Monday, May 19, 2008

Superhero Appreciation Week - Jonathan Richman



Jonathan Richman - Live at The Schauberg, Bremen, Germany (6/3/85) Part 1
Jonathan Richman - Live at The Schauberg, Bremen, Germany (6/3/85) Part 2

Jonathan is one of my heroes. From the first second of the first Modern Lovers' song that I heard, I was in love, in awe, a devotee for life. Jonathan gave me a way of understanding the world, an ethical pathway, that helped me negotiate the horrors of high school while retaining my sanity. "Girlfriend" and "I'm Straight" and every damn song he sang was like church music to me. He taught me it was okay to be a romantic in an unromantic world, a man with a soft heart in a world that valued hardness, a guy who really does like to have a girl or a woman as a friend. Because of all this, and for literal decades of pleasure from his music, Jonathan is one of my superheroes this week.

This is a cool boot, too. I think it's two distinct sets from the same evening. A couple songs get repeated in set two, but that don't matter. Jonathan doesn't bore. My wife and I saw him at the long-gone O'Cayz Corral, back in '89 or '90, and by the last song of the night, the only thing you could hear in that jam-packed bar was his perfect voice and guitar. Not a mutter from the crowd, not a glass tinkling. The song was "Girlfriend" and it was perfect - hundreds of people holding their collective breath to catch every syllable - until the drunk next to me started yelling along to the chorus. I nearly killed a man, that night. But Jonathan wouldn't have liked that.

And, for a hero, buy shit!

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Now playing: dB's, The - Ups and Downs
via FoxyTunes

7 comments:

Nazz Nomad said...

years ago the missus and i were in bahs-ton... and we passed by government center and i was real excited because of the modern lovers tune called government center. my wife of course (correctly) thought i was a total idiot.

and how cool was it that he was the greek chorus in something about mary!

gomonkeygo said...

I was singing Modern Lovers' tunes under my breath all the time the last time we were there. I know the feeling.

Yet, somehow, they still love us.

rogue46 said...

the first time i saw the modern lovers was in NYC , new years eve at the mercer arts center, i'm not sure the year, but it was around the time of their first album. i think the ny dolls were also playing. i was with glenn mercer of the feelies. we didn't know what to make of him. i wasn't sure if it was a put-on or if it was for real. i really enjoyed their music though.

Kadek55 said...

Great!

Thanks a lot!!

Scott said...

ah...

one of my all time favourite bootlegs and for that matter musical recordings...thankyou for putting it online. i have a copy of this on cassette from about 1986/87 from a local flea market where i grew up in australia (in a suburb not known for musical adventures). a guy would appear each sunday and i'd pick a cassette for about $5 and dream of being at the gigs...

what a wonderful gig.

stupid and contagious said...

great piece, man!

so good that we've borrowed it here;
http://stupidd.blogspot.com/2009/09/punk-hero-jonathan-richman.html
if that's ok ... full credits given of course!

Any problem, let us know and we'll rip it out.

cheers!

alberto said...

Thank you, I also put a link on jojofiles.blogspot.com