When the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame presented its nominees for the class of 2021, the reactions were as they always tend to be: some were excited, others were pissed, the usual suspects used it as their annual opportunity to disparage the entire concept of the Hall of Fame, and - last but not least - the most vocal fans of the artists who were nominated immediately launched into lists of why [INSERT ARTIST’S NAME HERE] should absolutely among the honored few to secure their spot in the Hall this year.
Have you figured out which demographic we’re in? If you haven’t, don’t worry, you’ll have time to contemplate it while we dole out five reasons why Todd Rundgren deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Read them all and make sure you cast your daily fan vote for this ever-evolving musician.
Everybody knows his music, even if they don’t realize it.
And, no, we don’t just say that because of how many sporting events have utilized “Bang on the Drum All Day” over the years. We’re talking about the sheer breadth of Rundgren’s fanbase, one that’s found The Four Tops covering “We Gotta Get You a Woman,” Trent Reznor joining forces with Todd for a tune on Rundgren’s 2017 album White Knight, and a myriad of other unexpected collaborations and artists covering his compositions over the course of his career.
He’s been a consistent figure in rock and roll since the late ‘60s, writing new songs, recording new albums, and hitting the road to support them.
Well, obviously, he hasn’t been hitting the road lately, but even during the pandemic he was doing virtual concerts, something which shouldn’t surprise anyone who remembers that he was among the very first artists to embrace the Internet in a big way. While other performers who got their start around the same time as Rundgren have slowed down or in some cases have stopped altogether, he’s never really gone away. Sure, maybe he’s occasionally set aside his solo career to participate in a group effort, or maybe he’s placed more focus on producing than performing for a brief period, but he’s always been around.
He’s never stopped evolving as an artist.
Whether it’s as a member of The Nazz, Utopia, or a solo performer, Rundgren has never been one to rest on his laurels, musically speaking. Just take a look at his back catalog, and you’ll see that he’s made a habit out of switching things up, trying new sounds, and - whether or not they turn out to be creatively or commercially successful - moving on to try something else. He’s never been what you’d call musically complacent, and we wouldn’t want it any other way because otherwise he wouldn’t be Todd.
In addition to his own work as a performer, he’s also manned the production board for some truly amazing albums by other artists.
We could spend the entirety of this article reeling off artists whose music has been touched by the hand of Todd, but we’ve still got another couple of entries to go in this list, so we’ll just throw out some of the more notable names who’ve had the words “produced by Todd Rundgren” emblazoned upon their LPs: Badfinger, New York Dolls, Grand Funk Railroad, Daryl Hall & John Oates, XTC, Meat Loaf, Rick Derringer, Patti Smith, The Tubes, Cheap Trick, The Psychedelic Furs...We’ll leave it there for now, but you get the idea: his work as a producer is enough to get him in the door all by itself, so when you throw his endeavors as a performer into the mix, it’s a mystery why he isn’t in the Hall of Fame already!
Because we just want to see how he reacts.
While it may seem odd to throw one’s support behind someone who has loudly and vehemently declared how little interest he has in being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, particularly given that he delivered a full rant to Cleveland.com only just last month in reaction to his latest nomination, but here’s the thing: even if Todd doesn’t care about being inducted, he’s still got plenty of fans who will be thrilled if he gets in. But if he does get in, will he be able to set aside his feelings about the Hall of Fame and at least acknowledge the moment for the sake of those fans? We don’t know, but we can’t wait to find out.