Chris Frantz is best known as drummer with Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club.
Chris was born in May 1951 in Fort Campbell Kentucky into a military family. He went to High School in Pittsburgh and in 1965 was in a High School band called the Hustlers. In March of 1969, The Hustlers evolved into The Beans, featuring Chris on drums and Randy Linhart on guitar and vocals, Loyd Stamey on bass and vocals and Sebastian De Nunzio on keyboards and vocals.
Since Pittsburgh wasn't exactly the place to be discovered they moved North to New York City and managed to get a residency at The Electric Circus on St. Marks Place. The management wanted them to play current Top 40 songs instead of doing their own thing so Chris left to enroll in the Rhode Island School of Design in July of 70.
At the Rhode Island School of Design, Chris soon meet David Byrne and Tina Weymouth and in 1977, they were joined by Jerry Harrison and The Talking Heads were born. After five years of touring and four albums written and recorded with Talking Heads, Chris and Tina were signed in 1981 to Island Records by music industry legend Chris Blackwell, one of the first people to fully appreciate the value of a great rhythm section in and of itself.
Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth created by the Tom Tom Club and its eponymous first album was released in 1981. Tom Tom Club's first fresh single, a kooky hip-hop mix of free-styling rap over a funky groove, "Wordy Rappinghood" went into the top of the charts in seventeen countries. More remarkable still was their next single "Genius of Love," which was promptly scooped up by deejays and pioneer turntablists worldwide, all having by now recognized the Tom Tom Club as their own.
Bubbling up from the underground, with dozens of unsolicited remixes and versions (notably, GrandMaster Flash & The Furious Five's "It's Nasty/Genius of Love"), "Genius of Love" was a hit all around, in the dance clubs and on the R&B dance charts, earning Tom Tom a gold album in 1982.
"Genius of Love" has, like Mary Shelley's monster, a life all of its own. For Chris and Tina's first production outside of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club, "Genius of Love" was unexpectedly sampled again in 1987 in a remix by Hank Shocklee to make "Tomorrow People," from the Grammy Award-winning album Conscious Party (Virgin), a No. 1 for Ziggy Marley and The Melody Makers. In 1995, Mariah Carey also had a huge No. 1 with her own version of the song, "Fantasy." It continues to be frequently sampled by many various artists, including Tupac Shakur and Puff Daddy's roster of Bad Boy rappers and remixers.
Tom Tom Club's following releases included Close to the Bone (1983), Boom Boom Chi Boom Boom (1988), Dark Sneak Love Action (1992). In 1993 and 1994, Chris and Tina again took time off from Tom Tom Club to produce other artists. First was Angelfish for Shirley Manson, whose song "Suffocate Me" brought Butch Vig to full attention: he simply had to have her in his new band, Garbage.
All during their Tom Tom Club musical adventures, Chris and Tina led parallel lives with their beloved and eccentric rock group, Talking Heads. However, in May of 1995, after eight truly original studio albums and tours, an unsurpassed "rockumentary" film-Stop Making Sense-and twenty years of unflagging support from fans and critics alike, David Byrne, the singer of Talking Heads, officially left to pursue an exclusively solo career, leaving Chris, Tina, and Jerry Harrison free to form a new band they called The Heads. Although sad that Byrne refused to continue (Talking Heads had not toured since early 1984), they were thrilled to find themselves writing and playing together again. They were finally happy to move forward as The Heads.
By the end of 1997, back at the Clubhouse, Chris and Tina had begun composing the basic tracks of what would become the fifth Tom Tom Club album, The Good The Bad And The Funky, released in 2000.
On March 18, 2002 Talking Heads were inducted in the Rock 'N' Roll Hall Of Fame.