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Todd Rundgren- Best 1

Until now, when it comes to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recognition, Todd Rundgren could “Bang the (Door) All Day” and announce “Hello It’s Me”, but the Rock Hall’s response previously had been,” Leroy boy, is that you?” followed by twenty-three years of, “I Hear You Knockin’ But You Can’t Come In”. Doubtful that Rundgren noticed or even cared, but that cannot be said for Todd fans, who are a rabid lot. I have been a card-carrying member ever since “We Got to Get You a Woman” from his 1971 solo album Runt  , the playfully-titled debut after leaving Nazz while barely out of his teens. 

Like Paul McCartney,  Todd Rundgren never learned to read or write music, not because he was incapable but simply because Todd never needed to do so, having an uncanny ability to hear a melody once and then be able to play it, note perfect, on practically any musical instrument. Another early solo album title A Wizard, a True Star  traded the playfulness for the prolific pop prodigy label, an attitude that some industry insiders found precious, even arrogant, and which probably more than anything else has kept Rundgren shut out from Hall of Fame induction until this year. Still, the voting isn’t for Miss Congeniality, and with fifty years of solo albums, brilliant side band Utopia, and producing/ engineering The Band’s Stage Fright,  Badfinger’s Straight Up  , Grand Funk’s We’re an American Band  , Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell  , and XTC Skylarking , in part one of this classic rock interview I make the case that no one waiting in the wings of the Rock Hall has done more for rock music over the last half century, in more ways, than Todd Rundgren. (Note: his 1972 Something/Anything?  third album earns its own In the Studio  rockumentary episode). –Redbeard