Thursday, October 28, 2010

students rock with rundgren

Rocker Todd Rundgren never went to college -- until now. He's in Bloomington this week and next teaching an honors seminar at Indiana University.

Rundgren, known for his tunes "Hello It's Me" (1973) and "Bang the Drum All Day" (1983), is serving as the ninth Wells Scholars Professor at IU. He is co-teaching the honors seminar with popular IU rock history professor Glenn Gass, who has a home near Rundgren's in Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands.

Fresh from a tour that included a Sept. 11 date at Butler University, Rundgren said he considered getting himself a tweed jacket with leather elbow patches and "maybe a bow tie" for the IU teaching gig.

Instead, he is schooling students about the music business in his normal darks-heavy wardrobe, staying at a Bloomington bed-and-breakfast and popping up around campus.

Rundgren has been getting a little help from the local rock community, which in Bloomington includes John Mellencamp's longtime guitarist, Mike Wanchic.

Wanchic is lending Rundgren a guitar for his free recital called "Cluster: The Birth of the T Chord" in Auer Hall in the IU Jacobs School of Music at 8 p.m. Sunday. He also gave Rundgren and the students some studio time Wednesday at Echo Park Studios, which Wanchic co-owns with Mark Hood. Rundgren offered students a behind-the-scenes lesson on the business of recording.

Rundgren also is giving a lecture called "Longhair: Todd Rundgren on the Beatles Effect" at 7 p.m. today in Room 013 in Ballantine Hall on the IU campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

1 comment:

Kirk said...

Just got back from the lecture. It was fantastic to listen to Todd for two hours. Ballantine Hall 013 was filled to capacity; at least 300 people in attendance. The audience was mostly students but a respectable turnout of us gray-haired Todd fans. Most of the time was devoted to wide-ranging Q&A from the audience. More later; now it's time for bed.