Report: Talking Heads Rebuffed $80M for Mini Reunion Tour

Per 'Billboard,' band turned down offer from Live Nation for short festival, concert tour
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2024 1:50 PM CST
Report: Talking Heads Rebuffed $80M for Mini Reunion Tour
David Byrne of Talking Heads poses for a portrait to promote the film "Stop Making Sense" during the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 11 in Toronto.   (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)

This year's Coachella will see the reunions of Sublime and No Doubt, just two of the bands set to rock the stages in Indio, California, in April. There's one big-name group, however, that won't be getting back together for the music fest, or for any other shows in the near future, despite an apparently huge offer. Billboard reports that Paul Tollett, CEO of Coachella organizer Goldenvoice, first thought of making an offer to the Talking Heads in September, when he headed to the Toronto film fest to talk to the group. The band was gathered there at the time to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its 1984 concert film, Stop Making Sense.

Frontman David Byrne and the rest of the Talking Heads gang (Jerry Harrison, Chris Frantz, and Tina Weymouth) were all in attendance, and Tollett hoped to convince them to perform at Coachella—but Tollett "sensed there were no shows happening," so he didn't bring it up. It's not clear how much Tollett would've offered the group, but sources tell Billboard that soon after that film fest, concert promoter Live Nation made its own offer: $80 million if the band did six to eight music fest gigs and shows.

The band apparently didn't bite. Stereogum notes that the Talking Heads haven't performed together since 2002, when they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and they haven't toured since the Stop Making Sense era, four decades ago. The Brooklyn Vegan music blog notes there already is a Talking Heads reunion of sorts: Harrison, the group's guitarist and keyboardist, will team up with "ancillary member" Adrian Belew for a continuation of their "Remain in Light" tour, named after the Talking Heads' fourth studio album. The duo will play the album in full at their summer performances at a select group of venues. (More Talking Heads stories.)

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