David Byrne, Justin Timberlake, Robyn Hitchcock Issue Statements on Jonathan Demme

by VVN Music

Beyond being a great fictional film maker, Jonathan Demme, who died earlier today at the age of 73, was also a great documentarian who turned his lens on many occasions to music artists.

Three of those artists with which he had worked have issued statement saluting the director upon his passing.

David Byrne, who made Stop Making Sense with Demme in the early-80's, wrote a lengthy piece on his website, calling the director "My friend" adding "Jonathan’s skill was to see the [Talking Heads] show almost as a theatrical ensemble piece, in which the characters and their quirks would be introduced to the audience, and you’d get to know the band as people, each with their distinct personalities. They became your friends, in a sense."

His entire statement can be read at his website.

Demme's last musical documentary was last year's Netflix concert film Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids. Timberlake took to his Instagram to write a touching tribute to the director:

Where do I begin..? Words just aren't enough with heartache like this. You, master of humanity. You, genius of storytelling. You, generous and warm man. You, special soul. You taught me so much about life and art and about standing up for what you believe. You made me better at my craft. And, the time I spent with you away from a camera and a stage made a better human out of me. You are truly irreplaceable. I will miss you so dearly, my sweet friend. I hope we meet again someday. I love you, JD. May you Rest In Peace. --Justin



In 1998, Demme worked with Robyn Hitchcock on the unusual concert film Storefront Hitchcock where the artist performed a set of songs in an abandoned store window in New York.

Hitchcock wrote on Facebook:

I last saw Jonathan Demme four years ago today. Had no idea till this morning that it would be for the last time. Here we are in New York in 1996 where he filmed me in concert in a shop window 'Storefront Hitchcock'. Jonathan was a born movie-maker: he loved people and he loved filming them. Fictional or actual, he caught so many lives and glimpses of lives and framed them for others to enjoy. Jonathan was a true keeper of souls, and now we must celebrate his. He did a lot for me, too - thank you, JD. 'Are you ready for your close-up?'


As of the time of posting of this story, Neil Young, with which Demme had made four films, had not issued a statement.

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