Todd Rundgren Warns Trump Voters Away From His Shows: ‘You Will Likely Be Offended’
Todd Rundgren's outspoken nature has long been part of his charm — and he's been in the public eye long enough that it's hard to imagine that many members of his fan base might be surprised or offended to hear him sharing political opinions from the stage. But just on the off chance that any ardent supporters of the current administration feel tempted to catch a Rundgren show over the next few years, he's offering a helpful warning up front: you should probably stay home.
"If I had the power, I’d say: If you’re a Trump supporter, don’t come to my show, because you won’t have a good time," Rundgren told Variety. "And also, I don’t understand your frickin’ values. Because I’m not singing about that. If you don’t understand that basic thing, you’re just fooling yourself. I guarantee that in this show, if you’re a Trump supporter, you will likely be offended. Let the buyer beware! I mean, if you can’t take a joke, or you can’t admit that you’ve made a mistake, you don’t belong with the rest of us."
Part of that ire seeped into Rundgren's new White Knights LP, which finds him collaborating with a wide variety of peers and famous fans from across the musical spectrum. "Man in the Tin Foil Hat," written and recorded with Steely Dan's Donald Fagen, arose from the pair's proximity in Hawaii, and tapped into the alienation both artists were feeling after the election last November.
"I’ve known Donald since he spent some time living out at Kauai, where I still live, and he just happened to be on vacation on the island in January. We went out to dinner, and I thought, Well, geez, why don’t I just spring it on him?" recalled Rundgren. "The song was primarily driven by our common frustration with what happened in the recent election. It was still pretty fresh, and we were still pretty mad about it, so it happened pretty organically."
As much as White Knight sees Rundgren taking a principled stand, he's also making more of an effort to expand his audience these days. Telling Variety that the deaths of Prince and David Bowie made him realize his time isn't unlimited, he said he decided to be "proactive" — which manifested itself not only in the crossover-friendly new album, but in a new round of tireless touring activity.
"For the foreseeable future, I’m going to be every place that I can get to," vowed Rundgren. "I’ll be onstage at Coachella with the Lemon Twigs! I will go on tour with Yes, even though it’s not my show and I have to make compromises in my set to get in front of a larger audience. All that stuff would have bothered me hugely in the past, but I realized, if you’re all in, you’re all in. And at this point, I’m all in."
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