Monday, March 16, 2009

Jonathan Richmand and The Modern Lovers

I was thinking today on my commute to work about the music I listened to in various decades. These thoughts prompted by my 1990's musical choice for gluttony, the third installment in Kay's Seven Deadly Sins meme.

Okay, so... I went all the way back to the 70's; 1976, to be exact. I was seventeen. And it really was a lot like Dazed and Confused, though in our town there was a lot more of an ethnic mix. And a lot more drugs. In fact, it was out of control. But that's a post for another time. If I can bear it. :-)

If you've seen that movie you'll probably want to ask me which character represented the likes of Pagan in '76. But I'm not gonna tell ya. You'll have to guess. ;-) Shouldn't be too hard...

But this isn't about a movie. It's about a quintessentially Massachusetts song about a very peculiar decade to be a kid.

Jonathan Richman and The Modern Lovers.

one two three four five six
Roadrunner, roadrunner
Going faster miles an hour
Gonna drive past the Stop 'n' Shop
With the radio on

I'm in love with Massachusetts
And the neon when it's cold outside
And the highway when it's late at night
Got the radio on
I'm like the roadrunner


  1. I saw the Modern Lovers at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1977. By that point Richman had long turned his back on this, his most brilliant, album and started singing about ice cream men. But as this album had only been released in 1976 (some years after it was recorded) we all wanted "Roadrunner" et al. Added to this disappointment, Richman decided to play this large barn of a theatre without amplification. I was about 5 rows back downstairs and still had problems hearing him. The Clash were in the front row upstairs and spent most of the concert telling him exactly what they thought about wasting a whole load of dosh on a ticket for somebody they could see but not hear (this was before the Clash could afford to waste money). It wasn't the best concert I've ever been to but it was memorable.

  2. Still one of my musical heroes, and still kickin' it down in his inimitable adolescent (!) style.

    What a friggin' genius!

  3. CR: I was hoping you'd come by for this. You Massachusetts boy, you! I hope you're feeling better. Thanks for driving Tiny Little to Boston. :-)

  4. And doesn't Jonathan R. look so much like Jonathan The Priest? Same bemused expression and everything. But I think he should cool with the hair gel, don't you? ;-)

  5. No, I think his poodle-do becomes him - it's so innocently wrong, like his style/affect. He's like a big puppy, even at 57.

    But I spent the evening surfing YouTube because of this, and settled for I Was Dancing In The Lesbian Bar as my favorite.

    Wonder what he's doing these days - I'd love to see him in NoHo!

  6. I will wait for Cleopatra
    For I know my time must come,
    And I'm gettin' ready for wherever she'll be at-ra,
    Cause I'm gettin' stronger now and not so dumb.
    Abdul yearns for Cleopatra in the early desert sun.

    and here's another fan who misses New England way back when :-)

  7. Poodle-do? Silly Runt. Jonathan Richman is the one farthest to the right. And I was referring to Mad Priest's hairdo when I mentioned the gel.

    I've been slightly off the wavelength with at least two people in blogging tonight. Must be it's Monday or somefing.

    Susan: You are a member of a select club of blogging nerds who like this type of silliness! That's one reason I adore you!

  8. CR: Mad Priest's hair - it's photo shop created. It was a joke. Oh, never mind! :-D

  9. Great song, and that is one of the greatest albums of all time.

    Trivia note: second from the left is Jerry Harrison, who went on to Talking Heads.

  10. Hi, Tom

    Jerry Harrison sported a whole new look for Talking Heads, didn't he? Thanks for the trivia.

  11. Okay - I'm so lame stuck in the Midwest in 1976 at a slightly younger age and probably listening to the likes of the Bee Gees and Leif Garrett. But that music is fantastic.

    I'd put my money on the hippie chick played by Milla Jovovich or Jodi Kramer (Mitch's sister). We just watched that movie last weekend.

  12. Lisa: huh. maybe. but with more than a touch of the girl who hung out with the two nerdy boys. ;-) I have a soft spot for nerdy boys.


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