Jim of all trades

For David Byrne discovery Jim White, music wasn't his first career choice. Or his second. Or his third...

"I walked in, and there was David Byrne shaking my hand, and my mouth fell open," he says. "I didn't know what they wanted to talk to me about. After it was over, I went home and called the girl who was helping me and said, 'They kept mentioning something about an album. What do you think they mean?' Then we had more meetings, and they would be like, 'Don't you think a slide would fit in good here?' and 'Have you ever listened to this band?' And I would be looking at them like they were out of their minds. At first I thought it was a practical joke, but it involved a little too much machinery for that."

The release of Wrong-Eyed Jesus and an international tour opening for Byrne finally convinced White that the folks at Luaka Bop weren't trying to put one over on him. But he still isn't certain that he was born to be a performer. His album has received impressive reviews, and he's working hard to pen songs for a follow-up that he hopes will be even more intriguing. But, he says, "I don't believe for a minute in the reality of this. I laugh at it just like I laughed at being a model. It's crazy. It's like I imagined the whole thing.

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