Home Music Music Lists

Todd Rundgren on 5 Classic Songs of Resistance

Singer-songwriter on tunes by Elvis Costello, Sex Pistols and others that “make you want to march”

Todd Rundgren classic songs for resistance

Todd Rundgren discusses five classic songs of resistance, from Red Rider's "Lunatic Fringe" to the Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen."

Chris McKay/Getty Images

In May, Todd Rundgren released White Knight, his 27th solo album, which features guest appearances by everyone from Donald Fagen and Daryl Hall to Trent Reznor and Bettye LaVette. In advance of a fall tour with Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band, the veteran singer-songwriter took some time to discuss five classic songs of resistance that are still relevant today.

Play video

Chris McKay/Getty Images

Red Rider, “Lunatic Fringe”

The undercurrent of indigence and violence and hate, as evidenced by the election of Trump, makes this an evergreen song. But now the lunatic fringe is no longer the fringe. 

Play video

Chris McKay/Getty Images

The Call, “The Walls Came Down”

This became an anthem about having a party and fighting the powers that be. It’s got this great celebratory hoot at the end. 

Play video

Chris McKay/Getty Images

Elvis Costello and the Attractions, “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding”

He’s angry that people aren’t taking this stuff seriously, as in, “What’s so fucking funny?” It makes you want to march. 

Play video

Chris McKay/Getty Images

Sex Pistols, “God Save the Queen”

They weren’t protesting the queen so much as Thatcherite England. It fostered a movement that carried forward. 

Show Comments