A Conversation with Todd Rundgren
Mike Ragogna: Todd, on your new release An Evening With Todd Rundgren Live At Ridgefield, you perform material from Nazz and Utopia in addition to your own with some surprising revisits, making the project feel like a career celebration. Is that how this felt when you were performing and recording this concert?
Todd Rundgren: Yeah, but not necessarily in those terms. In recent years, I’ve been experimenting with different musical forms and different ways to present myself. As a result, there are things that don’t get played. I’ll put it that way. One of the paradoxes of having a career in which you continue to create as opposed to resting on your laurels all the time is that fan favorites from decades ago don’t get played as often, or if they do get played, I sometimes readapt them to a style that I might be dabbling in. It reached a certain point where I felt like I had toyed with my audience for long enough and would just give them the more familiar stuff in a way that was more familiar, as opposed to just rearranging things. On any particular night, we have a list of fifty songs and I’ll pick about half of them to perform. Even though the release is a document of a particular evening, it isn’t necessarily representative of any other particular evening, it’s just the songs we decided to play that particular night. On that tour and on the recent tours that I’ve done with this show, the set list is different every night, both because we as players will get bored with it if we keep playing the same thing every night, and also I have fans who sometimes show up to more than one show, and that gives them an opportunity to hear more material than would fit into a single show.