Rauschenberg went on to win a Grammy Award for his design, one of two the Talking Heads would rack up for their album art. The band never received a Grammy for their music, however. For the genre-bending Talking Heads—whose music was a mixture of funk, pop, and worldbeat that defied easy categorization—Rauschenberg’s work may have been the perfect visual complement. Both music and album art gathered together disparate sources to produce a certain harmony.
As for what music the artist liked himself? If you got right down to it, “he was very much a T.V. person,” the Rauschenberg Foundation’s White says. “I think that was obviously for visual stimulation.” While the artist enjoyed Erik Satie and even collected musical scores, it was the television that played from the minute he woke up until the moment he fell asleep. “When I was around him, there was not so much, ‘Oh, let’s put on some music,’” White recalled, “because the T.V. was always on.”