John Goodman, “People Like Us” (From “True Stories”)

After the smash success of the Talking Heads’ concert film Stop Making Sense, head Head David Byrne made a rather unusual movie called True Stories. The film’s loose story is based on aledged “true stories” from tabloid newspapers.

Byrne stars as an unnamed cowboy hat sporting visitor to the fictional little town of Virgil, Texas. Byrne visits the town on the eve of its “Celebration of Special-ness” in honor of Virgil’s Sesquicentennial. Over the course of the film, Byrne encounters a woman who never leaves her bed, a surreal beauty pageant and develops a friendship with a love lorn country singer played by John Goodman in one of his first film roles.

The film has several songs, all written by Byrne, but the highlight has to be Goodman’s rendition of “People Like Us.” Goodman delivers a great take on this countrified Talking Heads tune. Byrne’s lyrics are beautifully American as the song explains that people like us “don’t want freedom…don’t want justice. We just want someone to love.”

Interestingly, although an official soundtrack was never released, the Talking Heads did record an album of their version of the film’s songs, also called True Stories and later featured Goodman’s “People Like Us” as the b-side to the “Wild Wild Life” single.

The film is available on Netflix Instant and you can buy Goodman’s “People Like Us” on itunes and Amazon MP3.


About Michael Darling
Collector of the interesting and absurd.

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