Author Topic: Todd Rundgren  (Read 56934 times)

Offline Paul

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Re: Todd Rundgren
« Reply #105 on: May 14, 2009, 05:29:51 PM »
Glam-Rock Icons New York Dolls Release New CD
Story by Joe Milliken, Message Arts & Entertainment Tuesday, May 12, 2009 2:43 PM



The New York Dolls are true originals. A renegade, trend-setting rock–and–roll–glam band that took the early 70's music scene by storm with their high heels, outrageous clothes and make–up.

The initial reaction to the band represented polar extremes; you either thought they were the best new band around, or you thought they were “trash” (pun intended).

Love 'em or hate 'em though, the Dolls recorded two hugely important rock albums – New York Dolls in 1973 and Too Much Too Soon in 1974 – before finally imploding for good in 1977.

The New York Dolls were the seminal proto–punk band and along with their style and self–titled debut album especially, greatly influenced what was to become the punk rock, new wave and 80's hair–metal eras.

Having worked with legendary musician and producer Todd Rundgren on that first record, original Dolls’ David Johanson and Syl Sylvain began wondering if they could re–capture that magic again. After all, it had been over 35 years since the original Dolls worked with Rundgren, so when it was announced last fall that they would indeed be reuniting to record a new album titled 'Cause We Sez So, needless to say, quite a buzz was created and the news traveled fast. “When we approached Todd last fall about the possibility of working together on a new record, we were quite lucky that the schedules worked,” Dolls’ guitarist Syl Sylvain stated in an exclusive Message interview. “We were able to track him down through Liv Tyler, actually, who is still very close to her 'uncle Todd'. We asked Todd if he wanted to do it and he said yes. And he asked us if we had a record deal and we said yes, so we said okay, let's do it.”

However, first we must flashback to 2004 when Johansen, Sylvain and original Dolls' bassist Arthur Kane had reformed the band to much acclaim after Smiths front man Morrissey, a long–time fan who even ran their UK fan club in the 70's, asked the Dolls to perform at the annual Meltdown Festival in London.

After getting a very positive response from the crowd and the press, the Dolls planned a tour, but sadly the plans were tragically derailed when Kane was diagnosed with leukemia shortly thereafter, passing away literally days after receiving the horrible news.

Johansen and Sylvain mourned, endured and eventually got back together two years later in 2006 to record the Dolls' third album and first in 31 years titled One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This, released on Roadrunner Records.

Featuring Johansen, Sylvain, Steve Conte (The Contes, Crown Jewels) on guitar, Sami Yaffa (Hanoi Rocks), drummer Brian Delaney and keyboard player Brian Koonin, the album received a good response from not only long–time Dolls fans, but also a new generation of followers.

The attention prompted the Dolls to go on an extended UK tour that no doubt, recaptured some of that bad–ass magic that set the rock world on fire when they first burst on the scene.

“Let me tell you a quick story... we were recently touring in South America, in Buennes Aires,” Sylvain mused.

“And after doing a photo shoot, we were walking by this school and all these kids noticed us and started following us around. A girl came up to us who couldn't have been more than 14 or 15 years old and asked us if we were the New York Dolls.

“We thought that was pretty cool. Actually, we've been getting reactions like that all the time. It's a great feeling when you know you've made some kind of impact on someone out there, even after all these years.”

Now we fast–forward to the fall of 2008, as the Dolls enter Utopia Sound Studio, Rundgren's home base in Kauai, Hawaii, to record their fourth studio album.

With once again Johansen on vocals, Sylvain on guitar, along with the new comers Conte, Delaney and Yaffa, 'Cause I Sez So features 11 original songs, mostly penned by Johansen and Sylvain, plus a re-make of the Dolls' classic track “Trash” from the first record.

The entire project was recorded in just a month's time, simply because of everyone’s tight schedules, while Syl was anointed musical director from the outset of the project.

“We had around 20 song ideas going into the project, and everyone had input in the recording of the final tracks,” Sylvain stated.

“We had worked up some ideas at Steve Conti's studio in New York, then continued to tighten them up after we arrived in Kauai, then recorded the final tracks over a six–night span.

