Friday, October 3, 2008

Article: Rocker Rundgren reflects on his Marin Years

Rocker Rundgren reflects on his Marin years
Paul Liberatore
Article Launched: 10/02/2008 11:52:42 PM PDT

Rocker Todd Rundgren, who once called Marin home, will be one of the performers this weekend at a charity music festival in Sonoma County.
IN 1996, AFTER LIVING in Sausalito for a decade, Todd Rundgren said aloha to Marin and began a new life in Hawaii.
"Marin is a lovely place," he told me then, "but I won't be sorry to leave. It's changed so rapidly in the last 10 years. That's one of the disadvantages of a lovely place. It attracts the feckless nouveau riche."
He ruffled some feathers with cracks like that, especially as he prepared to build a nouveau riche Balinese-Thai-style house and recording studio on the north shore of Kauai, where he still lives.
But they were said with a smile, and he's never really left us entirely.
He comes through on tour a couple of times a year and plays on Saturday at the B.R. Cohn Charity Fall Music Festival in Glen Ellen.
And he'll be visiting his wife, Michelle, who's living in the family's San Francisco apartment while their youngest son, ReBop, 16, attends San Francisco City College.
To be accurate, Rundgren lives these days in an empty nest. His oldest son, Rex, is a shortshop for the Los Angeles Dodgers' Triple A team, the 51s, in Las Vegas. And his middle boy, Randy, played a couple of years of junior college baseball and is now enrolled at a college in Missouri.
"I enjoyed living in Sausalito," Rundgren allows now, a dozen years after leaving Marin. "But the place where I live now is no slouch, either. And I don't yearn for the hustle and bustle of the Bay Area."
The 60-year-old Rundgren, a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who became a
star with radio-friendly songs like "We Gotta Get You a Woman," "Hello It's Me" and "Can We Still Be Friends?" does yearn for another hit, the kind of smash that would propel him into playing sports stadiums and arenas again.
That may be why he calls his new album, a classic guitar-driven rock record, "Arena."
"It's old-style, going back to the '70s rock music that would be appropriate for an arena," he says. "We're hoping it's a self-fulfilling prophesy, that eventually arenas will be where the music gets played. But, If you don't have music ready for the arena, you're not going to be in them."

What: B.R. CohnCharity Fall Music Festival
Who: Todd Rundgren, the Doobie Brothers, Kris Kristofferson, the Turtles and Michael Finnegan
When: Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday; doors open at 11 a.m. (Sunday concert sold out)
Where: B.R. Cohn Winery Amphitheater, 15000 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen (Sonoma County)
Tickets: General admission $95 (lawn seating, no chairs permitted); VIP tickets $325
Information: 800-330-4064,
Paul Liberatore can be reached at

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