A few days back I was flicking through You Tube looking for a vintage Jonathan Richman clip from a Whistle Test appearance when I found this:-
TOTP 2 was a show that used to fill up time on the schedules of BBC2. It was basically clips of old Top of the Pops shows from the 70s and 80s with the occasional new song thrown in. The fact that they showed a clip of Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers performing New England in April 1978 baffles me. The song never made the Top 75 and yet seems to have been recorded and aired. Unless of course the recording was made while the band happened to be in London and kept for use in case the song did become a hit. I was an avid viewer of the show in the 70s as it was just about the only music shown on TV in those days of just three channels and I don’t remember seeing the clip before finding it on t’internet. Does anyone recall differently?
Anyways, I love this particular song. There’s something utterly joyful about its sentiments and the tune matches it perfectly. I don’t own a copy of the single but both it and its b-side can be found on the Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers LP from 1977.
Oh and I did also find the clip I was hunting for. It was shown on Whistle Test at some point in the 80s and captures perfectly the sheer enthusiasm of Jonathan as a performer.