I'm no stranger to the more breakneck speeds of rock tourism, but I also enjoy being able to slow down and settle in for a bit. That was the original plan for lingering in Los Angeles a few hours more than normal. I had no idea it would also mean that we'd take in a Jonathan Richman in-store at Rockaway Records, but I was glad to avail myself of the opportunity.
Jonathan Richman, Rockaway Records, June 7, 2008: A common lament among music fans is the challenge of taking friends--who may also be dedicated concertgoers--to a gig that you think they'll like, but when it comes down to it, you have no clue whether they'll be delighted or bored. It may very well turn into a train wreck that's never spoken of ever again if you want to maintain your relationship. We've all been there, right?
The memory of such situations serve to remind me why I'm nuts about the music fans who I happen to call my dear friends. We frequently go to gigs on each other's recommendations, just because we know it'll be good time. Thus, for the second occasion, I found myself accompanying Evonne to at a Jonathan Richman show.
Evonne had provided a rundown of Jonathan's performances at the Mint, the site of his four-show residency that week. I'm acquainted with his gigs, having seen him open for several of my favorite musicians over the years. This in-store performance served as a tidy representation of his current tour promoting his new album. He played old songs, mixed with the new ones, some of which featured his explications and translations. There wasn't too much dancing, but there was plenty of good cheer. And of course, Tommy accompanied him, this time on a pair of bongos.
The situation with his vocal chords has seemed to improve since the last time I saw him, as he spoke quite a bit to the audience, with no audible signs of wear and tear. The fans at this well-attended show, some of whom had no idea he was even due to play until they walked in, responded with huge grins and hearty applause.
» jonathan, why so heavy on the latin?