Todd Rundgren: ‘If you’re a Trump supporter, don’t come to my show’

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If you’re like me, you probably know Todd Rundgren’s name without really having a recollection of his musical catalogue. I knew Rundgren is beloved and respected by musicians, I knew he was a big deal in the 1970s and probably the 1980s too. But I really didn’t have a sound or a song catalogue in mind when I read this interview with him. Apparently, Rundgren has been working this whole time – he tours constantly, sometimes as a stand-alone act and sometimes with Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band. He still records music and he’s got a new album coming out, White Knight, which features collaborations with Trent Reznor, Daryl Hall, Donald Fagen, Joe Walsh and more.

To promote the album, Rundgren chatted with Variety about working with the older guys and with the younger guys on the album – he has lovely things to say about Trent Reznor – and he talked about how the music industry has changed, but he doesn’t sound bitter about it at all. The thing that’s getting the most headlines though is the political part. These quotes have been picked up by conservative media outlets who are trying “Dixie Chick” him.

Variety: Donald Fagen sings lead on the anti-Trump song “Man in the Tin Foil Hat,” but it’s hard to tell who wrote what in the tune, because the chord progressions and biting humor both sound like both of you.

Rundgren: That was one of the more interesting collaborations on the record, because it’s the only one in which me and my collaborator were in the same physical place at the same time. I’ve known Donald since he spent some time living out at Kauai, where I still live, and he just happened to be on vacation on the island in January. We went out to dinner, and I thought, well, geez, why don’t I just spring it on him? The song was primarily driven by our common frustration with what happened in the recent election. It was still pretty fresh, and we were still pretty mad about it, so it happened pretty organically. So who knows?

Variety: The anti-Trump song you did with Fagen reminded me of when I saw you perform in Los Angeles last year, and right after you made some remarks about your feelings about Trump, the couple next to me angrily walked out. You left the impression that doesn’t bother you.

Rundgren: No. If I had the power, I’d say: If you’re a Trump supporter, don’t come to my show, because you won’t have a good time. And also, I don’t understand your frickin’ values. Because I’m not singing about that. If you don’t understand that basic thing, you’re just fooling yourself. I guarantee that in this show, if you’re a Trump supporter, you will likely be offended. Let the buyer beware! I mean, if you can’t take a joke, or you can’t admit that you’ve made a mistake, you don’t belong with the rest of us. [Laughs]

[From Variety]

I don’t know of any celebrity or musician who has said anything like this, flat-out, since Trump was elected. A lot of celebrities and performers have bitched publicly about Trump and his supporters of course. Michael Shannon even said that Trump-supporting senior citizens are “ready for the urn.” But I don’t think anyone other than Rundgren has said, flat-out, to Trump supporters and Deplorables that they should not even buy their album or come to their show or see their movie. Most actors and performers (cough-Miley-cough) still want to retain their base of support across all political demographics. I respect that Todd Rundgren is like “f–k that noise, if you’re a Deplorable, I don’t want your money.”

The Late Show with David Letterman

Photos courtesy of WENN.

 

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34 Responses to “Todd Rundgren: ‘If you’re a Trump supporter, don’t come to my show’”

  1. Squidgy says:

    Hey Todd lose the 60′s look or I won’t come to your concert.

    • Hazel says:

      I was rather surprised by that outfit, because I don’t remember him wearing anything like that in the ’70s.

      • Sheila Lindsey says:

        Obviously you didnt listen to much Todd in the 70s or you would have been a lifelong fan. Where do people get off on putting entertainers down for their political views. And how many artist has albums (or cds for the young ones) that you love every song. I am a baby boomer, and dont love all his songs but most I do and have been a big fan since Utopia days. Guess I wont be running into you any time soon at any of his concerts. And as for the comment he made suggesting that Trump supporters shouldnt come to his concerts, and his fabulous music that has inspired me for four decades, Todd, you are my hero!!!

      • Sheila Lindsey says:

        You must be joking!

  2. Luca76 says:

    Wow I’m impressed because I’m betting his base audience is Deplorables that being said I love Classic Rock and was raised on it and have absolutely no clue what his songs are.

  3. vaultdweller101 says:

    His outfit in the first picture reminds me of an adult coloring book.

  4. Apples says:

    I understand what he was trying to say that if you support Trimp values “you won’t have a good time”. It makes sense, right, don’t come to heavy metal concert if you like Michael Bolton. But even though I do not get how anyone would vote for trump with clear conscience, we shouldn’t follow his lead and alienate those who disagree with us. It would make us just like trump.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      “We shouldn’t follow his lead and alienate those who disagree with us. It would make us just like Trump.” No, it really wouldn’t. Alienating Trump-supporters is not like promoting sexual assault, being a sexual predator, promoting and furthering racism and xenophobia, being a misogynist, or any of the other unethical and dangerous things Trump promotes (along with his vocal supporters). Trump supporters are people who, for whatever reasons, either temporarily decided that they were okay with those things as long as it got them something they wanted or kept Hillary out of office, or people who like and promote those things themselves. This isn’t a matter of two people just disagreeing with each other.

