Friday, October 28

naked with a stone

Jello Biafra, Jonathan Richman, Mark Kozelek, Chuck Prophet via a2unesgrl

West Memphis Three World Awareness Day 2006 in San Francisco

Jonathan sings at 5:12:

Well when David fought Goliath
There on the valley floor
That gave hope to the underdog
Ooh but David fought Goliath
With a stone

Ooh David fought Goliath
Naked with a stone
Power of the Spirit
Over the bone

King Saul
(What about King Saul?
What was his position on this subject?)
King Saul said you can't fight him
He's a giant, don't you see?

Look, I've already fought a lion
This Goliath just don't scare me

Ooh David fought Goliath with a stone

Ooh David fought Goliath
Naked with a stone
Power to the Spirit over the bone

Awright what did Goliath think about all this?
Goliath laughed at David
What? Have they sent a boy with sling?
Come closer to me youngster
Let the vultures laugh and sing

Ooh but David fought Goliath with a stone

Ooh David fought Goliath
Naked with a stone
Power to the spirit
Over the bone

The West Memphis Three were released 19 August 2011 after 18 years of imprisonment.

Background: West Memphis Three on Wikipedia

Current status and news updates: Free the West Memphis Three

Skeleton Key Art Auction via a2unesgrl

Michale Graves (from the Misfits) sings to a slideshow of Damien Echols' Skeleton Key Art Auction at Minna Gallery in San Francisco; Music by Michale Graves, Lyrics by Damien Echols

Skeleton Key Art

Damien Echols was interviewed on Death Row by telephone about his Zen Buddhism practice by Parabola Magazine in The Justice Issue in Winter 2008:

The days thirty-three-year-old Damien Echols spends alone in a nine-by-twelve-foot concrete cell are not unreal. But how he spends his time is strictly up to him. “You can either turn it into a monastery and or it will turn itself into hell,” he tells me by phone. Intended for terrorists, spies, and other prisoners deemed extremely dangerous, especially those connected to groups, super-maximum prisons keep inmates in isolation and under constant surveillance, and have earned condemnations for inhumanity from a United Nations team and other groups. (read more)

Previously on Jojoblog: Jonathan and Damien

Update 2016: The old has been merged with

Hello Jonathan Richmanians,

If you are interested in learning more about Jonathan here is a site that me and a buddy made:

We took the text on Bob's Nerdy Webpage and put it in a database and wrote a webpage interface to it.

For example...did you know that three songs off of "Rockin' and Romance" were first played in the 70's? You can search things like that by going to the songs list.

Or...did you know that the last year "Affection" was played regularly was 1988?

Of course I don't stand for things like ad's or anything to do with $, so feel free to click anywhere.

Finally...Thanks to Bob for having the original site with an incredible amount of data to use!

Friday, October 14

gravitas and tenderness in Saskatoon

The highlight of the set was a new tune that must have stretched out at least eight minutes, a delightful story-song about how he used to frequent Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts while growing up. Sometimes his parents dropped him off, sometimes he would take the trolley, but regardless the hippies and artsy-types that held a kind of arts-based communion there during the 60s and 70s would always help “Show (him) the door to Bohemia.” It’s remarkably touching, honest, and illuminating; Richman admits to creating some pretentious poetry and also makes it easy to see where his journey to becoming the songwriter he is now and always has been really began. It’s amazing to think it took him this long to write it. To my knowledge it hasn’t been recorded yet and part of me hopes it won’t be. It seems like a song meant for the intimacy of live performance, a real piece of the artist’s soul that couldn’t possibly carry the same gravitas and tenderness it did on this particular Saturday night if it was shackled to tape for eternity.

-- Pat (Sound Salvation Army) read the rest

bright ideas

'They're Not Trying on the Dancefloor' covers another of Richman's over-riding concerns - that people are self-conscious when dancing or watching bands... It's a real pretty song too. 'At Night' is full of the beauty and joy of staying up late on a summer night, complete with thin Hawaiian-inspired guitar and slightly odd turns of phrase ("When the daylight ain't but the planets are/ the door to the arcane is thrust ajar!"). It's one of the absolute best Richman songs out there.

-- Al Brown "Lost Classics: Having a Party with Jonathan" (Soundblab) read more

Thanks keepsakes!

At Night

Saturday, October 8

1983: Jonathan Richman/John Cale Interviewed- Vincent Van Gogh, and other things

via nirta26

1983 Interview with Jonathan Richman and John Cale where Jonathan sings a great version of Vincent Van Gogh in the TV studio. They were on an Australian tour at the time.

I hope everyone has had time now to read through and listen to NuGrape's Song Focus: Affection post (below). If you haven't, please do so when you have a chance, since it will remain on the blog indefinitely. I think it's a wonderful way to listen to a song, to watch it grow and change and yet still somehow retain its essential nature. When you go to a museum and look at a Van Gogh, is the experience more meaningful to you because you know a bit about the work beforehand? Because your understanding has been enriched by background? Well maybe yes and maybe no. There's not really a one size fits all answer to that. Some people just naturally engage with things that speak to them on a personal level- and find it's a pleasure to find others who can relate. And some things take time to mature, like taste, and wine, and friendship, and well.... affection.

Some years ago an attempt was made to start a song club, which began as a discussion on the old mailing list and then migrated over to Jojoblog- the first and only song so far in that song club was 'I'm Straight' (read here).

Here is a video from the mid-80s After Dark show in Australia (where would we be without YouTube? I remember when this blog was first started and we had a discussion about how could we possibly incorporate video which we really really wanted to do but couldn't figure out how? And then as if by magic suddenly there was YouTube). Anyway as far as I know Jonathan only returned to Australia once after this tour- I wonder why?

In more recent news, the current North American tour is going well and I hope some of you will be able to see it. It seems that Fender Stratocaster is back on the setlist and I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar has an added story element. Also phone videos are being discouraged according to this review from Toronto, so please respect that. Don't distress the artist!