With a New Collaborations Album, Todd Rundgren Talks About Loving Reznor, Fagen and Robyn … and Loathing Trump

Todd Rundgren
Lynn Goldsmith

Todd Rundgren’s new album, “White Knight,” is a grab-bag of collaborations with fellow artists — among them, Trent Reznor, Daryl Hall, Bettye LaVette, Robyn, Donald Fagen, and Joes Walsh and Satriani, along with a lesser-known jazz singer and rapper or two. You could call them strange bedfellows if not for the uniting factor of somehow fitting in with Rundgren’s already eclectic career. For someone who’s spent most of a 50-year career crafting records alone in the studio, or giving marching orders as a producer, the sheer amount of co-writes, if not costarring roles, was an admittedly stretching experience.

But, at 68, Rundgren is suddenly pushing himself in other ways, like the sheer amount of touring he’s doing. Besides yet another stint in Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band this summer, he’s doing an inordinate amount of shows under his own banner, as a headliner or as part of the “Yes-tival” touring collective headlined by Yes. He recently flew out to Coachella just to guest on his classic “Couldn’t I Just Tell You” with teen upstarts the Lemon Twigs. All of this, he acknowledges, is part of a deliberate move to get back in people’s faces in a way he hasn’t always cared about — driven, he reveals, by reflection upon the sudden passings of fellow unpredictable wizard/true stars David Bowie and Prince.

On the eve of the album’s release, Variety talked with Rundgren about this eagerness to get back in front of audiences… but why he doesn’t value that so much that he cares if his running commentary on President Trump makes a few fans cranky enough to head for the exits.

Some might think that a “collaborations album” means “duets album.” But there aren’t many duets on it. Sometimes it’s the other artist singing something you wrote, and sometimes it’s you singing something the other person co-wrote.
Daryl Hall is the only [duet], and that’s because me and Daryl have done that before, on his TV show (“Live from Daryl’s House”). We had worked together well in that context. But I specifically did not want to do a duets album. I didn’t want me and my guests stepping all over each other. I wanted them to do what they do and give them the space to do it without me showing up going, “Oh, here I am, don’t forget about me!” [Laughs.] It’s not really that unusual anymore to write a song and then have somebody else sing it. Disclosure will sing their own songs and then they’ll also have a guest vocalist like the Weeknd, and you sometimes don’t know whether it’s the new Weeknd song or the new Disclosure song. It gives me maybe a little bit more freedom in terms of the writing part, because I can write for other voices that don’t have the limitations of my own. If I wanted to have a song that had the sound of a female voice and maybe had something of a female perspective, it’s going to sound silly for me to do it.

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It sounds like most of these were DropBox collaborations. With the Trent Reznor/Atticus Ross song, they sent you some tracks to work on, but it must have worked the other way around as well.
Yeah, both ways. With the Robyn song, I more or less wrote the whole thing and recorded all of the backing and stuff like that, and there was nothing for her to do but sing it. In the case of Joe Satriani and Joe Walsh, oddly enough, a lot of the guitar players had very well-developed ideas that they sent me, actual whole tracks. When Trent sent me the raw materials that went into ”Dear Ears,” he sent me 11 other tracks — a whole album’s worth of stuff to choose from. [Reznor and Ross have released their own remix of Rundgren’s track], and that’s kind of a cool byproduct. The greatest thing about this era of electronic delivery of music is that even after you’ve come out with a big kind of opus thing, you can still add to it.  Not every artist has the interest or the urge to do something like that, but when it happens, I think it’s completely in line with the whole idea of collaboration.

