As I sit here ruminating about another busy day tomorrow, I find myself grooving to an anthology featuring late ’60’s band The Nazz. The 2 CD set is called Open Our Eyes: The Nazz Anthology on Sanctuary Records and it really did open my eyes to a great band I had known previously by name only.
Of course, a lot of people know the band by name only if only because one of the members was a pre-solo Todd Rundgren. That’s how I first heard of them – going back through some of Rundgren’s history and exploring a little. Now, when I say I went back through his history I must say I am talking about his ’70’s albums only. I feel what he has produced since 1982 or so has been mostly dreck with Mr. Rundgren desperately trying to come up with something worthwhile and failing at just about every turn.
Since I’ve mentioned dreck – if anyone has been around this summer and has heard about this thing he has going with a certain vehicle (ha ha) known as The New Cars please tell me what the point is of making a shitty CD and doing a Loserpalooza tour with a bunch of has beens. The “band” features Rundgren and a cohort and a few of the people who used to be in the band The Cars. Now, not to slam the original Cars too much because I love their albums (even the final two lousy ones) but these guys are strictly the backline as Ben Orr is dead and Ric Ocasek didn’t want to sully his rep by going backwards with his career. So, what Rundgren has is the keyboardist, bass player and guitarist Elliot Easton (the biggest whore in the business besides Rundgren himself. Don’t believe me? Easton was once in a little band called Creedence Clearwater Revisited check the name – not Revival but Revisited – so after he was done trying and failing to be Fogerty he decides to be a pale imitation of himself. Sickening.) from the Cars and himself as lead guy trying to imitate Ocasek’s vocal mannersisms as if he was one of those pinheads from American Idol. Actually, I give the people from Idol more credit than Rundgren since they didn’t have fans to betray like he has done to his.
I listen to the great psychedelic Beatle-isms and Zombie-like tones and flourishes from Who-ville of the Nazz with all the beautiful songs written by Rundgren and then think about his ’70’s solo CDs and wonder what the hell has happened to him that he feels he has to do this. Don’t want to play your own music anymore or write songs? Cool. Go away and at least leave people enraptured by the talent you used to have. As much as I despise the suicides by famous artists like Cobain I almost wonder if it wouldn’t be better to do that than to do this with your career. Even his stuff with the band Utopia kicks the shit out of this New Cars crap.
To be serious (as if I haven’t been) – stay away from anything Rundgren’s done since 1982 and buy Runt or something by The Nazz and try to wash whatever he’s become today out of your ears and mind. For some he can do no wrong but I often find myself pitying those people. If I had a new car – I’d drive it as far away from Rundgren as I could and I’d be playing something by The Nazz on the Blaupunkt while I was doing it.
Do you understand Rundgren?
The Music Nerd can’t fathom it…but likes to get Nazz-ty anytime he can!