What do Rundman and Rundgren have in common? Mary Rowell's violin, for one.

Lately I've been waaay into Todd Rundgren. I first got into his music back in high school when then-girlfriend Dawn got me his album A Capella. Later on I realized that he was one of the greatest rock producers of all time, behind some of my favorite albums (The Pursuit of Happiness, Bourgeois Tagg, Cheap Trick). When Dawn and I got married, Dawn brought into the marriage her copy of Todd's Nearly Human CD which I also grew to love. In the past year I've been rocking to Todd's band projects Utopia and The New Cars, and just last week I picked up Todd's Greatest Hits Live album.

So I decided to see what I could find by Todd on YouTube, and I stumbled upon this version of "Pretending to Care," one of the first Todd songs I ever heard which convinced me of his genius. As I watched this performance of this staggering bit of songwriting, who do I see playing in the string quartet?

That's Mary Rowell on violin, and Dorothy Lawson on cello. For those of you who have my Public Library album, you've heard their lovely musicianship on my song "Second Language"...a recording where Mary wrote the string arrangement!

Strangely enough, when I played the CD release show for the Public Library album at the 400 Bar (opening for Mary Rowell's former band, The Silos) the club put my name on the marquee as JONATHAN RUNDGREN. I took it as an unknowing compliment. Sometimes when folks ask what my music sounds like, I tell them it's a cross between Jonathan Richman and Todd Rundgren, just like my name. And I think that's sort of true.

Anyway, I was very excited to discover this treasure on YouTube, and I want the world to be more aware of the brilliance of Todd and Mary!

"....you can't bring yourself to caaaaaare about me....." Oooh, I just love it!


Bridget Delaney said…
That's definitely really cool. It's always so very cool finding any "connections" in anything like that.

I don't have musical stories, since I'm not a musician, but I definitely have one story about our friends George and Michael and how they were "in my life" before I knew it!
jdbeck said…
Hmmm I seem to remember a certain EHS chorale arrangement of Hodja around that same time.

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