Did Reznor ever have a chance to gush about being a fan of yours, or is it all business?
No, it’s not all business. You would think that Trent would kind of be like his musical persona, but he’s completely not like that. He’s a very humble, accessible guy, and the first time I had any communication with him was when he asked me to do a remix a couple years ago for a project that he was doing. And he told me at the time, “I listen to ‘A Wizard, A True Star’ at least once a month.” He totally was completely open about it from the beginning. And I had the same kind of admiration for him. Because when I did Woodstock II (in 1994) and I had my own little pavilion in the high tech village there, the only act I bothered to go see was Nine Inch Nails. Everybody else, I knew what they were going to do, but I had no idea what Nine Inch Nails was going to do. And the first thing they did was wallow in a bog behind the stage before they went on, and that was fascinating. How can you play with all that mud all over you? But they did it!

Donald Fagen sings lead on the anti-Trump song “Man in the Tin Foil Hat,” but it’s hard to tell who wrote what in the tune, because the chord progressions and biting humor both sound like both of you.
That was one of the more interesting collaborations on the record, because it’s the only one in which me and my collaborator were in the same physical place at the same time. I’ve known Donald since he spent some time living out at Kauai, where I still live, and he just happened to be on vacation on the island in January. We went out to dinner, and I thought, well, geez, why don’t I just spring it on him?  The song was primarily driven by our common frustration with what happened in the recent election. It was still pretty fresh, and we were still pretty mad about it, so it happened pretty organically. So who knows? If I’m actually in the room with a collaborator, a lot of things can happen. But I think the process of doing it remotely, where you sent the files to somebody else and give them the time they need to get comfortable and into the project, is actually an advantage. Because often if I’m in the same room with someone, I might be expressing an opinion that potentially could be useful, but it could also potentially stop any sort of creativity from happening. Because you start micromanaging things. As a producer, you kind of can’t help it.

The anti-Trump song you did with Fagen reminded me of when I saw you perform in Los Angeles last year, and right after you made some remarks about your feelings about Trump, the couple next to me angrily walked out. You left the impression that doesn’t bother you.
No. If I had the power, I’d say: If you’re a Trump supporter, don’t come to my show, because you won’t have a good time. And also, I don’t understand your frickin’ values. Because I’m not singing about that. If you don’t understand that basic thing, you’re just fooling yourself. I guarantee that in this show, if you’re a Trump supporter, you will likely be offended. Let the buyer beware! I mean, if you can’t take a joke, or you can’t admit that you’ve made a mistake, you don’t belong with the rest of us. [Laughs]

Moe Berg of the Pursuit of Happiness collaborates here on the one track that really sounds like your “Couldn’t I Just Tell You” era of power pop, or maybe mid-period “Utopia, when it was really guitar-focused, upbeat stuff. But that’s to be expected, because the Pursuit of Happiness always sounded almost like a Todd Rundgren tribute band. Are you able to appreciate it, when people wear your influence right out there on their sleeve?
All of the musical aspects on that song are Moe, and I was so chuffed when I got it because it was so him.

But it’s so him being so you.

It was this whole kind of mutual fanboy loop thing going, where he got inspired by me and then he inspired me. As a musician, nobody but you really knows how much you draw on your influences. Especially when you start out, you’ve got a few principal influences and you tend to sound like them. But as you broaden your musical horizons, you have others, and ideally they blur into something that people assume is you. But only you know how much you’ve stolen directly from your influences. And the art of music is somehow obscuring that. Music is the most plagiaristic artform there is, because you have such a small range of resources available to you. You’ve got the western 12-tone scale. That’s essentially 11 notes. So you’re eventually going to run out of melodies, just by the pure mathematics of it. So the whole art of making music is trying to obscure the fact that this is a melody from another song and has just been changed in subtle enough ways that you don’t recognize it. It’s when somebody like George Harrison just completely lifts “He’s So Fine” and calls it “My Sweet Lord” that you get in trouble.

