Johnathan Demme, the acclaimed film director that passed away recently at 73 as a result of a heart ailment and esophageal cancer, was deeply appreciated by a number of musicians. Demme was the filmmaker being Stop Making Sense, the 1984 Talking Heads concert documentary many considered to be the best of that genre ever produced. The band's David Byrne praised Demme on his web site in a post that made note of his approaching that film "...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." He also called the director "...incredibly generous during the editing mixing" by including the band in the process, an approach Byrne said was "greatly inspirational" to him in his own future career in music and film.
Byrne also admired Demme for electing to use lesser known artists and songs in his non-music work, writing that many of his films were, "...jam packed with songs by the often obscure artists he loved. He'd find ways to slip in a reggae artist's song or a Haitian recording into a narrative film in ways that were often joyous and unexpected."
Justin Timberlake, who Demme made a 2016 concert film with, wrote of Demme, "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, time spent with you away from a camera and a stage made a better human out of me.
Bruce Springsteen wrote on his Facebook page, "Over here on E Street, we're deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Jonathan Demme. He was an inspiration for me, a beautiful filmmaker and a great spirit. Always smiling, always involved with the world and always pushing you to go for your best. He will be deeply missed."