Monday, April 27, 2015

In Todd We Trust.

Though my parents were strict atheists, every Sunday morning, about 8:30, our tiny house would fill with music. We would drag ourselves out of bed and sit around the coffee table in the living room, as my dad flipped through Todd Rundgren records. "Listen", he would whisper, "to the cord progression on this track". Sometimes it was progressive rock, sometimes it was pop, or dance, or even rap, but it was all Todd. The man taught me a thing or two about versatility. Even the album covers were something to behold; bold colors and bright vinyl and psychedelic imagery. We called Sunday mornings in our home "The Church of Todd", and they were not taken lightly.

Last night, I got a frantic e-mail from my father. My father is not comfortable with the aging process. He is in his early 60's, and often feels like his best years are behind him. This time around, though, there was a hint of pure joy in his e-mail. Rundgren had done a Yahoo Live set. "Todd never ceases to amaze me, how many 67 year olds would release an electric dance music album and dance around the way he was?", he wrote. Todd taught our whole family an important lesson: be yourself, no matter who "yourself" is.

One of my very best friends moved to Portland some time ago. I had been contemplating a summer visit to the city. I stopped by a magazine stand, and was flipping through a Rolling Stone when the cover slid through the flesh on my thumb. I took the bloody magazine to the counter, and sheepishly paid the clerk. When I got home, I flipped through the pages, and came across an article that said that Todd Rundgren would be touring this summer with one of my all-time favorite artists, Dam-Funk. I glared at the wound on my thumb. It was a stigmata, signaling that it was time for my pilgrimage. This is my fourth time seeing Dam-Funk, and my first seeing Todd. I know life will exist after this show, but everything will be different. I guess watching a live Todd show is the holy grail of the Todd fan, like when you're a Christian and you die and Jesus fist-bumps you on the way into heaven.

The second time I met Dam-Funk, I asked him what his favorite Todd song was. He told me that it was a tie between "Hideaway", and "Does Anybody Love You". I nodded in agreement. "But", he continued, taking a long drag from a cigarette, "how do you choose from such genius?".

~sarah p.

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