Saturday, June 8, 2013

Rundgren fine with audience exits

Rundgren fine with audience exits

  Todd Rundgren has released a new album State08 JUNE 2013Todd Rundgren has said he doesn't mind people walking out of his live shows because they get tired of waiting for his biggest hit.

The multi-talented instrumentalist, songwriter and producer admitted he's not bitter about audience members leaving after an hour because he hasn't performed his hit Hello It's Me or demanding refunds."I'm not fooling anyone and I never have. I do hope they've learned their lesson and never come to another show of mine ever again, though," he said.The 64-year-old continued: "I wish promoters would be less vague with the show they're selling. I suppose they go for what they think they can sell off my name, rather than advertising what the show actually is."The upshot of all this is that the audiences at my shows are survivors; a unique group of people who have been frequently tested over the years. They know they don't know what's going to happen, and they're happy about that," he added.Todd, who has released a new album State, asked one of his sons for advice before he started the record."He gave me a list of things to listen to, so I spent a while checking all that out," recalled the father-of-three."I also asked my friends' kids what they were listening to, in case my son has his blinkers on. You never know, he might have bad taste"


Anonymous said...

I was at the NYC show at the Gramercy and didn`t see one walk-out. Granted, I wasn`t looking for them, but I was near an exit and could easily see the others. If even a trickle had been leaving,it would have been noticeable.

NoDanceTopia said...

The problem is that Todd'd asking what the kids are listening to, when there are basically no kids in his audience. I've loved Todd's albums and tours since '77, and I must say that while the State tour has some great moments, overall it was a weak show. Possibly Todd's worst tour EVER. The encore is basically unlistenable. Sorry Todd, and I'm sure you're next project will be back to genius status. BUT, Angry Birds and Party Liquor are just plain B-A-D. The genre of EDM is long past it's peak. Don't ask someone "what's hot"...create something new and groundbreaking on your own. Still Love ya!

DiscConnected said...

I was at the Philly show and thought it went over with the audience well.

Heck, I consider myself a die-hard, and I had to be one of the album's worst critics, but the show was entertaining....and if you held out for it, you even heard a few hits.

Anonymous said...

The Rolling Stones have been gathering moss for a few decades. Whould John Lennon have done RAP ?
Time was when people thought they wanted musicians to evoulve.Beatles
absorbed influences proudly & atill always sounded like themselves. ONLY Todd has done the same AND CONTINUES To DO SO.Eagles
Steely Dan, Sir Paul & the Stones can afford to re-group & be oldies tours & deserve an audience for that. For Musical/spiritual progression I'd say there is none who has gone BEYOND THE BEATLES but
To:The H-Bomb From:Circle-H


Myra Sinkamo said...

This makes me want to see the show even more.

Robert Roger said...

Attended 2 shows- Columbus & Cincinnati Ohio with daughters & their friends. They had an incredible time & loved the experience from start to end. Todd came to rock the house & did ! Pity the fool who can't appreciate the man & his body of work. Tons of young people at both shows. Evergreen music.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to note the number of young fans in the "heartland"; in New York, we attendees were almost uniformly aging boomers.

Robert Roger said...

Here in Ohio Rundgren tours constantly & great for that ! You see many older people & many younger people; now my daughters have an 'in' to all this inspiring music, they were hearing generous amounts of the likes of Todd & Frank Zappa at an early age. What an education in the live arts you can give your children. I see these performances as my generations' Frank Sinatra. Evergreen. I missed the rat pack not gonna miss out on Todd. Never a dis-appointment.

Mike Smith said...

Just got back from seeing the Todd gig @ Manchester UK ... I'm having to stop and think a bit before I put my personal review up on my blog ...but I will - and I'll be fair - and yes I'm one of the "old crowd" if you like.

Suffice to say .. it was different !
(and I DIDN'T walk out either ...)

Anonymous said...

I attended STATE concert,PARK WEST
in Chicago. Seems the vast majority
in the house knew what to expect.
Perhaps a half dozen under 30's &
bulk of crowd the usual suspects w.
glowsticks & such. Very up-beat & fair amount of shakin. Noticed only
2 couples exit early. One pair spoke of HAVING to get up for work,
& seemed sorry to depart. A couple tiny glitches But the lighjts & TR's voice were fantastic. Todd looks to be touring like it is the late 70's ! What a packed year of offerings. Those who want the HITS best be getting to that string asap
WHO KNOWS what 2014 will bring ???
*Greetings from Greendale*

Sal Nunziato said...

