Tuesday, November 1

the door to Bohemia

Bohemia by Jonathan Richman at The Haunt in Ithaca, 24 October 2011, via Armin Heurich

Armin Heurich says Jonathan hasn't been to Ithaca, NY in 19 years. This was the last song of the show.

My parents didn’t stand in my way when I was 16 years old… They knew I had to find, they knew I was pining, for the door to the art world… They knew that I had to find the door — to Bohemia.  I had my pretentious artwork, but my parents didn’t laugh too bad… I needed to be reined in once in a while.  But they didn’t have a hateful vibe, they didn’t demean.  In fact, I’m grateful because they didn’t… stand in my way, when I was — standin’ in Harvard Square, pretentious artwork in my hand.  The New York hipsters saw me standin’ there, and they knew this young man was looking for the door…. To Bohemia.  There I was standin’ in the square, pretentious artwork folio, but they knew I had to find the way…. To Bohemia.

I was bratty.  Bratty… but sincere.  Yes, I was bratty… But I had to know, they knew I had to go.  Pretentious Artwork Folio, it showed me the door, to Bohemia.  High school was night.  But they showed me light.  When they helped me find the door to Bohemia.  Desperate, desperate, hook or crook… I searched for Bohemia in the high school dusty art book.  Faintly, faintly, conjured I — I searched for Bohemia in the darkened Boston sky.  And once they saw that I wouldn’t back down, well they showed me the door to Bohemia.

Bohemia transcript from Moonraking- read Moonraking's account and thoughts of the show at The Bishop in Bloomington last Friday (28 October, 2011), including his reading of the song "Bohemia" here

I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar at The Haunt in Ithaca, 24 October 2011, via Armin Heurich

• shaka tron had a memorable encounter with Jonathan at The Bell House in Brooklyn (22 October, 2011).

• Jonathan helped mop up the place at The Union in Athens, Ohio on 26 October, 2011


  1. Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!
    Bohemia for me brings together everything that Jonathan Richman has been developing his entire career. The coming of age of a suburban kid who knows that instead of shunning his roots and childlike things must embrace his past but also shine in his new world - "Bohemia".
    He's not ashamed that his parents didn't laugh or swear when he showed signs of not fitting in in his highschool...they would even drop him off at harvard square! (well at least a few blocks away so the hipsters wouldn't see the parents old stationwagon!)

    btw...here's the link in the blog post: http://moonraking.wordpress.com/2011/10/29/bohemia-in-the-darkened-boston-sky-jonathan-richman-in-bloomington/

  2. thanks nugrape! yes I think this might be my new favorite song- and it seems it evolves- hope it will be recorded in due time!

    I don't know what happened to the link, Blogger seems to have changed it! maybe a little Halloween prank? /fixes the post