Jonathan Richman

After fronting the Modern Lovers, Jonathan Richman retreated from the machismo world of Sex Pistols, Dead Boys and Buzzcocks, and though often considered a godfather of punk rock, he quickly surrendered himself to endless childhood. Where the Velvet Underground served as the major catalyst to his earliest work, Richman soon became a sponge for an array of world-music sounds. Absorbing unpunk Latin styles and transforming himself into something of an impish troubadour, Richman’s lyrical focus has remained steadfastly direct; happiness, love and wonder all make more sense without all the gray area. And as his appearances in movies like There’s Something About Mary prove, those subjects can be painfully funny sometimes. While Richman has aged, his voice still sounds like the one that asked that girl to drop out of BU back in the ’70s, and his live show, often consisting simply of himself and drummer Tommy Larkins, almost never sticks to the script.

Categories: Music