What our fearless leader seems to ignore is the fact that even the longtime fans, the devotees, of which I am one, aren't attending live shows to hear "Hello It's Me" or "Can We Still Be Friends." No one who cares about Todd cares about the hits.

We show up because it's Todd Rundgren.

Problem with "State" is that it doesn't speak to very many of the loyalists. It's a whim. Todd's new whim.

I've seen so many people defend this tour and this record. But it's a shambles. Not just the record or the tour, but the pathethic displays of acceptance.

Please Todd, don't play "Hello It's Me." But if you're going to cover "Prime Time" and "Personality Crisis," show some respect for The Tubes and The Dolls, not to mention your fine work as producer. Stop pissing on your past. It's unbecoming.

Anonymous said...

Thee longtime listener/supporters of Todd DO care about the hits.We know more naterial should have been
taken up by radio programmers & given a shot to the masses. In other words, TR has dozens/scores of hits with those who've heard them. The inclusion of Secret Society,NMO, Prime Time illustrate that STATE is no long step foreword. One could clearly say this stuff has beem part of the rep for decades. Dream Goes On might've fit the encore better than
Hello It's Me, But seems a fare end
for those who may've endured some of the night's offerings. I'm not crazy about every song on the new release still I'd hardly call this chapter 'Pissing on his past'.Fact is the performance gave many of the songs greater depth & warmth.
World Wide Epithany was worth the price of admission...So stop gryping & go see Aerosmith or BonJovie or Maroon 5. First study the lyrics so you don't miss their intent ! Regards, Ekvuss Inc

Sal Nunziato said...

Hey Anonymous,

Your comments are ignorant and insulting. You don't know me or anything about me or my knowledge of music or Todd Rundgren. What does Aerosmith or Bon Jovi or Maroon 5 have to do with anything? You sound like Todd who used to come down on anything more popular than he was.

I don't need to "study the lyrics." I well aware of Todd Rundgren's ability as an artist. I am a fan. I have been a fan since 1972, and most likely have clocked more live performances than most. But I won't be one of the "followers" who refuses to ackowledge when something might not be up to par.

I think it's fantastic that many people love "State." I wouldn't deny anyone the pleasure, just as I wouldn't want anyone to deny me the right to my opinion.

What I mean by "pissing on his past" is his longtime and very adamant refusal to acknowledge what his fans want to hear. It's one thing to be innovative and to move forward. It's another to abandon what got you your following in the first place.

If you want to have an intelligent debate about music, I'm all ears. But please, bringing up popular rock and roll acts is a rookie move.

Irving Berlin said, "Popular music is popular because people like it."

Anonymous said...

I`m the Anonymous from the NYC show and think that maybe we should all calm down.
My take is that this is a quirky, minor album(remember Another Live, Ra, 2nd Wind, One long Year? Never mind With a Twist or ReProductions).
Give the guy credit for trying something off-the-wall, even if it wasn`t great. He`ll be back in another couple years with something better.

Anonymous said...

RA a 'minor' album ? I can calmly say it was inovative in many ways & then there was the staging/performances which were so outside anyones' expectations. Back then you could be unknowing & open to surprise. Now every setlist & cellphone image is out there the moment it happens.
An artist as grand & varied as Tood is no comparison to say BonJovi But I think the person was saying...there's little to put up as more desireable than a TR show to the discerning listener.
As a writer,singer,performer,comentator,
humorist,& deadly serious man he's no Tommy Emmanuel...if you get my drift ~
I don't claim to know every musician out there, but I'd rather see a less than 'favorite' Todd performance than the best anyone else has to offer. I enjoy many musicians known & unknown for their unique attributes. We shouldn't expect any to be at peak
for 40 years running & that's peak
as any individual sees it. Surely Todds not taking a poll to see what folks want/expect. I know people who couldn't listen to Healing cause it was too quiet, or
Utopia cause it wasn't TR's Utopia.
I hope the catalog grows on forever

Anonymous said...

