After several months as a trio, Richman found a new drummer, D. Sharpe (aka David) - an accomplished avant garde jazz player on the Boston scene, who later went on to become a member of pianist Carla Bley's band. D. Sharpe's greater awareness of dynamics and tonal possibilities, in combination with Keranen's use of the acoustic bass during this period, enabled Richman to finally achieve his vision of an acoustic rock band which could offer a greater emotional range by combing quiet tenderness and romanticism alongside the raucous intensity of rock's post-war rhythm and blues origins, without requiring electronics and loud volume levels to achieve its purpose.
Drawing inspiration from such artists as the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Paul Motian and Anthony Braxton, D. Sharpe replaced the traditional rock and roll drum kit with an eclectic assortment of percussion instruments, including a large African three-legged drum covered in zebra skin; a 1947 De Soto automobile hub-cap (cum snare drum); a rack full of various pot lids and bells hanging on strings; exotic cymbals with many tonal 'imperfections'; frequent use of mallets instead of drumsticks, and brushes with which he would sometimes simply 'play the air' (i.e., without hitting anything else), as could be felt more than heard, especially in live performances, of the song "Afternoon." 
Rock and Roll with the Modern Lovers was released in 1977 and, just as this record began to climb the charts in Europe, Keranen left the group (to attend college). A subsequent live album, Modern Lovers Live was released in 1978, featuring Asa Brebner on bass.
- From wikipedia -