Talking Heads Performs “Burning Down the House” With Interview On David Letterman In 1983

Burning Down the House by Talking Heads was released in July, 1983 as the first single from their fifth studio album Speaking in Tongues. “This song started from a jam,” says bassist Tina Weymouth in the liner notes of Once in a Lifetime: The Best of Talking Heads. “Chris [Frantz, drummer] had just been to see Parliament-Funkadelic in its full glory at Madison Square Garden, and he was really hyped. During the jam, he kept yelling ‘Burn down the house!’ which was a P-Funk audience chant, and David [Byrne] dug the line, changing it to the finished version, ‘Burning down the house’.”

Here’s the group performing the song with a David Byrne doing an interview right after on Late Night With David Letterman back in 1983.