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The song “Buy My T” includes the lines: “We got your cotton goodies / I know my limits / I give until I hurt / You can bootleg the music / But you have to buy a shirt.” We are in the age where, in music, ancillary product seems like the only product. You have a very robust merch stand at your shows, is there an element of non-satire amid the satire?
No, it’s actual reality! The guy who does our merch, his son is an artist called Bones — he’s a white rapper — and they have never sold their music. They have hundreds of videos on YouTube that get millions of hits each, and the only thing they sell is concert tickets and merch. And this to me is so reality-based. Because people forget that it’s only been about 120 years since we figured out how to market recorded music. Before that, the only way that musicians ever made any money was to perform music. And the thing that got obscured by making music a product instead of a service was the fact that you still would make way more money looking at music as a service than looking at it as a product. In other words, if you had a million-selling album, under the old record company model, if you were lucky, maybe you would make a half-million dollars on a million-selling album, after all of the advances and other stuff was taken out. But if you had a million-selling album and you went out on the road, you could a half-million a month, or week. And so the whole point really in the end is, as Radiohead finally realized, give the music away. “Pay whatever you want for it, including nothing — but please come out to the show, buy a concert ticket, and buy our merchandise.”

Your last major-label album for Warner Bros. was 26 years ago, so you’ve had time to think about this.
That’s when I stopped signing long-term record deals. We later discovered how sort of important that was when we were deputized by the Time Warner Cable experiment they were doing in Orlando, Florida to figure out interactive music services. We went to the special products divisions of every single label, and they all said, “No way we’re putting any music on a server.” [Laughs.] This was about three years before Napster. So I did not regret the decision, because they really did not know what to do with what was happening. Fast forward to more recently: A lot of smaller labels have sort of gotten their footing and gone back to the model of finding artists and giving them advances to make records, and that’s the situation I’ve been in my past couple of records. But it’s not like it used to be. You don’t sign a seven-record deal for seven figures. It’s all one record at a time. But it’s not like you’re insecure about it. There’s always an opportunity, especially nowadays, to be able to promote yourself. You look at an artist like Jimmy Buffett, who I believe still releases records, but he probably sells all of them at his shows. So there’s something to be said for your own brand as separate from whatever the label can do for you. You service your fans in a way that keeps them interested in what you’re doing, and then the records become promotional, or artifacts, I guess. But you don’t release them with the same kind of live-or-die philosophy behind it. Your career’s not over if you don’t have what was traditionally called a hit record.

It seems like you’re in a phase of your career where you’re doing less of the production work that was your bread and butter for a long time and more of your own recordings and, especially, touring.
I’m doing something that I rarely do. I had not been paying much attention to the effect of what I’m doing. I’d make the music, put it out, and promote it as hard as I’m capable of, but usually not thinking much about the response that it’ll get. When I was asked a year or more ago by Cleopatra to do a record, I took the lay of the land. One thing that crossed my mind was David Bowie and Prince passed in rapid succession, and unexpectedly to most people. And I’m more or less of that ilk—the auteur, “quirky,” the whole deal where you have tried to carve out a space for yourself that’s exclusive to you. And to have two of them disappear, I suddenly felt like I didn’t have all the time in the world anymore to just do what I do and wait to see what the response is. I had to be more proactive. That factored into the idea of collaborating, because it’s a way to expand the audience.

It also factored into the investment I’ve made in this tour, which is the biggest tour that I’ve done since I was in Utopia and we were getting advances from labels for tour support — going deep in the hole in order to do that now. Essentially, I’m in Las Vegas and putting all my chips on the table. If this doesn’t work, I probably cannot muster the resources to do anything like this again. So, for the foreseeable future, I’m going to be every place that I can get to. I’ll be on stage at Coachella with the Lemon Twigs! I will go on tour with Yes, even though it’s not my show and I have to make compromises in my set to get in front of a larger audience. All that stuff would have bothered me hugely in the past, but I realized, if you’re all in, you’re all in. And at this point, I’m all in.

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    1. sginarizona says:

      Hmmm – so would the Utopia dream be only for people that agree with my ideas? Not in my mind. Always loved his and Utopia’s music. How would I go about getting my money back for an upcoming show? I bought them before knowing his views. If he doesn’t want me there, I want to honor his wishes. I called the venue and they have been getting a number of calls but I was told I need to contact Rundgren’s management.

