Todd Rundgren releases bizarre Christmas cover version

Todd Rundgren
(Image credit: Lynn Goldsmith)

Todd Rundgren has released a video for his cover of the bizarre 1978 Dutch song Flappie, originally recorded by Dutch comedian Youp van ’t Hek. It's Rundgren's first ever dedicated Christmas release.

“I don’t usually do this kind of thing,” Rundgren told Rolling Stone recently. “I’m not a Christmassy guy. When Cleopatra [Records] asked me to do a Christmas single, at first I thought the way I usually think: What can I do that nobody else would think of doing? I found a song that was a hit in Holland, where apparently having a rabbit for Christmas dinner is a fairly commonplace thing, where the kid raises the rabbit until Christmas and then it magically disappears. It’s just a little ditty about the cannibalism of rabbits.”

At the same time Rundgren has announced his 2021 Clearly Human virtual tour, featuring 25 performances, each geo-fenced and tailored to a different US city. With each performance emanating from a Chicago venue (the most convenient time zone to allow for 8pm showtimes in every market), the shows will be “localised” to give both the band and the fans a sense of place (e.g. local landmarks will appear on the video wall, catering for the band and crew will feature dishes associated with each city, etc).

Single-ticket purchases within the US will be limited to fans with zip codes corresponding to that show’s greater metropolitan area. US-based fans not living in a designated tour market can also “attend” any or all dates via multi-show ticket bundles, which, like internationally-based fans purchasing single-show tickets, will exempt them from geofencing restrictions. In Chicago, there will be a licensed COVID compliance officer on staff at all times, with both the band and crew testing regularly throughout the duration of the virtual tour.

Emulating a traditional routing itinerary, the Clearly Human Tour will kick off February 14 “in” Buffalo, NY, and wrap up March 22 “in” Seattle, WA. Single tickets are priced at $35, with an array of premium add-ons and multi-date bundles available. Dates and ticket details are below.

Each show will feature Rundgren and an expanded 10-piece band performing standouts from his 50-year-plus catalog, as well as his entire 1989 classic album Nearly Human, which Warner Music Group will also be re-releasing on CD and coloured vinyl. Remote meet-and-greets with Todd will be available at every show, as will options to select viewing from multiple camera angles and to be featured on several rows of video screens that will serve as the real-time “virtual audience” for the evening. Subject to Chicago’s COVID policy regarding public gatherings in force at the time, there will be a handful of tickets available to attend in person and sit safely distanced amongst the virtual audience, with each attendee required to show proof of a negative test within 72 hours of the event.

Todd Rundgren Clearly Human Virtual Tour:
Feb 14: Buffalo, NY
Feb 16: Albany, NY
Feb 17: New York City, NY
Feb 19: Virginia Beach, VA
Feb  20: Pittsburgh, PA
Feb 22: Cleveland, OH
Feb 23: Detroit, MI
Feb 25: Indianapolis, IN
Feb 26: Chicago, IL
Feb 28: Madison/Milwaukee, WI
March  1: Minneapolis, MN
March 3: Kansas City, MO
March  4: St. Louis, MO
March  6: Nashville, TN
March  7: Dallas, TX
March  9: Houston, TX
March 10: Austin, TX
March 12: Denver, CO
March 13: Salt Lake City, UT
March 15: Phoenix AZ
March 16: San Diego, CA
March 18: Los Angeles, CA
March 19: San Francisco, CA
March 21: Portland, OR
March 22: Seattle, WA

Get tickets.

Todd Rundgren

(Image credit: Todd Rundgren)
Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.