Did you know the was written by a vegan? Director Richard Linklater, put this song in his movie School of Rock for that exact reason. The two-chord classic Roadrunner, has been covered by the Sex Pistols and vegan Joan Jett (coincidence?). He’s the ultimate in minimalism and has earned the title “the Godfather of Punk.” Like Brian Wilson, Daniel Johnston and other eccentric geniuses, his music pushed others make music history. I’m talking about Jonathan Richman, guitarist, songwriter, leader, pioneer, march-to-a-different drum-guy, vegan.
I first heard Richman’s song Pablo Picasso in the cult classic Repo Man. As Jonathan’s songwriting matured, he insisted on a lower volume. This caused drummer David Robinson to leave the Richman-fronted Modern Lovers and join the Cars.
While never one to be concerned with commercial success, Richman was introduced to a whole new crop of fans when he added weirdness to the Farrelly Brothers’ 1998 film, There’s Something About Mary. On screen, he performed and sang commentary about the film’s plot.
Boy did he influence. Bands like They Might Be Giants, Weezer and Frank Black wouldn’t be around today if it wasn’t for J.R. . His humble boyish persona and songwriting magic made the rock world introspective and pure. He’s funny and dead serious at the same time. Is he crazy, acting or just completely original?
In a rare interview, he spoke to PETA about his diet:
“I identify as vegan. I’m not strict, 100%. Every once in a while in some country, someone’s mother will make somethin’ and I’m not gonna ask grandma…you know like she’s there, she’s got her apron on and she spent four hours and I’m a guest at her house. I’m not gonna say, “Excuse me is there oleo Margarine and is there hydrogenated this-and-that. Nah, I eat somethin’. You know, I do the best I can. Left to my own devices I’m vegan.”
A private person who hates prescription drugs and air conditioning, there’s not many musicians that don’t want to be more like him. Historic, iconic, and super sonic, Jonathan Richman, thanks for all you have given electrically (but more often) acoustically. You are truly a Vegan That Rocks!!