We’re less than a month away from the opening of Boston’s new Roadrunner music club, a venue that gets its name from the 1972 song of that name written by Natick native Jonathan Richman and performed by his band The Modern Lovers.
We reached out to Richman’s label to find out what he thinks of having a club named after the song, but as it says on the label’s website, “Jonathan Richman chooses not to participate in online culture, and does not have any direct communication with Blue Arrow Records website, facebook, instagram, or twitter…” So we’re not holding our breath waiting for a response from the label.
Neither have we heard back from The Bowery Presents, which will operate the 3,500-person club in addition to my favorite, The Sinclair in Cambridge. Roadrunner kicks off its schedule on March 15 with a sold-out show by Billy Strings, and future shows feature the likes of Big Thief, Cousin Stizz, and Mitski.
We wondered if Bowery got Richman’s OK to name the club after his song, and whether it might be trying to line him up for a performance. Richman had planned to tour early this year, including locally, but the shows have been canceled. (He has played in the past at TCAN).
Bowery’s canned quote about Roadrunner song: “Inspired by the iconic song by The Modern Lovers, the name of the venue evokes a musical love letter to Massachusetts, while also nodding to the track located adjacent to the room and the high-energy world of live music.”
The venue is located at 89 Guest St., right near the Boston Landing commuter rail station along the Mass Pike. But as is so often the case with the commuter rail, it could be largely useless if you want to stay until the end of shows that start at 8pm if you account for opening acts putting the main acts on around 9pm. It’s about a 30-minute drive.
Natick State Rep. David Linsky in 2017 co-sponsored a bill aimed at making Roadrunner the “official rock song of the Commonwealth.” Eventual Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, then a state rep, tried something similar a few years before that.
In the end, maybe having a club named after the song along the Pike is just right.