Saturday, May 1

Live at the Long Branch Saloon continued (part 2)

Early in the evening, during the B-group's set, a strange-looking boy with short hair, bug eyes, and a white T-shirt emblazoned-- in pencil--with the words "I Love My Life" danced alone on the periphery of the dance floor, attracting fishy looks and comments like "There's a weirdo in every crowd." The weirdo turned out to be the Modern Lovers' lead singer and guitarist, Jonathan Richman. Unlike the other members of the band, who are hard-edge urban freaks, Richman is an oddball's oddball-- the archetypal Queens high-school creep. (I guess they have them in Boston, too) who sits in the back of the classroom with his shirttail out, making faces and crass comments, picking his nose, hanging out with other creeps, who share his pain and his anarchic innocence. He is a pure pop relic, the kind of ironist whose self-conscious straightness is the highest compliment to perversity. He also has an evocative, if mannered, voice and plays brilliant, daring guitar. to be continued

Andrew Porter? from The New Yorker Aug 27 1973

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