Painting of vintage turntables from Deaconlight radio show

Classic & Current Contemporary Non-Schlock-Rock Metropolitan Music

77 (Sep. 16, 1977) - Talking Heads

Talking Heads - 77 album cover« Talking Heads

The Talking Heads have one of the best overall catalogues of any artists starting straight out the door with this one.

When I first read about them in Time Magazine back in the 70s, I thought they were bogus. I was one of those "anti-newavers" - but not for long. I did not have an opportunity to actually listen to the Talking Heads. WFDD did not have this record so it wasn't until More Songs About Buildings and Food came out that I was able to hear them and learn how wrong I had been.

Even though "Psycho Killer" is the best-known song off this record, every song is awesome.

During my last year at Wake Forest, I took a painting class with Gary Cook in the "new" Scales Fine Arts Center. This was an oil-painting class. My first painting was absolutely horrible.

Gary Cook, however, was a gifted and charismatic art teacher. There are a few teachers I have had over the years that I felt had a big impact on my life, and Gary was one of them. In addition to bringing awareness to the concepts of painting and art, he taught us how to build the frames and stretch our own canvases.

One of our projects was a "realism" painting. The idea was to paint something that looked like a photograph. I got the idea to do a painting of the turntables in the Big FUD control room. Whichever record was on the turntable had the cover leaning against the glass behind it so I could keep the records and record covers matched up properly. For the shot, I chose the cover to Talking Heads '77 and Gang of Four's Solid Gold.

The format of the project was to take a black and white photograph of what we were going to paint, then mark it with gridlines. We then marked our canvases with the same gridlines. The idea was to paint the picture in little blocks to keep it in scope.

My painting, of course, did not come out looking like a photograph. But I really like it anyway. It's really big and takes up a big chunk of my wall. I used the paint to make actual grooves in the records.

WFDD turntables from 1981 with talking heads 77 and gang of four solid gold
My "realism" painting from Gary Cook's painting class at Wake Forest.

I did one other big painting that has a psychedelic keyboard design that is also hanging in my living room. I haven't worked with oils in more than two decades.

A few years ago I found Gary Cook's e-mail address and dropped him a line. He sent me his phone number and I rang him up. Not only did he bring up the topic of my keyboard painting (can't believe he remembered it after all these years), he said he had just been talking about me in class recently. Something about crooked lipstick. Apparently I used to wear lipstick "back then" and did not take much care to put it on well. Too funny. I rarely wear lipstick at all now.

-- 15 October 2005 (DDT)

77 Original Album Tracks

Download Talking Heads - 77 on iTunes
  1. Uh-Oh, Love Comes to Town
  2. New Feeling
  3. Tentative Decisions
  4. Happy Day
  5. Who Is It?
  6. No Compassion
  7. The Book I Read
  8. Don't Worry About the Government
  9. First Week/Last Week ... Carefree
  10. Psycho Killer
  11. Pulled Up

Vintage Playlists with Songs from 77

More Talking Heads at

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