I found this song a few years ago. I think it is an outtake of the Modern Lovers album John Cale produced, but I don’t know that for sure. It reflects something of what Gene pointed out about Jonathan’s busking days.
What I know for sure is that Richman soon after the Cale sessions rejected the negative vibes he was giving off with great songs like She Cracked and Pablo Picasso and wrote and performed a few great albums of perky and twee tunes that were also really fantastic.
But I’m Straight is a song from derangement, though it erupts from great discipline and an obvious challenge.
It is not a great a pop song or rock song by any stretch, but as a heartfelt expression by a songwriter it stands very naked and tall. And weird.
I think we should refer to John Menna as Hippie Johnny this year at Shandlerfest.
I’ll make sure he understands since he is neither a hippie nor, dare I say it, a Jonathan Richman fan.