Tuesday, December 18

Interview #26: a Modern Lover, Leroy Radcliffe

We all remember fondly the Modern lovers #2 which recorded the Beserkley albums with Jonathan. It was the perfect band which created the pristine classic "Rock'n roll with the Modern Lovers" LP. Following previous interviews with other  members of that mythical line-up, Greg "Curly" Keranen and Asa Brebner (click on the names to reach the interviews), this time I was happy to interact with Leroy Radcliffe who kindly agreed to share with us his memories of that time. At the beginning of the long version of  "Dodge Veg-o-matic" one musician is making fun of Jonathan's old car, that was Leroy indeed.
Leroy has moved to California nowadays and is active in producing and composing music for films and artistic events.
He is also a scientist keen on Astrophysics. 

What is your musical background?

The year was 1957. I was 7 years old and living in the Polish section of Philadelphia known as Port Richmond.
My mother came from a Polish family. We were quite poor, although this was not apparent to me at that time. I was the only child, searching for fantasies and escapes from moment to moment. One day, during "Polka hour", when my mother was across the yard, visiting my grandmother, I discovered that I could switch stations on the kitchen radio and switch it back without getting caught. Off went the polkas and on came Duane Eddy and the Rebel Rousers. it was true love. In particular it was the sound of his guitar for me.

I began taking lessons. 

I immediately became addicted to the smell of the instruments - the wood, the cat-gut strings, the plastic picks - as I would climb to the second level, above the music shop where the instructors taught.
I was able to burn through each lesson with ease. I was a natural musician. it was like breathing air. perhaps it was in my blood. my father had some experience with a banjo mandolin, my mother with an accordion.

The lessons eventually became private lessons at the house at great expense. Simultaneously, I had an interest in science. I joined The Franklin Institute at age 8 (the youngest member) and studied things like Tesla Coils and witnessed the first demonstration of a hover-craft in 1958.
However, music seemed more freeing and creative. It won out over science, although to me, the two remain intrinsic to each other to this day.

As a teenager, I liked the Beach Boys, the Animals, Them, Beatles, etc. but not Doo Wop so much though vocal groups were literally singing on the corner of my street.
I went to The Granoff Conservatory of Music in downtown Philly for classical ear training and piano. I met a few local musicians there and ended up frequenting the bohemian coffee houses nearby, on a regular basis. then came The Velvet Underground days with Mo Tucker's hypnotic drums, John Cale's violin and Nico's enchanting voice. I was forever changed.

This was all in Philly.

Soft Machine and Woodys Truckstop
  Electric Factory Poster, featuring Woodys Truckstop

Were you involved in music before the Modern Lovers? 

When Todd Rundgren left Woodys Truckstop to form The Nazz, I was invited to replace him. this eventually led to my first record deal with Mercury Records.we opened for acts like Jimi Henfrix, The Doors, Cream, Van Morrison and The Beatles.  I was 17 years old.

Woodys Truckstop disbanded after an unsuccessful album tour and numerous personnel changes. i eventually moved to Cambridge Mass and became employed at AT&T (Bell Labs), commuting everyday via bicycle and subway to the lovely and mysterious downtown Boston. i exercised my left-brain, taking an opportunity in the "lull" to study Physics and Astronomy at Harvard University.

How did you become a Modern Love?

        One day, I heard a song on the radio that reminded me of the early Velvet Underground. it was Roadrunner, by The Modern Lovers. I was struck by the drone and the energy of the ending. it was like nothing else on the radio. it was pure.
At this time, above my apartment, lived John Brody, a disk-jockey at WBCN. he was aware of my musical past and that I was longing to get back into it, despite the good paying job. he told me that the ML were looking for a guitar player, so he set up a meeting between me and the leader, a man named Jonathan Richman.

It was late-winter in New England, and still well below freezing. the time of the meeting was at hand. the doorbell rang. I ran down the steps and opened the door to find a shirt-less, sweating and odoriferous man in boxer shorts and sneakers, asking me if I were Leroy Radcliffe. well, the rest can be termed historical . . .
I had never seen him or the original band on stage prior to that meeting. hearing Roadrunner on the radio was the extent of my ML experience.
Now - for hours - we were face-to-face, acoustic guitars in-hand, in-the-moment, creating, exploring, sweating, laughing, crying, sweating some more. it was heavy.

Jonathan was in the middle of reforming the band. it was me, Jonathan, Curly and a tentative David Robinson. David would be the first to opt-out of the push-ups and D.Sharpe (RIP) the drummer who would replaced him. Somehow, I had not picked-up on the  "scene" in Boston. I had performed at Jack's in Cambridge a few times with another fractured R&B form of Woodys Truckstop, but now, I was thrust into a vibrant, incestuous musical scene that for me anyway, had been truly underground.

    “Rock’n roll with the Modern Lovers” is my piece of choice in Jonathan's discography, could you elaborate a bit on the recording sessions of that album?

