Tina Weymouth

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Tina Weymouth
Weymouth smiling
Weymouth at South by Southwest 2010
Background information
Birth nameMartina Michèle Weymouth
Born (1950-11-22) November 22, 1950 (age 73)[1]
Coronado, California, U.S.[1]
  • Musician
  • singer
  • songwriter
  • author
  • Vocals
  • bass
  • guitar
  • keyboards
Years active1975–present
Member ofTom Tom Club
Formerly ofTalking Heads
(m. 1977)
External videos
video icon "Tina Weymouth Tribute Film, Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame

Martina Michèle Weymouth (/ˈwməθ/ WAY-məth; born November 22, 1950) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and a founding member and bassist of the new wave group Talking Heads and its side project Tom Tom Club, which she co-founded with her husband, Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz.[2] In 2002, Weymouth was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Talking Heads.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Born in Coronado, California, Weymouth is the daughter of Laura Bouchage and U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Ralph Weymouth (1917–2020). The third of eight children, her siblings include Lani and Laura Weymouth, who are collaborators in Tina's band Tom Tom Club, and architect Yann Weymouth, the designer of the Salvador Dalí Museum in Florida. Weymouth is of Breton heritage on her mother's side (she is the great-granddaughter of Anatole Le Braz, a Breton writer).[5][6]: 10 Her mother was an immigrant from Brittany and her father was American.[5]

When she was 12, Weymouth joined the Mrs. Tufts’ Potomac English Hand Bell Ringers, an amateur music group directed by Nancy Tufts, and toured with them.[7] At 14, she started to teach herself the guitar.[8][9]

Her early inspirations came from Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul & Mary.[7]

Talking Heads[edit]

As a student at the Rhode Island School of Design, she met Chris Frantz and David Byrne, who formed a band called the Artistics.[10]: 30[1] She began dating Frantz and served as the band's driver. After graduation, the three of them moved to New York City. Since Byrne and Frantz were unable to find a suitable bass guitar player she joined them at the latter's request and began learning and playing the instrument.

As a bass player she combined the minimalist art-punk bass lines of groups such as Wire and Pere Ubu with danceable, funk-inflected riffs to provide the bedrock of Talking Heads' signature sound.[11]

Other musical activities[edit]

Weymouth with Talking Heads in Minneapolis, 1977

Full members of the Compass Point All Stars, Weymouth and Frantz formed the Tom Tom Club in 1980, which kept them busy during a fairly long hiatus in Talking Heads activity.[1] When it became obvious that Talking Heads frontman David Byrne had no interest in another Talking Heads album, Weymouth, Frantz, and Jerry Harrison reunited without him for a single album called No Talking, Just Head under the name "The Heads" in 1996, featuring a rotating cast of vocalists. Weymouth has been critical of Byrne, describing him as "a man incapable of returning friendship".[12]

She co-produced the Happy Mondays' 1992 album Yes Please! and contributed backing vocals and percussion for the alternative rock virtual band Gorillaz on their track "19-2000".

Weymouth was a judge for the second annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists' careers.[13] She collaborated with Chicks on Speed on their cover of the Tom Tom Club's "Wordy Rappinghood" for their album 99 Cents in 2003 along with other female musicians such as Miss Kittin, Kevin Blechdom, Le Tigre, and Adult's Nicola Kuperus.[14] "Wordy Rappinghood" became a moderate dance hit in Europe, peaking at number two in the Dutch Top 40,[15] number five on the Belgian Dance Chart,[16] and at number seven on the UK Singles Chart.[17]

Personal life[edit]

Weymouth and Chris Frantz married in 1977. They live in Fairfield, Connecticut, and have two sons.[18] Her niece, Katharine Weymouth, served as publisher of The Washington Post.[19]

In March 2022, Weymouth and Frantz were in a car collision with a drunk driver. Weymouth suffered a fractured sternum and three fractured ribs.[20]


In 2020, Rolling Stone ranked her as the 29th greatest bass player of all time.[4]

Weymouth has inspired many female bassists including Este Haim[21] and Victoria De Angelis of Måneskin.[22]