      • fascist christ says:

        go ahead and try! too dumb to realize Todd’s been a liberal for decades?? do you thinkxUtopia is a republican/conservative idea, do ya’ Clem??? buwaaa haaa haaa!

        • Scott G says:

          Typical Lib. Start with name calling. Never cared about the politics until the comment. Look at the way you type and you call me dumb? Idiot. I decided I needed to be above that. I went to the concert. Laughed at the “Tin Foil Hat” video and on the way back to the hotel, actually ran in to and talked with Todd for a bit. Now that’s a step in the right direction. You should try it, Clem…

    2. James Robert Smith says:

      Todd is a truly an honest and tremendous talent in so many ways, I want to thank him for all his energy and great productions and writings, I look forward to seeing him in Oklahoma City in September with YES, again thanks Todd, and the new cd is awesome, Keep on Truckin my friend!!

    3. eh says:

      I was glad Todd had the guts to say what he felt. He stuck his neck out and I’m proud of him. It’s his right to say what he wants in his interview. You people who want him to ‘just play music, bitch, and shut up about politics’ – he’s not yours to command. And good thing, too. Note; if Variety were interested EVEN a LITTLE in what any of you people do or say, they’d be interviewing you. And they’re not.

    4. James Dubeau says:

      TR is an Idiot … to Old and to Stupid to talk about politics … I didn’t like his music to the day … let alone now … I wouldn’t go see him if it was free.

    5. Eddie Riff says:

      Why do musical geniuses get involved in politics and ruin their musical output? e.g. Zappa, Eno, Peter Gabriel, Todd….leave it to politicians and to quote Zappa “and ultimately…who gives a fuck anyway”

    6. I saw my first Todd & Utopia concert in May 1980 at the Greek Theater on the California Berkeley campus. My wife and I have been to countless shows all over California and love his music. We’ve seen shows two and three nights in a row going city to city on a long weekend. We’re Todd fans. While I am no Trump fan I also did not vote for Hillary. Both had major flaws IMO. But I digress…

      I’m f*&%ing tired of musicians & actors “using their stage” to talk politics. Just sing & act.

      • fascist christ says:

        doofus, music , other than your faves justin beiber and brittany spears, have ALWAYS GOTTEN INTO POLITICS, INBRED JED!

    7. sue despotopulos says:

      Todd Rundgren sold out. I am his era. He is so bullshit. Music should transend politics. He’ll take the money, though. How pathetic. For me he is a has been. What a pompous ass.

      • Sold out to who? And why do you assume its “politics” rather than him just being disgusted by trump and what he’s doing. Trump isn’t a republican. He took over the republican party, but he’s never been a republican. And if you know anything about Rundgren, you’d know that he never chased the money with his music. He made so much as a producer, that he never had to worry about his music being “commercial”. And some of the best music ever made has been a result of artists expressing their concerns with the current environment.

    8. Artist List Dogma says:

      Todd,… Buddy,… Come’on broseph. Be above all of this hatred. You’re better then the rest of these entities who claim to be so open minded, accepting of all, and all around non~haters. If you can’t do that at least realize your new shit album TOTALLY SUCKS! Which probably explains why you’re standing on the sore LOSERS platform trying to get the attention that for you, stopped in the 70’s. No one cares what some old zombie / third Ramones brother love child look alike thinks, what you want, or cares about. Good luck with the new album and tour. You’re going to need it.

      Sincerely,

      Non-Trump supporter

      A member of the coalition against so~called artist who think we give a shit about their political views.

      “Shut the hell up, put on your makeup, and go perform you little bitches”

    9. Skunky Ron says:

      Sorry Todd. I’ve been a fan since the 70’s, and I don’t support either political party.
      Keep the politics and art separate!

      You lost me.

