Hi Jojo Land!
There have been many twists and turns throughout Jonathan Richman's career, and some of those twists and turns can only be found through some real digging.
My favorite period of Jonathan Richman's career is the early 80's. Of course if you asked me that question a few months ago I would have said the late 70's, or a few months before that the early 90's.
But anyway, the early 80's are possibly his most "mysterious" time period, because of the lack of recorded output. "Jonathan Sings"(my introduction to jojo) was recorded and released around this time period, but Jonathan has not been shy to discredit the release as "not the way we really sounded." I remember hearing about that, and then years ago when I met him at the Cats Cradle in North Carolina, he verified that he wasn't very satisfied with the album, but he LOVES the songs.
I put together a compilation and a corresponding website in dedication to the awesome shows that him and his killer band at the time were playing. Most of the songs are not available on any released album, and I also threw in some classics as well.
Jonathan Richman Live 81'-82'
ps to any long-time JR fans out there, do you have any stories, experiences, etc about this time period relating to JR? I wasn't even on this earth yet, and I think there must be more knowledge out there that deserves to be documented somewhere.