Todd Rundgren has gone from one All-Starr scenario into one other.
After bowing out of Ringo Starr's touring band in 2017, Rundgren is about to play three all-star Celebrating David Bowie exhibits, becoming a member of former Bowie guitarist Adrian Belew, Fishbone's Angelo Moore, Paul Dempsey and others on Oct. three in Los Angeles and Oct. 7-Eight in Reykjavik, Iceland — the latter locale being a part of the rationale Rundgren signed on to sing "Life On Mars," "Changes" and extra in the course of the week.
"I like doing these sorts of occasions the place I get to play with different musicians, a few of whom I have no idea, and that's a part of the enjoyable of it — and the very fact we're going to Iceland, which I've by no means been to earlier than and want to see," Rundgren tells Streets Talkin. "It's form of a no brainer in some methods."
Rundgren noticed Bowie and his Spiders From Mars' first present at New York's Radio City Music Hall and struck up a friendship with guitarist Mick Ronson after he took up residence in Woodstock, N.Y. "David and I had been by no means friends hanging out and speaking or something like that," Rundgren remembers, "however I might run into him occasionally at Max's Kansas City and issues like that." Utopia keyboardist Roger Powell additionally performed with Bowie in the course of the late '70s with Belew, "so you’ll be able to see there's all types of little threads that type of tie it collectively."
As pop iconoclasts, Rundgren and Bowie would appear like kindred spirits, however the former seems like a decidedly completely different form of artist.
"We shared the truth that you don't settle right down to a single type of music and type of milk it till your profession is over," Rundgren says. "David had extra of that Andy Warhol form of sensibility, a pop sensibility. He at all times had a well-cultivated self-image, and I by no means labored that a lot on my self-image. He was a personality everytime you noticed him, and I'm solely a persona once I'm on stage — if that." Nevertheless, Rundgren does bear in mind a very memorable, and unintended, connection to Bowie in the course of the early '70s.
"I bought a make-up and costume individual, any person primarily in control of my picture, and I believe he felt extra in competitors with David Bowie than I did," Rundgren says. "David was doing all types of issues with make-up and costumes, and I believe the man I employed felt considerably impressed or aggressive about it. So he began doing ever-wilder issues on me, culminating in an look on The Midnight Special the place I had feathers throughout my face and my hair was all coloured and stuff."
This yr, in the meantime, marks the primary since 2012 that Rundgren is just not touring with the Starr troupe, a parting that was pleasant and, he says, "form of a reduction. I didn't suppose I might final that lengthy, anyway, 'trigger Ringo retains the band collectively for a yr or two and breaks it up for a brand new group of musicians. This one stayed collectively for a very long time, however after six or so years of doing it and play considerably the identical set each evening I used to be prepared to maneuver on and I believe it was in all probability good for the band as properly to get another gamers in there so they may work on another materials." Rundgren did, nonetheless, reunite Utopia for a spring tour this yr, which was satisfying however unlikely to occur once more.
"I believe we achieved what we got down to do," says Rundgren, including that the group filmed and recorded its Chicago live performance for a future launch. "It was a considerably Herculean effort to get the entire vital components collectively, the partnerships and studying the fabric. All of it took fairly an quantity of effort and fairly a little bit of time. The most vital factor was to satisfy viewers expectations as a result of they’d been pestering us to do it for therefore lengthy. But we don't actually have any plans to do it once more as a result of we are able to't return to the identical wells and get the identical form of advances that we wanted to get this present on the street. We would primarily have to start out over, apart from studying the music."
Rundgren is hardly wanting for work, nonetheless. In addition to enjoying his personal exhibits Rundgren is constructing on 2017's collaborative White Knight challenge and has labored on tracks with Neil Finn, Weezer's Rivers Cuomo and Steve Vai, with Iggy Pop and Rick Astley on the runway. "Those will get launched in a single kind or one other within the coming months," Rundgren guarantees. He additionally hopes to publish his memoir, The Individualist, which he's been engaged on because the '90s however "simply saved getting distracted. It's an attention-grabbing format in that each chapter is a separate web page and each web page has three paragraphs, so there's a bunch of various methods you’ll be able to learn the e book," Rundgren says. "It's very strictly structured, and I consider straightforward to devour." Rundgren, who wrote the e book solely himself, focuses on his life exterior the recording studio. And whereas it's revealing, it's not supposed to be sensationalistic or tawdry.
"It wouldn't be attention-grabbing until there was a confessional ingredient about it, however it's not seamy," he says. "I don't get into elaborate descriptions of evenings of debauchery or something like that. If you're on the lookout for me to explain any person else's physique or one thing, you're gonna be disillusioned. But it’s revealing about issues which have occurred to me and causalities and outcomes of all that."