Today’s face is Jonathan Richman.
Wendy and I went and saw Jonathan Richman play at the Somerville Theater in 2011. It was a good show and a lot of fun. We live in Natick now, which is his home town. I can’t recall when I first heard his music but I suspect is was in 1985 when I worked at Mississippi’s restaurant in Kenmore Square. Everyone brought in tapes to play during their shifts and it was always a wildly eclectic mix.
Over the course of any night you’d be likely to hear the Meat Puppets, Frank Sinatra, Yellowman, Hank Williams, the Butthole Surfers, Johnny Cash, etc. The experience definitely broadened my taste in music.
Jonathan Richman’s music has always felt very playful to me. Sure there are some serious and thoughtful songs but most of them are just catchy, silly and fun. When we saw him play it was a pretty simple sound, just him on guitar and a drummer. Simple but awesome. And on the subject of awesome, Roadrunner is being considered as the official rock song of Massachusetts. It’s up again Dream On but come on, how could you not go with the Modern Lovers?
For your listening pleasure, here are a couple of songs by Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers. Check ’em out.