For me a Rundgren concert is a vacation. Not everyone is beyond belief simply because he has set the bar so high. Liars, Arena & State are well worth delving into.Johnson, Re-Productions were not ment to be seen in the same artistic light but still good entertainment. The true Todd fan is a different sort....Not all mad
for the same aspects ao his creations yet drawn in to the point of needing to taste all his new material. Everyone cant love
every new set. No chance we'll have any sway but remain Mated. I would never walk out & miss a moment of potential & sincerity. RR

Robert Roger said...

Hearing Todd belt-out 'Personality Crisis' was incredible ! Went to see The New York Dolls perform in 1974 (?) & watched 'em get booed off the stage. Rock the house Todd ! We'll be there !

No Dancetopia said...

To say that Another Live, RA, and Second Wind are "minor" is just plain stupid. Another Life and Seven Rays, and the Wheel? Are you kidding me? You probably want to hear Hello It's Me all night! Communion With The Sun? Hiroshima? Singring? I repeat...are you kidding me? Change Myself, If I Have To Be Alone, Love In Disguise? You can't possibly serious (maybe just severely lacking in musical imagination)...I rest my case

Sal Nunziato said...

"To say that Another Live, RA, and Second Wind are "minor" is just plain stupid."

I promised myself I would avoid the commnents section after what happened earlier, but I couldn't resist.

Really No Dancetopia? Someone's opinion is suddenly "plain stupid?" The 4 records that Anonymous cites as "minor" are a live record with cover versions and three new songs, a collection of oddball tracks originally available as fanclub bonuses and downloads,a experimental live recording featuring songs that were originally written for an off-broadway musical and some other filler and a prog-record with some novelty tunes. In the vast Todd Rundgren oeuvre, which includes some of the finest releases of the last 40 years, "S/A," "AWATS," "HERMIT," "NEARLY HUMAN," not to mention some of the more focused Utopia records, such as "OOPS" and the 1982 3 sider, those blips ARE minor.

This is the problem here. Liking something or not liking something should not be a right or wrong answer.

Sorry "disciples," but Todd Rundgren is very capable of making bad decisions. Does this mean we love the artist any less? Of course not. But what is this very uncomfortable and offensive need to take down anyone who disagrees with or dislikes a record or performance?

And what case is it you're resting? You disagree so that means you proved your point?

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Sal
Maybe I can clarify my point by suggesting that on the albums I mentioned the ratio of forgettable to memorable songs was disappointingly higher than average. I can`t think of any album I`ve disliked entirely but, hey, during forty-five years of making albums anyone is going to release a few, yes, minor ones.

Robert Roger said...

Just a note to all 'out there' observation from the STATE tour. Cincinnati show was in a small club & I've never seen Todd perform up-close so after finding out it was general admission that's the time to be up-front. I was about 6 people deep from center stage. The sound was incredible, the lighting was other-worldly & the band was cooking. It was quite hot & both Todd & Jesse were sweating buckets & they also were as we used to say 'hammering out the jams'. World Wide Epiphany in red lighting was just, well it was just WOW. It was heart felt & the audience close by was feeling it. 'Music is the best' who said that ?

No Dancetopia said...

I'm tired of Todd fans who don't want to be challenged, who don't want Todd to be demanding. Of course Something Anything is great...but there's a reason he went away from making "easy" music. Hermit is great. Nearly Human is great. What makes Todd a genius is the edgier, more complex, completely unique music we hear from "Todd", "Wizard", "No World Order", "Liars, and "Healing"...creations from another universe of thought. I should not have said that someone's opinion was stupid...I get worked up when people seemingly want Todd to be "easy listening"...What makes Todd Todd is the reaching...reaching further and deeper than most musicians could ever dream to. We're all passionate Todd fans, and we have the right to like or dislike what we choose...(You COULD make the argument that "Network", the "3 sider" as you call it, can surely be called a minor effort compared to the genius of TR's most creative efforts!) It's still fun, though...Anyway, no hard feelings, we all sound like passionate fans and I wish you peace. No hard feelings? Sorry about the stupid comment.

Sal Nunziato said...

I guess this is where we differ, No Dancetopia. I would hardly call S/A, Hermit, or Nearly Human "easy" music.

In a recent interview in Uncut, Todd himself said, when asked if he preferred analogue or digital, "whatever's more convenient."

