Some time around late 1979 when I was living in the countryside in New Zealand, an area so remote it was often hard to get a radio signal. One night while tuning into an Auckland pirate station when through the static I heard Talking Heads singing their cover of Al Green’s song ‘Take Me To The River’ for the first time. Who was this band Talking Heads and where do they come from? I loved their sound, the lead singer had a voice I wanted to make friends with. It wasn’t until I got back to civilisation a few weeks later and bought Rolling Stone magazine that I learn’t more about them and bought their album ‘More Songs About Building And Food’ – their second studio album after ‘Talking Heads: 77’.

As the years went by they released more albums, every one I bought and spent hours deciphering their sometimes paranoid lyrics. Talking Heads were part of the New York punk scene, The Ramones or the New York Dolls they were not, but they had a definite style that was, well, let’s say they were well-dressed punk.

Talking Heads’ music introduced me to the idea of New York life, I imagined hanging out at CBGB with Andy Warhol and Richard Goldstein as we discussed art and the complexities of the counter culture, and David Byrne would stop by our table. When I finally got to New York some years later, my only brush with fame was when I was in a club in The Village and Ronnie Wood glanced over in my direction a few times!

And then came the movie ‘Stop Making Sense’ which was filmed in 1983 over three nights at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. The late Jonathan Demme, a filmmaker who was forty at the time and a massive fan of the band, approached Talking Heads with the idea of filming their show. Being fans of Demme’s movie ‘Melvin and Howard’ they quickly agreed.

To keep full creative control and ownership, they financed the project themselves. They adopted a no frills stage presence; David Byrne describing it as, “no rock moves or poses, no pomp or drama, no rock hair, no rock lights . . . no rehearsed stage patter”. Byrne’s moves on stage showed the influence of his work with Twyla Tharp and the choreographer Toni Basil.

With the oversized jacket, he added an even cooler brand.

I left the theatre thinking it didn’t matter if I didn’t ever see them live. Demme knew they were a band who won’t indulge in stage antics, and he knew that would come across well in the Film – and it did. I’ve seen so many bands where the sound is lost and the artists don’t come across as well as you thought they would after listening to them on vinyl for years. Maybe it’s just a boredom thing for some bands where they go from town to town and they just lose that spark they originally had when they started out. But with the Talking Heads movie you have the best seats in the house and the band is really happy to be there.

'Stop Making Sense' re-released just in time

Now forty years on in a growing culture of Taylor Swift banality, ‘Stop Making Sense’ hit the cinemas again for the film’s fortieth anniversary, with the original negative being reprocessed in a high-resolution 4K format. Would they be playing to a new audience or just us older dreamers? At the screening I attended on a Monday lunchtime in Sydney’s ‘hip’ inner-west suburb of Newtown there were about five of us – all around the same age. We joked about getting up to dance in the aisles, but we knew that wasn’t going to happen. However, the general consensus was it was still as enjoyable as the first time.

As Tina Weymouth told Far Out magazine last year: “Making that [film] was a great, great time.

That was a wonderful band. It was just the travelling and the work were exhausting. I couldn’t believe it when David said to us, ‘Oh, well, we’re not going to tour anymore because the movie’s gonna tour for us.’ I just scratched my head. Like, ‘What? That’s not the same!’” Jerry Harrison said in the same interview: “David is 100% in the moment of that performance, and I think that’s part of the attractiveness of the film. We took great joy in what we were playing on stage and our interactions with each other, but we really wanted the audience to come away and go, ‘That was one of the best things I ever saw’ — like, every night. That was the ethos of this band. And David, being the lead singer, he led the way with a focus on the song, and on getting that across.”

The group broke up in 1991, there appears to have been some contentious issues within the band, but what band doesn’t have those?

Who cares? We’ve got the movie, so I’m happy.

David Bryne said in an interview for NPR in September this year: "I hadn’t seen the film in probably a decade at least, and I kind of looking at it and thinking who is this guy? I mean, I’m impressed with the film and impressed with our performance. But I’m also having this really jarring experience of thinking, ‘he’s so serious, he’s very intent. He kind of loosens up towards the end, but in the beginning he’s really focused.’"

As Chris Frantz said in an interview with the band on Steven Colbert recently, “we need to protect our legacy”. Yeah, you did.