    10. ralph kramden says:

      Does a line even EXIST for DummyCraps to NOT cross? When’s Todd going to join the hysterical witches of The View? He did a Mojo (magazine) interview a couple years back wherein Mr. Tolerance stated: “If you call yourself a republican you’re AUTOMATICALLY a liar and an *sshole”, then this. Like Roger Waters and others trying to remain relevant (and who need to stop shoving it down our throats), guess i’ll cross this chromosome-lacking freak off my list. Took my 15 yr old nephew to his show about two years ago, expecting perhaps his early(ier), apolitical GOOD stuff like Utopia…or something/anything (not knowing at the time what an unhinged liberaloid he was) and we watched a 66 year old do nothing but rave/HIP HOP for two excruciating, relentless hours – for the first 3-4 ‘songs’ i thought it was a bad joke, gawd was i wrong. It was grating to say the least, pathetic and desperate also come to mind. I’ve had more enjoyable colonoscopies. What a disgrace you’ve become, Runt.

    11. Todd goes along trying to sound like this open-minded person.

      Yet he’s not open-minded enough to understand how people might enjoy his music, yet hold completely different political opinions than he does.

      And he’d be FINE, if it was in his power, to simply exclude and discriminate against those whose opinions differ from his.

      Way to be “tolerant” there.

      And people like Todd wonder why people get frustrated with them and tell them to “Shut up and play”.

      Todd may think his art is some huge, influential thing in people’s lives.

      And, in some cases, he might be right.

      But for the vast majority, he’s nothing more than a moment’s entertainment.

      Basically someone made a choice between skydiving, masturbation or a Todd Rundgren concert and he just ever so barely won…

      • Piss Aaron says:

        Charles…you call Todd intolerant but support Trump? More Trump pseudo intelligence…keep watching Fox News chump!

    12. Paulie says:

      I love Todd, he’s a brilliant artist / composer / performer / producer. BUT, to say Trump supporters “don’t belong” with his fan base is exactly the type of bigoted, self-aggrandizing rhetoric that exemplifies our country so divided. Democrats, by and large, are far more exclusionary than Rs, despite the “unity” image they try to portray. It’s hilarious, they claim to encourage “tolerance” but they are THE most intolerant bunch you’ll ever suffer. That’s ok, everyone should vote with their dollars. FOR THE RECORD, I am not a Trump supporter, he is a tax-and-spend shill like the rest. God bless America, and God bless Todd, despite his inability to see the irony of his ways.

    13. Oh no, that’s terrible. What am I gonna do now?… I’ll just start thinking whatever Todd tells me to.

    14. Never worry my friend. The Trump Movement is boycotting all folks like you. Our choice, not yours.

    15. Steve Kamp says:

      Long time Todd fan I have been to several shows but not anymore I say piss Arron piss on Todd

    16. swanspirit says:

      Wasn’t planning on attending any of your concerts, you has been.

      • then why the response? if you’re not interested in todd, what are you doing here? i can understand people interested in todd who agree with what he’s doing, and people interested in todd who disagree with what he’s doing, but why are you here? you just go from any topic to any topic trying to sound profound?

    17. Hey, Todd, speaking on behalf of the vast majority of American music listeners, I can say we feel the same way about your music as you do about Trump :)

    18. Tom Long says:

      Ah, the new album promo one-on-one from Variety, offering a rare peek into the mind of an iconic musician, mix board master, individualist, and western mystic.

      Todd’s political commentary is offensive only to the odious or to erudite snobs. So long, sons of 1984. Instead of chanting together, for one world united, we have devolved into a wrong planet. Abandon city!

      Music is about more than entertainment. Words in an interview soon pass forgotten. Music is about a hook that makes you think.

      Don’t you ever listen? Don’t you ever learn? Be it schlock or scripture, Todd’s music will endure.
      A dream goes on forever.

    19. seeing, he didn’t admit his band information. I wont go to his functions or buy his crap, how is that for being all in. Why does it have to be political, just play the frigin music…..let the music play….

