Friday, February 24

A Jonathan tribute in the Boston area..

Tony from the PA's Lounge in Somerville just told me about this thrilling upcoming event due on Friday March 10th. A whole bunch of 11 enthusiastic Boston area bands are going to pay tribute to Jonathan, the evening being a benefit for the Arts Council of Somerville. I wish I was there next month ...
Anyway the PA's Lounge is located 345 Somerville Ave. in Somerville MA and I hope we will get reviews from the show.

Info about the PA's Lounge can be found here :

Monday, February 20

Death of a Bassman

Allen "Alpo" Paulino , bass player of the historic line-up of the Real Kids passed away during his sleep at home on February 7.
Alpo is not another rock'n roll casualty a la Johnny Thunder, though his young years could have easily lead him to the same end had he not changed his life style in the 90's.

Alpo was at his beginnings with the Real Kids picturing himself as the re-incarnation of Brian Jones, so he had to replay the whole messy life of the Stones initiator in a couple of years, just name it dope, girls, booze. He did it all..
Look at the picture above,
a derelict.
The band split up several times,
Alpo was not the only one involved with substances... but he emerged out of it and took his destiny in his hands, became a real man. The triggering point was the infamous car accident where he got two fingers chopped off...

Alpo moved from Boston to Cape Cod, became a rehab councelor, helped a lot of people who are grateful to him to this day, he played again in bands ,the Primitive Souls, the Nervous Eaters, the Real Kids again just to record an EP like the early Stones. He was back in the Boston area, in Beverly and was considering rehearsing with his new band "the C.Watts" C standing for Charlie obviously.

Now Alpo is dead and we will remember him as the modern knight of bass guitar, the gentleman boxer of the Rat, who was enjoying his life so much and so violently sometimes. The photo with Billy Borgioli is one of two pals, the real pals/kids.

Alpo's funeral was Saturday morning. I imagine a lonely and chilly drive up to Boston on the Mass Pike and then further along on Route 128 (and the power lines) up to Beverly, it rings a bell does'nt it ? yes.. because all this is happening in Jonathan Richman country.
The harmonies Alpo was singing with John Felice on the 1st Real Kids album are part of rock magic moments.. I still get goose bumps while listening to "Just like darts" or " better be good".
read more at :

Tuesday, February 14

of true love and toes ♥

Happy Valentine's Day

The delightful Swedish group Herman Düne covers "True Love Is Not Nice"
Listen to that mp3 (and other songs) here

Lyrics and chords for "True Love Is Not Nice" at Ramon's

In an earlier post we referred to a list of songs in French that Herman Düne likes, with "Affection" topping the list. All good songs, but on Valentine's Day it somehow seems fitting that their selection of "Sister Ray" is advertising a foot massager in English ....

Saturday, February 11

Bangin' Heads

From The Sun (UK):

Jerry Harrison belongs to a rare breed - he's starred in TWO groundbreaking

First was punk godfathers The Modern Lovers. Led by Jonathan Richman, their first album contained the primal, two-chord thrill of Roadrunner.

Then Jerry joined New York's sonic pioneers Talking Heads as they prepared to record their opening blast, new wave touchstone 77, featuring songs such as the raw, spiky, ominous Psycho Killer. His bandmates were singer-guitarist David Byrne, bassist Tina Weymouth and drummer Chris Frantz.

Now Jerry has helped mastermind a stunning reissue series of Talking Heads' eight studio albums, each including bonus tracks and DVDs with surround-sound remixes and video footage.

Here, keyboard player Jerry talks exclusively to SFTW.

What made you join Talking Heads?

They were playing unique music which seemed sympathetic to the style I had developed in The Modern Lovers.

Describe what it was like to make a Talking Heads record?

We tried to make each recording experience different. Fear Of Music was recorded in our rehearsals loft and we had to record on Sundays as there was too much traffic noise on other days. For Remain In Light, we wrote the music in the studio. We noticed there was something special or charming about recordings that captured the essence of playing a part for the first time.

