Wednesday, May 17, 2017

WACKY WEDNESDAY: We Just Missed Jonathan's Birthday!

Jonathan Richman at Meow Wolf, Santa Fe, NM
Nov. 5, 2016

The strange and wonderful Jonathan Richman turned 66 on Wacky Wednesday Eve, Tuesday May 16.

Richman and his band The Modern Lovers, in their early-'70s incarnation, was a pioneering post-garage, pre-punk band from New England. Richman was a Velvet Underground fanatic, though his own vision was much less dark and far more whimsical.

By the end of the '70s Richman's sound was getting softer, more acoustic, more chidlike, Through the years he's stayed true to his oddball vision.

A personal note: Back in 1998 I got to open for Jonathan when he played in Santa Fe. Truly one of the highlights of my own tacky music career.

Below are some of my favorite Jonathan tunes.

Here's one from one his frequent appearances on Late Night with Conan O'Brien in the early '90s.

And here's another Conan performance.  Everybody loves those vampire girls.

Going back to 1987, here's a tribute to Jonathan's favorite Marx brother.

Gregg Turner does a fine cover of this Jonathan favorite.

Speaking of people who've covered Jonathan, here are a couple of versions of Modern Lovers songs, starting with an acoustic take on "Pablo Picasso" by Iggy Pop.

And here's Joan Jett singing Jonathan's song about New Mexico's state bird.

And here's the first Jonathan song I ever heard back in the mid '70s. It's still one of my favorites.

Drummer Tommy Larkins with Jonathan Richman at Meow Wolf last year

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