Monday, June 21, 2010

Todd On Monday : The Walrus Was Todd

I believe "A Walk Down Abbey Road" was the brainchild of Alan Parsons, a successful pop star, but also a staff engineer at EMI Studios, with engineering credits on such records as "Dark Side Of The Moon," and both "Abbey Road" and "Let It Be." It also reeks of inspiration from Ringo Starr and his "All-Starr" tours, born approximately 8 years earlier, where Starkey, our fearless leader, and some carefully chosen super and not so super stars, banded together for a night of hits from each of its members, as well as a sprinkling of Beatles' tunes. In the case of this tour, it was a full set of both.

The tour in 2001 featured Parsons, Todd Rundgren, John Entwistle, David Pack of Ambrosia, as well as band support from Godfrey Townshend (no relation) on guitars and Steve Luongo on drums. It had "phone it in and pick up your check" written all over it. But instead, audience members were treated to 2 plus hours of some great musicians having a genuine blast on stage. At least that's how I remember it.

It's easy to yak all over this, but if you leave your contemptuous snorts at the door, you may actually enjoy yourself, especially such highlights as Ann Wilson's ballsy version of "I'm Down," or hearing Todd's distinctive backing vocals on a handful of Ambrosia hits. (Guilty pleasures for some, genuinely wonderful tunes for me.) As for the Beatles' material, this isn't a set of note for note recreations, and not all of it works. The Fab Faux cornered the market on that. It is a lot of fun though, and Alan Parsons' vocal debut on "Blackbird," while possessing some charm, is closer to Paul Heinreid than Paul McCartney.

Speaking of contemptuous snorts, as most Todd fans know, Mr. Rundgren's caustic wit often rises to the surface when he gets a bit twitchy. For this particular show, which was recorded in Saratoga on June 19, 2001, he is on fire. Hilarious, actually, making some of the banter in-between, just as entertaining. Of course, if you're not a fan of any of these people, y'all have to come back tomorrow now, ya heah!

magical mystery tour
open my eyes
eye in the sky
crazy on you
my wife
hello it's me
don't answer me
the biggest part of me
how much i feel
bang the drum all day
the real me
games people play
dreamboat annie
my generation


back in the ussr
lady madonna
im down
the fool on the hill
while my guitar gently weeps
here comes the sun
lucy in the sky with diamonds
you've got to hide your love away
everybody's got something to hide...
day tripper
i want to hold your hand
let it be
ticket to ride
hey jude
golden slumbers/carry that weight
the end




misospecial said...

my morning and evening commutes and some hours in between will be spent getting acquainted with today's big show. i said it before and i'll say it again: oh boy!

charlie c. said...

Turns out I left my contemptuous snort at the door, and when I came out some Upper West Side mongrel had peed on it!
Thanks for the tunes, never would've stumbled on this.
Saw the Starkey All Star Revue at the old Garden State Arts Center . . . Springsteen came out for some Beatle covers with them, not sure of the year -- Joe Walsh and Billy Preston in the band (?) maybe . . .

Leslie said...

Enjoying this one!
P.S. I left my contemptuous snort with the music store clerk who assumed I was looking for Taylor Swift when I was looking for Taylor Hawkins.

steves said...


A great big thanks for this, Sal.

misospecial said...

it's just a big old lovefest. todd seems so relaxed in this setting, like he's got nothing to prove, they're just having fun playing. those vocal harmonies are beautiful—of course he really enjoys singing in groups. some band!


Thanks Sal. Your posts are always the best!

Noam Sane said...

This looks great, will enjoy it tomorrow AM on my morning perambulation. Appreciated as always.