Honestly, this really is one of my favorite songs ever. If you got a mix tape from me at any time during the first ten or so years that I made mix tapes, this song was on it. Go check if you don't believe me. This is the first song The Machine has picked for me to which I already knew all the words ("Egg Man" being probably the closest contender thus far). It's the best, better than "Road Runner" even.
I tried to honor the "Live" aspect of this track by playing it... well, live. And I also tried to capture a little bit of the spirit of my favorite Richman solo album, the one just called Jonathan Richman on which most of the tracks are performed just by the singer and his electric guitar (although mine turned out a little more harrowing than anything on that record). I also sang a few of the tweaked lyrics from this performance (and then undid that tribute by singing a few other lines the way I misheard them for years).
The "cover art cover" today is worth a note, in that it's the most effort I've put into the artwork and simultaneously the least noticeable... as fun as it was to put myself in front of Jerry Harrison and Ernie Brooks, you really can't easily tell it isn't still Richman. Lesson learned?
Rex Broome ~ Everything
This remains one of my favorites. The solo Rick 12 has a lot less tightly coiled tension than the slashing guitar and keys of the original, but it also has its own kind of stately uptight menace somehow. And I just like my vocal; it seems very Jonathan without sounding like the easy imitation of him it could have been.
At the time I wondered if I should change my spontaneous lyrical alteration "I-- stay alone-- eat CAT FOOD! AT HOME!" back to the original, if maybe it was too silly. But ultimately I'm glad I kept it. It feels in character for the guy narrating this version of the song, even if it might not've been quite right for Jojo's.