Todd 10 Events of 1997
by Jerry Caldwell
10. VBTRRelease of "The Very Best of Todd Rundgren". Did anyone
actually look at
the order of these songs before the cd was released? And "Bang The
Drum..."?, was Todd's
told about this?
9. WAT Todd makes and catches a wave with the release of "With A
bossa nova reworking of some of the very best of the above, and more.
tour launches Todd and lounge as the popular culture flavor-of-the-
8. JERRY SPRINGER Appearance on top-rated slime-meister television
thrusts Todd into the trailer park. The shows' topic: "Actresses
Who Think Their Fathers
Are Rock Stars". The guests, besides Todd and Liv Tyler: Heather
Frampton, and RuPaul,
who vows he/she is the love-child of Little Richard and Carol
7. VH1-SHOW/MTV-NO SHOW After his "Tiki Lounge" 2-hour concert
debuts on boomer music channel, VH1, as the first "pop-up" concert,
Todd is asked to host
the sister-network's awards show. He declines, saying Reebok has a
soccer game that day.
6. X/OLYMPICS GAMES On the heels of the financial and critical
success of the
"X-Games" theme song written for ESPN, Todd is asked to compose the
theme for CBS's
1998 Winter Olympic coverage. Todd comes up with the slogan: "Can
We Just Chill,
Friends?", along with a reworked lounge version of the song. Waking
Dreams markets it
5. WORLD SERIES Cashing in on the lounge craze sweeping the country,
National Baseball Association recruits Todd to sing the national
anthem, bossa nova style, on
the first game of the 1997 World Series. Not since Rosanne's San
Diego solo has America
reacted to the singing of this song. The nation was surprised, but
loved the unique blend of
lounge and Hendrix. During the telecast, our own Romo is spotted
behind home plate holding
up a "Todd 3:16" sign.
4. CHINA CONCERT Todd's triumphant tour of China calms jittery
nerves on the
Far East financial markets, and prompts the Chinese people to
unofficially adopt "Love Is The
Answer" as its national anthem. Under growing pressure with Todd's
followers, China grants
human rights, frees all political prisoners, and in a surprise move,
bans Starbucks. Sales of
giga-pets soar in the US, all under the Waking Dreams trademark.
3. SNL In the musical event of 1997, Todd, hosting NBC's "Saturday
shares a lounge act skit with an ailing, but enthusiastic, Frank
Sinatra. The duo sings Buck
Owen's, then Ringo's, "Act Naturally", and later, "My Way" with rich
While the tabloids had Sinatra on his death bed, SNL and the Sunday
morning network news
talk shows had Frank and Todd swinging. The national reaction
prompts the duo to announce
a 10-day holiday mini-tour. Before the dates are set, Sinatra dies
in his sleep, one hand
holding an empty martini glass... the other clutching a banana.
2.BEACHED TODD Having completed the Tiki Lounge tour at JAXX in
Virginia, Todd is summoned to the annual Renaisance Festival on
Hilton Head Island, South
Carolina, by President Clinton. There Todd and the boys will perform
a private concert. On
the trip there, Todd's bus experiences a minor mechanical problem
(unusual smoke in the
passenger cabin) and is forced to stop overnight in Virginia Beach.
I run into Todd at the
garage, and offer the stranded band a place to crash/party/relax.
Todd said they also needed a place to rehearse their upcoming
appearance on SNL. I offer the studio where I work. Ironically,
Frank Sinatra, vacationing at the beach, is also scheduled in at the
studio to voice-over a new lounge version of the "Ricola" throat
loungens commercial... (get it "lounge/loungens".) Todd and Frank
click and begin sharing studio time. Between his work with Frank,
Todd also rehearses material for the spring 1998 release, quickly and
tentatively titled, "My Whey". Unfortunately I was out of
have a decent stereo dub off the board... as in the chairman of the
1. XMAS STAR TV's "surprise" of the year was answered with
"shock" of the year. Seinfeld calls it quits, turning down a
reported $5 MILL per episode,
and leaving top-rated NBC looking for a Thursday night replacement
and new peacock
golden egg-layer. They turn to Todd, and his long-forgotten Disney
pilot, "Never Neverland".
Glad to give up the rights for a quick $250,000, ABC relinquishes
what turns out to the
demise of its network. NNL co-stars the Tiki lounge band, now
renamed the Sons of the
Individualist, as well as Paul Reubens as Todd's animated alter-ego.
The so-called "show
about something" soars in its Thursday night 9pm anchor position,
then rockets to record-
breaking rating heights as a monthly stand-in for Saturday Night Live.
There Todd continues his post-difference nudge to up-and-coming runt-wannabees. He rules the popular culture and the network. Then, as expected by his fans, Todd heads back to the isle. He turns the reigns over to Doug Powell.