here lies love : david byrne and imelda marcos


David Byrne (formerly of the 80s band Talking Heads) is releasing an album this April of 22 songs that are all about the life of Imelda Marcos. He's collaborated with Fat boy Slim to produce this album and upcoming musical theater concept. He has this curious fascination with Imelda – the wife and infamous former first lady to Ferdinand Marcos, former dictator of the Philippines. It isn't so much an album in her honor but more so a look at her rise to power and what she did with her own brand of power. There's only one mention of shoes, which is what she's most known for: the (roughly) 3,000 pairs she owned at the time she and the former dictator were thrown out of the country. Apparently, the idea was born out of the Marcos's love for disco music during the 70s. Imelda apparently frequented Studio 54 in New York, installed a disco ball in her NY townhouse and lived lavishly (while the people of the Philippines plunged deeper and deeper into poverty). The title of the album is based on what Imelda Marcos herself wishes for her gravestone to read upon her death: Here Lies Love. I'm still not completely clear on why David Byrne was so inspired to create this project. But I'm interested to find out more.
I haven't yet listened to the album in it's entirety but I'm fascinated with this video of the track performed by Santigold entitled "Please Don't." It's about Imelda's way of working with world leaders into helping Philippine interests by charming them into seeing things her way. She dubbed it "Handbag Diplomacy" because she would bypass former President Marcos, grab her handbag and fly off to meet these world leaders. I love all this vintage footage of her. Outside of her corrupt ways, she was fabulous looking and the woman knew how to *work it.*
Check here to find out more about the project.