Jerry Harrison

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Jerry Harrison
Harrison in 2010
Harrison in 2010
Background information
Birth nameJeremiah Griffin Harrison
Born (1949-02-21) February 21, 1949 (age 72)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
GenresNew wave, indie pop, rock and roll, art rock
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, record producer
InstrumentsVocals, keyboards, guitar
Years active1971–present
LabelsEMI, Sire/Warner Bros. Records
Associated actsTalking Heads
The Modern Lovers

Jeremiah Griffin Harrison (born February 21, 1949) is an American songwriter, musician, producer, and entrepreneur.[1] He achieved fame as the keyboardist and guitarist for the new wave band Talking Heads and as an original member of the Modern Lovers.[2] In 2002, Harrison was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Talking Heads.[3]

Harrison graduated from Shorewood High School (Wisconsin).[4]


Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin,[1] Harrison played with Jonathan Richman in The Modern Lovers when he was an architecture student at Harvard University.[5] Harrison was introduced to Richman by mutual friend and journalist Danny Fields and the pair bonded over their shared love of the Velvet Underground. He joined The Modern Lovers in early 1971, playing on their debut album in 1972 (not released until 1976), and left in February 1974,[1] when Richman wished to perform his songs more quietly.

Harrison joined Talking Heads in 1977, after the release of their debut single "Love → Building on Fire".[6] Harrison was the oldest member of the band.

Harrison's solo albums include The Red and the Black, Casual Gods, and Walk on Water.[1] The single "Rev It Up" reached a high-point of number seven on the US Mainstream Charts in 1987. The song appeared in the 1992 movie The Prom, and an instrumental version appeared in the 1986 movie Something Wild.

After the 1991 breakup of Talking Heads, Harrison turned to producing and worked on albums by bands including Hockey, Violent Femmes, The BoDeans, The Von Bondies, General Public, Live, Crash Test Dummies, The Verve Pipe, Rusted Root, Stroke 9, The Bogmen, Black 47, The Mayfield Four, Of A Revolution, No Doubt, Josh Joplin Group, The Black and White Years, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Bamboo Shoots, the String Cheese Incident and The Gracious Few.[1] He was also Chairman of the Board for, an internet music resource he co-founded in 1999.[7]

Film work[edit]

Harrison, as a member of Talking Heads, is featured throughout the 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense, directed by Jonathan Demme. Also during the Talking Heads era, Harrison made cameo appearances as Billy Idol, Kid Creole and Prince look-alike lip-synchers in David Byrne's 1986 film True Stories. Harrison also had a small part in the 2006 film The Darwin Awards as "Guy in Bar No. 1" alongside John Doe of the band X.[8]


Talking Heads[edit]

Solo albums[edit]

1981 The Red and the Black - - - - - -
1988 Casual Gods 78 18 4 17 31 10
1990 Walk on Water 188 - - - - -


Year Title US Main. US Modern AUS NZ GER UK
1984 "Five Minutes" - - - - - -
1987 "Rev It Up" 7 - 3 6 45 90
1987 "Man with a Gun" - - 17 15 - -
1988 "Cherokee Chief" - - 92 - - -
1990 "Flying Under Radar" 42 13 98 - - -

The Heads[edit]

1996 No Talking Just Head - - - - - -


Year Album Artist
1986 The Blind Leading the Naked Violent Femmes
1987 Outside Looking In BoDeans
1991 Mental Jewelry Live
1992 Volo Volo Poi Dog Pondering
Pureafunalia Pure
Bush Roaming Mammals Billy Goat
1993 God Shuffled His Feet Crash Test Dummies
1994 Throwing Copper Live
Home of the Brave Black 47
1995 Rub It Better General Public
Lost in the Former West The Fatima Mansions
Life Begins at 40 Million The Bogmen
1996 Villains The Verve Pipe
Remember Rusted Root
No Talking, Just Head The Heads
Neurotic Outsiders Neurotic Outsiders
1997 Trouble Is... Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Beautiful World Big Head Todd and the Monsters
1998 Fallout The Mayfield Four
Useful Music Josh Joplin Group
1999 The Distance to Here Live
Nasty Little Thoughts Stroke 9
Live On Kenny Wayne Shepherd
I’d Rather Eat Glass Bijou Phillips
2000 Watering Ghost Garden Creeper Lagoon
Shine Pat McGee Band
Return of Saturn No Doubt
2001 Take Back the Universe and Give Me Yesterday Creeper Lagoon
Stroke 9 Stroke 9
2002 Rip It Off Stroke 9
2003 Love The Juliana Theory
2004 Pawn Shoppe Heart The Von Bondies
2005 Stories of a Stranger O.A.R.
2007 10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads Kenny Wayne Shepherd
2008 The Black and White Years The Black and White Years
2011 How I Go Kenny Wayne Shepherd
2013 Can’t Get Enough The Rides
2014 The Turn Live
A Song In My Head The String Cheese Incident
2017 Believe The String Cheese Incident
2018 bi / MENTAL Le Butcherettes
2019 Wonder Park: Music from the Motion Picture Various Artists


  1. ^ a b c d e Colin Larkin, ed. (2003). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Eighties Music (Third ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 236/7. ISBN 1-85227-969-9.
  2. ^ Bush, John. "Biography – Jerry Harrison". AllMusic. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  3. ^ "Talking Heads". Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  4. ^ "Shorewood stars align for fund-raiser". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 25, 2010. Accessed March 17, 2012.
  5. ^ Malcolm Jack (September 21, 2016). "The Guardian - Talking Heads – 10 of the best". The Guardian. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  6. ^ Palmer, Robert (April 14, 1982). "The Pop Life". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 15, 2020.
  7. ^ "Jerry Harrison Bio". Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  8. ^ Dunne, Susan (August 31, 2007). "'DARWIN AWARDS' A STUPIDITY PRIZE WINNER". Hartford Courant. Archived from the original on October 8, 2020. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  9. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 134. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.

External links[edit]