    20. Peter Salt says:

      Considering how much this guy sucks, no worries about not going to see his show

    21. Rob Skelton says:

      Early Todd fans – uTube Intersection 1972

    22. Abe says:

      He’s always been liberal but I saw him last Summer and his show was not good. Insisted on playing new material that sucked.

    23. SmokeyRain says:

      “I’d say: If you’re a Trump supporter, don’t come to my show, because you won’t have a good time. I guarantee that in this show, if you’re a Trump supporter, you will likely be offended.”
      Todd, the business model of your career is gone, you can’t sit in your mansion in Hawaii and wait for the residual checks to come because the mailbox is empty. Instead, you have to drag your carcass out on the road to make money to support your lifestyle. The sad part is the people who love you and your music are both liberals and conservatives and are coming to see your concert to escape all of the political BS from both sides.

      • Greta Bartholomew says:

        So what if he lives in a mansion? He’s hardly there. He is on the road more than not. What do you expect to hear, Smokey? The old 70’s pop? He does do that. How about Bruce Springsteen? Pretty politcaly, ya think? And, if I made the money Todd does, I’d live in Hawaii in a mansion, as well. Wouldn’t you? Free enterprise, and all that.

    24. Sean Donovan says:

      I followed this guy for 40 years, spent hard earned money on his records and live shows. I was a loyal fan. But I am so sick of these entertainers pushing their political views. I’m done, Todd, you will never get another penny out of me.

      • Cary Coatney says:

        You know, I fail to see what SO POLITICAL about stating the obvious. TRUMP is up to there barely winging it. He sucks and he knows it. What are you people going to say when he wakes up one day and decides to throw in the towels, wrings his hands and finally admits to the American people: “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that this job meant having SOME BACKGROUND experience in PUBLIC SERVICE in order to make it work.”.

        ~

        Coat

    25. Teresa Farver says:

      Who would waste their time and money on this washed up has been? Lots better to see and not have to listen to liberal tears. LOL

    26. Bueller says:

      Republican snowflakes can’t handle someone disagreeing with their point of view. Someone saying “lose ½ your audience” means they don’t understand that ½ the country isn’t pro-Trump, but only a minority.
      It’s fine if you’re so invested in Trump that you can’t bring yourself to a Todd show, but you certainly won’t be missed.

      And kudos to Todd for still working so hard. As a lifelong fan I’ve enjoyed him keeping his campaign promise: There’s always more.

      • Piss Aaron says:

        Funny how Trumpers can shit on religion, freedom of press,gays, liberals, mexicans…have I forgot anyone? But a celebrity speaks out against this bigoted rich freak and they get offended.

      • Considering that they “won”…they are still very sensitive and delicate….even fragile.

    27. Love how butthurt the Trumpettes are about Rundgren’s political beliefs. Touched a nerve there.

    28. Greta Bartholomew says:

      How old are you? That will answer your question.

      • Greta Bartholomew says:

        Thanks ohiolandman, for presuming I live alone in an apt. Acutally, I own a house. My husband died of pancreatic cancer 2 1/2 year ago and I’m doing just fine. So, you know, f yourself.

      • ohiolandman says:

        wouldn’t exist..

      • ohiolandman says:

        Greta Bartholomew… why dont you find something else to do besides sitting at your lonely apt or stable waiting for someone to say something bad about your Muse.. who btw sings for all of us.. not just you. lol Yes thats right he sings.Buck Dances, , performs.. He does not work for the Government.. and if it wasnt for his incredible band.. he would exist..

    29. With a stupid f***king GUITAR CENTER ad blocking the 2nd paragraph… I guess I’ll have to pass on reading this Thanks for mutton.

