Rock and Roll Hall of Famer David Byrne appeared on the February 29 episode of Saturday Night Live to perform three songs. It was the former Talking Heads frontman’s first appearance on the show in 31 years.
On the episode, hosted by comedian John Mulaney, Byrne performed two singles from Talking Heads and The Brighton Port Authority, respectively, as well as a spoof of Talking Head’s “Road To Nowhere” in a sketch. Byrne was a member of both bands.
Byrne first performed “Once In A Lifetime,” a hit single from the American rock icons Talking Head’s 1980 fourth studio album Remain In Light. NPR named the track one of the 100 most important American musical works of the 20th century, while the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame lists it as one of the “500 Songs That Shaped Rock And Roll.”
He later performed “Toe Jam,” from the album I Think We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat by British electronic act The Brighton Port Authority. He performed both songs with members of American Utopia on Broadway. Byrne released American Utopia, his seventh studio album, in 2018. The Broadway show included the full album as well as select Talking Heads songs and was performed by Byrne and 11 other musicians at the Hudson Theatre in late 2019.
Finally, Byrne appeared in a sketch called “Airport Sushi,” playing an all-knowing baggage handler. The sketch culminated in cast-wide performance of a spoof of “Road To Nowhere,” a hit single off of Talking Head’s 1985 sixth studio album Little Creatures.
This was Byrne’s third appearance on Saturday Night Live. He last appeared 31 years ago in 1989 to celebrate the release of his debut solo album, Rei Momo with the singles “Dirty Old Town” and “Loco de Amor.” He also appeared as part of Talking Heads in 1979, performing “Take Me To The River” and “Artists Only” from their second studio album, More Songs About Buildings And Food.
Photo Credit: Kalyn Oyer