How did you approach your role in the band?

When I joined, all of the songs were written for the first album. I felt I had to be careful not to destroy the elegance that the band had as a trio. I found that if my parts reinforced David's or Tina's, I could make songs feel more powerful and complete without changing the intrinsic feel. As we moved to subsequent albums I kept that sensibility - but obviously, as some songs were dominated by keyboards, my role evolved.

How do you remember 1977?

It was a golden period. Everyone felt that the most important music was in New York.

How did Brian Eno change the band's dynamic when he came in to produce More Songs?

He was a kindred spirit. When we visited his house, we saw the same books in his library. He taught us to see the studio as an instrument to be played with, not as just a place in which to document your performance.

The dense sound collage that is Remain In Light is seen by many as Talking Heads' finest hour. Do you agree?

Yes. It's as fresh today as it was 25 years ago.

Do you have another favourite?

Fear Of Music is my second favourite album. But now, the process of remixing all the band's studio albums has been one of rediscovery. Artists Only, from More Songs, is brilliant in surround - Naked, certainly our least appreciated album, comes alive in surround.

Why the change toward more pop-orientated material, such as Road To Nowhere on Little Creatures?

The writing of Little Creatures was connected to True Stories (David Byrne's film which also spawned a Talking Heads soundtrack). To me it seems like Americana rather than world music.

Was it the right time to stop after Naked?

All of us have continued to be active and creative musicians. We could have continued making relevant, exciting music.

Working on the surround-sound remixes, each album must have offered a different challenge?

Yes. We thought 77, which was sparer than the others - some songs were only eight tracks - would be difficult. But it wasn't.

Which was most difficult? And which produced the most satisfying results?

Remain In Light was satisfying because it was so dense - but each album has feel and sound that is enhanced in surround.

Can you envisage a Talking Heads reunion?

Yes - but I'm not holding my breath for that to happen.

How much involvement did the other band members have in the remaster programme?

I was the most excited by the idea of surround mixes. Engineer ET Thorngren and I mixed them then sent them to Tina, Chris and David for review. We did a few recalls in reaction to their comments.

If one song epitomises Talking Heads, which is it? And why?

In some ways, No Compassion, from 77. Talking Heads were the least sentimental band.

Is there a Talking Heads influence on today's young bands?

Arcade Fire, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Field Music, Franz Ferdinand and Modest Mouse among others.

You were in two groundbreaking bands - the other one being The Modern Lovers. What was it like playing on Roadrunner?

To me, The Modern Lovers were the progenitors of the punk ideal that if you had something to say, you would find a way, whatever your musical ability; that your message and passion could triumph over lack of technique. Roadrunner has a resonance that will continue.

Monday, February 6

quiet man

For all the talk of his oddball nature and quirky cult appeal, few people take time to mention just what a fine instrumentalist he is, or for that matter what a great showman ... (more)

-- Simon McKenzie reviews Jonathan's show at The Liquid Room in Edinburgh, 19 March 2003

Sunday, February 5

Andy Warhol as Drella
Andy Warhol as Drella (Dracula+Cinderella)

In 1990, Lou Reed and John Cale released Songs for Drella, their homage to Andy Warhol, who literally manufactured their former band, Velvet Underground. The impressionable young VU enthusiast Jonathan Richman was one of the many quarks of Warhol's Factory who spun off into artistic pursuits further distant.

Watch Warhol Flash movies at YouTube

Songs for Drella (Review CD at, then buy locally)

wangin' and atwangin'

Download "Fender Stratocaster" mp3 at Modern Kicks for a limited time

"Fender Stratocaster" lyrics and chords at Ramon's

from 1992's Jonathan Richman (Review CD at, then buy locally)

Saturday, February 4

John Waters by Tom Le Goff
portrait of John Waters by Tom Le Goff

Jonathan is scheduled to perform again with John Waters Christmas at UCLA next December according to High Road Touring.

A John Waters Christmas (Review CD at, then buy locally)

John Waters: Change of Life (Review book at, then buy locally)