Club Bene - South Amboy, NJ - 11/25/1998

by Penny Maddalena

Well, it was another long road trip to see the show on Wednesday night, this time it took 9 hours to drive there, and I thought Cleveland was far! I'm not complaining, however, the entire trip was well worth the inconvenience. The next day Cindy, my friend and I drove into New York City for the entire day, what a wonderful and exciting trip it was to see Todd and NYC!

All I can say is Thank God, there was an opening act, because we arrived at Club Bene kind of late that evening, and didn't miss any of Todd's show! After the opening act went off stage Cindy and I made a beeline for centre stage. Amazingly, the people in South Amboy were so nice and accomadating to us, they let us squeeze in and we placed ourselves about one person from centre stage, right underneath the microphone stand. Todd came out on stage around 10:00 P.M. and the crowd gave him several generous gifts, which I thought was very sweet. He received a Thanksgiving Day balloon, with a paper turkey attached to it and a beautiful gourd that had his picture painted on it from a very talented fan. Todd held up the gourd, which had a very large stem and didn't know what to do with it at first. I think he held it on top of his head, he shook it to see if it could be used in the show, then he held it to his groin and the large stem looked like, well use your imagination for this one. Only Todd could relate a gourd to a body part saying, he had alot of experience handling this kind of thing. Someone else had made him a very unique sweater, with a large sun woven on the front and back, which by the way he wore home because it was very chilly after the show! Needless to say, he was very well received there.

Getting back to the show! It was great to see everyone at the South Amboy, myself included, enjoying themselves and singing along to every song that was performed. He basically played the same material as listed in the previous reviews. I was impressed with the Hawaiian version of Bang on the Drum, complete with an in tune ukelele! I couldn't stop laughing as Todd sang, I don't wanna worka, I just wanna bang on the drum all daya, I don't wanna playa, I just wanna bang on the drum all daya. It was a hilarious version of an old favourite. The only blunder of the whole evening was a few misplaced notes from the piano on Compassion. Other then that, I was very satisfied. I don't know what that asshole from the Clifton Park, NYC review was talking about! This was a very entertaining evening. Even Cindy liked it and she didn't even know all the words to the songs. She was a little perturbed when we couldn't get backstage to meet Todd, but I respected the fact that Todd wanted to enjoy his food in peace and patiently waited to meet him outside and was pleasantly greeted by his crew. I met him and got an autograph, and as I was leaving he wished me a Happy Thanksgiving, which I thought was really nice, even though I don't think he realized that I celebrated Thanksgiving last month!

A great trip, very entertaining night, great music, great drinks, great people! Thank you Todd! Now I can say I've been to New Jersey, New York City and the Statue of Liberty!

Penny Maddalena


I almost forgot Todd did make some snide remark about this being a Todd Rundgren show, for those of us who didn't know, it was supposed to be casual dress. In my defense, I missed my Christmas Party due to the flu the weekend before and wanted to get dressed up, thank you very much!