Monday, December 13, 2010

"Hello It's Me" (1973)

21. Todd Rundgren, "Hello It's Me" (Nov. 10, 1973, #5)

When last we heard from Todd Rundgren he was trying hard to cheer up a fellow named Leroy and find him a date, only in the last moment realizing that he should maybe think about taking some of his own advice. So fade to black. Open on: Three years later. Todd at telephone, contemplative. Lifts receiver, dials (this is 1973, see). Holds receiver, listening, tentative. Then: "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." Does that make sense? Nah, not really, but it sure sounds pretty. And we are off on the further adventures of the bashful introvert nice guy out and about looking for a gal. (Set aside that this was hardly the real actual Todd Rundgren, whose girlfriend at the time was Bebe Buell.) Rundgren knew his audience well—guys whose chronic sense of romantic fantasy was matched only by the chronic ineptness of their ever achieving anything commensurate to the fantasy, and he pretty well wrote directly to that, with lovely tunes and nicely overwrought production and words that flashed non-sequentially on poignant elements of the fantasy. I know that "Spend the night if you think I should" out of this song always lit up for me like a big ol' Christmas tree. So did "It's important to me / That you know you are free / 'Cos I never want to make you change for me." Being genuinely sensitive meant having feelings just like that. I fell for it like the proverbial ton of bricks. It works on me still. Look how high I've ranked it.


  1. Makes sense to me. Longing, regret, can't let go, even though already gone too long, everything's complicated. Although, I needed you to lay it out like this for me to see it. I've never given Rundgren his due, I guess, mostly b/c I was never sure where to start. This is it. Thanks.

  2. He's definitely a tough one to pin down, as Phil was saying on FB, but some of his stuff has always hit me just right. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.