The studio was a multi-track: glass windowed control room overlooking a room with a piano. it was perfectly "dry" so that the engineer and producer could "control" all aspects of the sound - typical for the Industry in general right ? yep.

But it was so dry in fact, that the sound of a clapping hand was absorbed (almost) before your hands came together !
Jonathan was glum to say the least. we could tell by the look on Mathew "King" Kauffmans' face that this would be a difficult time.
Glen Kolotkin deserves credit here. he rolled with the punches like the professional that he was . . having engineered the finicky Rolling Stones in their very early days, he was prepared for the worst
We moved all the equipment into the Men's room where the sound had more life, but that wasn't the end of the story. no way. it wasn't perfect.
with a remote cabling system running out the doors, down the halls, around the corners and into the control room, hooked up and working with the bugs worked out, we recorded a few sample tracks all of which got the "ho hum" from JR.

So . . . to the girls' room we went !

We reconfigured all the instruments, remote cabling system et all, recorded a few takes and - ooops - not so good - back to the mens' room with different placements. What was the decisive factor ?
It was undoubtedly the male urinals that had an impact on . . . "that certain sound" - and - it was absolutely true !

The preparation for touring (which would require overcoming sometimes angry fans wanting that electric drone of the old repertoire) included the most unusual but ingenious methods for solidifying and prepping the group for any circumstance. this went beyond mere push-ups, and physical well being. . .
Jonathan, left and Leroy right

Performing outdoors, at the edge of The Charles River, in the middle of nowhere, all acoustic, poor Curly with his upright base  - "surprising" absolute strangers, romantic couples, MIT students studying . . . . THE SWEEPING WIND, NEW ENGLAND, LONELY FINANCIAL ZONE
performing at the Children's Hospital (Hospice Center) at the noon hour, the nurses wheeling out the Chemo kids into the garden area, remaining in their beds . .
rehearsing at the local Old Peoples Home, learning and playing songs from the 1920's and IMPORTANT IN YOUR LIFE, SPRINGTIME, AMAZING GRACE

Thursday, December 6

Soon another Modern Lover interview

This is just an announcement that my next interview to be released will be with Leroy Radcliffe, lead guitarist of the Modern Lovers #2 with Curly and Dave Robinson. Stay tuned to the JojoBlog !!

Tuesday, December 4

get up from your chair (to fly)

SEATTLE 27 November 2012

Jonathan Richman - Get Up From Your Chair (Live 11/27/2012) via

Jonathan Richman plays Get Up From Your Chair live at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle on November 27th, 2012.

Jonathan Richman - Her Mystery Not of High Heels & Eyeshadow / There's Something About Mary (Live) via

Jonathan Richman plays Her Mystery Not of High Heels & Eyeshadow and then segues into a missing extra verse from There's Something About Mary live at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle on November 27th, 2012.

From the Plot-Changing (!) Missing Verse cut from the movie There's Something About Mary: 'Sometimes we wish the pretty would just go away…'

Jonathan Richman - You Must Ask The Heart (Live 11/27/2012) via

Jonathan Richman plays You Must Ask The Heart live at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle on November 27th, 2012.

To say goodnight, Jonathan finishes with his traditional a capella sing-along Volare (to fly)…

Wednesday, November 21

Late 2012/Early 2013 Tourdates!


This is copied and pasted from the above link, so please use that link to see if any dates/links get updated.

Tix Date City Venue With
Sat Nov 24 '12 (9:30PM) Portland, OR 100% Headline
The Know

Sun Nov 25 '12 (9:30PM) Portland, OR 100% Headline
The Know

Mon Nov 26 '12 (9:30PM) Portland, OR 100% Headline
The Know

Tue Nov 27 '12 (8:00PM) Seattle, WA 100% Headline
Tractor Tavern

Wed Nov 28 '12 (8:00PM) Seattle, WA 100% Headline
Tractor Tavern

Thu Nov 29 '12 (9pm) Eugene, OR 100% Headline
WOW Hall

Sat Dec 1 '12 (9:00PM) Sebastopol, CA 100% Headline
Hopmonk Tavern
Sun Dec 2 '12 (8pm) San Francisco, CA 100% Headline
Great American Music Hall

Tue Feb 5 '13 Springfield, MO 100% Headline
The Outland

Thu Feb 7 '13 Louisville, KY 100% Headline

Fri Feb 8 '13 Chattanooga, TN 100% Headline
JJ's Bohemia

Sat Feb 9 '13 Atlanta, GA 100% Headline
The Goat Farm Arts Center: Rodriguez Room

Sun Feb 10 '13 Atlanta, GA 100% Headline
The Goat Farm Arts Center: Rodriguez Room

