≡ Menu

BOOMER ANTHEMS: Talking Heads – Life During Wartime LIVE Los Angeles ’83

FROM AN INTERVIEW GIVEN BY DAVID BYRNE IN 1979: “There will be chronic food shortages and gas shortages and people will live in hovels. Paradoxically, they’ll be surrounded by computers the size of wrist watches. Calculators will be cheap. It’ll be as easy to hook up your computer with a central television bank as it is to get the week’s groceries. I think we’ll be cushioned by amazing technological development and sitting on Salvation Army furniture. Everything else will be crumbling. Government surveillance becomes inevitable because there’s this dilemma when you have an increase in information storage. A lot of it is for your convenience – but as more information gets on file it’s bound to be misused.” Life During Wartime by Talking Heads – Songfacts

Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons,
Packed up and ready to go
Heard of some grave sites, out by the highway,
A place where nobody knows
The sound of gunfire, off in the distance,
I’m getting used to it now
Lived in a brownstone, lived in the ghetto,
I’ve lived all over this town

This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco,
This ain’t no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey,
I ain’t got time for that now

Transmit the message, to the receiver,
Hope for an answer some day
I got three passports, a couple of visas,
You don’t even know my real name
High on a hillside, the trucks are loading,
Everything’s ready to roll
I sleep in the daytime, I work in the nighttime,
I might not ever get home

This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco,
This ain’t no fooling around
This ain’t no Mudd Club, or C. B. G. B.,
I ain’t got time for that now
Heard about Houston? Heard about Detroit?
Heard about Pittsburgh, P. A.?
You oughta know not to stand by the window
Somebody might see you up there
I got some groceries, some peanut butter,
To last a couple of days
But I ain’t got no speakers, ain’t got no
Headphones, ain’t got no records to play

Why stay in college? Why go to night school?
Gonna be different this time
Can’t write a letter, can’t send a postcard,
I can’t write nothing at all
This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco,
This ain’t no fooling around
I’d like to kiss you, I’d love you hold you
I ain’t got no time for that now

Trouble in transit, got through the roadblock,
We blended with the crowd
We got computer, we’re tapping phone lines,
I know that ain’t allowed
We dress like students, we dress like housewives,
Or in a suit and a tie
I changed my hairstyle, so many times now,
I don’t know what I look like!
You make me shiver, I feel so tender,
We make a pretty good team
Don’t get exhausted, I’ll do some driving,
You ought to get some sleep
Get you instructions, follow directions,
Then you should change your address
Maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day,
Whatever you think is best
Burned all my notebooks, what good are notebooks?
They won’t help me survive
My chest is aching, burns like a furnace,
The burning keeps me alive
Try to stay healthy, physical fitness,
Don’t want to catch no disease
Try to be careful, don’t take no chances,
You better watch what you say

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • CurtsMom September 28, 2019, 2:15 AM

    He is a smart guy!

  • Randomizer September 28, 2019, 5:19 AM

    David Byrne is the most creative of the creative people, but surprisingly doesn’t hate America or regular people. I listened to his audiobook, “Bicycle Diaries”. Byrne travels frequently, and likes to take a bike with him to explore the city he is visiting. The book is about observations he has, things he sees and people he meets while exploring. Byrne speaks with affection of interesting places and decent people. No condescension, arrogance or preaching. Just a guy with a life and brain much different than the rest of us.

  • Jack September 28, 2019, 6:24 AM

    One of my all time favorite songs, by anyone.

  • BillH September 28, 2019, 8:11 AM

    I can’t recall a prognosticator ever coming that close to being right

  • Terry September 28, 2019, 11:16 AM

    @Randomizer- “. . . . doesn’t hate America or regular people. I listened to his audiobook . . .”

    Rolling Stone mag interview (2-2018):
    “You just did a Reasons to Be Cheerful multimedia project, where you found reasons to be optimistic about the world. But what makes you pessimistic?”

    David Byrne:
    “The fact that the Republican Party hasn’t broken rank with Donald Trump. He’s a fucking racist, and they’re going along with it ’cause it gets them where they wanna go. If they don’t break rank, they’re as racist as he is. And let’s not forget that.”

    David Byrne, in my opinion, is not very smart. “Regular people” are Mr. Trump’s supporters. Not the Republican party.

  • james wilson September 28, 2019, 11:32 AM

    Most everybody whiffed on gas and food in 1979. Nobody got tech and the surveillance state so precisely.

  • T September 29, 2019, 3:00 PM

    …David Byrne:
    “The fact that the Republican Party hasn’t broken rank with Donald Trump. He’s a fucking racist, and they’re going along with it ’cause it gets them where they wanna go. If they don’t break rank, they’re as racist as he is. And let’s not forget that.”

    More from Byrne:
    “Trump addresses the grievances of those who rightly feel dispossessed, but Trump’s proposed solutions are, unlike Bernie’s or Hillary’s, completely unworkable nonsense… Reason, as we have seen, doesn’t matter.”

    Van regularly shoves his foot in his mouth here, pathetically pineing for yesteryear by featuring musical artists who would smack him upside his head if they met him in person. What a self-deluded dolt.

  • Patvann September 29, 2019, 8:45 PM

    The bass player is something to behold. The stamina and musical ability…