Jonathan Richman at The Swedish American Hall, by William Wayland
Jonathan Richman (photo: William Wayland)

Words by William Wayland

Hardcore fans lost their shit on Tuesday when Jonathan Richman was joined onstage by Jerry Harrison at the sold-out Swedish American Hall. Yes, you already know that Jonathan and Jerry were both original members of the Modern Lovers and that Jerry Harrison went on to join the Talking Heads in addition to his own solo work, but if you’ve seen Jonathan and Jerry share the stage in the last two or three decades, let us know because even his publicist didn’t know when this last happened. (As of this writing, she’s asking Jonathan if he knows.)

If Jerry Harrison on the harmonium wasn’t enough, Jonathan was also accompanied by his wife, Nicole Montalbano, on the tanpura and, of course, the masterful Tommy Larkins on drums.

The night was divided into two sets with the quartet playing a handful of new, Indian-inspired songs, before Jonathan and Tommy led the capacity crowd in musical lessons of love, metaphysics, art history, growing up in Boston, and of course dancing in lesbian bars. Jonathan appeared even more joyful than usual, even more eager to tell his stories and connect with the audience.

Both Jerry and Nicole are rumored to play on Jonathan’s upcoming album, SA, coming in 2018.