He also said in a previous interview in Mojo mag--

"It is impossible to control the circumstance under which someone listens to your music. It has never been more impossible than it is now. You’ve got half the people using ten dollar Earbuds that came with their player. You’ve got others who have 5000 watts of bottom end in their car so you can hear them coming from a mile off. The whole idea that there is one way that sound should be has lost its potency and it is not even an argument that I care to get into."

This coming from one of music's premiere producers...

Look at that great photo in S/A, Todd in his home studio standing before a giant console with instruments everywhere. Then look at the sad "State" photo of Todd with a laptop.

Using a new computer program and and pushing a few not edgy or demanding. And after reading Todd's own words, it's hard to believes he really is in tune with what fans want. He's become lazy. He's said it himself.

It's one thing to support his endeavors. It's another to just stroke his head.

Again, my opinion. NO hard feelings!

Anonymous said...

Todd himself said that with the first label deal he`s had in years he "didn`t want to discourage them."
This was an understandable grope at potential commercial success. No, he didn't whore himself out, but contemporary music is not what he (nor the aged majority of his fans) listens to. It doesn`t mean anything to him, so it`s no surprise that his appropriation of its tropes didn`t result in anything meaningful to his audience.
Glad the dance crowd put it on the charts for his contract`s sake.
But I notice all west-of-the-Mississippi State shows are no longer on the tour schedule.
Despite the impersonality of the presentation, I still think the light show was pretty cool...but then, I`m old....

No Dancetopia said...

Sal, I never said that using a laptop and pushing buttons is what I consider edgy and creative. It's the music itself. If Todd achieves genius with his music, it could be with organic instruments, or simply programming something. (I prefer actual instruments) For me, it's only what we hear, and if it's great, the means by which he got there is unimportant to me. I DO agree that STATE is a weaker effort, but within that effort we still have a few wonderful songs like Imagination, Serious, Ping Me (perhaps a song to his fans?)and Sir Reality...What REALLY was horrible was the encore of his STATE show, with Hello It's Me, CWSBF, and I Saw The Light being done in that reworked club style. I'm open to hearing TR do new versions of old songs, but this was just. simply. unlistenable. Anyway, it's nice to communicate with passionate fans, and whatever we feel about Todd at any particular time, deep down we are that secret society who recognizes him NOW, while his music may (unfortunately) not be fully appreciated until decades from now. Happy Father's Day to all! (I'm blessed with a wonderful 19 year old daughter who spoils me!) PEACE

Robert Roger said...

Knowing which button(s) to push is everything.
Indeed ! Happy Fathers' Day !

No Dancetopia said...

To Robert Roger, You asked, who said " Music is the best"... Isn't that from an album from the genius Frank Zappa? Frank didn't say was a female (Moon Unit?) Was it one of the Joe's Garage albums? The memory's a bit foggy... Perhaps I knew it in "Another Life" (this is the part that we chuckle knowingly)...

Robert Roger said...

Yes ! It was Frank ! Here's a totally cool musical tidbit to our (discussion) of Mr. Rundgren & his wide body of music- if you listen (watch) Todd's 'Unpredictable' at the Winery you'll hear 'Born to Synthesize' done in a jazzy style. Couple years back while attending Todd Rundgren's 'Johnson' show at the Midland Theatre in Newark Ohio, Todd played that song in the same style. Ok, at that point something clicked- I'm thinking I've heard that before- where ? I'm a huge Frank supporter also so it had to be in his body of work & after some thought & searching there is ! A mini cover of 'Born to Synthesize' jazz version ! It 's on Frank's 'You can't do that on stage anymore' Vol.6. The cut is on disc #1 'The Madison Panty Sniffing Festival'. Just a little vamp while Frank talks. My point is- my 2 musical heroes for sure ! Also & most important both can be completely misunderstood in their bodies of work (which are massive).

No Dancetopia said...

To add to that, on Zappa's Tinseltown Rebellion album, during the song The Blue Light, Frank starts doing his jazz-speak and he says "THE GIANT UNDERWATER PYRAMIDS-THE SQUID DECOR...EXCUSE ME, TODD!"...and the back cover of Zappa's The Man From Utopia album, the back cover looks just like the photo from the TODD album where we see TR from behind looking out to the audience! Todd also mentioned that Zappa's Absolutely Free album was one of the most influential albums of his youth! FUN STUFF!