“Todd has a wonderful studio set up and we had a great time working with him again. He did some background vocals on a couple tracks in that classic high tone of his, (laughing) but he made us re–record a couple of them because he thought they sounded too much like Paul McCartney.”

But it was all very laid back, in fact, when we first arrived, Todd

wasn't quite ready for us, thinking that we were arriving in town the next week.”

So, how did it feel working with Rundgren after all these years? Did it take long to get on the same page and re–kindle the magic?

“It all worked pretty well. We have so much respect for Todd and what he's accomplished over the years. But to be honest, we didn't have enough time to 'really' get to know each other again, ya know?

“I know the cool thing would be to say that we all got to spend a lot of time together and really work on our craft, but when you only have a month, there isn't time to get too involved with any one aspect. You gotta go with your gut feelings and lay down the tracks. But we also feel the songs are really strong.

For years we've had people telling us that we can't write songs anymore or we can't do this or that, but we don't want to be considered some revival band and we don't want to do these epic things, but we do still have something to say. Ya know, it's pretty cool when your 57 years old and still get asked to make a record.”

The record deal came from Atco, the revived Atlantic Records import label that is now owned by Rhino Records. Dolls manager Ron Stone, who is also co–founder of Gold Mountain Entertainment, worked out the deal through Rhino.

‘Cause I Sez So was released world–wide on May 5 and the Dolls hosted a CD release party at perhaps the most fitting venue imaginable, the John Varvatos Boutique at 315 Bowery on all of the Lower East Side. Which of course, used to be the home of the legendary CBGB’s club, where it essentially all began for the Dolls.

The band will also continue to tour, including a jaunt across America, featuring some double–bill shows with Rundgren, which all begins on May 20 in Solana Beach, CA. and will continue trips to San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver, Denver, New Orleans, New York City and Boston.

From there, the band will return to England for more shows, including a television appearance on the Jules Holland music show. Not bad for a band that originally shook up the music world some 35 years ago, and are now proving they still have something to say.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2009, 05:31:32 PM by Paul »
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Offline weavil

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Re: Todd Rundgren
« Reply #106 on: May 14, 2009, 07:09:43 PM »
this album is leaps and bounds above what i had hoped for!
the song-writing and diversity is amazing, musicianship is way better than expected and, of course, top-notch production!
BUY IT NOW

here's a thread in Toddland
http://forum.trconnection.com/viewthread.php?tid=5139&page=1

with MUCH info on the album including this bit:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tony-sachs/the-new-new-york-dolls-ai_b_202033.html

The New New York Dolls Ain't Just Recycling Trash

As I stood in the gallery/boutique/rock club that now stands on the site of the late lamented CBGB, waiting for the reconstituted New York Dolls to take the stage, it suddenly hit me that the Dolls Mark II -- featuring two of the original five members, the others having gone to their eternal reward (or punishment, perhaps) -- have now, with the release of their second post-comeback studio album, Cause I Sez So, made as many records as the original lineup. How bizarre, I ask you, is that?

Of course, no matter how much original graffiti they keep on the walls (much of it behind glass), the John Varvatos emporium is not CB's. And no matter how many albums the post-comeback Dolls make, they're not gonna change rock history the way they did when they helped kickstart the punk movement with New York Dolls and Too Much, Too Soon in 1973 and '74. So does seeing what used to be one of the most influential bands of all time, in the former site of one of the most influential venues of the last 40 years, tarnish our memories of both?

My position on this is clear -- the world is a better place with an active, functioning New York Dolls in it, even if the new guys who replaced the late great Johnny Thunders, Jerry Nolan and Arthur "Killer" Kane probably weren't born when the Dolls first trod the boards at the Mercer St. Arts Center. The primary mission of the New New York Dolls should be, as Hippocrates said (or was it Isaac Hayes?), to do no harm. This they accomplished admirably with their first comeback album. 2006's One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This had an air of "before we were so rudely interrupted" about it, reviving the band's signature trashy glam-rock sound without doing too much more.

