February 11, 2004

there's no shadow, where you stood

* 1998 interview of Jonathan Richman. an excerpt:

JH: I heard it this way- you were listening to the radio and heard the Velvet Underground playing, and immediately hitchhiked to New York where you showed up unannounced at Lou Reed's door. Lou sent you over to stay with Danny Fields.

JR: No. That's not true. But it's a great story, though.

JH: Did you in fact hang out with the Velvet Underground?

JR: They played Boston. They played at the Boston Tea Party and through an amazing chain of events I got to hang out with them backstage even though I was underage.

JH: Ah, that got transmogrified by the myth-making machine. And the New York part?

JR: I visited Lou Reed in New York a few times before I went away. I visited them a few times when I was still living at home- took the train down. I hung out with the Velvet Underground a bit, slept on their manager's couch but it was Steve Selznick not Danny Fields. Later on John and I…see, I lived in New York for a year when I was 18. I moved to there to be with the Velvet Underground. While I was there I'd bought a little Fender Vibrolux amp and I'd left it there. So when I came home John Felice and I took the bus to NYC to pick up my amp. That could maybe be where that story came from. We slept in Central Park, which is no mean feat- we got there and it was almost dawn when we went to sleep. The fact that we slept in Central Park and woke up alive tells you that it was 1969 and not a day later. (suddenly realizing he has his dates wrong) Actually, it was 1970. So we were dead.

JH: The first record is almost like a Velvet Underground record screened through a Jonathan filter. I mean to me it sounds like a Velvets album- only better. I know you wouldn't use a superlative like "better," but I actually heard the Modern Lovers long before I heard the Velvets so it's different for me. Had they influenced you a lot as far as the sound you were going for on the black record? Or did you sound like that beforehand?

JR: If there was no Velvet Underground there would have been no such record. Does that tell you what you need to know?

* US military may run out of money. The military will have no money to pay for the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for three months beginning Oct. 1 because the White House is declining to ask Congress for funding until December or January, well after the presidential election.

* Pazz & Jop poll is up.


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