Retrocon 2024

Bodacious Breakdown: 'Wild Wild Life' by Talking Heads

The MTV era of music was by far the best and gave us thousands of great (and not so great) music videos to associate with our favorite songs on the radio. Some adjectives we can use to describe '80s music videos include weird, ground-breaking, sexy, epic, and just plain fun. I thought I'd give myself an excuse to rediscover some of these gems and pick one to breakdown on a regular basis. There is no rhyme or reason to my selections. I'll just be choosing videos as I stumble across them or as suggested by you. We've got much to breakdown in this video, so let's go!

Talking Heads "Wild Wild Life" 
Released: 1986
Album: True Stories
Peak U.S. chart position: #25

The video uses recycled footage from the film True Stories which was directed by and starred lead singer David Byrne and co-starred John Goodman. The video would also go on to win two MTV Video Music Awards in 1987.

Check out the video and then the bodacious breakdown...


0:09 - Raise your hand if you think they added the 27 TV screens on stage to distract the audience from the upcoming performance by this chick in the Devo jumpsuit. (raises hand)

0:12 - What kind of a club is this? It's like the audience just came from a thrift store and wore their finds out of the store! I'd also fancy a guess that they all fell for the sign out front that advertised "One night only! See The Beastie Boys, Meatloaf, Billy Idol, and Prince perform on stage together!"

0:17 - If you don't like the show, enjoy the soft porn that's dropped in randomly during the movie. 

0:19 - I think Ed Rooney on the left here was WAY to enthusiastic to sing the "fur pajamas" line of the song. Although come to think of it, he might be dean of students at a school in Alaska nowadays, far far away from the bad memories of Chicago.

0:33 - It's nice to see that Billy Zabka got some work after Karate Kid

0:41 - Until Sinead came on scene in the late '80s, it was shocking to see a bald woman...outside of maybe Prymatt Conehead on SNL.

0:53 - David Byrne looking good with the skinny mustache and the yellow leisure suit. I hear it was the inspiration for Matt Dillion's performance in There's Something About Mary.

1:12 (and 0:44) - Why in the world did we need to see the odd couple here twice in this video? Guess they needed to show us that Jerry Orbach got another partner on Law and Order. Those new detective uniforms I guess follow the rule of "hiding in plaid sight." Wonder if they ever sit down next to a woman and use the pickup line, "C3 to D5, knight takes queen." (OK, I'm done.)

1:20 - Rumor has it that John Goodman used his performance in this video to win the Fred Flintstone audition.

1:43 - Rumor has it Meatloaf used the impersonation of himself in this video to win a spot on Celebrity Apprentice

1:48 - It's a shame that Kevin Costner had to push this guy off the roof in Untouchables. He does a good David Byrne impression.

1:58 - Ricky "the Dragon" Steamboat! And he picked up a few moves from Mr. Miagi! I think he converted to Catholicism because I swear I saw him cross himself during his montage.

2:00-2:12 - Homeboy here tries to come across all Antonio Banderas with his moves. As you can tell, the ladies don't buy it as his inner Lovitz sparks the stage.

2:12-2:23 - OK, it just so happens that I have a Prince impression checklist. Let's see, ummm. Sheila E partner, check. Gratuitous shoulder licking, check. Puffy shirt accompanied by hairless chest and crucifix necklace...think we have a winner!

2:29-3:08 - Jeez, slow down with all the impressions! Okay, we've got Chunk from the Goonies all grown up and playing country music. The FBI detective from The Usual Suspects is looking all Harlem Nights. Can't tell if that's supposed to be Cindy Wilson from the B-52s or this chick from Are you Being Served? (Don't ask me how I know.) And then we have bizarro Mike D with a Starter Lakers jacket.

3:10-3:38 - It's not a talking Heads Video until we get the David Byrne having a seizure. Plus it's always good to have a highlight package of all your celebrity cameos at the end. Exit stage right.

Find more Bodacious Breakdowns on RD80s...

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