Monday, May 9

Boston - Paris : Patrick Mathé

Patrick Mathé is the man behind New Rose records and now Last Call records. He has got perfect taste in music, and it is why he has had France's best indie label for the last twenty years. In the 80's, his eponymous record shop located in the Latin Quarter in Paris was the headquarters of all students interested in trendy new sounds coming from abroad, and specially from Boston as Patrick had signed lots of bands from that area,

from the Real Kids to the Classic ruins, the Lyres and of course Willie Loco Alexander.
I was in his shop every Saturday afternoon looking for new releases and imports. Patrick has also given a second chance to misfits or cult musicians like Alex Chilton, Elliott Murphy or Roky Erickson.

Roky Erickson and Patrick M.
More on Last Call and New Rose at

But he essentially released "live at Longbranch saloon" by the Modern Lovers and I asked him my set of questions about Jonathan.

- What is the first Jonathan Richman song you ever heard


- First Jonathan show ?

In 76, at Cantone's a small club in Boston. It was awesome and very friendly atmosphere. After the show, Jonathan drove me back to my hotel in his van.

- Are you pleased with Jonathan's evolution in style or do you prefer the original Modern Lovers ?

Obviously, I love the first albums and I must admit that I am not familiar with the most recent of his production but in any case everything he has done has always been good. Nothing to throw away, never.

- How did happen the release of Modern Lovers live at Long Branch saloon, can you tell us about it ?

It was Ernie Brooks who took care of everything. Ernie did the remastering with the help of Jerry Harrison and it went quite fast if I remember well.

- Is there any chance that one day we will get the missing songs from those concerts like "Cambridge clown" for instance ? Will there be a third Longbranch CD ?

It is not foreseen for the moment, I will talk with Ernie about it, he must have the tapes.

- As an acknowledged expert of the Boston scene (There are people there who still remember you and your cigars) what influence do you think Jonathan had on the local scene ?

I think Jonathan was on his own in a way, he was not infesting the clubs as the Real Kids, Willie Loco or the Lyres did.
His style being so unique and unforgetable, I do not see him as having been a big influence on other bands.

- What about the rumour which said, at that time that you were trying to sign Jonathan on the New Rose label ?

This never existed, and I was not aware of the rumour.

- An anecdote related to Jonathan ?

I remember that during a concert of the Count (Joe Viglone), in a small Boston venue, Jonathan was there practising trunk and abdominal gym exercises during the whole concert. It was rather surrealistic.

- What cover of someone of the New Rose/ Last call catalogue could you imagine Jonathan singing ?

Maybe "the singing grandfather" from Roky Erickson.