Friday, May 15

Jonathan Does Casablanca

Check out Jonathan's latest activity on the stage...
A huge casting coup for this local adaptation was in the role of Sam—a black piano player in the movie—who is played here by world-renowned singer/songwriter Jonathan Richman (listed in the program as Michel DeMenilmontant but properly credited on the cast’s wall photos). Richman, who now lives in Chico, provides low-volume incidental French-accented guitar music throughout as well as one featured number sung in French, in addition to a touching rendition of the film’s iconic theme song, "As Time Goes By".

Wednesday, May 13

You’ve got mail, from Jonathan Richman! Also Summer Tour 2015

Debbie Gulyas of Blue Arrow Records recently contacted us to request questions Jonathan Richman might answer on Jojoblog!  We are honored that he agreed to this arrangement and happy to see he chose to illustrate his handwritten communication with drawings! 

For years Jonathan faithfully replied to his fan mail, taking it seriously and delighting countless fans with “old school” letters that would be mailed from wherever he happened to be on the road.  This letter to Jojoblog readers continues the tradition in the same genial spirit:  an echo of the past, present in the now.

Blue Arrow Records released the recent vinyl records "O Sun" backed with "Wait Wait Wait" and "Keith" backed with "The Door to Bohemia."  Have a look around their web site and read their story here:

Nugrape sent a numbered list of questions and Jonathan responded to number 5, which is why the letter begins with the number 5.

This is the email Debbie sent to go with the letter:
Greetings to everyone! I am pleased to send you the first answer to one of your questions that I received in the mail today from Jonathan. It's perfect timing, since he and Tommy will begin their summer West Coast tour in June! I am also attaching the poster Jonathan made for this tour.

You are free to post these on the blog as long as you let people know that Jonathan does not use the internet or own a computer and these are being sent through me to reach his fans.

Enjoy! I will send another answered question in a month.


As you can see, the other big news is summer tour for Jonathan Richman and Tommy Larkins beginning in June for West Coast USA and Vancouver.  The itinerary with details is on High Road Touring:

The tour poster artwork (see down below) by Jonathan is like a song in progress, you can envision the energy and feel the beat, dark of night and spotlit stage- it’s wonderful.


This is the content of the letter from Jonathan Richman, for those who need to run it through a translator:

5. How has touring changed?

Ya still throw the gear in the back and drive just like when I was 19. The U.S.A. isn’t the same place so that’s changed.

Highways used to look like this:

Here a great mural type drawing, intersections of a bustling highway with crowds of people, cars and lots of one-of-a-kind neon)

Whereas they now look like this:

Here a sort of sterile depiction of modular interstate scene/vanishing point that could be Anyplace, USA)

But playing the shows is sometimes more fun (
here something marked out straight through) than it ever was, anyway.

Tommy and I both love the way things have been going with the audiences these last most recent years. I wouldn’t trade. I have also changed. I don’t have the chip on my shoulder I once had. (
here a passage scribbled out in coils like a Jackson Pollock painting).

So I just like “now.” The past is past: give me “now.”
The past was cozy and had color everywhere. “Now” is bleak, but even so, give me “now.”

Tommy drives about 70%. Me the other 30%.

But I’m the one who always pumps the gas, for some reason.

Click images to see original size.