Jeff Conolly, aka Monoman for "his devotion to the church of monaural
recordings", has been active on the Boston scene since mid seventies.
His first band, DMZ (for Down My Zipper) had some common points with the
Modern Lovers, though the music was raunchier, live success but no suitable
recording deal. David Robinson joined DMZ for a while after the Modern Lovers
break-up. Monoman formed then his definitive band which still exists to this
day after hundreds of line-ups variations, Lyres. This is the ultimate garage
band fully adherent to the "Nuggets" orthodoxy, thanks to Jeff's encyclopedic
knowledge of music and of garage culture and recordings in particular. In early
80's, Lyres was the best live act Boston had to offer, and it was irresistible
music to dance to as well.
My first contact with Jeff Conolly was in the record shop where he used to work
in the 90's in Boston. I was fascinated by this small energetic chap able to
rave on some mono version of an early Beach Boys LP. Eventually I bought there a
Jonathan cassette of the 78 Swedish radio show.
Jeff, who calls himself Pokemonoman nowadays, agreed to answer my questions
about Jonathan. I kept his caps case way of typing which is his trademark in mails, it
is like you can hear him...
What you get there is not telling you much about Jonathan which is surprising, but it
gives you hints about the difficulties and disappointments of people who live close to
- first time you saw JR live , how was it like, what did you think of
his music ? did it impress you ?
I CAN'T REMEMBER EVER SEEING HIM LIVE, MAYBE A SONG OR TWO A FEW YEARS
AGO AT THE MIDDLE EAST, BUT THAT'S IT.
- Kim Fowley or John Cale sessions of the Modern Lovers ? which one do
you prefer ?
I'VE REALLY ONLY HEARD THE STUFF THAT CAME OUT ON BESERKELY, THAT WAS CALE I
- did you like the post Modern Lovers Jonathan when he left Boston for
I WAS TOO BUSY TO GET INVOLVED, REALLY
- what is your favourite album ? could you explain why ?
THE 1ST L.P. ON BESERKELY BECAUSE IT WAS THE ONLY ONE THAT WAS EVER GIVEN
I HAD TO SELL IT ON EBAY
- I imagine Jonathan could cover "she pays the rent"...
IF HE LIKED THAT SONG, MAYBE IT WOULD WORK I DON'T REALLY KNOW
- are you keen on today's Jonathan music ?
HE'S A NICE GUY
- any anecdote related to JR ?
I BOUGHT HIS 6 STRING DAN ELECTRO GUITAR IN (LYRES SHAPED) LINK WRAY TYPE
GUITAR IN LIKE 1978 OR SO....I BOUGHT IT RROM THE GUITAR GARAGE PR SOME
PLACE LIKE THAT, FROM JACK GRIFFITH WHO HAD IT DIRECT FROM JOHNATHON....
.. In 2002, Jeff had sent me these words..
I STILL OWN THE CORAL HOLLOW BODY SUNBURST LONGHORN ON THE "SHE PAYS THE
RENT" 12" E.P. WITH THE BIRDY ON THE GUITAR.
IT'S A SHAME, THE BIRDY, HER NAME WAS "BABYUKI" IS NOW IN THE FREEZER
WAITING TO BE BURIED IN THE SPRING. IT BROKE MY HEART.
Saturday, April 9
Posted by Jacques_ at 4/09/2005