Wednesday, July 15

Randi goes to SLC

From my blog: Anytime I go to a Jonathan Richman concert, it ends up being some sort of epic adventure. It really can't be stopped, being as I live in a place with very few concerts to speak of, and even less than aren't bands from the 80s trying to scrape by. So when Jonathan comes to Salt Lake City, I'm always very happy, since it's only 7 hours away. As opposed to my all time record, which 12 hours. In one direction. SO when I set upon planning this little escapade, I called on some reliable friends. My second, Caitlin, as been to, counting this one, three out of the four Jonathan shows that I have been to. I take all the credit for introducing her, and she took all the lovely pictures that I have here. Cathy, one of my best friends of a good number of years, agreed to come along for her second Jonathan experience. And John, oh John...he was actually a last minute deal. The girl who was coming along skipped out, so I called John in a panic.

Randi: John, do you want to go to a concert in Salt Lake? Ticket's free.

John: Who?

Randi: Jonathan Richman

John:Who...Oh, is that the guy on your wall?

Randi: Yes, John, yes it is. You coming?

He answered in the absolute affirmative, even though we would have to do a (minorly disastrous) pickup in Pocatello. Knowing nothing about Jonathan except that I liked him, he adventured along with us. I wasn't entirely sure we were going to make it in time. The Pocatello pickup from hell had taken longer than figured, and we were barreling down the highway, trying to get there in time for when the doors opened. We made it. I had told Cathy that it was a ramshackle little place at the end of an alleyway, but I'm sure she believed me until we were gazing upon its tin-sided glory. While John used the window to primp, we sat down and played with the cat of Kilby Court.

We finally got in the doors, and I saw a familiar face standing next to the stage. The guy we met last time! Who, I discovered, has an actual name. It is Mike. He and I talked Jonathan until the show started, while my friends either rolled their eyes or ignored me. I defended Jonathan's only playing his new stuff, we talked about the essays I'd managed to work Jonathan into, and our favorite albums. Good way to kill time.

The show started, with no opener, just pure Jonathan. They were about 15 minutes late, but once they started, nobody cared. He was even better than the last time I had seen him at Kilby, and though he didn't dance much, he was incredibly talky. While singing my affected accent, he told us that he was such a brat, and "40 years later, I apologize". He did his own backup singing on this tune, telling us that it was the chorus of angels. At the end of the song, he said, eyes upraised, "I'm sorry, the angels are sorry. Everybody's sorry". He also gave us a little speech about self-confidence during Pablo Picasso. "If he didn't care, the girls didn't care. It's not a problem". He sang this wonderful new song in Hebrew about this very sexy yet modest dress, "It looks like one of those dresses from the 40s"and how it just looks so great on her when she walks down the street. He told us that they have no problem keeping the electricity up when they sit at home together, doing nothing too exciting, just reading, although "It's not always poetry, right now it's Alexandre Dumas. The Three Musketeers. Oooh, some people say 'I won't pick up that big 600 page book', but it's wonderful". During a new song, he made a great comment about how sometimes he just wants to play his role with her, and grow old with her, and, he laughed "I've already got a head start." He also told us a joke during He Gave Us The Wine To Taste It, his encore:

So this rich guy gives his butler a bottle of wine for the holidays, and when the butler gets back, he asks him how he liked it. The butler goes, "It was just right". And the rich guy asks, "Well, what do you mean by that?", and the butler goes, "If it was any better, you wouldn't have given it to me, and if it was any worse, I couldn't have drank it!"

At one point during the show, the aforementioned Kilby Court cat wandered onstage. Jonathan stopped playing for a moment and watched it, everyone laughed as it circled the stage and decided this was boring, and it had better things to do. Jonathan assured us that this was not a humans-only show, and everyone was welcome here, quadruped or sextuped alike. The show ended, and Jonathan stood on the stage by the door, shaking people's hands as they left. No matter how long he plays, it's always over too quickly.

And I still didn't get to hear My Baby Love Love Loves Me. But I'll forgive you, Jonathan. Just this once.

You can see more pictures, there's like 80-90 from this show, on my flickr. The ones from this show are at the bottom of the set. All the other shows I've been to are in there as well.

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