Monday, August 13

Extraordinary article ...

... how much is accurate, I dont know.   the Daily News is definitely doing some self-back patting.

And the award for earliest notice of Jojo's musical talents (extant) goes to

... Lillian Roxon and her The Top of the Pop column in the New York Daily News, Mar 12, 1972.



Earliest public manifestation of Jojo, Boston Globe December 28, 1966


Jonathan interviewed in planned Springfield MO documentary

"Center of Nowhere" includes the last on camera interview with Merle Haggard as well as commentary from Dave Alvin, Eric Ambel, Jaynie and Randle Chowning, Robbie Fulks, Michael "Supe" Grande, Scott Kempner, Brenda Lee, Dan Penn, Vance Powell, Jonathan Richman, Andy Shernoff, Scott iman, Syd Straw and many others, including the late Springfield producer Lou Whitney and members of his legendary Studio band.

https://www.chicagofilmmakers.org/fiscal-sponsorships/projects/songs-unsung-america

Monday, January 8

When I was small, they took us to old Mechanic's Hall...

.. and I got to see the mighty Jonathan Richman, hit one over the right-field wall.

Thursday, August 17

Egyptian Reggae video .... Jojo in an interesting mood

In decades of following Jonathan, I never once felt that he was being ironic (contra most normies). But, in this video of Jonathan doing Egyptian Reggae, he may have ju-u-uu-st crossed the line.  The situation may have caused it. The modern lovers have had a breakout hit in some countries, and are being asked to"play synch".  Jonathan seems to be in Andy Kaufman mode, aping Early-70s soft rockers.  The only one that pops to mind is David Gates.

Jonathan smiles broadly and winsomely.  The video is truly ... as the kids say - top kek.


Lost Song: The Old Snack Bar

I really enjoyed Emmett's beautiful post regarding the first day of summer which described a "lost song" with a "sweet melody". There was also a somber observation that the song may "soon be destined to become a completely faded memory in the annals of Jonathan lore"...

Well, let's try to at least delay that fate! I finally found some time to look through my collection and found the mentioned version of "The Old Snack Bar" from December 1989 at London's Subterranea club.

It is indeed a great lost gem, which to my knowledge is not available on any of the bootleg comps I've seen.

Enjoy, and enjoy the last few days of a hopefully never-forgotten summer!

Download link: The Old Snack Bar

Well now the beach is crowded back there
The old snack bar is closed up
and I'm feelin' bad inside

Well the seagulls they're going by
but my friends 'aint around
I know my friends can't be around all the time
I know you gotta be lonely sometimes
but that snack bar is closed
and I gotta tell
That I'm not taking it well
well

Let's start a punk bar, let's the thing
We gotta do some of that rockin' thing
The old snack bar is closed up and I'm hurt inside

We gotta jump jump
We gotta shake shake
I can't stand that cold weather thing

The old snack bar is closed and I hurt inside

I know you will be coming, and the seagulls?
But I'm not taking it well right now

The old snack bar where my friends and I used to hang out
is closed up and I'm hurtin' inside
(Please post lyric corrections in comments)

Wednesday, June 21

Happy First Day of Summer, Northern Hemispherers!



It's the first day of summer here in the northern hemisphere.  And my mind wanders not to the justifiably famous "That Summer Feeling" but to a long-lost song of Jonathan's which evokes summer a little more subtly. And that like the Summer of '69 (or '84, or '02, or '14) is soon destined to become a completely faded memory in the annals of Jonathan lore, because no known recording of it exists.

But I heard it myself. Somewhere in the Eighties.  I think the scene took place on a beach in summer. The song went (as I remember):

I'm walking by the boarded-up snack bar
Trying to chase down a feeling

It had an extremely sweet melody. It was a meditation on the memories that that little snack bar contained.

The only reference to it online that I can find is to a title "The Old Snack Bar" performed by Jonathan in December 1989 at the Subterranea Club in London. I was not at that show. So it must've been performed at least twice. I'm thinking earlier 80s. Which is a good sign because it's possible that Jonathan may have performed this for as long as a decade at various times and places.

Obviously if you have a recording of this, please get in touch.  Because

Time has been going by so fast
So that I can foresee
The day we'll say goodbye



The names and significance of Jonathan rarities like this will someday be forgotten, and exist merely as a twinkle in the eye of the children or grandchildren of long-gone Jojo fans.  Maybe that's okay.   Maybe it's even the way it should be.  But while we've got the technology, let's chase them down now.  I am doubting the world will ever have a better song about a boarded-up old snack bar.

And not to tease, here is an Australian talk-show performance of That Summer Feeling .. ironically from the place where they are celebrating the opening of winter today... Australia. A continent, according to this very blog, he has only visited twice so far: 1983 and 1997.    (But what the hell is this from setlist?).


In the upper-left corner of the frame, you can see the heads of the other After Dark guests (including Jello Biafra and John Cale), and host Donnie Sutherland exploding as the show is - very abruptly and totally - commandeered away from snark/smirk (or is it smirk/snark?) by perhaps the most "extra verse" cog-dis inducing version of TSF ever performed by Jonathan.  

ps I wonder if Jonathan was influenced directly by Jerry Mathers role as the Beaver ... or maybe it's just a primordial slightly-puzzled American kid look (from another Australian tour interview):


pps:  Dont miss this classic exchange @3:39
Interviewer: "Do you write books?"
Jonathan: "Do I write 'em? No." 
Interviewer: [disappointed] No??"