Song of the Day #4,907: ‘Hello It’s Me’ – Todd Rundgren

Singer-songwriter and producer Todd Rundgren has been eligible for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame since 1996, but wasn’t nominated for the first time until 2019. He failed to get in on that ballot, and again in 2020, but finally made the cut this year.

Rundgren’s inclusion feels overdue, especially as the Hall shifts its definition of “rock & roll” to account for the emergence of hip-hop in the 20th century. Here’s an old-school pop-rock artist who has been churning out creative, influential records since 1970. He’s exactly the kind of talent who fits the traditional mold of the Hall of Fame.

Rundgren has released 25 solo albums, plus more than a dozen with various groups. As a producer, he has helmed dozens of albums for artists such as Sparks, Hall & Oates, XTC, Badfinger, Meat Loaf, Patti Smith, and Cheap Trick.

He made a major impact on power pop artists, but has dabbled in many genres throughout his 50+ year career. He was also a pioneer in music delivery innovations, releasing an “interactive” album that allowed listeners to mix and match pieces into their own compositions, and making use of the internet in its early days to provide extra content to fans.

Rundgren’s omission from the Hall has perplexed fans and critics for years, especially after he was left out despite nominations in 2019 and 2020. It might have something to do with his dismissal of the whole process. In 2016, he said “If I told you about how they actually determine who gets into the Hall of Fame, you’d think that I was bullshitting you, because I’ve been told what’s involved. … It’s just as corrupt as anything else, and that’s why I don’t care.”

In keeping with that blunt assessment, Rundgren didn’t attend the induction ceremony in late October, saying he was unable to take a break from his tour schedule.

[Verse 1]
Hello, it’s me
I’ve thought about us for a long, long time
Maybe I think too much, but something’s wrong
There’s something here that doesn’t last too long
Maybe I shouldn’t think of you as mine

[Verse 2]
Seeing you
Or seeing anything as much as I do you
I take for granted that you’re always there
I take for granted that you just don’t care
Sometimes I can’t help seeing all the way through

[Hook]
It’s important to me
That you know you are free
‘Cause I never want to make you change for me

[Verse 3]
Think of me
You know that I’d be with you if I could
I’ll come around to see you once in a while
Or if I ever need a reason to smile
And spend the night if you think I should

[Hook]
It’s important to me (me)
That you know you are free
‘Cause I never want to make you change for me

[Verse 3 (reprise)]
Think of me
You, you know that I’d be with you if I could
I’ll come around to see you once in a while
Or if I ever need a reason to smile
And spend the night if you think I should

[Outro]
Think of me, think of me, think of me
Think of me, think of me, think of me
Think of me, think of me, think of me
Think of me, think of me, think of me
Think of me, think of me, think of me
Think of me, think of me, think of me
Think of me, think of me, think of me

5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #4,907: ‘Hello It’s Me’ – Todd Rundgren

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Earlier this week, I heard a repeat of the Howard Stern Show from whenever this year’s nominations were announced. Howard was predicting who would and should be inducted into the Hall. When it came to Todd Rundgren, he felt Rundgren had not made enough of an impact as a singer/songwriter and performer to qualify. Howard’s longtime producer Gary Dellebate (aka Bababooy) disagreed and felt Rundgren deserved the honor as a producer. I found myself agreeing with Howard, though I get the argument for induction both you and Bababooy are making.

    Then, last night, we watched the first episode of the Sex in the City sequel, And Just Like That, which contained a great scene of Carrie and Mr. Big picking the album they would hear that night, as they had been playing one album each night in alphabetical order from their collection during the pandemic. The selection was the Todd Rundgren album that included “Hello It’s Me.” Mr. Big declared the album was one of his favorites of all time, and they went on to dance and sing as the song played on the record player.

    As a funny aside, for some reason, when we started the show, closed captioning was on and I couldn’t seem to turn it off. I finally was able to do it and was so proud of my accomplishment, and then, when this song came on the closed captioning returned with, inexplicably, lyrics in French!

    • Clay says:

      Funny how things start popping up everywhere at the same time.

      And something is definitely funky with closed captions lately. I watched a movie the other day and captions popped up every time there was written text on the screen. The characters would pass a sign saying “Grocery Store” and “Grocery Store” popped up in text at the bottom. I’m not sure what problem that feature could possibly solve!

  2. Reb Butler says:

    Great story! Also, for what it’s worth, I think Todd easily merits inclusion based on his recorded work as an artist, let alone his work as a producer. He has been so prolific, and so eclectic in his output, that it may have been difficult for people to stick with him (in that respect, consistency is a virtue!) But his approach in many areas has been groundbreaking, and you can put together a top ten of his that is mind-blowing (well, to me anyway). So congratulations to him, regardless of what he thinks of the process or the Hall itself.

  3. Peg says:

    I was about to relate the sex and the city episode when I saw Dana’s comments. We were also watching the show and when that scene came on we didn’t know the singer. However while the song was playing and “Big” was singing along in English there were closed captions in Spanish but only for the song! We were puzzled to say the least. Surely an amazing coincidence.

  4. willedare says:

    I had no idea he had produced so many different bands/artists. Thank you for the ongoing musical/cultural education your blog provides!

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