Robert Caplin for The New York Times
Philip Galanes, interviewing Cyndi Lauper and David Byrne in Greenwich:
PG: Was there struggle at the beginning of the Talking Heads?
CL: (singing) “This ain’t no foolin’ around.”
DB: It was a slow step by step, like on a ladder, and doing tours in a station wagon.
CL: That sucks.
DB: But there was never a rejection or a sense that this is not connecting. It was always connecting to a certain group of people. That’s good. Now let’s see if we can get it to another level.
CL: I was told I sang like a rat, but I didn’t care because I felt so great when I sang. I didn’t give a damn what anyone else said.
DB: And our connection with the audience seemed real and heartfelt. They really did care about us. They weren’t going because they had been told by some advertising agency.
CL: They didn’t stand in the back yelling “Free Bird”?
DB: Yes, they did that, too. But I think about what Cyndi was saying, there were periods, later on, when I would think: Oh, I’m no longer flavor of the month. What happens now? I think I’m still writing good songs, maybe even better songs. I’m more in control of my voice, it’s not that strangled squeak anymore. And I was willing to accept that people might go, “You sing good now, but we liked it when you sang bad.”