  5. Unmade_bed says:

    I fear that my husband and I would go out of business and have to move in with our Trump-voting relatives, if we were to offend the Deplorables. I have to say, however, that we feel similarly oppressed by the culture police within the liberal movement. There is no place for independent thinkers, today, in the U.S. The socio-political environment is stifling. Rundgren is either very rich, or very brave.

  6. Bettyrose says:

    REM was very outspoken about their politics during the W years, even releasing anti-W songs online, and it didn’t hurt them at all, but their fanbase tends to be on board with their ideologies. They’re not recording/touring together any more, but still outspoken.

    I don’t know who Todd Rundgren is except for an episode of That 70s Show.

  7. JennyJenny says:

    “Hello It’s Me” is his other famous song.
    He is also the man who Liv Tyler believed was her father for many years until the truth came out; that in fact her father is Steven Tyler

    • Lightpurple says:

      Love Hello, it’s me & “Can we still be friends?” He had produced and arranged music for an incredibly broad range of people.

      As for not attending his shows, he makes no secret of his views. I always amazed at audience members who seem shocked and angered when performers like Springsteen or Joan Baez voice their opinions. Didn’t you know anything about who you were seeing? I would not attend a performance by someone like Lee Greenwood and expect to hear no political views or views similar to mine.

  8. Laurie says:

    Todd is a legend. He’s had his own hits and has produced many other popular artists. You should google him. He’s also an awesome guitar player. He’s evolved into many different music types over the years. I’ve been following him and going to his concerts since the 70′s. He can still rock and put on a great show. Seeing him again in July!

    Edit: And yes he can be sartorially challenged……

  9. Stacey Dresden says:

    Trent Reznor sat beside an elderly relative of ours on a long flight. Elderly relative raved about his intelligence, politeness.

  10. Thepants says:

    Todd is an amazing musician. His song “Love is the Answer” was a hit for another band sometime in the 70′s. It’s a lovely spiritual meditation as is his song “Compassion”.

  11. Dale Fairbrass says:

    I only know of him as a producer. I’m a XTC fan and he produced the skylarking album. The band fell out with him, though when I heard his side of the story. I had some sympathy with him. As for political views mixing with music. There really is something wrong with the polarity…….

  12. Loganski says:

    He’s a genius! And as such I believe he deserves some latitude. He writes, produces, scores and plays a myriad of instruments and he’s got a great voice! He’s got a few albums where he plays all the instruments. Check out “A wizard a true star” album. Absolute genius. Saw him for the first time in the 70′s. Love him. He was also one of the first, if not the first, to embrace computers to enhance tracks.

  13. Caroline Sweetascanbe says:

    Todd is amazing! He’s been around forever!!! Listen to Hello, It’s Me, I Saw the Light, and some of his other hits. Those songs are beautiful timeless classics. He influenced a lot of artists, and he raised Liv Tyler!!!

  14. Me so old says:

    I was a huge Todd / Utopia fan going back to Oops, Wrong Planet. Have been to dozens of his shows through the years. Over the past decade or so he has been less than gracious to those who wanted nothing than more to hear the songs that made us pay to hear him. He actually has made comments rudely to to his supporters. A bit cranky in his old age.

    About 20 years ago he made a political comment at a show and mentioned Casper Weinberger in a cranky way. I did know who the guy was at the time and in hindsite, not what I paid to hear. Shame on the selfish artists that can not just entertain their paying customers.

    Todd has written some great songs. But his quality of performing is lacking and he must have forgot his own words. LOVE IS THE ANSWER! Not hate.

  15. Louis Gag says:

    I got to see Todd this past week in Kingston at UPAC he was absolutely amazing he sounded completely as good as always fresh new material a great performer good show The Man in the tinfoil-hat the reference to Donald Trump was no big deal people making more out of it than what it really was but all right now is at the top of his game and I’ve been glad to be a fan of charge since the early seventies don’t miss his show

  16. Otaku Fairy says:

    “if you’re a Trump supporter, you will likely be offended. Let the buyer beware! I mean, if you can’t take a joke, or you can’t admit that you’ve made a mistake, you don’t belong with the rest of us.” Love this. I’m not familiar with this guy’s work at all, but really respect the fact that he’s willing to be bold and stand up for what’s right, even at the expense of losing those bigot $. He’s definitely not a coward. He’s also more realistic than idealistic, because he’s not trying to go on some “We Can Change Them!” crusade.

  17. Whitecat says:

    Forewarned is forearmed. My tickets are on Stubhub. I don’t believe entertainers need to be insulting. Stick to your great music Todd!

  18. maggiegrace says:

    I’m intimately familiar with his music catalogue. I adore the man and his music. Preach it Todd, I love you.

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