Sunday, July 13
Jonathan Richman by Jeffery Simpson
Lunchbucket, thank you for sharing the experience you had in Vancouver. It's unfortunate that your parents' first Jonathan Richman concert was in such a chaotic setting and I hope it won't put them off attending another one. Jonathan is a seasoned professional when it comes to unruly mobs and that's part of what makes him so remarkable — his ability to maintain his equanimity and focus. I'm sure that he has seen just about every kind of turnout during his nonstop touring over the years and lots of times he doesn't connect with everyone, and not everyone present will be a fan. But the ones who are potentially on his wavelength are the ones he performs for, whether they be few or many, and I have been to quite a few of his shows that began with disrespectful audiences and ended with everyone under his spell. I can't recall hearing of a single instance when he actually left a performance because the house was being difficult although in the situation you describe it's easy to see why any performer would be tempted. His is a class act all the way and his commitment to his following is a part of his commitment to his art and craft. He has said that "he promised himself that if it ever became work instead of fun he'd quit that day. And... if it ever does, he will." (his words, referring to himself in the third person)
There's still magic for him in making a spark with a crowd and let's hope that there always will be, right up to the time someday when everyone's finally dignified and old together.
video: Jeffery Simpson