Sunday, October 31

There's nothing, I tell you, NOTHING, I love as much as I love hearing about people's first Jonathan concert. Maybe that's because I remember mine so well, and how I had been waiting ten years or so to see him, and how I almost threw up because I was so nervous and excited. Glamourous, I know, but it was one of the best nights of my life.
So I really loved the review from Mademoiselle Robot, about her first time at a Jonathan Richman concert. Also, she put into words the way I feel at every Jonathan concert I have ever been to:

I can't quite describe the intensity of this experience for me without sounding like a complete nut job, but I couldn't write about it earlier because I had to digest this almost religious experience. See? Nut job. I am not religious, but I imagine that's what it would feel like. For the first time in ages, I found myself inspired and with space to think, despite
being entirely taken by the concert. This is what happens when you encounter a truly wonderful storyt
eller, I suppose - his stories take you places in your own mind that you didn't even know existed.

Doesn't that sum it up in a really cool way? Is it just me? Okay, maybe it's just me and her, but I totally identify with what she's saying here. And I find it so cool. The rest of her experience is here.

Does anyone have stories/thoughts about their first time seeing Jonathan? When was it? Was it everything you ever wanted?

Picture is from Pammadda, who has an incredible series of pictures from a concert in Paris here.


  1. Here's another one, then: last night was my first Jonathan Richman concert. Took place at the Bowery Ballroom in New York. And it absolutely astonished me, in every way. Somebody once said about the artist Robert Rauschenberg, "He knows how to arrive fresh at the scene of the accident he is about to create." Jonathan Richman has that ability: to arrive fresh, to maintain an open connection with the song and with the audience, to mix feather-light humor with cavern-deep emotion, and to convey all this via the simplest, truest musical means--honestly, I have never experienced anything quite like it. My god, the man is a genius! I read all the other posts here, and really enjoyed the insights they provided, as well. (One question for any readers: What was the song he played with lyrics by Rumi, which said, to paraphrase, Wine is to drink, not criticize. I love the directness and clarified wisdom of Rumi, and JR is the perfect match for him.) If you're in New York, come down to The Bell House, a great club in Brooklyn, tonight! I'll be there, probably with that same dazed-with-pleasure look on my face. Yrs, Scotty G.

  2. The song is He Gave Us The Wine To Taste It.

  3. The Bowery show was my very first Jonathan Richman show, too! You can find my story here: