Jonathan Richman imitator pulls scam on Olympia music festival

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Jonathan Richman

A person pretending to be singer/songwriter Jonathan Richman has scammed a Washington state music festival, according to a report from The Olympian. The artist and former frontman of The Modern Lovers was scheduled to play The LoveOly Summer Fest in Olympia on Sunday night (August 28) before organizers learned that it was a scam.

Local DJ Mark “Markly” Morrison discovered the grift when he contacted Richman’s publicist Debbie Gulyas to set up an interview, and neither Richman nor Gulyas knew anything about playing the festival. The Olympia Film Society, who said they were contacted via phone by someone claiming to be Richman, booked the festival.

“We are all confused,” Gulyas said to Morrison in an email.

“I just heard of your wonderful festival, and (it) sounds like an ideal place for me to play someday,” said Richman in a statement. “Did the guy who called you up manage to imitate my voice pretty good? If he did, you’ve got to hand it to him. Most people can’t do it.”

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