included chamber pop and narrative singer-songwriter material. Barone released his first solo album, Cool Blue Halo before the Bongos' breakup in 1987. Anthony DeCurtis, writing in Rolling Stone, praised Barone's "spare, elegant arrangements" and credited him with fashioning "a kind of rock chamber music." While Trouser Press described the record as "intimate but confused", NPR's Tom Moon, in a more recent assessment, called the album "a plaintive masterpiece", credited Barone with foreshadowing Nirvana's Unplugged performance of David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold the World," adding "Cool Blue Halo feels timeless, maybe exotic."Two studio albums followed: the rock-dominated Primal Dream in 1990, the more acoustic-based Clouds Over Eden, dedicated to his late friend, rock journalist Nicholas Schaffner, in 1994.
Trouser Press championed the "fine set of yearning love songs" on Primal Dream, while calling their production and arrangements as a "step backwards" from his debut album. But David Browne, writing in Rolling Stone, gave the album four stars and commented that "Barone is fast moving beyond the limited vocabulary of twelve strings and wimp-pop vocals." Billy Altman, in The New York Times, called his next album, Clouds Over Eden "unquestionably the most realized effort of Barone's career," while Trouser Press described the album as "wrenching and worthwhile" and "the great album fans always imagined making."In the mid-90s Barone performed with experimental guitarist Gary Lucas and his group Gods and Monsters. Barone recorded "I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City" for the album For the Love of Harry: Everybody Sings Nilsson and produced B-52's frontman Fred Schneider's version of "Coconut" for the project For the Love of Harry: Everybody Sings Nilsson, performing the song with Schneider on Late Night With Conan O'Brien.
In 1997, Barone released Between Heaven and Cello, an album recorded live at NYC's intimate Fez nightclub. A boxed set of his first three studio albums was released in Europe in 2000 as The Big Three. In 2004 he released, on his own RBM label, a limited edition solo anthology entitled Collection: An Embarrassment of Richard, composed of personal favorites from his back catalogue. Barone again turned his attention to producing, helming recordings including a duet between Liza Minnelli and pianist/vocalist Johnny Rodgers, a children's album for Jolie Jones, Fred Schneider for his solo album Just Fred, others; as a producer/director, he created large-scale concert events, including all-star tributes to Peggy Lee at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, Chicago's Ravinia Festival in 2003 and 2004, concerts for New York's Central Park SummerStage. Other projects included executive-producing The Nomi Song DVD, which includes his remix of operatic New Wave countertenor Klaus Nomi's "Total Eclipse", his songs and collaborations, including several written with singer-songwriter Jill Sobule, were heard on the TV shows The West Wing, Dawson's Creek and South of Nowhere.
In 2004, Barone joined his childhood inspiration Donovan for series of the latter's Beat Café concert events, including nine performances at New York's Joe's Pub at which he sang and read excerpts from Allen Ginsberg's Howl. In 2008, he was guest performer and musical director for a Donovan concert, recorded and released on DVD. In 2006, he and the original Bongos reunited in the studio with Moby to create a new version of "The Bulrushes", an early Bongos single, a music video for the special edition re-issue of the group's debut album; the expanded collection, Drums Along the Hudson - Special Edition, was released by Cooking Vinyl Records in June 2007. Several Bongos reunion concerts were held, culminating with an outdoor concert in Hoboken
Ricky Wilson (American musician)
Ricky Helton Wilson was an American musician best known as the original guitarist and founding member of rock band the B-52's. Born in Athens, Wilson was the brother of fellow member Cindy Wilson; the B-52's were founded in 1976, when Ricky, his sister Cindy, Kate Pierson, Keith Strickland and Fred Schneider shared a tropical flaming volcano drink at a Chinese restaurant and, after an impromptu music session at the home of their friend, Owen Scott III, played for the first time at a Valentine's Day party for friends. Wilson's unusual guitar tunings were a large contribution to the band's quirky sound. On October 12, 1985, at the age of 32, Wilson died from complications related to AIDS following the recording of the band's fourth studio album Bouncing Off the Satellites. According to Keith Strickland, the album had been completed and mixed before Wilson's death, with only the cover art not yet designed. Devastated, the band went into seclusion and did not tour to promote the album, although they did several photo shoots and TV appearances, filmed a video for "Girl from Ipanema Goes to Greenland".
