Musician, singer, songwriter, and producer Todd Rundgren has enjoyed a long and successful career. This is even more impressive considering his ability to stay more or less within the fringes of the record industry. Some of his distaste for the business side of things can be heard in this interview with Scott Muni, including his take on having a label that will finally promote his album and the lesson he learned early in his career about why it's best not to desire fame.
This interview also catches Rundgren at an interesting point in his career. He was promoting the tour for Nearly Human, an album that was recorded live in the studio and that included some interesting guests. He also discusses the musical he was writing at the time, Up Against It, which was adapted from a screenplay intended to be the follow-up to The Beatles' Help!.
00:00 - A live studio album
01:10 - Origin of the title Nearly Human
02:34 - "The Want of a Nail" / working with Bobby Womack
04:02 - Intro to "The Want of a Nail"
04:59 - The upcoming tour / conflicting commitments
05:55 - Who'll be on tour / where they're going
07:29 - Still playing the classics (but not because he has to)
08:51 - Producing less / recent projects (Pursuit of Happiness, Bourgeois Tagg, XTC)
10:40 - Keeping things interesting through production
12:21 - Having the label promote the album (for once) / intro to "Can't Stop Running"
13:47 - Albert Grossman and his label Bearsville
14:38 - [interlude]
15:21 - Touring the States, touring overseas
16:16 - The beginning: Nazz in Philadelphia and New York / reasons for producing
17:55 - Early records / trouble with feminists
19:09 - Tour dates
19:41 - Three albums to produce / a musical for the NY Shakespeare festival
20:12 - Up Against It / Joe Orton's offer for the third Beatles movie
22:28 - Background in theatrical music
24:44 - The new Best Of album (Rhino) / "Real Man"
26:05 - Intro to "Parallel Lines" (from Up Against It)
27:40 - Lesson learned from Nazz: don't be famous
29:52 - The great fans of Todd Rundgren
31:21 - Thank you's / outro