Talking Heads of 195 Chrystie Street

Posted on: December 11th, 2009 at 6:28 am by

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195 Chrystie is a large, nine-story building near the corner of Stanton Street.  These days, the property houses a mixed bag of artist studios and offices.  If you walk by at night, flashbulbs constantly illuminate the upper floors.  But back in 1974, the loft was a brief base of operations for the Talking Heads.

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[Photo via CBGB]

David Byrne, Chris Frantz, and Tina Weymouth all attended college at the Rhode Island School of Design, and eventually moved to the Lower East Side.  By 1975, all were living and practicing in the ninth floor of 195 Chrystie Street.  Each of them held jobs in midtown, and commuted from the Second Avenue F subway stop, which, at the time, was seedy and dangerous.  In All Hopped Up and Ready to Go, Tony Fletcher writes (p. 340):

They quickly became accustomed to the fact that their building, like many other lofts, was zoned for commercial use, not residential–which meant that during the winter, the heat was switched off at 5 pm.

…With no residential neighbors to disturb in the building, then almost every night after work through the first half of 1975, the Talking Heads rehearsed at their Chrystie Street loft, working up a set of short, sparse, rhythmic songs.

On June 5, 1975, they opened for the Ramones at CBGB.

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