Wed Feb 13 '13 Gainesville, FL 100% Headline
High Dive

Thu Feb 14 '13 Savannah, GA 100% Headline
The Wormhole

Fri Feb 15 '13 Athens, GA 100% Headline
40 Watt Club

Sat Feb 16 '13 Carrboro, NC 100% Headline
Cat's Cradle

Tue Feb 19 '13 Brooklyn, NY 100% Headline
The Bell House

Wed Feb 20 '13 Brooklyn, NY 100% Headline
The Bell House

Thu Feb 21 '13 (9:15pm) Bordentown, NJ 100% Headline
Consolidated Fire Hall

Fri Feb 22 '13 (7:30pm) Washington, DC 100% Headline
9:30 Club

Tuesday, November 13

WFMU Hell & High Water Campaign

Jojoblog loves free-form radio station WFMU in Jersey City, New Jersey, who took a hard hit from Superstorm Sandy.  As well as providing great radio programming, they also do nice things such as hosting bandwidth for UbuWeb and the UbuWeb radio app.  Please consider helping them out by making donations to their Hell & High Water Recovery Campaign. They're offering great swag for different levels of contributions.

Visit and learn more at Marathon Central.

Wednesday, September 19

Everybody can come to this party with the bonfire & BBQ

COLUMBIA MO 16 September 2012

Alex Bond: Singer/songwriter Jonathan Richman kicked off the evening with drummer Tommy Larkins for the Ninth Street attendees. The wide-eyed Massachusetts native performed an eclectic mix of acoustic folk rock with a worldly influence, singing songs about Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer and a multilingual song about partying. While entertaining, Richman yielded to the fan yelling, “I like Wilco,” admitting, “When I’m in the crowd, I don’t like the opening act that overstays its welcome. We don’t want to be that band.” (read more)

Jonathan Richman - Live on 9th Street, Columbia MO 2012 via

Jonathan Richman performing live on 9th Street outside of The Blue Note, Columbia, MO, September 16, 2012.

Thanks Matt!

Does anyone know the name of this song? Is it La Festa, La Fiesta, Ja La, or BBQ Party?


Jonathan and Tommy played a 30-minute set last night, opening for Wilco at an outdoor concert in Columbia, Mo. Here are the songs as I remember them -- aside from the first and last, they're not necessarily in the right order.

"No One Was like Vermeer"
Song I haven't heard before, something about "We just had a fight and I should have been softer"
"Let Her Go into the Darkness" (first time I've heard it with the female character's point of view added)
Foreign language medley: a song in Italian, one in Hebrew and Arabic, and one in Spanish
"I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar"
"Egyptian Reggae"
"O Moon, Queen of Night on Earth"
"Her Mystery Not of High Heels and Eye Shadow"
"My Affected Accent"
"Keith Richards" (first time I've heard it, though I've heard about it)

Jonathan seemed to be in fine spirits and did a lot of dancing. He's opening for Wilco at seven more upcoming shows; this was the first. The set was a delight, though brief. He hasn't been in Columbia for 12 years, and I hope he returns sooner than that.


Thanks Gary!

Saturday, September 15

Wilco Tour in September

Image rb

A long time ago, Jonathan Richman was talking to my friend in Iceland. She said, ‘If I was up there onstage, I would just be dancing around!’ And that made me cry. But then Jonathan Richman said, ‘When you're playing by yourself in front of a lot of people, it's like there's a matador and a bull, and you don't know which one you are. But the one thing you do know is that the crowd wants to see one of you die and one of you survive.’ That made me so relaxed. (source)

According to Pitchfork, Chan Marshall (Cat Power) said the above, but… say what? If factual, the bull reference would seem to reference Picasso in some way and we know about the role of Pablo Picasso's confidence in Jonathan Richman's songbook. Perhaps it's a joke, or a reference to Taurus, Jonathan's zodiac sign… Or a new song? At any rate it would be interesting to see Jonathan Richman and Cat Power touring together.

Until that happens, what could be better than seeing Jonathan Richman supporting Wilco this month?

Sun 16 Sep Columbia MO The Blue Note/Outdoors

Tue 18 Sep Santa Fe NM Santa Fe Opera

Wed 19 Sep Tucson AZ TCC Music Hall

Sat 22 Sep Berkeley CA Greek Theatre

Sun 23 Sep Reno NV Grand Sierra Theatre

Tue 25 Sep Jacksonville OR Britt Pavilion

Wed 26 Sep Redding CA The Cascade Theatre

Fri 28 Sep Palm Desert CA McCallum Theatre

Sat 29 Sep Avila Beach CA Avila Beach Resort

Here's a video promoting Wilco at the Hollywood Bowl on 30 September, but with Joanna Newsom opening that date instead of Jonathan Richman. Still an amazing lineup.

September 30: Wilco at the Hollywood Bowl via

Friday, September 14

I don't do concerts–I do dance parties–that's all I do...

AMSTERDAM 16 August 2012


Now we've got a little bit of ambi-ence, a little bit of at-mo-sphere

These nice videos from YouTube videographers rialto1961 and feelyourselffree should have you dancing or at least keeping the beat wherever you may be! A particularly lovely performance...

