· By Tarleton Walmsley
Garden Party Guest List: A person, living or deceased, real or imagined, that always has an invite to our Party.
In my dream world, the one in which I can be and do anything, I'd be a female bass player. D'arcy, Kim Deal, Kim Gordon. They were the coolest members of their bands, in my opinion. But the one that takes the cake, the bass player whose style, mystique, and natural coolness I admire most is Tina Weymouth.
In case you didn't know, Tina's music career started as the bassist for Talking Heads. After studying painting at RISD, Tina moved to New York with her future husband Chris Frantz. Chris wanted Tina to join the band he'd formed, playing "the thinking man's dance music," but it took several months to convince her. After putting a bass guitar on layaway and paying it off, Tina joined the Talking Heads and immediately provided her unique aesthetic to the band's sound. She literally learned as she went, which is a testament to her natural ability for playing music.
Tina was also a founding member of Tom Tom Club, whose music we play all of the time in Garden Party. Tina considers Tom Tom Club her baby, the band in which she got to call all of the shots and receive all of the well-deserved praise. It shouldn't be a big surprise that Tina's contributions to Talking Heads were often overshadowed by David Byrne, but it was in this side project that she was really able to fully realize and express her many talents.
I recently discovered a letter of advice Tina wrote in 2017 to her younger self. You can read it here. Among the words Tina writes to herself are these: "I would wish you to remember that brave new worlds call for brave young girls." Tina is just straight up rad and is a perfect example for other brave young girls trying to make it in a male-dominated industry. I don't know how else to tell you, so you'll need to read this letter, watch some clips of her performing on YouTube, and then get back to me so we can discuss in full how much I admire Tina.
When I think about how Tina would Garden Party, I think about Tekhne Press. This risograph print was inspired by headstones found in a New England cemetery, and looks as if it could be on a Tom Tom Club or Talking Heads album cover. Next, every New Wave pioneer deserves a colorful, geometric ashtray by MaWa Ceramics. And finally, a pair of Le Bon Shoppe socks, the ultimate accessory to complete Tina's tomboy aesthetic.