Next month, six artists will officially join the coveted ranks of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Todd Rundgren, Foo Fighters, JAY-Z, Tina Turner, Carole King, and The Go-Go’s. As usual, though, not everyone is stoked to be included. In a new interview, Rundgren revealed he won’t be attending the induction ceremony, which doesn’t come as a surprise considering he’s previously called the Rock Hall a “scam.”
When speaking with Ultimate Classic Rock, Rundgren explained how he plans on handling his induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as part of their 2021 class. He will be celebrating his 1973 album A Wizard, a True Star with a special tour next month, and he’s scheduled to perform in Cincinnati, Ohio on October 30th — the same night as the induction ceremony. Rundgren will still perform for fans that evening, but he may pause the show for a livestream-style acceptance speech or quick video, primarily as a way to thank his fans.
“I don’t know. It’s been up and down and in and out with them. My relationship with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, quite obviously, it’s not copacetic,” Rundgren told UCR. “I have offered to do something live for them from my venue. I will stop my show and acknowledge the award and mostly acknowledge my fans, because it’s for them.”
They’re the ones who wanted it,” he continued. “And now they’ve got it. So it’s a celebration for them, not so much for me. I’ve been totally willing to do that. But for me to do something extraordinary for the Hall of Fame would just be hypocritical. You know, I’m too much on the record about my feelings.”
Rundgren is, of course, referring to all of the infamous statements he’s made over the years regarding his stance on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the past, he’s called it a “scam” and an “industry invention” that takes itself too seriously. He’s certainly not the only high-profile musician to think so either. “It’s no secret I don’t care about it,” Rundgren told Billboard earlier this year. “True halls of fame are for retirees and dead people, because your legacy has been established. I’m too busy working to worry about my legacy — and plan to continue working until whenever.”
That said, Rundgren is handling this honor with equal parts respect for others and firm belief in his morals. “I’ve striven since the nomination to just not say anything. Because I don’t want to rain on anybody else’s parade,” he said to UCR. “A lot of artists take this seriously. Just because I don’t, doesn’t mean I should try and spoil it for them. So, you know, I haven’t really had much to say about it. I would just like it to elapse without any kind of bad vibes or anything being a result of it. I’d just like it to happen and be over with.”
Earlier this year, Rundgren reunited with his longtime friends and collaborators Sparks for a new single called “Your Fandango.” It’s got a harpsichord solo, plenty of kitschy hooks, and even a fun accent courtesy of Rundgren himself. It’s clear he’s got plenty of songwriting ideas still bouncing around in his brain, and he’s intent on making sure to utilize every last one.