Martina Michèle Weymouth
(born on November 22
in Coronado, California
), known simply as Tina Weymouth
, is an American
musician, best known as a founding member and bassist
of the influential New Wave
group Talking Heads
and its side project Tom Tom Club
(co-founded with Talking Heads drummer and husband Chris Frantz
Weymouth is of French
heritage on her mother's side. In her youth, Weymouth was a cheerleader
. A bass guitarist, she combined the minimalist art-punk basslines of groups such as Wire
and Pere Ubu
with danceable, funk
-inflected riffs to provide the bedrock of Talking Heads signature sound. Her sound is often very funky in feel, combining low fundamental notes with higher flourishes in clipped, staccato rhythms. She sometimes plays a rare Fender Swinger
. Weymouth joined Talking Heads as bass guitarist
at the request of then-boyfriend Chris Frantz
, and, in fact, according to the liner notes for the Talking Heads collection "Sand in the Vaseline", learned to play the bass guitar for this reason.
Life outside Talking Heads
Weymouth and Frantz formed the Tom Tom Club
in 1980, which kept them busy during a fairly long hiatus in Talking Heads activity. When it became obvious that Talking Heads frontman David Byrne
had no interest in another Talking Heads album, Weymouth, Frantz, and Jerry Harrison
reunited without him for a single album called No Talking, Just Head
under the name The Heads
in 1996, featuring a rotating cast of vocalists.
They also produced the Happy Mondays' 1992 album Yes Please! and have recently contributed backing vocals and percussion for the hip hop formation Gorillaz. Weymouth has been critical of Byrne.
Weymouth is the daughter of Vice Admiral Ralph Weymouth (USN, Retired) and Laure "Lo" Weymouth.
She and Frantz have been married since 1977. They live in Westport, Connecticut and have two sons together.