David Byrne is Saturday's SNL musical guest, marking one of the few times we've seen a classic act take the stage this season. Byrne is best known as the frontman for Talking Heads and will actually be making his return to the sketch series after 31 years.
Byrne and Talking Heads made their debut on the show back in 1979, performing "Take Me To The River" and "Artists Only" during the band's only appearance. He returned solo in 1989 to perform "Dirty Old Town" and "Loco de Amor" from his solo debut titled Rei Momo.
The most recent work Byrne has been going through is American Utopia, his Broadway stage production American Utopia that incorporated many Talking Heads songs with his 2018 album of the same name.
If you're unfamiliar with the artist, there's quite a bit of history to take in before the performance on Saturday.
Scroll down to learn a bit about Byrne, his time with Talking Heads, and his forays outside of music.
Byrne was born in Scotland back on May 14, 1952, in Dumbarton, Scotland. His parents, Tom and Emma Byrne, relocated to Canada soon after and then eventually ending up in Maryland. Byrne attending Rhode Island School of Design before returning to Maryland Institute College of Art.
Byrne helped found Talking Heads with fellow members Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, and Jerry Harrison in 1975, becoming one of the many bands that made a mark at famed New York club CBGB. The band put out eight albums and numerous hits including "Psycho Killer." "Once In A Lifetime," and "Burning Down The House."
Talking Heads broke up in 1988, with Byrne pursuing a solo career soon after. The band also spawned the side project Tom Tom Club with Frantz and Weymouth. Byrne reflected on the band in a 2005 interview with The Age.
"I think we brought in a mixture of art-rock and dance music," Byrne responded. "Two areas that couldn’t have been more separate, but we felt like they naturally belonged together. It doesn’t seem like such an odd thing now, but at the time it was a pretty novel idea."
Hall of Fame
The band did reunite in 2002 for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, performing three of their iconic songs, "Psycho Killer," "Life During Wartime," and "Burning Down the House."
Byrne has also shown interest in books, film, and stage. American Utopia is his foray into Broadway, but he's also directed a film titled True Stories and followed it by the documentary Between the Teeth in 1992.
He has also written about music back in 2012, Bicycle Diaries in 2010, and Arboretum released in December 2019.
Bicycle Diaries is interesting because of Byrne's interest in cycling, especially as a resident in New York City.
"There’s a certain amount of freedom involved in cycling: you’re self-propelled and decide exactly where to go,” Byrne mused in 2009. "If you see something that catches your eye to the left, you can veer off there, which isn’t so easy in a car, and you can’t cover as much ground walking."
In response to a Pitchfork article that noted he would collaborate with anybody for a "bag of Doritos." He actually agreed and wrote in his book How Music Works that he'd "choose something other than Doritos" but it was pretty much the truth.
He's worked with names like Brian Eno, St. Vincent, Fatboy Slim, Sharon Jones, Cyndi Lauper, Florence Welch from Florence + The Machine.
With Byrne's dip into the waters of Broadway, he revealed an interesting idea for a musical on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. The musician told the host that he felt that Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law, would be ripe for the stage.