Sunday, May 21

Songs about Jonathan

Some songs are celebrating artists and are interesting as they give a subjective view about a particular singer. For instance, "Alex Chilton" by the Replacements is a true tribute from fans and the fervour of the band towards a man they admire is totally present which contributed to its becoming a classic tune. I have been looking for songs about Mr Richman and to start with here is Nerf Herder. This powerful and not so serious trio formed in 1994 has been using this sort of namedropping as a trademark since their success with a song named "Van Halen". So they did "Courtney Love",

"Pantera fans in love" and they issued a "Jonathan" on an album released in 2000,
"How to meet girls". This is a weird song which mixes references to Modern Lovers songs with paranoid fears to end like Jonathan as if it could be the ultimate trouble. Those lyrics are another piece of existentialism which to me is oozing literally from Jonathan early works.

Straight out of Boston
To reinvent the modern rock and roll
He put down the cigarette and dropped out of B.U.
Too sensitive for this world
Too sensitive for that girl
He could look right through the Cezans
If he had a girlfriend
A g-i-r-l-f-r-e-n
In the astral plane
Too sensitive for this world
Too sensitive for that girl
Please God don't let me end up like Jonathan Richman
Turn the radio off (x4)
He was never called an asshole
As he would walk past the Fenway
Modern girls modern rock and roll
He's straight you're stoned
Too sensitive for this world
Too sensitive for that girl
Please God don't let me end up like Jonathan Richman
Turn the radio off (x4)
Please God don't let me end up like Jonathan
Please God don't let me end up like Jonathan
Please God don't let me end up being like Jonathan Richman

Tuesday, May 16

happy birthday Jonathan!

illustration from Rhythm & Pencil Vol. 00000000000001
this great illustration is from Rhythm & Pencil Vol. 00000000000001, Jonathan Richman issue (thanks Kyoko!)

Mr. Richman was born in Boston in 1951. He started to draw pictures all day long from the age of 5. Played baseball all day long from the age of 9. This would not leave time for anything else, would it? read more>>>

SFist has a story on the poetry reading Jonathan took part in to benefit the WM3 in San Francisco May 15. There is a nice photo of Jonathan at the event, on flickr here, part of a slideshow by shelleyrisk here

Jonathan's birthday is May 16, but you can celebrate it all month long by making healthy carrot juice smoothies

Recipe: 1/2 carrot juice + 1/2 apple, orange, tangerine, or pomegranate juice, (or combination) optional splash or two of Canton Ginger Liqueur, frappé with ice till slushy

Drink them while listening to "Satisfied Mind" mp3 (2.64 MB)* from Jonathan Goes Country (1990) *temporary link will disappear in a week

"Satisfied Mind" lyrics and chords (written by JH "Red" Hayes and Jack Rhodes)

Jonathan Goes Country CD info

Thursday, May 11

tour update

Jonathan isn't touring now, but if you're in the Bay area you can catch him doing some poetry readings.

Wednesday, May 10

unsung heroes (in May 2006 GQ magazine)

I think that's often how our real links to the artists we love the most are forged: not through sober, reasoned aesthetic judgments but upon specific accidents of history and geography and friendship and circumstance. Often, what matters most to us about music makes the least sense. You can make all the best-album and greatest-guitarist lists you want, and you can shout smart critical truths as loud as you like, but you can't argue someone into a flush of empathy or convince them into a shiver of recognition down their neck.

-- Chris Heath, in "Unsung Heroes" GQ May 2006 p. 194
You must go out right this minute and get this month's GQ (the one with Tom Cruise on the cover). Chris Heath nominates Jonathan as his pick of Unsung Heroes with a wonderful reminiscence, and there is a fabulous full-page black and white picture of Jonathan in Liverpool, from 1978.

More here, including an audio clip of "Hospital"

Note: Our own John R. Williamson is included in this roundup too, nominated by T-Bone Burnett

John can also be found here with the c'est la vies

(thanks TJ and john!)

Friday, May 5


I realize this has nothing to do with Jonathan Richman, but I had to tell someone.

Remember Klaatu?

I think I just realized it was all a big joke. Open mockery of the Fab Four and their fans. It took 30 years for me to get the joke, but these guys couldn't have been serious, could they?