Singer-songwriter Jonathan Richman is true American treasure whose career dates back to the '70s when he played with the proto-punk act the Modern Lovers. Now, Blue Arrow Records, a newly formed Cleveland-based record label will issue two 7-inch singles, “O Sun!” and “Keith.” Both are set to come out on March 1. The label is connected to Blue Arrow Records, a brick and mortar store located near the Beachland.
Owners Pete and Debbie Gulyas, who used to have a vintage store on Coventry, met Richman some 18 years ago after he had just played a gig at the Grog Shop.
“We chatted a bit and after the show he and Tommy Larkins the drummer were staying at the Alcazar in Cleveland Heights,” says Pete Gulyas. “He liked the tile work there. They were staying there and after the show, they were walking down the street carrying their gear. We happened to see them and gave them a ride. We went to a diner and had pie.”
About three or four years ago, Richman asked them to go on select east coast dates and sell merchandise. Eventually, the discussion turned to putting out Richman’s records. Gulyas says he plans to have locally based Gotta Groove Records press them on vinyl and local Clint Holley will do the mastering.
“[Richman] is working on a full length and we hope to have that done in the fall,” Gulyas adds.
Richman will be in town to play the Euclid Tavern
on March 8 and will spend some time recording at Brian Straw’s Survival Kit
studio when he’s in town.
“We didn’t have a label prior to this, though I thought we should,” says Gulyas. “We formed it with this partnership in mind. Once we get this project done, we’ll start entertaining the idea of signing other acts.”