Jonathan Richman’s career has proved so long-lasting — more than 35 years now — because he is seen as the eternally endearing manchild. At age 57, he still has the looks of a boy, an adorable waif maybe — lean with dark hair and staring eyes, a knowing smile and an oddly punctuated, affectless speaking style that suggests a youngster proudly making declarations (“Yes, I can walk!”) to amused adults.
His live performances tend to underscore the image – minimalist, almost-outsiderish Folk Rock played by him on acoustic guitar and supported by low-key partner Tommy Larkins on drums. He’s given to interrupting songs with impromptu dancing, hand-clapping and hip-shaking from the stage. His wardrobe is unstylish; he at one point liked horizontally striped shirts that made him look like a child dressed up as a pirate (he posed as one for the cover of his Surrender to Jonathan album).
The result has been that many of his fans see him as a lovable, high-energy Comedy Rock act with an attention-deficit disorder only relieved by dancing. Richman, the perpetually endearing manchild, performs his minimalist, almost-outsiderish Folk Rock at The Southgate House. Read the full story here.