Talking HeadsTina WeymouthJerry HarrisonDavid ByrneChris Frantz

Jeremiah Griffin Harrison

was born on February 21, 1949 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Though he's hardly a cult persona, Jerry Harrison has failed to be recognized as a crucial figure in the history of punk rock, a portion of the music which influenced it, and the styles which had grown out of punk more than fifteen years later. Best-known as the keyboard player and occasional guitarist of Talking Heads during the 1980s, Harrison had begun his career ten years before, playing with Jonathan Richman's seminal Modern Lovers during the early '70s. He recorded several solo albums while on occasional hiatus from Talking Heads in the 1980s, but when the band disintegrated in the late '80s, Harrison resumed his busy production schedule, working with some hot alternative acts.

Modern Lovers
Named the Modern Lovers, the group moved quickly and recorded demos in 1972 with John Cale. Finally released in 1976, the songs proved to be a major influence on underground bands in New York; the Modern Lovers had broken up by that time, though, with Harrison going back to Harvard to teach. In April of 1976, however, he attended a Talking Heads show in Boston and convinced them to let him join. The band signed to Sire just one year later, and became one of the most intelligent alternative bands of the 1980s, recording an astounding variety of material and even earning several pop hits.

During an extended Talking Heads vacation during 1981, Harrison recorded his first solo album, The Red and the Black. The album was recorded with Bernie Worrell, Nona Hendryx and Adrian Belew -- all of whom had appeared on Talking Heads' Remain in Light. Three years later, he released a hip-hop single on Sleeping Bag, recorded as Bonzo Goes to Washington. His second full solo album, however, appeared three years later. Casual Gods had a similar fell to his debut, with loose funk-rock grooves and an open-ended song structure (which suited Harrison's vocals well) but boasted more tuneful songs. Talking Heads was effectively disbanded by that time, and Harrison had already begun producing in 1986, with the Bodeans and Violent Femmes. During the 1990s, Harrison became an important and respected producer, working on popular albums by Live, Crash Test Dummies, and the Verve Pipe. In 1996, he played with Talking Heads alumni Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz as the Heads.


Talking Heads
Jerry Harrison
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David Byrne
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