    30. Craig Mombert says:

      I just received Todd’s new album “White Knights” and I think that it is an interesting mix of music from a variety of different artist collaborations. I really liked it. I will say that I do not agree with all of his politics as he would not mine, I do find him to a be a rare talent that writes about being a human being and how time is limited which is an ongoing theme from his early work up to today.
      I have had the opportunity to see him 4 times in my life and he is a brilliant performer. I have been a fan since the Utopia days in the 80’s and still listen to his musically frequently as a soundtrack to my life. I will not be one that will disavow him because he has a different opinion, I didn’t like Hillary either, but I am interested in what he has to say in his music about being human and how time is a precious commodity.

      • Greta Bartholomew says:

        I like it. I loved his double CD with a symphony. Fantastic. Always working with new musicians and trying new things. I have the new CD download and love it.

        • Craig Mombert says:

          That one is good, I am a real fan of Nearly Human, Oblivion with Utopia, Liars and his last one Global. I find him an interesting person and I would love to have a meal with him or two to get an idea on how he comes up with his music usually by himself.

    31. Jeff Thomas says:

      Hey Steve….protection of the country of which YOU live in… whether you agree with it or not is not bigotry….get your facts straight….the.values of the Liberal left are…non existent….you and the progressives are exactly what you preach…hate and dissension….and in your narrow mindedness​…ONLY your opinion matters….have a pleasant day.

      • sorry, the days of republicans being able to claim the high ground on “values” are long gone (it was always a myth anyway). you just elected a self-proclaimed sexual assaulter who lies nonstop and is very concerned with making sure poor people don’t have access to healthcare. Yeah, values.

      • Greta Bartholomew says:

        Thanks Jeff. I agree.

    32. Greta Bartholomew says:

      Man, you people are pretty harsh. Ever heard “Proud to be an American”? Big YUGE song, but really, what does it say? Try listening to the lyrics. Quit being to hypocritical.

    33. Steve_NM says:

      One of the problems with Tr*** supporters isn’t that they are all racists, but that they ARE OK with racism and bigotry of all kinds. If you can’t understand or acknowledge that fact, then you probably wouldn’t be welcome at a Todd R show.

      • Greta Bartholomew says:

        I sing in a gospel choir which is predominately black. In a Lutheran church. How is he racist? Please elaborate. Maybe you are the one who is racist.

        • Steve_NM says:

          Sorry for any confusion Greta, I was referring to the president # 45 and his supporters as OK with racism.

    34. Johnny Argon says:

      Rundgren is just another Alt Left Inolerant Butthurt Buttplug who still does not grasp that he only exists for the amusement of someone who deems him talented ,

      • Greta Bartholomew says:

        So, why are you here Johnny? What a stupid comment.

        • Jed says:

          It’s possible he’s here because he was paid to be here: Russian trolls search the web for mentions of Trump and post replies like Johnny’s all day, every day. Why are there so many Trump-related comments on a music article? If Johnny isn’t Russian, he might as well be – he’s either a traitor or too ignorant to read the news.

    35. Hester Jenson says:

      I used to like some of his music, reminded me of the good old days, but now it will just remind me that’s he’s a closed minded radical leftist who hates America.

      • Greta Bartholomew says:

        Oh puke. Are you stuck in the 70’s? Nobody hates America. Let’s make it great, again…without the man in the Tin Foil Hat.

    36. samccord says:

      Todd, You seem like you may be a thinker, and possibly even an intellectual, and I realize that in your advanced years your ironically capitalistic drive is to appeal to a larger, younger and more liberal audience…therefore the Trump bashing. All I want to know is one thing….what was the alternative… Hillary or Bernie?
      If so…keep your day job dude and drop the political speil…. you’re only embarrassing yourself.
      God gave you a voice….use it to sing!

      Scott McCord
      Clermont Florida

    37. John Mansour-Dumas says:

      Dear Todd, You do not speak for me or for the majority of Americans. You, along with other entertainers, should remember they are there for our amusement and not liberal emotional whining.

