Modern Lovers founder Jonathan Richman visits town—a rare treat for fans of the proto-punk legend
Singer, songwriter and guitarist Jonathan Richman is an odd duck. He founded the proto-punk band The Modern Lovers in his adopted hometown of Boston in 1969 before relocating to New York City the next year. Heavily influenced by the Velvet Undergound, Richman slept on the couch of that band’s manager, Steve Sesnick, before returning to Boston.
The original band existed from 1970-74, but their recordings were not released until 1976, according to the band’s history on Wikipedia. The band included bassist Ernie Brooks with drummer David Robinson (later of The Cars) and keyboardist Jerry Harrison (later of Talking Heads) and pointed the way towards much of the punk rock, new wave, alternative and indie rock music of later decades. Their only album, the eponymous The Modern Lovers, contained stylistically unprecedented songs about dating awkwardness, growing up in Massachusetts, and love of life.
Since then, Richman has worked either solo or with low-key, generally acoustic, backing. He is known for his wide-eyed, unaffected and childlike outlook and music that, while rooted in rock and roll, often draws on influences from around the world.
Jonathan Richman wtih Mythical Motors, One Timers and Folk Killer
Friday, Feb. 8 • 8:30 p.m. • JJ’s Bohemia • 231 E. MLK Blvd. • (423) 266-1400 • jjsbohemia.com