The Modern Lovers
Today we’re listening to “Roadrunner” by The Modern Lovers
The Modern Lovers never get the credit they deserve. They had a sound that launched a thousand groups yet never seem to transcend “your favorite band’s favorite band” status. Legs McNeil described them as “perhaps the greatest alt-rock, pre-punk, indie band that no one has ever seen.”
“You gotta come see this weird guy. He’s really nuts, but he sounds very cool…”
Bassist Ernie Brooks first met keyboardist Jerry Harrison when they were roommates at Harvard. Harrison happened to see Jonathan Richman (along with drummer David Robinson & and another person on bass) playing in the Cambridge Commons. The two went down to see them play, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Like all good things, the ride was over too soon. After just a few short years, The Modern Lovers split up for good. Harrison left to join some art school grads in their new band. I think it turned out okay.
At the same time, good things can be evergreen. In the case of the Modern Lovers, used copies of their records usually run around $70-90 at my local record store; and they never last long
On Repeat is made possible by support from readers like you. If you find value in this work, please become a subscriber today!
Has any song — and I’m including “Born to Run” and “Fun Fun Fun” and anything else you could possibly name — ever conveyed the absolute fun it is to be young and alive and just driving around blasting tunes that you love? It’s an even more remarkable accomplishment when you discover that the song is derived from “Sister Ray,” and they’ve somehow been able to take the dark drone of the Velvet Underground and turn it into the rock ‘n’ roll equivalent of the goddamn “Hallelujah Chorus,” an act of subversion that is at the heart of “Roadrunner’s” greatness.
Read more here.
“Roadrunner” by The Modern Lovers| S/T, 1976
Click the record to listen on your platform of choice.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this track!
Thanks for being here,
P.S. Lively up your inbox! Every day The Sample forwards you a newsletter to discover. The more you use it, the better it gets at delivering what you want.