Todd Rundgren has greeted his second Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination with an official “no comment.” But earlier this year Rundgren — among those considered a major slight by the Rock Hall up to this point — mused to Billboard about his initial nod last year, and about not making the final cut for the class of 2019.
“I didn’t expect it and have never cared about it. The hardest thing was keeping my fans’ expectations within reasonable bounds because they are very naive about it. I’m not; It’s some weird Illuminati thing and nobody understands how it works and who does the voting and the nominee selections and all that sort of crap.
“I’m not looking for some organization to acknowledge me, somehow. Besides, the Hall of Fame doesn’t make any sense to me because musicians don’t have to retire. Athletes retire, and that’s when they go into the Hall of Fame, because they’re not playing anymore. But everybody (the Rock Hall) is inducting now is still playing, so how can you say you’ve got the measure of them? You don’t. So, no, I really don’t care.
“I’ve never really taken the whole thing seriously. I’ve never watched any of those shows. I don’t pay attention to who wins. I do recognize it as an exercise for the fans, especially at this phase, and I’m happy they have the opportunity to make their declarations about who they think should be in and that sort of thing — the reality being all those fan votes equal one vote out of a thousand ballots or whatever it is. I have no idea what the ultimate outcome will be, so I don’t want to invest myself in it.”
Rundgren is currently on the road with the It Was 50 Years Ago Today Tour, joining the Monkees’ Micky Dolenz, Badfinger alumnus Joey Molland, former Chicago bassist Jason Scheff and Christopher Cross in paying tribute to The Beatles, aka The White Album. He’s also planning to release a collaboration with Mike Keneally this fall and is wrapping up a second album of collaborations akin to 2017’s White Knight — featuring Rivers Cuomo of Weezer, Neil Finn and Steve Vai, among others — for release during the spring of 2020. He’ll also tour again next spring, continuing this year’s The Individualist Tour promoting his 2018 memoir of the same name and playing one side of 1973’s A Wizard, A True Star each night.