Often deemed the godfather of punk, Jonathan Richman has been a highly influential figure in the music world since the early 1970s. After trying and failing to make it as a musician in New York City, he returned home to Boston and formed the band The Modern Lovers. A turbulent project that included future members of Talking Heads and The Cars, the group rose as an archetype of proto-punk during its short-lived original existence from 1970s to 1974. Richman used the band as a musical experiment, eventually evolving the punk rock outfit into a 1950s-influenced rock and roll band and, finally, to a primarily acoustic act with world influences. The last shift in The Modern Lovers' sound would form the basis of Richman's solo work, which he began releasing in 1975.