Todd Rundgren combines music and life stories

Tales of Todd Rundgren’s life aren’t hard to come by — the musician has been the subject of countless magazine articles and radio hosts have long told stories of his exploits. But even the most die-hard Rundgren fan hasn’t heard everything. That’s one of the reasons that the 70-year-old singer decided to write his memoir and get his side of the stories out — the true versions.

Rundgren has released an autobiography, “The Individualist: Digressions, Dreams and Dissertations,” which details his musical journey through photos and stories and includes his brush with such music luminaries as Janis Joplin, Brian Wilson, Ringo Starr, Patti Smith and Meat Loaf.

The book covers the beginning of his career, which began fronting the ’60s psychedelic group, The Nazz, which he left in 1969 to release a solo album — the well-received “Runt.” He followed that up with a masterpiece in “Something/Anything?” in 1972, an album where he played all the instruments, sang all the vocals and produced it himself.

Todd Rundgren

With hits like “Hello, it’s Me,” “I Saw the Light” and the immensely popular and arena-staple “Bang the Drum All Day,” Rundgren is often named among the top rock musicians of all-time.

On June 11, Rundgren will play the Ridgefield Playhouse for a hybrid concert and book tour that features music from throughout his 50-year career as well as stories from “The Individualist: Digressions, Dreams and Dissertations.”

Keith Loria: What prompted you to write a book?

Todd Rundgren: It wasn’t a decision to do it so much as a decision to finish it as I started writing it in the ’90s. After I got into a couple of chapters, it reminded me of school and homework, and my memories of that time are so negative it made it hard for me to write, so I slacked off for 20 years. As I was approaching my 70th birthday, I realized if I don’t do it, someone else will and I would not enjoy someone else’s take of my life so I forced myself to finish.

KL: How did you decide what stories from your past to include?

TR: I’m not a nostalgia artist, but when you put out a story that’s about the first 50 years of your life, you really need to focus on that musically. The last 20 years aren’t covered, as it would be a totally different book. My life has been so different since I got married and started focusing on family issues.

KL: Why did you want to do this hybrid tour in support of the book?

TR: You make your living playing live today, you don’t make much selling useless artifacts, but I didn’t have any new music to promote but I had this book, so figured I would make the tour more about the book. It’s all about me — way more than you would find in a usual show.

KL: How does the show play off of what’s in the book?

TR: The show is peppered with all bits of information about my career. We do a Q&A in the middle of the show like you might do on a book tour. The questions haven’t all been about the book but more about other things people knew about me that were happening.

KL: You’ll be playing two sets on the night — one with plenty of hits and the other with more deep cuts and fan favorites. How has that been working out?

TR: The second set will be different every night, while the first will be more focused on the area where a lot of those in the audience became fans. We played our first show in Amsterdam and the audience response was very positive, which made us feel better because when you have a new concept, you don’t know how it’s going to work, but things went really good.

KL: Can we still expect some new music soon?

TR: There will always be new music. My music over the years has evolved into my personal therapy. It’s taking ideas that are floating around in my head and concretizing them, making them into something real. And the process of doing that reveals to me the nature of what I’m thinking.

KL: What else do you want people to know about the show?

TR: One thing I can say with assurance, without trying to sound egotistical, is my voice is as good as it’s ever been. My voice will last till the end, and that’s something that you couldn’t always say about my concerts.

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