Concerts

Todd Rundgren Challenged by the "Exhibitionism That Comes With Performance"

When Todd Rundgren dubbed an early album A Wizard, a True Star it might have seemed somewhat presumptuous at the time, given that his recording career was practically in its infancy. Four decades later, that title has come to sum up one of the most remarkably prolific careers in rock's vast lexicon. In fact, there's little Rundgren hasn't done, whether as a performer, producer, engineer, or video pioneer.

Indeed, since making his bow with his first band, Woody's Truck Stop, in his native Philadelphia and then creeping into the national spotlight with the Nazz, Rundgren has freely delved into a dizzying array of musical pursuits -- from pop to prog, rock to retro, and almost everything in between. He scored hits on his own and produced them for others: Badfinger, Meat Loaf, and Patti Smith, to name only a few. He also helmed the experimental outfit Utopia while occasionally taking the opposite tack as part of Ringo Starr's All-Starr Band.

"The more music you write, the more likely you are to repeat yourself, and that's the actuality for most artists," Rundgren insists. "But I didn't approach music as a performer, which is what lots of other people do. They figure out afterwards what kind of music they want to make."

See also: Todd Rundgren's Summer Camp in the Catskills

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Lee Zimmerman