JONATHAN RICHMAN Featuring TOMMY LARKINS On Drums
It’s safe to say he’s UNIQUE. Jonathan Richman is a professional singer, songwriter, musician, troubadour and stone-mason. He’s been writing music, recording and touring for most of his life. He is one of the greats of American music.
Jonathan began writing his own songs in the mid-1960s and quickly became infatuated with The Velvet Underground. He lived on the sofa of The VU’s manager as he tried desperately to break into the professional music scene. By the end of the recent Todd Haynes doc The Velvet Underground, you’ll envy Richman’s “life-changing” experience seeing his heroes perform live before time and changing tastes eventually earned them the kind of acclaim and following it frustratingly never achieved in the moment.
Failing the success he desired, Jonathan moved from Boston to New York City in 1969 and soon formed The Modern Lovers with him as frontman and the driving force. They soon had an outsized influence on the Sex Pistols, the burgeoning punk movement and what would be called new wave. Former Modern Lovers’ member Jerry Harrison would go on to join Talking Heads (and recently joined Jonathan to record/produce) and David Robinson would provide the beat for The Cars. Recording in 1972 under the tutelage of the VU’s John Cale, The Modern Lovers recorded a number of demos. Out of this came several songs including Roadrunner, a two chord homage to The Velvet’s Sister Ray which was grabbed as the title of the recent CNN Anthony Bourdain doc, ROADRUNNER.
Jonathan’s been making records and performing for over 50 years which is most of his life, winning fans and making friends around the world with his unique insight, guileless honesty and playfully catchy compositions. In the Farrelly Brothers’ 1998 film THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY, Jonathan and his long-time drummer Tommy Larkins served as a two-man Greek chorus, commenting on the plot while performing their music within the framed action itself. The twosome are returning to Toronto to mend your heart and loosen your chi. The live shows consisting of an acoustic guitar and a tiny drum kit are enough to create magic. They perform without anything approaching a gimmick. There’s no light show. There’s no complicated choreography. There’s no crowd-sourced set list created in real time via Twitter. “Buy tickets early. This is just good general life advice, but even more so when you’re talking about Jonathan Richman. Don’t get denied at the door, don’t leave things up to chance: You will regret it.” –Nashville Scene
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- October 23
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- GARY TOPP & CIUT