Saturday, April 30
--Jonathan and long-time Mailing List Keeper Les Gripkey are both mentioned in this article on petroleum-free biodiesel fuel.
Thursday, April 28
Friday, April 22
Check out some of Bob's favourite posts from the first year:
~ The 1998 John Felice Interview (posted by Jacques)
~ Reports of Jonathan in Paris, Amsterdam and Groningen (posted by Inge. In fact, all the reports from last year's European tour were great fun)
~ A post linking to a couple of Popticians songs (for no better reason than they make me laugh, and more people need to hear them! The humour might appeal to Jonathan fans ...)
~ A list of Jonathan's Favourite Songs (also posted by Jacques)
Wednesday, April 20
Photo by Kevin Schlosser
He's not wearing a guitar strap.
How could he? It would destroy the fluidity of his dancing; dropping to his knees, twirling his acoustic, resting a foot on a handily-positioned paint pot; a flamenco flourish here, a strutted samba there; high kicking, low kicking; dropping his guitar altogether and pointing straight to his heart; urging us onwards with his eyes and broad smile, eyebrows arched; the very picture of projected happiness...
-- Everett True Plan B Magazine
read the rest backstage
read Plan B Magazine
Tuesday, April 19
Well we put the better dishes out of sight,
You couldn't break our party dishes not with dynamite,
We're gonna have a wild wild party,
gonna have a wild wild party.... Oh Yeah...
Well a wild wild party, over our ah-oh, de-eh-hoo,
Wild Wild party over our house tonight...
Well, you're watching TV and it's late at night,
well don't things get lonely now with just that little blue light,
we're gonna have a wild wild party,
well a wild wild party over my house,
Oh, wild wild party , over ad-oh-de, ah-oh,
wild wild party over my house tonight....
(now this is a verse for parents... see I'm a parent myself)
Well your sons got a date, and he's staying out late,
just write him a note, here's what you write...
you're going to a wild wild party, over a deh-over, ah-ho,
wild wild party over my house tonight, Yeah...
Well the tax man come, and he says you're a bum,
But I know means and the way you can fight,
Wild wild party, well wild wild party,
(you can't take that away, you understand me)
over a-deh-oh...de-eh.. ho...
wild wild party over our house tonight,
Well your son's got to go, he's got work business you know,
So you write him a note, and here's what you write,
You went to a wild wild party, over ah-de eh de-eh...
Wild wild party over our house tonight,
Well I don't need a J to say what I'm gonna say,
I don't need a drink to act impolite,
Coz it's a wild wild party, well wild wild party, oh yeah...
Well wild wild party, over ah-de eh...
(some things come naturally to me though)
Well a wild wild party, over our house,
Wild wild party... over our house... Tonight!
Performed at Athens, GA, 1987
Saturday, April 16
You can find all the infos needed at
First time you saw JR live , when and how was it ?
First time I saw Jonathan Richman live was banging away on an old guitar on the Cambridge Common as a 14 year old while skipping school.
Did you ever attend a concert of the original Modern Lovers ?
No. It wasn't until years after seeing those times on the Common when I saw the Modern Lovers with the lineup that would go on to have the U.K. hit "Egyptian Reggae" at the Paradise about 7 years later.
What is the first Jonathan song you heard ?
On the radio it was the original demo of "Roadrunner" which can be had on the Kim Fowley-produced "Original Modern Lovers" LP which I believe has been reissued.
What is your favourite album ?
There's a few but I'll go with the classic self-titled Modern Lovers album with the Dave Robinson/Jerry Harrison lineup and the1986 release "It's Time For..." with the Andy Paley/Asa Brebner lineup and Barrance Whitfield on background vocal. Both are stellar examples of Jonathan's rockin' side.
Are you familiar with the songs he is doing today ? and if so what do you think of his evolution through years
Regrettably I'm not quite as familiar with his new stuff but his art has become visible to a wider audience in recent years what with his extensive contributions to the hilarious Farrelly Brothers' film "Something About Mary", the children's TV show "Sesame Street" and TV advertisements for Target Stores among others.
Any anecdote related to Jonathan ?
None, though in 1988 I saw him play solo at The Mean Fiddler in London and flying back home to the 'States the following week to see him do the same show at Nightstage in Cambridge and both night I had the pleasure of speaking to him a few minutes after the shows.
How do you see his influence on the Boston music scene ?
Huge. So many local musicians from The Real Kids' John Felice to DMZ/Cars' Dave Robinson to powerpop legends The Paley Brothers among others had served time as Modern Lovers and they would go on to influence others on their own. During the 80's I would meet many kids from abroad and to them Jonathan Richman was the Boston Music scene so to me his influence was felt far beyond the city limits and paved the way for other Boston-based musicians to make their mark around the world. Jonathan was Boston's original D.I.Y. (do it yourself) Punk.
Tuesday, April 12
Saturday, April 9
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.
“I like Jonathan Richman, but I couldn’t understand the meaning of his lyrics when I was listening to his music. I am writing about animals and food very naturally because I am very shy about writing songs about love. I like delicious food, so if I write songs about delicious food, people may become happy too.”
--Shonen Knife's Naoko Yamano, who says in this recent interview that Jonathan was not an influence on their music, after all.
Friday, April 1
"I'll keep singing live, I guess, unless things change a lot around here. My favorite places to play are in New England and up in Canada. That's where I feel most understood."
How does he feel about being a pop star?
Jonathan pauses. "In Europe I kind of am one. So it's fun. It's also fun that when I'm here I'm not one, you see? I like it either way. But I'm probably getting to like not being one better than being one. It's still a tossup. I enjoy both."
As a final question, I ask Jonathan which movie role he'd most like to play. He furrows his brow and says, "Jimmy Stewart parts."
to be continued
by Bill Flanagan Trouser Press November 1979
go back to part 8