In addition to his work with The B-52's, Wilson played the guitar on the song "Breakin' in My Heart" on Tom Verlaine's self-titled debut album in 1979. This was his only non-B-52's appearance on record, he appeared in various films, namely One Trick Pony. Posthumously he appeared in Athens, GA: Inside/Out, The B-52's 1979–1989, The B-52's Time Capsule: Videos for a Future Generation 1979–1998 through archival footage. Wilson was born on March 19, 1953 to Bobby Jack Wilson, a fireman and a veteran of the United States Army, Linda J. Wilson, in Athens, Georgia. At an early age, Wilson developed an interest in music, learned how to play folk guitar from the PBS series Learning Folk Guitar. Upon entering Clarke Central High School, Wilson had upgraded to a Silvertone guitar and, to tape his music, purchased a two-track tape recorder with money earned from a summer job at the local landfill. In mid-1969, Wilson met former Comer resident Keith Strickland at the local head shop The Looking Glass; the two shared common interests in music and Eastern mysticist culture and became friends.
Wilson came out as gay to Strickland while the two were in their teens, becoming the first member of the band to do so. During mid-1969, both Wilson and Strickland collaborated in writing and performing music, loosely calling themselves Loon, aspired to perform live. From 1969 to 1971, Wilson and Strickland collaborated with high school friends Pete Love of Louisville and Athens native Owen Scott, III in performing together as the four-member band Black Narcissus. Upon graduation from the University of Georgia in 1976, Wilson kept in touch with Strickland and they toured Europe returning and taking jobs at the Southeastern Stages bus station in Athens, Georgia where Strickland's father was manager. In late 1976, Strickland and Wilson returned to Athens in search of further employment; the two joined the B-52's when they, Wilson's sister Cindy, Kate Pierson and Fred Schneider of local protest band The Sun-Donuts, formed the group in an impromptu musical practice session after sharing a tropical flaming volcano drink at a Chinese restaurant.
They played their first concert in 1977 at a Valentine's Day party for friends. The band's quirky take on the new wave sound of their era was a combination of dance and surf music set apart by the unusual guitar tunings used by Wilson. Wilson cited various children's records, The Mamas & the Papas, Esquerita and the Voola as sources of inspiration in his musical career. Wilson played the guitar on the song "Breakin' In My Heart" on Tom Verlaine's self-titled debut album. 1965–67 Mosrite Ventures II/V "The Ventures Model", Dark Green/Black/Refin.? 1966–1967 Mosrite Mark V, Blue 1965–68 Mosrite Joe Maphis Dual Neck 6/12 String Guitar 1966–68 Mosrite Mark V, Sunburst 1975 Mosrite Ventures Sunburst 1960s Silvertone 1448 1970s Epiphone Crestwood with Humbuckers 1978 Yamaha SF-1000 Veilette Citron Shark Baritone Wilson played Stratocasters and Telecasters occasionally. Wilson's unique sound and playing style was due to his using unorthodox guitar tunings, his tunings are seen as an integral part of The B-52's sound.
Wilson would tune the two lowest strings in fifths for strumming and the two highest in unison for leads, removing the two middle strings though he sometimes played with five strings as well. By combining the strummed strings with Kate Pierson's keyboard playing, the band created a powerful rock sound without needing a bass guitar; some of Wilson's tunings are as follows. He confided his illness to Keith Strickland, as stated in several interviews including one with The Age. In 1985, during recording for their album Bouncing Off the Satellites, Wilson's illness became more severe. In an interview, Pierson stated that Wilson did so because he "did not want anyone to worry about him or fuss about him."On October 12, 1985, in the Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center, Wilson died of AIDS, at the age of 32. He