Camping With Todd Rundgren? $2500

By , Columnist

Todd Rundgren/Rachel Hayden, 2008

Pack your fishin' pole, hiking boots, bug spray, and sleeping bag. You might want to throw a Marshall amp and a Stratocaster in there as well as Todd Rundgren prepares to host his first ever Musical Survivors Camp at the Full Moon Resort, just outside of Woodstock, New York on June 20. Known for his eclectic and shape-shifting career moves, Rundgren puts on his camp counselor hat and provides the perfect opportunity for fans to see if he can toast a marshmallow. All for a cool $2500.

And that's, "Todd who?" you ask? With a 40+ year career spanning the hits "Hello It's Me," "Can We Still Be Friends," and "Bang On The Drum All Day" it would be easy to mistake Rundgren for only being a '70s/'80s radio fave. But add to his own substantial catalogue, productions for Badfinger, Grand Funk, Meatloaf, and the New York Dolls, coupled with the eighth video ever played on MTV, the world's first interactive music disk, and being the predictor of the current demise of the music business, Todd Rundgren has more than earned the title of Survivor in the business of rock and roll. But can he paddle a canoe? That will be the question.

Over the years Rundgren has assembled a group of fans (read fanatics) that rival Deadheads for their devotion. RundgrenRadio, a fan-based talk radio program, broadcasts weekly on his work and schedule and doubles as a concert promoter for some of his shows. Three years ago when Rundgren hosted his 60th birthday party at his property in Hawaii, 350 fans showed up to camp on his lawn and party for a week with the culmination being a live concert of his latest album, Arena, played on a stage built over a private lake in front of his home. During the week he led hiking trips and Hawaiian BBQ rituals so it seems his camp credentials are up to snuff.

At the June camp, Greg Hawkes (The Cars), and Rundgren's bandmates Jesse Gress, Kasim Sultan and Prarie Prince will join with other music professionals to give campers a view on how to not only survive but thrive in what has become a tumultuous business.

Being based in Europe last year I was lucky enough to have caught the final performance of his seminal album, A Wizard, A True Star at the Paradiso Theatre in Amsterdam. Magical, for sure. I'm not convinced that a five-day camp at $500 a day can match the show I saw but you may get this popmeister to show you how to clean a bass - no wait, his bassist will do that.

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David has spent most of his career in advertising. That alone should call his writing skills into question. David currently writes the Wild Wild East Dailies from Saigon but has trouble seeing the forest for the trees because it's a jungle out there.

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