  1. ^ a b c d Prato, Greg (n.d.). "Tina Weymouth: Biography". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 25 September 2022. Retrieved 5 January 2023. Born on November 22, 1950, in Coronado, CA, Weymouth's family moved quite a bit early on, as her father served in the Navy.
  2. ^ Barrett, John (October 20, 2011). "The 20 Most Underrated Bass Guitarists". Paste Monthly. Archived from the original on July 12, 2015. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  3. ^ "Talking Heads". Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on October 30, 2018. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Tina Weymouth". Rolling Stone Australia. July 2, 2020. Retrieved October 28, 2023.
  5. ^ a b Clam, Marie-Hélène (31 August 2012). "Héritage. D'Anatole Le Braz aux Talking Heads". Le Télégramme (in French). ISSN 0751-5928. OCLC 1076375798. Archived from the original on 20 November 2022. Retrieved 5 January 2023. Arrière-petite-fille d'Anatole Le Braz, TinaWeymouth est elle-même célèbre: membre fondateur du TomTom Club, elle fut aussi la bassiste des Talking Heads, groupe emblématique du punk new wave des années70-80. [Great-granddaughter of Anatole Le Braz, Tina Weymouth is famous herself: a founding member of the Tom Tom Club, she was also the bassist of the Talking Heads, an emblematic new wave punk band of the 70s and 80s.]
  6. ^ Bowman, David (3 April 2001). "Chapter 1 - the secret life of tina weymouth". This Must Be the Place: The Adventures of Talking Heads in the Twentieth Century. HarperEntertainment. ISBN 978-0380978465. LCCN 00046082. OCLC 44914246. OL 7435999M. Retrieved 3 January 2023 – via Internet Archive.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  7. ^ a b AnOther (May 10, 2017). "Talking Heads Bassist Tina Weymouth's Electrifying Style". AnOther. Retrieved October 28, 2023.
  8. ^ "Tina Weymouth". Biography. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  9. ^ "Talking Heads - Tina Weymouth". Spinterview. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  10. ^ Gans, David (December 1985). "Chapter One: Providence". Talking Heads: The Band & Their Music (First ed.). Avon Books. ISBN 978-0380899548. LCCN 85047829. OCLC 12938771. OL 2552512M. Retrieved 4 January 2023 – via Internet Archive.
  11. ^ Courogen, Carrie (September 15, 2017). "40 Years Later, Talking Heads' Most Valuable Member Is Still Its Most Under-Recognized". PAPER. Archived from the original on September 27, 2018. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  12. ^ Blackman, Guy (February 6, 2005). "Byrning down the house". The Age. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved June 1, 2007. In March, 2007, Weymouth described Byrne as "a man incapable of returning friendship". She told Glasgow's Sunday Herald: "Cutting off attachments when a thing/person is perceived to have served its purpose or there is a perceived threat to ego is the lifelong pattern of his relations".
  13. ^ "Past Judges". Independent Music Awards. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  14. ^ Phares, Heather (2003). "99 Cents – Chicks on Speed". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
  15. ^ "www.top40.nl". Archived from the original on October 31, 2016. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
  16. ^ "Ultratop.be – Chicks on Speed – Wordy Rappinghood". Ultratop (in Dutch). Ultratop & Hung Medien/hitparade.ch. Archived from the original on September 23, 2011. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
  17. ^ "The Official Charts Company – Chicks on Speed". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on May 8, 2019. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
  18. ^ "Tina Weymouth". Nndb.com. Archived from the original on August 16, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  19. ^ Ahrens, Frank (February 8, 2008). "Post Co. Names Weymouth Media Chief and publisher". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on September 25, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2009. She [Katharine Weymouth] is a niece of Tina Weymouth, the bass guitarist in the new wave band Talking Heads.
  20. ^ Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (March 28, 2022). "Talking Heads musicians survive serious collision with drunk driver". The Guardian. Retrieved March 28, 2022.
  21. ^ Nevins, Jake (October 23, 2023). ""You Changed My Life": Tina Weymouth, in Conversation with Este Haim". Interview Magazine. Retrieved October 28, 2023.
  22. ^ Paul, Larisha (October 24, 2023). "Duran Duran Amps Up Talking Heads 'Psycho Killer' Cover". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 28, 2023.
  23. ^ a b c d e Isola, Gregory (March 1997). "Tina Weymouth: Tina Talks Heads, Tom Toms, and How to Succeed at Bass Without Really Trying". Bass Player. ISSN 1050-785X. LCCN sn90006115. OCLC 226032218. Archived from the original on 6 December 2008. Retrieved 5 January 2023. ["I've come full circle," Tina Weymouth says of her decision to strap on once again the single-cutaway, two-pickup Hofner hollowbody she's had for her whole career. (Her original was stolen in '78, but a sympathetic fan sold her another shortly after.) "It's really light, it has a little neck, and it's hard for some engineers to handle--but it's funky as all get out." [...] In addition to the Hofner, Tina's bass stockpile has included (roughly in this order) a '70s sunburst Fender Precision, now on display at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; a competition-striped Fender Mustang; a Gibson Triumph; a Fender Musicmaster; a custom-made Veillette-Citron Standard 4-string; a Steinberger; and a '63 Fender Jazz.]
  24. ^ a b Rowleypublished, Scott (October 8, 2022). ""Without Tina Weymouth, Talking Heads would have been just another band": a celebration of Remain in Light". guitarworld. Retrieved October 28, 2023.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]