Tina Weymouth

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Tina Weymouth
Tina Weymouth 2010.jpg
Weymouth in 2010
Background information
Birth nameMartina Michèle Weymouth
Born (1950-11-22) November 22, 1950 (age 69)
Coronado, California, U.S.
GenresNew wave, post-punk, art pop, funk
Occupation(s)Musician, singer, songwriter, author
InstrumentsVocals, bass, synthesizer, guitar
Years active1975–present
LabelsEMI, Sire
Associated actsTalking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Gorillaz

Martina Michèle Weymouth (born November 22, 1950) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and author, best known as a founding member and bassist of the new wave group Talking Heads and its side project Tom Tom Club, which she co-founded with husband and Talking Heads drummer, Chris Frantz.[1] In 2002, Weymouth was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Talking Heads.[2]

Early life[edit]

Born in Coronado, California, Weymouth is the daughter of Laura Bouchage and retired US Navy Vice Admiral Ralph Weymouth. She has seven siblings, including Lani and Laura Weymouth, who are collaborators in Weymouth's band Tom Tom Club, and architect Yann Weymouth, the designer of the Salvador Dalí Museum. Weymouth is of French heritage on her mother's side (she is the great-granddaughter of Anatole Le Braz, a Breton writer).[3][4]

At the age of 12, she joined The Potomac English Hand Bell Ringers, an amateur music group directed by Nancy Tufts, and toured with them. At 14, she started to teach herself the guitar.[5][6]

Talking Heads[edit]

As a student at the Rhode Island School of Design, she met Chris Frantz and David Byrne who later formed a band and were searching for a bass guitar player. She joined them at Frantz's request, and began learning and playing bass.

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.[7] Her sound is often very syncopated (e.g., reggae/funk) in feel, combining low fundamental notes with higher flourishes in clipped, staccato rhythms.

Other musical activities[edit]

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. 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."[8]

Weymouth playing with Talking Heads, Toronto, May 13, 1978

She co-produced the Happy Mondays' 1992 album Yes Please! and has 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.[9] 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.[10] "Wordy Rappinghood" became a moderate dance hit in Europe, peaking at number two in the Dutch Top 40,[11] number five on the Belgian Dance Chart,[12] and at number seven on the UK Singles Chart.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Weymouth and Chris Frantz have been married since 1977. They live in Fairfield, Connecticut, and have two sons.[14] Her niece, Katharine Weymouth, served as publisher of The Washington Post.[15]



  1. ^ Barrett, John (October 20, 2011). "The 20 Most Underrated Bass Guitarists". Paste Monthly. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
  2. ^ "Talking Heads". Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  3. ^ Heritage-d'Anatole Le Braz aux talking heads dated August 31, 2012 at letelegramme.fr
  4. ^ Bowman, David (2001). This Must Be the Place: The Adventures of Talking Heads in the 20th Century. New York City: HarperCollins. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-380-97846-5.
  5. ^ "Tina Weymouth". Biography. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  6. ^ "Talking Heads - Tina Weymouth". Spinterview. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  7. ^ Courogen, Carrie (September 15, 2017). "40 Years Later, Talking Heads' Most Valuable Member Is Still Its Most Under-Recognized". PAPER. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  8. ^ Blackman, Guy (February 6, 2005). "Byrning down the house". The Age. 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".
  9. ^ "Past Judges". Independent Music Awards. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  10. ^ Phares, Heather (2003). "99 Cents – Chicks on Speed". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
  11. ^ "www.top40.nl". Retrieved October 31, 2016.
  12. ^ "Ultratop.be – Chicks on Speed – Wordy Rappinghood". Ultratop (in Dutch). Ultratop & Hung Medien/hitparade.ch. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
  13. ^ "The Official Charts Company – Chicks on Speed". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 26, 2011.
  14. ^ "Tina Weymouth". Nndb.com. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  15. ^ Ahrens, Frank (February 8, 2008). "Post Co. Names Weymouth Media Chief and publisher". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 15, 2009. She [Katharine Weymouth] is a niece of Tina Weymouth, the bass guitarist in the new wave band Talking Heads.
  16. ^ "Bass Player Magazine Interview with Tine Weymouth". Archived from the original on June 23, 2007. Retrieved August 13, 2010.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)

External links[edit]