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Jonathan Richman at DiPiazza’s Italian Restaurant, Wednesday,June 17, 2015, Review

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We are all misfits and Jonathan is our leader.

In trademark black and white French style long sleeved t-shirt, Jonathan Richman along with drummer/sidekick Tommy Larkins, took the stage for over an hour on a sweltering Wednesday evening. It was made even more sweltering by the body count and the fact that air conditioning bothers Jojo’s throat. Besides that, it was a pretty decent appearance.

I have seen Jonathan many, many times and of course, I dig the olden days when he would crawl around the stage during “I’m a Little Dinosaur”. Jonathan is not known to look backwards too much. This show was loaded with songs that I was not familiar with albeit engaging as only Jonathan can do.  Plus a number of gems like a totally reworked “Summer Feeling”, the crowd pleasing “I Was Dancing in the Lesbian Bar”,  “Her Mystery Not of High Heels”, and a brief cover of Sly Stone’s “I Want to Take You Higher”,…Now , I am guessing on the titles of the next few, “Old World”, “These Bodies”, “Time is Going by So Fast”, all are really engaging and lyrically astute songs as only Jonathan can play. He ended with “Volare” and as he was trying to pack up and leave the stage he broke into an impromptu “Let it Be”.

Jonathan is a fantastic storyteller/songwriter/entertainer and appeals to a wide range of folks. The make-up of his audience continues to amaze me. Jonathan’s audience has a diverse range in age and includes hipster beardo’s to long hair frizzy hippie types. Also, he was in a much better mood and form and looser than the last time that I saw him. I was really contemplating on passing on this show, and it was basically a gametime decision to go. But the kindness of my friends, Tom Holland and especially Mark DiPiazza, and a text from Misty’s friend to go see Jojo, she would have wanted that, got me out of my funk and out of the house.

Jonathan had a big part in my relationship with my late wife. We saw him every chance that we had and I will never forget that we listened to “Rockin’ and Romance” lp on the last weekend we spent together at home. So Jonathan looms large in my life. This is why it was tough to go alone to this, lots of memories, good memories, but the drive home echoed with sadness and loneliness. But there were a few moments when it seemed like all I had to do was look over next to me and she’d be smiling…so if you have never witnessed the wonder that is Richman, by all means check him out, he must be good for Lou Reed to say, “I’m not responsible for Jonathan Richman.”

Here’s to the folks that are all misfits and Jonathan is their leader.

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