The first weekend of July 2014, the Campus Theatre in Lewisburg showed a great double feature. It was the fiftieth anniversary of the Beatles’s A Hard Day’s Night and the thirtieth anniversary of Talking Heads’s Stop Making Sense. Both films are great, and I attended both screenings. I went to the Beatles movie with Owen. I went to the Talking Heads movie with Miles.
Miles loved going to movies at the Campus Theatre, even the difficult contemporary films that they show. He was a regular attendee to all kinds of films. Everybody at the theatre knew Miles by name. He was very friendly too and he would introduce himself to fellow film-goers and some of the special guests. We saw several films there together. We attended Rear Window in 2012 when Miles had his leg in a cast.
Miles and I both loved Stop Making Sense. We loved the music and the visuals of the film, a concert movie of the band from 1984. Each song is a visual and aural treat. We had both seen it at home on our computers and tvs, but neither of us had seen it on the big screen. It was really a breathtaking experience.
After the movie we walked home with Sydnee and Ben Steiler and we talked about the music and the band’s influences. I told Miles about Fela Kuti, the Nigerian band leader and activist that influenced many American groups, especially Talking Heads. The way Talking Heads performed and presented themselves on stage was very much indebted to Kuti. You can hear it and see it, especially in Stop Making Sense. Talking Heads boils down Kuti’s sound to its bare essentials and reduces his long jams to three-minute American pop rock songs. We watched some Kuti videos together. I bet Miles tracked down some on his own.