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Music

David Byrne discusses the whereabouts of his iconic giant suit

David Bryne is one of the most defining musicians of the modern era. He’s a true innovator, a polymath, an artist who has always led by example and makes the prospect of creativity an exciting one for all budding musicians that come across his work. Artistically, his fire is demi-god-like, as if instilled in him by Apollo himself to show us humans how to live with a bit of Olympian magic.

Byrne is predominantly known as the frontman of the pioneering New York post-punks, Talking Heads. In the band, he worked alongside the equally as brilliant Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz and Jerry Harrison to create a sound unlike anything anyone had ever heard at that point. It was syncopated and futuristic, and it raised the bar for all alternative acts moving forward. 

Notably, Byrne and the band’s expansive creative vision was augmented by the genius of music’s resident oracle, Brian Eno, who helped them create a triptych of incredible albums in 1978’s More Songs About Buildings and Food, 1979’s Fear of Music and 1980’s Remain in LightThe partnership proved to be one of the most fruitful in rock history, and after this trio of albums was released, Western culture was left more enlightened, thanks in part to their appropriation of Fela Kuti-style dynamics. 

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However, it’s not just with Talking Heads that Byrne has confirmed his eminence. He’s collaborated with a myriad of brilliant acts over the years, including Mitski and X-Press 2, and ‘Lazy’, the hit he made with the latter, was one of the many highlights. It goes without saying that David Byrne has done it all over his career, and it is certain that he is not done yet.

In short, David Byrne is unmatched when it comes to creativity, and his consistently evolving career has been a real sight to behold, particularly when you note that everything he does is authentic. He creates art because he loves it, not for money, fame or anything else. This is what has endeared him to fans for all these years and has kept him at the top of his game.

Whilst we could spend an age waxing lyrical about David Byrne’s artistic prowess, there is one moment in his life that stands out in the common memory and even eclipses his best-known track: 1977’s ‘Psycho Killer’. Of course, we’re talking about the oversized grey suit that he wore in Talking Heads’ 1984 concert film, Stop Making Sense. It has long puzzled fans as to why he chose to wear such a mammoth piece of tailoring, but this is David Byrne; the mystery only adds to the magic.

Back in February, Byrne gave an interview with WIRED where he answered the internet’s most searched questions about him, and understandably, one of the most frequently searched concerned itself with the location of the iconic suit. Byrne explained: “You know, I don’t know exactly. It might be at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, or it might be in storage somewhere. Or, it might be out going on a tour by itself, I’m not sure.” 

Byrne was then asked about the size of the suit and how many X’s were in front of the XL tag, to which he responded: “No idea. It was important to me that the big suit not look like a fatsuit, but that it looked more like a playing card, you know, kind of flat but wide and rectangular.”

It’s an incredible revelation that Byrne doesn’t know where his most iconic prop currently lies, but this is David Byrne after all. He’s always looking forward, and the past is the past. David Byrne wouldn’t be such an innovator without this unwavering outlook.

Watch the interview below.

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