Lennon in response to Todd Rundgren

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by zphage, Aug 13, 2009.

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  1. zphage

    zphage inappropriately touching the out of touch Thread Starter

    John Lennon's Letter to Todd Rundgren published in Melody Maker in response to Rundgren's February 1974 interview in the same magazine.

    AN OPENED LETTUCE TO SODD RUNTLESTUNTLE (from dr winston o'boogie)

    Couldn't resist adding a few "islands of truth" of my own, in answer to Turd Runtgreen's howl of hate (pain.)

    Dear Todd,

    I like you, and some of your work, including "I Saw The Light", which is not unlike "There's A Place" (Beatles), melody wise.

    1) I have never claimed to be a revolutionary. But I am allowed to sing about anything I want! Right?

    2) I never hit a waitress in the Troubador, I did act like an ***, I was too drunk. So shoot me!

    3) I guess we're all looking for attention Rodd, do you really think I don't know how to get it, without "revolution?" I could dye my hair green and pink for a start!

    4) I don't represent anyone but my SELF. It sounds like I represented something to you, or you wouldn't be so violent towards me. (Your dad perhaps?)

    5) Yes Dodd, violence comes in mysterious ways it's wonders to perform, including verbal. But you'd know that kind of mind game, wouldn't you? Of course you would.

    6) So the Nazz use to do "like heavy rock" then SUDDENLY a "light pretty ballad". How original!

    7) Which gets me to the Beatles, "who had no other style than being the Beatles"!! That covers a lot of style man, including your own, TO DATE...

    Yes Godd, the one thing those Beatles did was to affect PEOPLES' MINDS. Maybe you need another fix?

    Somebody played me your rock and roll ***** song, but I never noticed anything. i think that the real reason you're mad at me is cause I didn't know who you were at the Rainbow (L.A.) Remember that time you came in with Wolfman Jack? When I found out later, I was cursing cause I wanted to tell you how good you were. (I'd heard you on the radio.)

    Anyway, However much you hurt me darling; I'll always love you,
    J. L.
    30th Sept. 1974

    (thanks to micamoc)
  2. peter

    peter Senior Member

    Not only another great example of John's unique and wise wit, but a reminder yet again (not that we needed another one) of what we don't have anymore.

    We will be speaking about John Lennon as long as language - any language - exists. And even after that.
  3. dobyblue

    dobyblue Forum Resident


    Amen to that!

    Great post OP, thanks for sharing that classic tidbit!
    theMess and Larry Mc like this.
  4. fitzysbuna

    fitzysbuna Forum Resident

    lol thats great!
  5. heatherly

    heatherly Well-Known Member

    Ok I vaguely remember, but how did the Todd Vs. John thing come about?
  6. Slokes

    Slokes Cruel But Fair

    Greenwich, CT USA
    I'd like to know the context of that letter, since I'm not as up on Lennonalia as others on this forum and don't know what poor Todd/Sodd/Dodd could have done to tick him off so. Lennon was rather a touchy guy, methinks?
    Aftermath and Upinsmoke like this.
  7. william shears

    william shears Active Member

    new zealand
    I wonder what Nodd Grunderuns response was?
  8. vince

    vince Stan Ricker's son-in-law

    Uncut had a special magazine that had this AND his letter to Paul in it, too. Featured all NME articles from 70-80!!
  9. CellPhoneFred

    CellPhoneFred New Member

    Columbus, Ohio
    Sorry to be so ignorant, but what exactly is/was Todd's "rock and roll ***** song"?

    I wanna hear it!

  10. Track five on the classic "A Wizard, a True Star" album.
  11. Sean Keane

    Sean Keane Pre-Mono record collector In Memoriam

    A copy and paste from Kweevak.com:

    RE: Something I've always been curious about, I remember reading somewhere that you had a war of words with John Lennon at one point in the 70's. What's the story behind that?

    TR: Well, it was essentially a little dust up engineered by Melody Maker Magazine, or it might have been the New Musical Express, but they were trying to provoke things. They liked controversy. I did an interview for New Musical Express and said something about John Lennon.

    RE: About him getting into a fight and thrown out of a restaurant?

