David Byrne Speaks: A Visual Language
Portland Art Museum, 226-0973, March 4, 8 pm, $35


Have you received my e-mails? I haven't heard from you. I know it's not you who's kept us apart. Your publicist said you were only giving one interview per town, but I don't think she's really doing her job. Oh, I've read enough generic newspaper articles about you to know how that one will go. They'll use the phrase "rock Renaissance man" and mention your funny dancing from 20 years ago. Ha ha. We know they don't know you like I do, David.

I'm your number one fan. In fact, I have a little secret for you: when I reviewed your last album for this paper, I gave it three stars, even though in my heart I knew it was only a two.

Remember that time we met at your art show in Dallas in 1996? And I said I liked the show? And somebody took our picture, but I think my eyes were closed? The next day I went back to school and wrote a paper about public spaces and social participation in True Stories. And remember that restaurant in the movie where John Goodman eats with the Lying Woman? That's where I used to write in my journal when I was 18, David. Do you think anybody at the Portland Art Museum has that kind of connection? Don't be silly.

You can imagine my disgust when a museum rep told me he didn't like when you "rock guys suddenly decide you can be artists." This phony is going to be at your little post-lecture cocktail party while I drive around trying to figure out what fun can be had for seven dollars. I bet he can't discuss the stylistic evolution of your photographs and technologies that can be traced through your various monographs (my favorite was Strange Ritual).

You might also recall that time you were riding your bike down St. Charles Street in New Orleans and that car behind you almost wrecked when the driver tried to jump out and call your name? Yeah, that was me, too. If you don't remember my face, David, look out at the audience Friday night. I'll be the guy nodding along with the look of true understanding in his eyes. I get you David. I really do.--Chas