Talking Heads

  • Year:
  • Inducted by:
    Anthony Keidis (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
  • Category:


Artsy and experimental, Talking Heads created an oeuvre of funky New Wave hits.

Talking Heads’ music is abuzz with nervous energy. Their blend of funk, minimalism and polyrhythmic world beats articulated the strangeness and anxiety of modern times.

Hall of Fame Essay


Barbara O’Dair

IN 1975, in New York City, at the back of a narrow, dark room called the Lower Manhattan
Ocean Club, a triad of misfits tentatively took the stage. Their leader announced in a reed-thin voice, “The name of this band is Talking Heads,” and then they launched into a devastating set.

The bass was pumped by a moppet who stared from fretboard to stage front through doleful eyes and blond bangs. The drum kit was pounded by a tousle-haired boy in a rugby shirt, whose unflinching ear-to-ear grin could be spied just above the hi-hat.

Up front, the wiry singer pulsed in place. His guitar swung from his neck like a noose; his resemblance to Tony Perkins only added to the menace. The trio could have been dropped from an alien aircraft, or taken a hard left off the Yellow Brick Road. 

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony Program Cover 2002
1 of 6
2002 Inductees Talking Heads
They taught me that music could be inspired by visual arts.
Anthony Kiedis

Photography: Jeff Rusnak