    TR: This was when he went out to LA and started bar hopping with Harry Nilsson. Essentially he was getting loaded and accosting waitresses. Something that bothers me a lot is hypocrisy and his expectations of others was always very high, and the way he had no qualms about, for instance, going after Paul McCartney. How do you sleep at night and all this other stuff and taking other people a task for their shortcomings.

    Anyway, I made some comment about it. They made a big deal about it and solicited a comment from him. He characterized my so-called outburst as me bitching at my dad. They tried to get a counter response from me and I realized that they really didn't give **** about John Lennon or me. They just liked the controversy. We spoke to each other briefly on the phone. We were never friends or anything.
    BeatlesBop and Sneaky Pete like this.
  12. Greg1954

    Greg1954 New Member

    This letter was originally reproduced in Pete Shotton's memoir, all those years ago.
  13. godonnygo

    godonnygo New Member

    I wonder what Lennon thought of "Deface the Music" (although he wouldn't have had much time to hear it, if he did at all).
  14. Jamey K

    Jamey K Internet Sensation

    I couldn't agree more. MAJOR thumbs up.
  15. MikeM

    MikeM Forum Resident

    Youngstown, Ohio
    I agree.

    On the other hand, Todd does have a point!

    John Lennon is my favorite rock vocalist of all time, and wrote some incredible songs that I will sing until I can't sing any more, and love until I can't hear any more.

    But I've never bought into deifying him as a person. Like many great artists, he had some very serious flaws...but like many great artists, he turned out great art in spite of (and sometimes because of) them.
  16. fabtrick

    fabtrick New Member


    Love John's wit there, and his ability to self-deprecate AND blow his own horn all at once.

    The deification, which he would have loathed, continues unabated.

    And in the immortal words of the man, "it gets on my TIT."

    Thanks for digging that up!
  17. moople72

    moople72 Forum Resident

    Well said.
    While Lennon could certainly be arrogant, I cannot think of another famous person who spoke as frankly about their own flaws as he did.
    CybrKhatru likes this.
  18. Yovra

    Yovra Collector of Beatles Threads

    Looks like mr. Rundgren is diving a little bit ("a little dust up engineered by Melody Maker Magazine"). He did have a point as far as Lennon's public "image" as a peace-keeping saint, although many should have known he had a nasty side too..
    I don't regard Lennon's answer as "witty"...some remarks are a bit too angry to fall in that catagory (and "I Saw The Light" doesn't sound like "There's A Place" at all i.m.o.).
    Gardo, Scotbot and redvette like this.
  19. Emmett66

    Emmett66 Forum Resident

    "Do you know who I am?" said Lennon to a waitress while he was wearing a Kotex on his head. "Yeah," she said, "you're an a*shole wearing a Kotex on your head."

  20. mfp

    mfp Forum Resident

    Paris, France
    Ain't he sweet? :love:

    Someone British correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Northern blokes often acting confrontational to the ones they're fond of?
  21. TheiPodAvenger

    TheiPodAvenger Well-Known Member

    Yeah, it sounds more like "You Won't See Me." Like others, I do find his pride in the Beatles' accomplishments, juxtaposed with some of his own critical comments, to be very endearing and somewhat touching.
    Gardo and Carlox like this.
  22. Grant

    Grant C'mon let me show you where it's at!

    United States
    For those of us who are just learning about this for the first time, some context for John's open letter to Todd would be very helpful.

    It does no good to read John's response without knowing what Todd originally said or wrote.

    Furthermore, I do not think that letter was brilliant or witty. It was just one man to another. I like John Lennon too, but let's keep this all in perspective. It's not like he wrote a song, he just wrote a letter.
  23. Yovra

    Yovra Collector of Beatles Threads

    Now THAT'S witty! :righton:
    jonathan, sami, Larry L and 5 others like this.
  24. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    rock n roll p

    And she was right !
  25. Anthology123

    Anthology123 Forum Resident

    If there is one thing that John Lennon was always peeved about was people getting his or any Beatles story wrong in some book or magazine or newspaper. Most likely the impetus of the letter was getting the story about the Troubador club right.
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