June 22, 1948/1998: Todd Rundgren Born/Wed

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todd-rundgren_hello-itc2abs-meToday has double significance for Todd Rundgren. June 22 is the day he was born in the Philadelphia suburb of Upper Darby, PA. His earliest recording project was the Philly band Woody’s Truck Stop, followed by The Nazz, who first recorded his song “Hello It’s Me,” which similarly became a double event for him. That band’s 1968 version reached #66 on the singles chart. When he redid it on his 1972 solo album Something/Anything? it became his biggest Top 40 hit, reaching #5.

Among his other pop singles: 1972’s “I Saw The Light” reached #16, 1978’s “Can We Still Be Friends” hit #29 and 1983’s memorable “Bang the Drum All Day” which topped out at #63.

His biggest payday? No doubt as the producer of Meat Loaf’s epic Bat Out of Hell album, which has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.

Related: Our inside story of how “Hello It’s Me” became a huge success

Rundgren’s varied career also includes producing albums for the Band, the Tubes, Patti Smith Group, Hall & Oates, XTC and New York Dolls, among others. He also led the group Utopia concurrent with his solo work, and was a member of the New Cars from 2005-2006. He was also a member of Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band for years.

On his 50th birthday in 1998, Rundgren married dancer and singer Michele Gray. He received honorary doctorates from Berklee School of Music and Depauw University.

In 2016, Rhino released The Complete Bearsville Albums Collection, which collects the 11 albums that built him one of classic rock’s most devoted large cult followings.

Though he had been ignored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for decades, he was finally selected for induction as part of the Class of 2021. Not surprisingly, he chose not to attend the ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio.

Rundgren continues to tour. Tickets are available here and here.

Related: Our Album Rewind of Rundgren’s A Wizard, A True Star

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