A Letter From the Publisher: Oct. 27, 1986

When TIME decided to do a cover story on David Byrne, the eclectic leader of the rock group Talking Heads and director of the new movie True Stories, the magazine's editors decided to let the artist have a piece of the action. The result: this week's cover, a Byrne self-portrait whose multicolored panels provide an excellent representation, says TIME's executive art director Nigel Holmes, "of someone who is a man of many parts."

Only once before, when Artist Robert Rauschenberg created a collage for an account of his work in 1976, has TIME allowed the subject of a story to execute...

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