First part concerns the photographers who always seemed to enhance the gloomiest side of our man.
This one does not need any comment, it is the classic shot of the Modern Lovers at Gloucester High gig, angry young men led by a stubborned Jonathan, they are creating both punk music and attitude but they don't know it yet.
Years later, after the "confusion" tour, Jonathan is darker than ever and this poster is a tribute to punk art (the shoes, the lettering, the de-structured picture design) as well as a try to show Jonathan as a mixture of Richard Hell and of Tom Waits. The guy looks unhappy.
Look at this ! Mr Jonathan Richman with THE Amazing Tommy Larkins, this has been clearly designed after beginning of the Irak war, the "not in my name tour". Colours are vivid red and black only. The video screened photograph displays a musician singing in Hell cave among burning fires.. apocalyptic and scary ..
The illlustrators usually sorted out the funny and playful side of Jonathan to inspire them, there are posters with dinosaurs and cappucino mugs. Here I have selected three untypical posters which again are on the edge of something darker.
A poster for a gig in Montreal, Quebec. The girl inspired by J.Cl. Forrest's Barbarella looks decided and unimpressed. She has just done her shopping, having found a musician she just stuffed in her paper bag, Jonathan as a ready to consume item.
This second poster is ambiguous. From a short distance you see peaceful birds embracing a girl's legs with a delicate banner. From a longer distance, this banner looks like the girl is losing her knickers and they are around her knees.
This is one of my favourites. The drawing a la Charles Burns and the girls displaying a picture of a young Jonathan whom they love as being the perfect guy. But have a look at those girls eyes, they do not look to be in love at all. These girls are more likely to wrap Jonathan in a paper and put it in a bag like on the first poster. Great art anyway.