Todd Rundgren Takes a Thrilling Look Back

Posted on Wednesday May 25th in

Todd Rundgren :: 2016.05.24 :: Brooklyn Bowl

Todd Rundgren :: 2016.05.24 :: Brooklyn Bowl
There’s really no need for an introduction to the man who brought us hits like “Bang the Drum All Day,” “I Saw the Light,” and “Hello, It’s Me.” He was an early glam-rock star before glam rock was a thing, produced a long list of classic albums, is widely regarded as studio wizard, a good friend of Patti Smith’s, a rock legend who’s had his hand in some things you may know about — and other things you’d be surprised to know. In short, oops, Todd Rundgren just got an introduction anyway.
Todd Rundgren :: 2016.05.24 :: Brooklyn Bowl

“Time to get to work,” said Rundgren, kicking off a career-spanning retrospective at Brooklyn Bowl last night, going back as far as his first band, Nazz, and up through present day. Any concerns that he still enjoys performing were quickly put to rest: He loves it and it’s obvious. The man can work the hell out of a stage, and he’s a big presence, with his long mop of half-bleached hair darting back and forth. This all makes sense, he’s likely still rich enough off that Meat Loaf money that there isn’t an actual need to leave his home and restaurant in scenic Kauai. But he wants to, and his rabid fans are grateful for it.

Photos courtesy of Geoff Tischman | @tischmanpets

Rundgren’s also a very funny guy. While setting up drums, he said, “People make assumptions when these things come out” as an intro to playing a few bars of an awful fake song before jumping into his megahit, “Bang the Drum All Day.” That tune came to him almost fully realized in a dream, a fact likely to make you chuckle to yourself now every time you hear it. “Buffalo Grass” launched a scorching guitar solo. But when Rundgren was without a guitar, he’d often pantomime his way through the vocals, like during “Soul Brother,” with its lyrics “And if you want to be a star/ Just grab your crotch and squeeze it hard/ And make your mom and daddy proud, as you dry hump for the crowd/ It may be tired and old/ But then it’s your only substitute for soul.” His encore featured a wonderful sing-along version of “Hello, It’s Me.” Rundgren told everyone that he didn’t want to play too much longer so they still had time to bowl. And while I didn’t stick around to see if he did, I bet he’s great at it. The man’s good at everything.
—Dan Rickershauser | @D4nRicks


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