Here In 1975 - still going strong
Willie BGNTWO.jpg - 5.73 K Ocasac BGN.jpg - 6.12 K The Late Risers Club WMBR at MIT Nervous Eaters pIc by Denise Donahue Johnathan Richman. Oedipus - for a while he had rainbow colored dandruff.
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The BGN News Archive

March 24, 2014

Jonathan Richman

This week of partying and stuff started early with Miss Lyn heading over to Atwood's in Cambridge On Sunday 3/16 to meet up with Kenne Highland and welcome Max Demata, Sonic Daze lead singer, and his family to Boston. Preacher Jack was playing and AJ Wachtel was there for the Noise. Kenny Kaiser made a cameo appearance to welcome Max, as did Gee Julie. Max is a Gizmos fantatic and Boston music scene fanatic as well! His band Sonic Daze originally started out as a DMZ cover band! Tuesday Miss Lyn met up with Kenne and Max along with Carl Biancucci to talk a little more and see how the visit to Boston was going. Max interviewed us all for Italian Radio. Max first heard about the whole Boston scene when he was young, in the early 80s since it was actually a very big thing over in Italy. He found out about the Gizmos through a friend named Lux Inferior and he's frankly never been the same since. Max will be playing bass in the Gizmo's 2014 Reunion.

Sonic Group

   So, yeah, the Gizmos Reunion 2014 is a definite now. Krazee Ken Highland and the other guys will be playing in Bloomington (june 12) & Indianapolis, IN(June 13) and its looking like Cincinnati, OH and possibly Chicago. Please go to the Kickstarter page to donate to the cause to get these guys on planes and trains to head to Bloomington to play!! Even $10 will help!! They know for sure that these original Gizmos will be performing on the tour: Ken Highland, Eddie Flowers, Ted Niemiec, and Rich Coffee ...and Max Demata on bass. You can read more about it in this weeks Ken Highland At Large column as well.

   Now later in the week....

   We hit the Thursday show of Jonathan Richman's three day sold out stand at the Middle East Up. He's done the same thing here before. It was an early 8pm. show.

   We got up front which was easy to do when we arrived. Rich Parsons and Susan Rowe were right there with us arriving a few minutes later. Richie said he saw Paul Robinson there too. (Paul later posted on FB that he felt like he was 17 all over again!).
   As Richman hopped on stage with drummer Tommy Larkin he looked out he gave a nod and a hello to Richie. Then it was a nice long show (over an hour) of Jonathan doing the Jonathan thing and you know what that is, if you like that, and I do.

Jonathan Richman

Richman dancing     Most of the songs were extended with extra observations and side stories that he thinks apply to the subject of the lyrics. In "Summer Feeling" for example he adds some memories of his that illustrate a summer day. There were lots of New England and Boston references as you would expect. There were only a few Modern Lovers' songs. He concentrated on newer material. He also sang a couple of songs in Spanish and one song he sang in French. His voice and guitar playing seem made for the Spanish style and his mouth contorted like a natural Frenchman in the French song - pretty impressive stuff!

   He did "Lesbian Bar", a longtime favorite. He took that opportunity to do the Jonathan dance steps. "Interpretive dance" as Richie predicted earlier! Jonathan often jettisoned the guitar to dance around or pick up a maraca to help Larkin during a drum break or punctuate the beat in a certain place.

    He made a hilarious comment to someone in the audience who was using his smart phone: "Whatcha watchin' on that TV? Anything good?" The crowd roared with laughter. He followed that with a little diatribe against the "screens", meaning all televisions, computers, smart phones and iPads. I think it was during the song "These Bodies That Came To Cavort".

   None of this is new to you who follow Richman. I saw him in NYC a few years ago in a big hall. I enjoyed this much more, being just feet away. I was able to see and hear the guitar work which is always free style and lose.

    Meanwhile it was very, very hot and steamy. I think I was heading for a faint as my body heat was building up and the sweat was running down my back. But the show ended just soon enough. I've had lots of uncomfortable times in that rock sweat lodge. Outside I soon revived by gulping some water along with an energy bar.

The Boston Goupie News Jonathan Richmond Interview from 1980.
THE BGN JONATHAN RICHMAN INTERVIEW

The strypes

   That's was needed because next up was heading for Great Scotts where The Strypes were playing.

    Eric Law sent out a link to a video of the group months ago and that showed a too young to be believed quartet barreling through "Can't Judge a Book by the Cover". By now they have gotten a bigger buzz and Eric notified they were playing Great Scotts.

    I did what I'm doing more and more - buying a ticket online. I wasn't wrong because it sold out when I got there.

   Outside the huge tour bus and equipment trailer illustrated the support they are getting from somebody...I'd really like to know who! Inside were a lot of familiar faces: Mary Lou Lord, Carl Biancucci,Todd Purple, Andrew Hegarty, Vinny Bratti, Michele Meadows and Larry, Kim and Cam Ackland, John and Jeff Blout, Brett Milano, Joanie Lindstrom, WMFO's Skybar, Johnny Black, and Judy Wilburn among others.

The Strypes at Great Scotts

   One thing you couldn't fail to see was that this was an old crowd. We think we are cool picking up on the buzz but what about the college crowd that is usually packing the club? I mean even the audience at the Jonathan Richman gig had a large percent of young people in the mix. It seems like this group maybe doesn't appeal to them.
   All The Strypes' influences are from pre 1970. They have an old rocking style down pat and its exciting stuff...to us I guess. The current generation is not picking up on it, but all that seems academic as the group starts to play.

Strypes    The immediate impression is being hit by a thundering onslaught of sound. It never stops the whole set. There are no slow songs or down time, it's all fast paced songs with a very busy rhythm section. Everyone but everyone mentions the Yardbirds' influence. It's pretty obvious and all encompassing. They don't even deal with the slow things, psyche songs or eastern influenced material just the blues and the 'rave up' style the group excelled at. Of course early Yardbirds were like that too.
   The crowd was eating all this up and I was too. It's too good. The set was so exciting all the way through but then it got even better near the end with Heart Of the City, Can't Judge a Book by the Cover and the best yet- Rollin' and Tumblin'. There couldn't be more? Yes, the encores were Rockaway Beach by the Ramones and the last song Louie Louie.

    What can you say? A group of teenagers rocks the house with blues based material 30 years older than them and encores with the national anthem to a club of people who grew up with it but don't get to hear it live anymore. The cover was $10.00. Best money spent this year.

    On Saturday afternoon there was no tour bus, crowds, advance tickets or hype connected with the all ages Midway gig. Inside we had a small crowd with a few preteens, one baby and one dog, at the bar....yes, one dog at the bar.

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