Wednesday, June 21

Happy First Day of Summer, Northern Hemispherers!

It's the first day of summer here in the northern hemisphere.  And my mind wanders not to the justifiably famous "That Summer Feeling" but to a long-lost song of Jonathan's which evokes summer a little more subtly. And that like the Summer of '69 (or '84, or '02, or '14) is soon destined to become a completely faded memory in the annals of Jonathan lore, because no known recording of it exists.

But I heard it myself. Somewhere in the Eighties.  I think the scene took place on a beach in summer. The song went (as I remember):

I'm walking by the boarded-up snack bar
Trying to chase down a feeling

It had an extremely sweet melody. It was a meditation on the memories that that little snack bar contained.

The only reference to it online that I can find is to a title "The Old Snack Bar" performed by Jonathan in December 1989 at the Subterranea Club in London. I was not at that show. So it must've been performed at least twice. I'm thinking earlier 80s. Which is a good sign because it's possible that Jonathan may have performed this for as long as a decade at various times and places.

Obviously if you have a recording of this, please get in touch.  Because

Time has been going by so fast
So that I can foresee
The day we'll say goodbye

The names and significance of Jonathan rarities like this will someday be forgotten, and exist merely as a twinkle in the eye of the children or grandchildren of long-gone Jojo fans.  Maybe that's okay.   Maybe it's even the way it should be.  But while we've got the technology, let's chase them down now.  I am doubting the world will ever have a better song about a boarded-up old snack bar.

And not to tease, here is an Australian talk-show performance of That Summer Feeling .. ironically from the place where they are celebrating the opening of winter today... Australia. A continent, according to this very blog, he has only visited twice so far: 1983 and 1997.    (But what the hell is this from setlist?).

In the upper-left corner of the frame, you can see the heads of the other After Dark guests (including Jello Biafra and John Cale), and host Donnie Sutherland exploding as the show is - very abruptly and totally - commandeered away from snark/smirk (or is it smirk/snark?) by perhaps the most "extra verse" cog-dis inducing version of TSF ever performed by Jonathan.  

ps I wonder if Jonathan was influenced directly by Jerry Mathers role as the Beaver ... or maybe it's just a primordial slightly-puzzled American kid look (from another Australian tour interview):

pps:  Dont miss this classic exchange @3:39
Interviewer: "Do you write books?"
Jonathan: "Do I write 'em? No." 
Interviewer: [disappointed] No??"