Before Talking Heads were all over the airwaves with hits like “Once in A Lifetime,” “Burning Down the House” and “Road to Nowhere,” they were just a little band opening up for the Ramones at CBGB’s.
And from that performance, it was the group’s underdeveloped acoustic-led version of “Psycho Killer” that caught the attention of Seymour Stein, the co-founder of Sire Records, who was checking up on the recently signed Ramones. The Sire big wig was outside with Patti Smith’s guitar player when the band caught his attention.
“All of a sudden, I hear music coming out (of CBGB),” Stein said about the performance. “I felt myself just moving more and more, and I was just riveted.”
The sloppy, underdeveloped version of the song will still be recognizable by most fans of the band, but it’s an interesting artifact to look back on after hearing the polished version of the single on the band’s debut, 77. You can watch a video of the performance below thanks to NPR. The performance appears on their new DVD documentary Chronology.