JONATHAN RICHMAN on air-conditioning via

rialto1961: Jonathan explains why the AC interferes with the sound but, because people are nearly fainting, he allows the AC to be put on again. Live at Bitterzoet, Amsterdam, 16-8-2012

JONATHAN RICHMAN live @ Bitterzoet part 1 via

rialto1961: Jojo live at Bitterzoet, Amstrerdam, 16-8-2012. Starting the show with EGYPTIAN REGGAE, LET HER GO INTO THE DARKNESS, HER MYSTERY NOT OF HIGH HEELS

JONATHAN RICHMAN live @ Bitterzoet part 2 via

rialto1961: Jonathan Richman and Tommy Larkins at Bitterzoet, AMSTERDAM, 16-8-2012 playing a new song BOHEMIA

JONATHAN RICHMAN live @ Bitterzoet part 3 via

rialto1961: Jonathan live at Bitterzoet, AMSTERDAM, 16-8-2012 doing a new song presumably called HE GAVE US THE WINE TO TASTE IT, NOT TO DISCUSS IT !

Jonathan Richman at Bitterzoet Amsterdam 16th aug 2012 via

feelyourselffree: Jonathan is more than just his music, it is also about his humor, his mimic and his dancing!

Because Her Beauty is Raw and Wild
I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar

JONATHAN RICHMAN live @ Bitterzoet part 4 via

rialto1961: Jonathan Richman, truly one of a kind....live at Bitterzoet, AMSTERDAM, 16-8-2012, performing WHEN WE REFUSE TO SUFFER, NO ONE WAS LIKE VERMEER, NOT SO MUCH TO BE LOVED (end of show, no encore)

Many thanks to Sarah Wooten!

Tuesday, August 28

Life, Feelings, People

Jonathan Mann explains:  In which I remix a Jonathan Richman interview and make it into a song:

Remix My Heroes || Jonathan Richman: Life, Feelings, People via

Who is Jonathan Mann?  This video explains:

Jonathan Mann Bio Video via

Sunday, August 26

Paradiso Club, Amsterdam (1977)

Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers at the Paradiso Club, Amsterdam (1977)‬ via

It’s a soundboard recording from a Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers set from 1977, performed in Amsterdam’s legendary Paradiso club. (read more with a great graphic- Misc. Music)

Wednesday, August 22

Green Man Festival, Wales

GLANUSK PARK, WALES 19 August 2012

Tommy Larkins and Jonathan Richman, Green Man Festival, Wales, Photo by Rich Kelly

Jonathan Richman, Green Man Festival, Wales, Photo by Rich Kelly

Egyptian Reggae|I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar via

Her Mystery Not of High Heels and Eye Shadow|You Must Ask the Heart via

Tuesday, July 3

hot nights

Jonathan Richman Live at the Echo (Los Angeles) via

AUSTIN - “Well you all paid for a ticket and you need to be able to hear.” (more at Pop Press International)

PHOENIX - "Don't click that thing," he said, a sort of mischievous smile on his face. "I'm sure you're taking wonderful photos, but it's all about timing, young man." (more at Phoenix New Times)

LOS ANGELES - Richman promised a ten minute break during the night so that the audience could cool down. “People have been known to faint at my shows… So, it’s your call,” warned the singer when the time came for him that relief, but even Richman could tell that the fans did not want him to leave… (more at L.A. Record)

I Love Hot Nights via

As My Mother Lay Lying

I Love Hot Nights

Friday, June 29

still dancing

I was dancing in a lesbian bar, Jonathan Richman (LIVE) via

mohawk, austin, tx june 22, 2012


Rare Interview with Emma Silvers at All Shook Down (SFWeekly):
It's now that it's the best time: we have (me and my drummer Tommy Larkins) the best, overall, times with audiences of all ages, in the U.S. and everywhere, right now. (more)


September dates with Wilco: more info

16 September 2012 / Live on Ninth Street / Columbia, MO
On sale: Fri. June 29 at 12PM CDT

18 September 2012 / Santa Fe Opera House / Santa Fe, NM
On sale: Fri. June 22 at 10AM MDT

19 September 2012 / Tucson Convention Center Music Hall / Tucson, AZ
On sale: Fri. June 22 at 10AM PDT

25 September 2012 / Britt Pavilion / Jacksonville, OR
On sale: Fri. June 22 at 9AM PDT

26 September 2012 / Cascade Theatre / Redding, CA
On sale: Fri. June 22 at 10AM PDT

29 September 2012 / Avila Beach Resort / San Luis Obispo, CA
On sale: Fri. June 22 at 11AM PDT

Tuesday, June 19

better than ever

Jonathan Richman Dancing (Bowery Ballroom 6/12/12) by Dean Peterson via

NEW YORK CITY - Dean Wareham at Salon on Jonathan Richman at Bowery Ballroom (June 12, 2012):

