Classic Rock News

Talking Heads' Chris Frantz recalls memorable 1977 backstage visit from Sex Pistols' Johnny Rotten

St. Martin’s Press

Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz recently chatted with ABC Audio about his recently published memoir Remain In Love, which focuses on his experiences with his famous band and his long romance with the group’s bassist, and his wife of 43 years, Tina Weymouth.

During the interview, Frantz also reflected on some of his favorite concert highlights as a member of Talking Heads, one of which was a sold-out 1977 show opening for The Ramones in London during the height of the punk explosion.

The concert took place in May of 1977 at the famed London venue The Roundhouse during the Queen’s Jubilee weekend, which commemorated Queen Elizabeth II‘s 25th anniversary as U.K monarch.

“[E]very punk rocker in the United Kingdom was in the audience that night,” Chris recalls, “including The Sex Pistols and The Clash and The Damned and Ian Dury & the Blockheads and Siouxsie & the Banshees. They were all there.”

Frantz tells ABC Audio that he remembers being backstage getting ready to play their opening set, when they had a humorous — albeit brief — encounter with perhaps the most famous punk rocker of them all.

“[O]ur sound man, this Scottish guy named Frank Gallagher, was giving us our pep talk, [something he used to always do before a show]. And we were jumping up and down, trying to get ourselves worked up,” says Chris. “And there was a knock on the door, and a guy pokes his head. It’s Johnny Rotten.”

Frantz continues, “And [Johnny] says, ‘Oh, sorry, I was looking for The Ramones dressing room.’ And so our sound man…said, ‘Well, then f*** off!'”

Chris says the concert itself was phenomenal…”sold out, multiple encores, historic.”

Frantz also discusses the event in Remain In Love, which is available now.

By Matt Friedlander
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