Kilauea’s Rundgren getting tribute treatment

  • Owen Sweeney / Invision via AP file

    Todd Rundgren performs in concert with Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band in Baltimore in 2015.

  • Design by Bill Bricker

    A tribute album dedicated to Todd Rungren’s 1972 double LP “Something/Anything?” is coming Feb. 1, re-titled “Someone/Anyone?” 50 years after its original release.

A music album dedicated to one of Kaua‘i’s most-famous residents, rock heavyweight Todd Rundgren, is set for release next month.

“Someone/Anyone?” out Feb. 1, celebrates the 50th anniversary of Rundgren’s 1972 behemoth “Something/Anything?” — a double LP featuring enduring numbers like “I Saw the Light” and “Hello It’s Me.”

Multi-instrumentalist Fernando Perdomo, who helmed the forthcoming tribute as its executive producer, recorded a version of Paul and Linda McCartney’s “Ram” last year.

“I had so much fun, I decided I’d do it again with another one of my favorite records of all time,” Perdomo told The Garden Island.

“Someone/Anyone?” includes all 25 tracks from “Something/Anything?” in the same order, in addition to four bonus tracks. But most attempts at facsimile end there, as some critiqued 2021’s “Ram On” as too faithful to the McCartneys’ original.

“In general, everyone’s bringing their own spin to the songs, which is a lot of fun,” Perdomo said of the new album. “Because if there’s one thing about Todd, it’s that his songwriting is so on-point. He’s such a unique artist that anybody covering his songs is not going to sound like Todd.”

Perdomo, a featured guitarist in the 2018 Netflix rock doc “Echo in the Canyon,” compared his role on “Someone/Anyone?” to a casting director who asked a different artist or group to record each song.

Contributors include Marshall Crenshaw, whose own work includes the 1982 songs “Someday, Someway” and “Cynical Girl,” Rundgren’s Utopia bandmate Kasim Sulton, and Stan Lynch, a founding member of Tom Petty &The Heartbreakers.

Rundgren, who was born in Pennsylvania and has lived in Kilauea for decades, entered the Rock &Roll Hall of Fame in October (however, he did not attend the induction ceremony. He described his relationship with the hall as “not copacetic” in an interview published the previous month).

But the prolific artist has given his blessing to “Someone/Anyone?”

“As far as (his wife) Michele says, he’s heard everything and he loves it,” Perdomo said. “He loves the idea. His exact words were, ‘Please do this. It sounds like fun.’”

The executive producer cannot pick a favorite reinvention of Rundgren from the record he assembled, although Perdomo admits the lead-off track — “I Saw the Light” performed by singer-songwriter Louise Goffin in the style of a ‘60s girl group — is a highlight.

That’s because Goffin is the daughter of hitmakers Gerry Goffin and Carole King.

“When he put out ‘I Saw the Light,’ people were calling him ‘the male Carole King,’” Perdomo explained. “So when I told Todd that Carole’s daughter was doing that song, he found it very funny, very ironic.”

Digital and hard copies of “Someone/Anyone?” will be available for purchase online at toddtribute.bandcamp.com/releases. All net profits will go to Rundgren’s nonprofit Spirit of Harmony Foundation, which advocates music in schools.

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Scott Yunker, reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or syunker@thegardenisland.com.

1 Comments
  1. Laust Cawz January 9, 2022 10:19 pm Reply

    Anyone who thinks “Sonething/Anything”
    is Todd’s best album probably also thinks it’s his only album & hasn’t explored the genius
    of “A Wizard, A True Star”, “Todd”, “Healing”, “A Capella”, “Liars”, etc.


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