Flashback: Talking Heads Perform Free At UC Berkeley In '78


While this performance may not have technically happened in the '80s, the Talking Heads would go on to find critical acclaim and become one of the most influential bands of the 1980s.

David Byrne and Tina Weymouth are now looked at as deities in music but every band has to start out somewhere. On September 18th, 1978 that somewhere was Lower Sproul Plaza on UC Berkeley's campus.

It's unclear who booked the show, but it was likely Superb (founded in 1964), the school's student-run non-profit branch dedicated to bringing entertainment to the Berkeley campus. Unfortunately there isn't a lot of footage or information on the Talking Head's show but according to concertarchives.org, the band played a full 16 song set including one of their best known tracks "Psycho Killer."

Thanks to Target Video's Joe "Target" Rees, we have some great footage of the band performing "Pulled Up" and "Warning Sign." Rees and Target Video are responsible for capturing the underground music scene in San Francisco throughout the late '70s until the mid '80s. His footage of unknown and underground punk bands have been screened to packed out venues around the world. Without dedicated music lovers like Rees and everyone who helped out at Target Video Studios, much of San Francisco's history and importance to music would have been lost.

Photos: Getty Images/Richard Mccaffrey