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Remain in Love Reviews

Remain in Love by Chris Frantz

Remain in Love

Chris Frantz

3.80 out of 5

4 reviews

Imprint: Orion Books Ltd
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Publication date: 21 Jul 2020
ISBN: 9781474615136

Remain in Love tells the story of two bands and a love story (and marriage) that survived them both

  • The ObserverBook of the Week
4 stars out of 5
19 Jul 2020

"I commend Remain in Love to discerning rock fans everywhere."

There are many exquisite character portraits. A surprisingly solicitous Sid Vicious inspects Weymouth’s bleeding hands after a gig: “But Tina, have you ever tried using a plectrum?” Patti Smith “chewed gum a mile a minute, like a schoolyard speed freak”. There is Mick Jagger, alone and high in a New York jazz club, wearing “a huge, quilted pimp-style newsboy cap” and bawling along to Killing Me Softly by Roberta Flack (which was on the jukebox) but with his own lubricious adaptation of the lyrics.

That Frantz remained star-struck is one of his many winning qualities, and I commend Remain in Love to discerning rock fans everywhere.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
21 Jul 2020

"Drummer Chris Frantz recalls in fascinating detail the band’s early New York days — and their still unresolved break-up"

Unlike so many rock-star memoirs, Remain in Love (a play on a Talking Heads album title, Remain in Light) doesn’t recount a fall into the horrors of addiction and subsequent recovery, or rail against the vampires in the record business. Presumably, neither is part of the story, which is refreshing. Frantz is not a polished writer, but that’s forgivable in the rush of enthusiasm he has for the story. Also refreshing is the lack of a neat ending: Chris and Tina are still a couple, Byrne still hasn’t talked to them since he announced the end of the band, and the future remains unwritten. That’s fine with me. Remain in Love is a worthy addition to any shelf of rock memoirs.

4 stars out of 5
Victoria Segal
19 Jul 2020

"Frantz has done an effective job of rebalancing the Talking Heads story, offering an angle on the band that fans will relish"

Despite Talking Heads’ pioneering polyrhythms and dance beats, Frantz writes in thumping four-to-the-floor prose that often reads like an annotated tour diary: a visit to Stonehenge with the Ramones here, excitable Italian fans there. New York punk is already well documented, from Legs O’Neill and Gillian McCain’s fabulous oral history Please Kill Me up to Debbie Harry’s atmospheric Face It. However, Frantz’s inner-circle, right-time-right-place status lends him a stash of great anecdotes, suggestive of the era’s downtown crosscurrents. 

3 stars out of 5
Olivia Laing
15 Jul 2020

"a revealing inside account of the highs and lows of a band who looked and sounded like nobody else"

This is a very different book from Byrne’s swarming memoir of ideas, How Music Works. Even on the far side of recovery, the ache lingers, palpable in the longing energy Frantz invests in set lists and outfits from long-ago gigs. I love Talking Heads. I danced to them at my wedding, and I want them played at my funeral too, but I’m not sure the grains of bitterness and sorrow that make their music so entrancing are quite so appetising in the raw.