So David Johansen and Syl Sylvain, the two remaining original Dolls, pulled off the resurrection act. But where do you go from there? If Johansen wanted to live a nostalgia trip, or merely find a cash cow to pay his bills, he could've settled for doing his Buster Poindexter routine and singing "Hot Hot Hot" at corporate shindigs from now till doomsday. So I get the feeling his ambitions were a little more grandiose -- he wanted to bring a brand name that's been frozen in amber and deified for three-plus decades into the present as a living entity. And that takes some pretty big cojones to even attempt.

But for the most part, with Cause I Sez So they've succeeded. They've returned to legendary producer/recording artiste Todd Rundgren, who produced their first studio album, but the sound is 2009, not 1973. It may be blasphemy, but I wish the drums sounded as good on their vintage elpees as they do here.

And while it hews to the Dolls' trash-rock template of yore on a couple of tracks, it also reminds me just how much else this band had going on. Sure, they did glammy, Stones-influenced rawk, and it's that sound, on cuts like "Personality Crisis" and "Jet Boy," for which they're best remembered. But they also paid homage to girl-group pop, soul and the blues, to name but three. And it's those aspects of the band that are played up on Cause I Sez So. Hell, they even try a reggae update of "Trash," their 1973 classic. Sorely misguided though the idea may be, even that cut sounds pretty good.

At the record release party at John Varvatos-formerly-CBGB, I had the weird privilege of seeing a Dolls set that contained practically no material written before 2006. So like it or not, I had to judge them based on what they're doing now, not on their former glories. And judging them on those standards, they're a pretty dang good band. Johansen looks like a cross between Mick Jagger and a wealthy dowager -- rail-thin and wrinkled, with a haughty, world-weary expression broken by the occasional wide grin. He's not as sprightly or manic as he was in 1973, but hell, who is? He still has that great, bellowing voice, and Syl Sylvain still plays a mean guitar. And the new guys more than hold their own. Johansen was certainly digging what the band was laying down, with between-song patter like "Cleahly, dat was good."

A slightly weird evening was also a hell of a lot of fun. You can't bring back the past -- or as Heraclitus said (or was it the Jimmy Castor Bunch?), you can't step in the same river twice. But the sorta Dolls at the sorta CBGB brought back memories of bygone days for the old-timers, and it gave the young'uns a taste of what it was like to have been there the first go-round. And what's wrong with that?





Offline yougotthesilver

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Re: Todd Rundgren
« Reply #107 on: May 14, 2009, 11:48:48 PM »
Sounds very interesting!!  ;)


Let no one who loves be unhappy......even love unreturned has its rainbow. ~ James Matthew Barrie

Offline cmr

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Re: Todd Rundgren
« Reply #108 on: May 15, 2009, 06:54:44 AM »
'uncle Todd'  :lol:

Thank Paul and Weavil  :)

Offline JVfan

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Re: Todd Rundgren
« Reply #109 on: May 15, 2009, 05:02:47 PM »
It is rather adorable. I love they way she is there for him.

Offline cmr

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Re: Todd Rundgren
« Reply #110 on: June 23, 2009, 07:52:36 PM »
Todd to perform full album at a live show - click here.

Thanks to Paul for the find!

Offline cmr

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Re: Todd Rundgren
« Reply #111 on: June 05, 2010, 05:40:38 PM »
An article about Todd's son Rex - at Canoe.ca

Offline cmr

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Re: Todd Rundgren
« Reply #112 on: June 17, 2010, 05:53:05 AM »
Todd is having 2 shows in NZ - click :)

Offline Shlomi

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Re: Todd Rundgren
« Reply #113 on: January 24, 2011, 07:11:23 PM »
According to Bebe's Twitter, Todd is Jimmy Fallon tonight!

(According to this website, he will on only next week.)

ETA: Bebe was mistaken - Todd will be on Jimmy Fallon on Feb. 1.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2011, 07:31:09 PM by Shlomi »

Offline cmr

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Re: Todd Rundgren
« Reply #114 on: April 07, 2011, 10:35:40 PM »
Todd at American Idol last night!! read

Offline cmr

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Re: Todd Rundgren
« Reply #115 on: June 23, 2018, 09:08:13 AM »
70th birthday to Todd Rundgren (June 22)