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David Byrne shares his early musical inspirations on new episode of AXS TV's 'The Big Interview'

Written by on November 20, 2019

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Credit: Amanda TaraskaFormer Talking Heads frontman David Byrne appears on a new episode of the Dan Rather-hosted AXS TV series The Big Interview that premieres tonight at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.

The 67-year-old Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, who is currently enjoying success with his Broadway show American Utopia, chats with Rather about his various artistic endeavors and his wide-ranging music career.

In a sneak peek of the episode, Byrne recalls that he first became interested in music around age 12, when he heard pop and rock ‘n’ roll songs on the radio.

“[T]his would be late ’60s, I guess, on a little transistor radio,” David notes. “That opened up a new world, and I thought, ‘What’s this? What’s out there?'”

Byrne says that before then, he only was familiar with what his parents listened to, “Mozart, Scottish music, traditional music and probably some Broadway show tunes,” none of which he was too taken with.

Asked if there was any specific music he remembers being drawn to and inspired by when he was young, Byrne singles out The Byrds‘ hit version of Bob Dylan‘s “Mr. Tambourine Man.”

David explains, “[I]t was the combination of what they sounded like, which was [a] very…unusual kind of timbre, texture…And then Bob Dylan’s words, which to me at that point were completely surreal. And I thought, ‘What in the world is this?’ And of course, I thought, ‘”I want to be part of this.'”

Also in the preview, Byrne recalls how he was motivated to keep doing his own music when a few people “seemed to like” the songs of an early band he was in.

“I thought, ‘That’s it,'” he remembers. “If you got 10 people that like it, that means there’s another 10 somewhere.'”

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