Upper Darby’s Todd Rundgren nominated for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019
The Upper Darby native faces some tough competition, but he does not really care if he is inducted or not
Along with acts like John Prine, Devo, Def Leppard, and Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks, this year's list of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees also includes an Upper Darby native.
Todd Rundgren, 70, has been nominated for the Cleveland, Ohio-based Hall's Class of 2019 – a list that includes more than a dozen influential musicians and music groups, from Rage Against the Machine to LL Cool J. Typically, about five to seven nominees are voted into the Hall each year. Winners will be announced in December, with an induction ceremony to follow in March next year at Brooklyn's Barclays Center.
Born in Philly and raised in Delco, Rundgren is a multi-instrumentalist known for hits like 1970's "We Gotta Get You A Woman, 1972's "Hello It's Me," and 1983's "Bang the Drum All Day," his most popular track. Also a prolific producer, Rundgren additionally had a hand in classic albums like Grand Funk Railroad's We're an American Band in 1973, and Meat Loaf's 1977 classic Bat Out of Hell.
Rundgren, however, has been eligible for induction into the Hall since 1995, so why his nomination came along in its 34th year running isn't clear. To become eligible, the Hall writes on its website, artists have to have released their first recording "at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination." Rundgren's first solo album, Runt, was released in 1970.
With Rundgren going up against better-known artists like Nicks and Devo, he faces an uphill battle when it comes to induction. Winners, after all, are decided by a vote from industry experts and past inductees, as well as fans. Voting is currently open, and Nicks — who was already inducted for her work with Fleetwood Mac — has a solid lead over the rest of the pack with nearly 76,000 votes. Rundgren, meanwhile, stands in fourth place with 36,000 votes, followed closely behind by The Zombies, who have garnered 35,000 votes. Voting closes at 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 9.
Given his past statements about the Hall, though, Rundgren doesn't seem too worried about getting in. As he told Cleveland.com back in 2014, the Hall has "always been a thorny subject."
"It's not rock 'n' roll anymore, anyway. What you have now is a pop music hall of fame, and I don't care if I'm in the Pop Music Hall of Fame or not," Rundgren said. "It's a very political thing, but some day, you're going to run out of legitimate artists to induct."
Philadelphia had a few local connections to the Rock Hall inductions last year. Nina Simone, who spent time in Philadelphia, as well a early influence Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who is buried in Philadelphia, were honored last year, along with Bon Jovi.