Last night I saw Jonathan Richman perform at Bowery Ballroom in New York. I counted myself lucky that he pulled out not only “Egyptian Reggae” (a U.K. hit for him in 1977), but also “Old World,” which dates from that first album, but also appeared — in a new stripped-down version with fresh lyrics — on his excellent album “Because Her Beauty Is Raw and Wild.” He is an amazing and unique live performer, in recent years playing a nylon acoustic guitar and accompanied only by Tommy Larkin on drums (playing quietly). His guitar playing is better than ever; he never gets too far from the melody but there is a dazzling fluidity to his fretwork that I never noticed before. There are also moments where he puts down the guitar, picks up the jingle bells, and dances, before ending with a flourish and a smile that recalls his hero Harpo Marx.

Read the rest of this lovely appreciation at Salon: Dean Wareham: My Jonathan Richman romance

Dean Wareham has long been covering Jonathan Richman's "Don't Let Our Youth Go to Waste" arranged into a galloping power-trance with Galaxie 500 and Dean & Britta:

Dean & Britta [Dean Wareham plays Galaxie 500] - Don't Let Our Youth Go To Waste via

Here's Jonathan singing this song in stark a cappella in its Original Modern Lovers incarnation:

The Modern Lovers - Don't Let Our Youth Go To Waste via

See more Jonathan Richman covers (Galaxie 500, Luna, Dean & Britta) at Head Full of Wishes on a post honoring Jonathan's 61st birthday last month here  

Sunday, June 17

Jonathan in Asheville

June 15, 2012
Asheville, North Carolina, USA
The Grey Eagle

Hello Jonathan Land,

A few nights ago I saw Mr. Richman play in Asheville, North Carolina at a venue called "The Grey Eagle".
Me and a buddy drove from Raleigh to see the show and everyone was in a real mellow mood after a beautiful day in Asheville.

The venue was average sized, with a main concert area and a bar/food area.
There was also an outdoor area where I saw Jonathan sitting with some people before the show.

I waited until it looked like he was free and asked for a photo. Then I had to ask him about the song "Bohemia". This song is so special to me, and the last time I saw him play at this venue (February of last year) he had played like a 12 minute meandering version where it seemed like he was just making it up as he went. It was probably my favourite moment at one of this shows seeing that, and this was about my 12th one.
He said that most of his songs are made up that way...just made up as he goes along, each time putting his own twist on it.

I said that I'd be in the front row, and he said that he'd "see me there!"

A little while later the show started, with what I thought was probably a smaller than expected audience. He mentioned for the venue people to turn on some of the lights so he could see the audience, and after a false try, they were brightened.

The beginning of the show was pretty standard...Egyptian Reggae, Vermeer, Let Her Go Into the Darkness...but then he played a GREAT new (to me at least) song about how his (I think) wife's laugh sounds like a trumpet. It was in Spanish I believe, and it had kind of a 12-bar blues feel to it. I don't know if it was a cover or not, but it sure sounded like something he would write.

A few songs later he broke a string in the middle of "A Que Venimos...", and nonchalantly said that he would just use 5 strings! And it still sounded great! After finishing the song, and playing a fast version of "Keith Richards", he said that if we wanted we would take a little break while he tended to his guitar.

After the break he played a few other standards and then came the most magical part of the night...a new song about a fight he had. It sounded like a fight he had with his wife, but I suppose it could have been with anyone...but definitely someone that was tender. He kept on singing that he should have been softer, and just stopped, but that he would do better "next time". It was a slow song and was simply brilliant.

When he left the stage the audience naturally clapped and made all sorts of noise for an encore.
He came back up to the stage and did something interesting...he announced that there would be no encore, and that he had instructed the venue to turn off the lights after he had said goodnight.
This news coming from any other person could have enraged the audience...but due to his truly unique nature it was simply accepted with very little fuss! He left the stage saying that he had said all he had wanted to say, and the show came to a close.
The only other time I had heard of him doing this was about 10 years ago in Atlanta.

Overall it was a (as usual) great gig, but with a little less of a closeness with the audience than with previous gigs I had seen. I'll always remember those new songs he played and the meeting I had with him before the show.

1. intro
2. My Affected Accent
3. Let Her Go Into the Darkness
4. Egyptian Reggae
5. No One Was Like Vermeer
6. Take Me To the Plaza
7. Trumpet?
8. Celestial
9. Vincent Van Gogh
10. A Que Venimos A Caer
11. Keith Richards
12. Le Primtemps Des Amore Est Venue
13. Her Mystery Not Of High Heels or Eye Shadoe
14. O Moon, Queen Of Night On Earth
15. These Bodies That Came To Cavort
16. We Had a Fight Last Night

Saturday, June 16

Date in Rotterdam

A friend of mine from Holland just pointed me towards this -  New Date in Rotterdam on Wednesday 15 August 2012 - lets hope for a big Jojo Summer tour!