      You really should be grateful to this country (we the people) for the great success you’ve achieved and remember that it was capitalism under the Constitution of the United States of America that gave entertainers great success, most ironically on the backs of the people who could least afford your concert tickets. I love how all of you celebrities take it upon yourselves to speak so liberally, insulting those of us who consider President Donald Trump, our President, and a great one at that as he has proven on a daily basis. It’s an easy thing when you have millions of dollars, live in a mansion (or two) and have a staff of producers, managers and don’t forget the lawyers, to conduct the affairs of your everyday life. I’m willing to wager if some of the issues you and your liberal obstructionists speak out about were impacting you directly, you would have different views. Please stick to the music and leave the politics alone. Opinions are like, well, you know….

      • Since trump lost the popular vote, and his popularity has continued to drop since day one, your assumption that todd doesn’t speak for the majority of american’s is false. he does; you just don’t like it.

      • Piss Aaron says:

        John your delusional. Trump hasn’t done one thing right since he was elected…wake up!

      • Greta Bartholomew says:

        What? No republican celebrities? And this man is a musician, an artist. Get a grip John.

      • Garry says:

        Well Said John

        • Greta Bartholomew says:

          Thank you Todd. Saw you in both Waukegan and Milwaukee. You did not disappoint! I LOVED the video for Tin Foil Hat. Please release that, because everyone should see it.

    38. Jim Wilke says:

      Alice Cooper: “If you’re listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you’re a bigger moron than they are. I absolutely hate it. It’s the worst idea ever. First of all, why do people think rock stars know more than they do? That is the biggest fallacy in the world – if anything, we’re dumber. We’re not smarter than anybody else. I mean, why do you think we’re rock stars? Trust me, we don’t read magazines you don’t read. Nobody calls us up and gives us as inside information on politics. We know less than you do. If I watch TV, it’s Family Guy.”

      • Greta Bartholomew says:

        Yeah, I listen to a rock star to decide my voting decisions. *big eye roll*. And I don’t think Alice Cooper is the most reliable source.

    39. Todd, if you’re reading this, please know that I’ll never again be able to listen to your music without remembering these cheap, bigoted comments. Demanding that people who pay to see you share your worldview on politics is the height of arrogance. I realize you live in a Hollywood/music industry bubble and never face any real life people who may support Mr. Trump so you’ve cast them as cretins you sneer at them from onstage, but for God’s sake, shut your trap.

    40. Tony Livermore says:

      Todd Rundgren has the gall to call other musicians “Rock and roll pussies” when he’s never written a tune about the immoral and illegal murders of Jack Kennedy, Malcolm X, MLK, and RFK. Not one. Gimme a break, Mr. Tinfoil Rundgren.

    41. RosiePoe says:

      Oh darn was just making plans to go to his concert! Nevermind…..another dumb musician who has to be political. Don’t you folks realize that you are cutting off 1/2 of your audiences? I guess you just don’t care.

    42. James Ratliff says:

      And if the majority of Hollywood sung the other way, they’d all be on that boat just as fast. Their understanding of defense, economics or science is woefully inadequate to their mouthings. Just play the music entertainer, stick to what you do best.

    43. Dantes says:

      Who knew this stoned-age fossil was even still alive? Who cares what he thinks about Trump or anything else for that matter. Must be a slow week at Variety.

    44. Joe Smith says:

      “music is the most “plagiaristic” art … because there are only so many ways musicians can arrange a limited amount of notes together.”

      there are only 26 letters in the alphabet and there are only so many ways they can be arranged, so that’s bound to automatically lead to plagiarization, right Todd?

      All digital information, including data, music, video, programs and operating systems consist only of ones and zeros and there are only so many ways they can be arranged. that’s bound to automatically lead to plagiarization, right Todd?

      • Greta Bartholomew says:

        Have you listened to his new album? I bet not. I don’t get all the hate posted here. :(

        • Dylan says:

          Todd actually stole that diatribe about plagiarism from John Lennon. He doesn’t have an original bone in his body.

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