Richman's musical career got off to a famously bad start -- quarrels between his first band, the Modern Lovers, and their label forestalled the availability of their 1971 recordings for a staggering six years. Incredibly, when those songs finally did emerge they sounded utterly fresh, vital -- and they continue to do so today. The Modern Lovers album single-handedly established Indie Rock's geek chic tradition of shy, gangling introverts giving vent to their insecurities via unpretentious proto-Punk Pop. After a self-imposed hiatus, Richman returned to recording and performing displaying not a trace of bitterness. From the philandering antics of "My Career as a Homewrecker" to the campy/vampy zaniness of "Vampire Girl," Richman's self-effacing humor and wiseacre sarcasm is enough to erode the defenses of even the worldliest among us and bring out the kid trapped beneath the jaded exterior. And next to his on-stage banter, comics such as Adam Sandler seem rehearsed, stilted, and, well, not very funny. It's only too easy to forget that Richman's goofy, good-natured exterior conceals the mind of a musical pioneer. From Pre-Punk to Country to Latin Pop, this man leads the rock 'n' roll league in stolen bases.