Monday, June 11

One of the "Losts albums"

Dr Faustroll on his BLog is sharing with us one of Jonathan's many lost albums. This one has demos and alternate takes of songs from the 80's which eventually got released. And others stayed in the shadow.

The set list goes like this :

Track 01. I’m A Little Airplane
Track 02. The Morning Of Our Lives
Track 03. In The Checkout Line
Track 04. Try This Brand New Dance
Track 05. Theme From The Moulin Rouge [instrumental]
Track 06. And That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll
Track 07. Ancient And Long Ago#
Track 08. The Fenway*
Track 09. Not Yet Three+
Track 10. Stop This Car+
Track 11. Shirin And Fahrad#
Track 12. Walter Johnson*
Track 13. Five Year Old Feeling

+ finally released in a different version on 1983’s Jonathan Sings!
* finally released in a different version on 1985’s Rockin’ & Romance.
# finally released in a different version on 1986’s It’s Time For Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers.

Friday, June 8

Beth Harrington needs our help

Our friend, and  Modern Lover extraordinaire,  Beth Harrington needs the help of all music lovers to finalize her beautiful documentary project "the Winding Stream". I leave it to her to explain her goal below, please do your best to get this to happen!


The Winding Stream is officially in post-production and we are now seeking funds to get the film done by the end of 2012! This is a story that has never been told in its entirety and it's one that we feel really needs to be told. 

Our film is the saga of the family at the very heart of Americana music - the Carters and Cashes. This family has influenced generations of musicians and has produced a cultural legacy that is celebrated to this day, 85 years since the first Carter Family recordings.
 Our documentary is a big story about our culture and our history. It features lots of great performances and interviews with a wide range of country and roots music artists. But our most notable interview is the one with the legendary Johnny Cash, granted to us in the last weeks of his life. We believe he allowed this interview for one simple reason - he thought it was critically important that people know the Carter Family story. He felt he owed them. The Carters not only influenced the course of country music - the genre he loved and excelled in - with their songs, but they also influenced it by saving Johnny Cash's life.

In 2010, lots of folks through Kickstarter generously helped us complete principal photography. With that money we were able to finish shooting key interviews with Johnny and June's son, John Carter Cash and his wife Laura, as well as interviews with June's daughter Carlene Carter, family friends and other well-known musicians. [NOTE: See our website for the complete rundown www.thewindingstream.com]

 So now we have a bunch of great footage that needs to be incorporated into the cut we've been working on. Ideally, we're hoping we could raise enough to pay some folks who've been working very hard on this for years for little or no compensation - in particular, we're talking about our diligent and talented editor, but we'd also want to cover our animator/graphics people, our clearance people, our sound designer, our color corrector and other post-production people. That would get us to fine cut stage!

 But all that comes with a big price tag - $250,000. And frankly we're nervous about going for that amount on Kickstarter since, as you probably know, it's an all or nothing proposition. If we don't meet our goal, the project doesn't get funded. 

 Still, we're not complete cowards. So we're going to think about this in parts.

 We've already completed Phase 1 in 2010. We raised that money for the aforementioned principal photography. Done! Successful! Thanks!

Phase 2 launching now will pay for the rest of the editing and some other post-production costs. Plus the fees and rewards and postage attached to this campaign. That's $50,000.

Phase 3 depends on the success of Phase 2. Maybe we can exceed our Phase 2 goal of $50,000 now? Can we raise the remaining $200,000? Though it's unusual, there have been some Kickstarter film projects that have succeeded in raising that amount and more.

 Could The Winding Stream - the story of the legendary Carters and Cashes - be one of those historic Kickstarter campaigns?

 Can you help us get there? 

There's some urgency to our pitch beyond Kickstarter. In a recent conversation with folks at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, we learned that they are extremely interested in screening the film there, perhaps as a premiere event, and will focus some additional programming on the Carter Family as well. We can't think of anything better to be a part of. We want our film in the mix!

We have to get The Winding Stream done by the end of 2012!

We also have had interest from other museums (Country Music Hall of Fame, Experience Music Project), festivals and broadcasters, but obviously, we can't take advantage of their offers to show the film when it's not done yet.

 And because we'd like the film to "do well by doing good" we're also committed to doing benefit screenings for The Winding Stream for MusiCares, the Grammy Foundation's philanthropic arm that helps musicians in need. That work can't start happening until we get the film done!

We're grateful to have received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, the Faerie Godmother Fund and the Roy W. Dean Grant. But films are expensive and with recent cutbacks in arts funding, this just hasn't been enough.

On several occasions, we've also encountered a skepticism among industry decision-makers who seem unsure that anyone cares about this story. But we know there's interest! We've had great support from the people who care about roots music, history, indie filmmaking and the world of rural America. We're hoping you folks are the ones who will help us get this film made.

