August 23, 2015
Original can be found here
First published in Synthesis Weekly
Listen to the audio version (it's really good)
On August 21, 2015 I was afforded the opportunity to interview musician Jonathan Richman in the backyard of his northern California home. I arrived at his house a bit nervous. I’d been wanting to interview him for a long time, and given the fact that he famously doesn’t do interviews, I wasn’t sure how it would go. Adding to my nervousness was the fact that I hadn’t prepared any questions. Normally I would have a list of talking points to hit, with a general outline to guide the conversation. But when I called the number on his business card and asked if he’d be willing to take a meeting with me, I hadn’t expected him to agree, let alone suggest we do it in fifteen minutes.
So there I was: really nervous, fairly unprepared, but mostly just excited. This is my first attempt at offering an audio version of an interview, and I’m so happy to make this one available to all of you. During the interview we sat outside in his backyard. A guitar sat on his lap and his two dogs at his feet. At one point one of them (who happens to be deaf), started barking pretty loudly, but other than that, the audio came out fairly clear. Jonathan graciously agreed to let me interview him, on the condition that I keep his answers unedited. Usually I’d make an effort to edit the transcribed interview for clarity or continuity, but his feelings being what they are about the subject, I felt it important to try to preserve as much of the original conversation as I could.
Jonathan has a gentle air that makes him appear almost cautious, but directly under the surface is a seemingly limitless supply of unfettered joy and creativity. Listening back to this interview, I can definitely hear that come through in his voice and the stories he tells, so I’m really happy to be able to share this with you. With that, please enjoy my interview with Jonathan Richman.