Initial Lineup Unveiled For David Byrne & Talking Heads Tribute

O.A.R., Perry Farrell and Steve Earle are among the acts sharing their interpretations of the music of David Byrne and Talking Heads at the annual “music of” tribute at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Marking the 11th “music of” show presented by Michael Dorf, the event takes place March 23. In addition to putting on the series, you know Dorf as the founder of the City Winery venues, which recently opened its 4th location in Nashville. Before launching the first City Winery in 2008, Dorf sold all of his interests in the Knitting Factory, which he founded in 1987.

A total of 20 artists will pay tribute to Byrne and the new wave band that also featured Chris Frantz, Tiny Weymouth and Jerry Harrison. So far the roster for the Carnegie Hall concert also includes Rufus Wainwright, Sleigh BellsAlexis Krauss, ZZ Top’s , Beth Orton, and The Roots.  

Photo: John Davisson
Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Great Stage Park, Manchester, Tenn.

When Pollstar talked to Dorf about the concert series in 2012, we asked if he’s ever run into problems where more than one artist wants to do the same song.

“Oh, for sure. That happens every time,” Dorf says. “We do take a first-come, first served [approach]. … and we would work with the artists on the song selections. Sometimes there were some songs even deep, deep, catalog that I had forgotten about and the artist brought them to the table and we had that in the show. Then in some cases we would make some suggestions to artists that were looking for some ideas. Then there are a couple of seminal songs that needed to be performed.

“Each year up until now it’s been a really fun, kind of curatorial back-and-forth process. Then we think about the sequence of the evening so it has an ebb and flow for a show. [We take] great pride in a production that only has a one or two minute segue between songs so the audience thinks it’s a very smooth show.”

The 20 artists will have tons of material to choose from when coming up with a setlist for the 2015 show. The Talking Heads put out eight studio albums between 1977 and 1988, while Byrne has released several solo albums during the past three decades. The latest LP from the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Grammy/Oscar/Golden Globe winner is his collaboration with St. Vincent, 2012’s Love This Giant.

Tickets are available to the public now. All proceeds benefit music education for underprivileged youth.

Previous “music of” shows have paid tribute to Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen, The Who, R.E.M., Neil Young, The Rolling Stones and Prince.

For more information visit and click here to read Pollstar’s interview with Michael Dorf.