 Please note that because The Winding Stream is being done in conjunction with the non-profit Center for Independent Documentary, your donation is tax deductible (minus the cost of your reward).

To our friends who've already helped us in the previous Kickstarter campaign, we say thanks again. You're the best. If you're inclined to pledge again, we'd be honored. But even if that's not in the cards for you, we hope you'll help spread the word to anyone you know who might share your enthusiasm for this project.

 The real success of a Kickstarter campaign relies on that exponential growth that occurs when you share our link and information about what we're doing! These campaigns grow only with your assistance. Please tell people about this film! Send them to this Kickstarter page and our website

 And please pass along any outreach ideas you have to us. We're giving this our all in the coming days but we can't get it done without you!

 Thanks a million.


 Beth Harrington and the gang down by The Winding Stream

Thursday, June 7

more like a party

CHICAGO – Robert Loerzal at Underground Bee on Jonathan Richman at the Pritzker Pavilion (June 4, 2012):

“It’s not a concert,” Jonathan Richman told the audience Monday night (June 4) at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park. “It’s supposed to be more like a party. That’s why I sang all the songs with the word ‘party.’” And indeed, Richman’s performance — like any Richman performance — didn’t feel like a normal concert. Not exactly a party, either. Not a party hosted by a normal person, anyway. Richman doesn’t seem like a normal person, and that’s much of the reason why it’s so entertaining and funny and touching to watch him play his music.

More (awesome photography too)

Wednesday, June 6

it all depends on the blue

Jonathan Richman Interview on Videowave via

Singer-Songwriter Johnathan Richman is interviewed in Maxwell's. by Dawn Eden. Episode #197. This is an old excerpt of a longer version from April '96.

Tuesday, June 5

Turquoise Taylor Grant 10/4/66 - 5/29/12

Turquoise Taylor Grant (via)

What will survive of us is love. (Philip Larkin)

In which Turquoise dreams that God turns out to be the lion Aslan and Heaven a nice trailer park filled with friends...

Turquoise (via)

Turquoise Taylor Grant, also known as Violet Veronica White, whose names were colors and whose favorite color was Emerald green, with robin's egg blue and sea glass hues not far behind; whose magical eyes changed colors from blue to green to grey depending on what she wore…

"Your Words Are Colors" - 5/29/12, by Emily Yates (via)

I wrote this song to honor the amazingness of Turquoise Taylor Grant, whose acquaintance I had the pleasure of making through her online writings in 2005. I was in the middle of my first deployment to Iraq, and had begun an online diary (before they were called by the unattractive name of "blogs") to combat anger, depression and loneliness during my year-long deployment. I spent my non-writing time reading other people's journals. Turquoise, or Violet, as I knew her, was one of those writers whose words were addictive. I read through all her old entries, with sore cheeks from laughing so very hard, and we began to correspond. She sent me at least one spectacular care package, probably more, and sent things like a blue foam wig and wallpaper samples with caricatures of her co-workers drawn on them with snarky captions. I dubbed her "Miss Vermont" due to her signing an email "V/T" for Violet/Turquoise. When I came home from Iraq and got out of the military, we stayed in touch, and actually hung out "in person" a few times. It was fabulous every time, of course. As was she. (Emily Yates)

Faithful friend of Jojoblog from times before it was conceived; vibrant woman-grrrl, lovely, lively, sweet, and kind; effusive, smart as a whip; glamorous sailboat-racer, even when (especially when) dressed in a sailor's anorak…

Singer/songwriter/strange bird of the band Strange Bird, and writer of witty greeting card captions; maker and mailer of mix cds and delightful mail art packages; brandisher of chic manicures and pedicures; fancy shoe and sticker hoarder; Gump's devotee and thrift store shopper…

Author/essayist/humorist of poignant truths, human foibles, snark, and confessional peccadilloes; ponderer of Big Questions; list-writer, artist, actress, office worker, extraordinary blogger

Heartbreakingly vulnerable and unflinchingly down to earth, light and life of parties, funny and fun-loving and brave with a strength beyond her tender reckoning…

Born in Boston, Massachusetts on 4 October 1966 with a lineage that may or may not have come over on the Mayflower, gone from this life in Ventura, California at daybreak on 29 May 2012 surrounded by love, surrounded by family…

She loved her beautiful Bengal cat, the splendid Kong, both for his luxurious spotted fur and for his ardor. They understood each other's wild roots and they shared mutual devotion...

She loved drinking Absolut Greyhounds. She loved fine china and crystal and sterling silver flatware and designer fabrics and gemstones and furs, not because she was a snob but because she loved exquisite things, because she herself was exquisite...

She loved watching Murder, She Wrote and Martha Stewart on television...

She loved her friends, she loved her angels, she was fascinated by ghosts…

Turquoise (via)

She lived on a boat in a marina for years with her longtime former companion the Keelhauler aka the Captain with whom she raced in regattas, some of them metaphorical. It was complicated…

I don't know what to say. I'm typing this through tears...

