Hello: It’s Still Me.

Photo credit: Tony Sweeney

Last weekend I saw Todd Rundgren as the opening performer in his current tour along with Daryl Hall. The concert was at The Met in Philadelphia, a terrific venue. He played with “Daryl’s House Band” and opened with a 14 song, 1 hour set. It was terrific and truth be told, his performance eclipsed that of Daryl Hall, the lead act.  The crowd’s heart and enthusiasm was with Todd Rundgren, despite Hall’s more expansive music history with Hall & Oates. There was lots of hometown love for Rundgren who grew up in the Upper Darby, right outside Philadelphia. Hall is local as well having grown up in Pottstown, PA.   

Todd Rundgren is a strange dude. He’s very independent in thought, unexpected, yet his music excels. He was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame but didn’t attend and said he didn’t want to be inducted. He said the Hall of Fame is for retired baseball players (he’s right about that). I’ve seen him in concert once before 20 years ago in Upper Darby’s Tower Theater. I remember liking his music, though he didn’t play many of his “hits” at the show I saw. He has had various incarnations throughout his career.

Rundgren is longer in the tooth (now 73) than when I first saw perform him years ago, though his voice is strong and stage presence still very interesting. He still “has it”, and the crowd ate it up, me included. The set list was as follows:

  1. Real Man
  2. Love of the Common Man
  3. It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference
  4. We Gotta Get You a Woman
  5. Buffalo Grass
  6. I Saw the Light
  7. Black Maria
  8. Unloved Children
  9. Hello It’s Me
  10. Sometimes I Don’t Know What to Feel
  11. I’m So Proud
  12. Ooo Baby Baby
  13. I Want You
  14. The Want of a Nail

He also returned later in the show to play Why Can’t We Be Friends, a personal favorite, with Daryl Hall.

Todd Rundgren also has a special place in my heart. On December 6, 1970 a young 18 Lonny Strum, an aspiring DJ, had his first air shift at WRSU at Rutgers. It was 8am on a Sunday morning. The station broadcast only into the dorms at Rutgers in New Brunswick and my shift was for 1 hour. I can say with certainty that there were virtually no listeners (perhaps actually no listeners). No matter. I was spinning discs and the first song on my first show was Runt’s (Todd Rundgren) We Gotta Get You a Woman, a terrific new song, which he played early in his set.

My “career” as a DJ was launched though luckily I also took business courses and have had a career in marketing.

But I remember my heart pumping wildly when my air shift began and Todd was there to excite me. He hasn’t stopped 50+ years later.  

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One Comment

  1. Larry Chrzan says:

    Good set list and since you recorded it, you could put it up on
    and share it with everyone, since nobody put that show in… yet. -nudge-

    Too bad there was no “Bang The Drum All Day”; that’s a fun song!

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