I've been struggling, faltering, barely keeping pace with my own challenges these past couple of years and had been unable to keep up with hers…

Turquoise is gone…

She loved Jonathan Richman's music, dreamed about him, and was a regular at his shows in the San Francisco area (and elsewhere, like in Paris for example, where she partied with our Jacques). It's likely many Jojoblog readers saw her dancing at those shows. She was old friends with Tommy Larkins from her days living in Tucson, where he's from…

For Turquoise: "They're Not Tryin' On The Dance Floor" by Jonathan Richman, by Emily Yates (via)

During the last couple weeks of her struggle with cancer, I told Turquoise I'd learn any Jonathan Richman songs she wanted me to, and would video myself playing them to send her. I was a day too late on this one, but here's my best effort. I owe Turquoise an ocean of thank-yous for asking me to learn this song, which she said was "under-appreciated." Luckily, she will never wear that label. Rest in peace, friend. (Emily Yates)

There's a chance (why not?) that she still dances at Jonathan and Tommy's shows. Look for her graceful presence tonight in Detroit at the Magic Stick. Her mystery's not of high heels or eye shadow- but most likely she will have the most perfect shoes and the most elegant eye makeup anyway. And the most delicate painted nails. Because she's like that. Because she is fabulous. Because she is foxy. Because she remains with us in our heart of hearts…

In which she will stay with us.

Turquoise (via)

Turquoise (Violet, Emerald) kept the most recent incarnation of her blog trilogy here, where her good friend will update news for memorial services and related information: still life with idiots

Some tributes/reminiscences:
becky haycox
leftyforjesus (has an image of Turquoise with her friend, and a wonderful painting she made of her mother)
Life in Scribbletown also here
spynotes – brian westbye
anne taintor

Be sure to view the slideshow images on anne taintor's site so you can see Turquoise's captions

Tuesday, May 8

Jojo USA Tour 2012

For more info: http://www.highroadtouring.com/artists/jonathan-richman/

BuyWed May 30 '12 (8pm)Boise, ID100% Headline
BuyThu May 31 '12 (9pm)Bozeman, MT100% Headline
Filling Station
BuySat Jun 2 '12 (9pm)Fargo, ND100% Headline
BuySun Jun 3 '12 (7:30pm)Minneapolis, MN100% Headline
Cedar Cultural Center
Mon Jun 4 '12 (6:30PM)Chicago, IL100% Headline
Millennium Park
BuyTue Jun 5 '12Detroit, MI100% Headline
Magic Stick
BuyWed Jun 6 '12 (8:30pm)Cleveland, OH100% Headline
Beachland Ballroom
Leah Alligator
Thu Jun 7 '12 (Per Advance)Pittsburgh, PA75% Special Guest
Three Rivers Arts Festival
BuyFri Jun 8 '12 (8:30pm)Philadelphia, PA100% Headline
Union Transfer
BuySat Jun 9 '12 (9pm)Hudson, NY100% Headline
Club Helsinki
BuyTue Jun 12 '12 (9pm)New York, NY100% Headline
Bowery Ballroom
BuyWed Jun 13 '12 (9pm)New York, NY100% Headline
Bowery Ballroom
BuyThu Jun 14 '12 (9pm)Richmond, VA100% Headline
The Camel
BuyFri Jun 15 '12 (9pm)Asheville, NC100% Headline
The Grey Eagle
BuySat Jun 16 '12 (10pm)Knoxville, TN100% Headline
Pilot Light
BuySun Jun 17 '12 (9pm)Birmingham, AL100% Headline
BuyTue Jun 19 '12 (10pm)New Orleans, LA100% Headline
One Eyed Jacks
BuyWed Jun 20 '12Baton Rouge, LA100% Headline
Spanish Moon
BuyThu Jun 21 '12 (10pm)Houston, TX100% Headline
Continental Club: Houston
BuyFri Jun 22 '12 (10pm)Austin, TX100% Headline
The Mohawk
BuySat Jun 23 '12San Antonio, TX100% Headline
The Korova
BuySun Jun 24 '12Marfa, TX100% Headline
Marfa Book Company
BuyTue Jun 26 '12 (9pm)Albuquerque, NM100% Headline
BuyWed Jun 27 '12Tucson, AZ100% Headline
La Cocina
BuyThu Jun 28 '12 (8pm)Phoenix, AZ100% Headline
Crescent Ballroom
BuyFri Jun 29 '12 (9pm)Los Angeles, CA100% Headline
The Echo
BuySat Jun 30 '12Costa Mesa, CA100% Headline
Detroit Bar
BuySun Jul 1 '12San Francisco, CA100% Headline
Make-Out Room
BuyMon Jul 2 '12San Francisco, CA100% Headline
Make-Out Room
BuyTue Jul 3 '12San Francisco, CA100% Headline
Make-Out Room