Utopia Storms Knebworth!
Here’s a great gift for Todd fans: there’s an incredible boxset that captures when Todd Rundgren and Utopia headed across the pond to take part in a new music festival – just three years old – with an amazing list of bands!
Welcome To Knebworth House!
This is Knebworth House, a classic British country estate located about 25 miles outside of London. It’s been the home of the Lytton family since 1490! Knebworth House was originally a red-brick Late Gothic manor house, built round a central court which served as an open square. Talk about British manors!
Oh, and they love to put on concerts here too! The Knebworth music festival is celebrating its 40 year anniversary in 2014.
Meet Freddy Bannister!
Freddy Bannister founded the Knebworth Festival in 1974 – headlined by The Allman Brothers the first year, Pink Floyd in 1975, The Rolling Stones and Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1976, and Led Zeppelin in 1979!
Bannister published his memoir in 2003, and the book comes inside an amazing Knebworth box set as well…even better, his daughter contacted me to find out how I wanted the book inscribed!
Of course, we are here to discuss all things Todd – so let’s head to 1976, when Utopia performed with an amazing lineup of bands!
Look at the lineup: The Rolling Stones, 10cc, Hot Tuna, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Todd Rundgren’s Utopia!
And now, thanks to Freddy Bannister, I have the box set that captures both of Todd + Utopia’s appearances at this classic festival!
I know you Todd fans saw this posted on the fan sites – well, I bought it and it’s an incredible collection of Todd goodies! Each box is personally numbered and signed by Freddy inside as well:
The Goodie Box!
Opening the box is like unveiling a personalized history of Todd and Utopia! First, there is a replica of the original poster, along with a ticket to the festival, a T-Shirt AND the official history of the festival, written by Bannister:
Then, you get all of Todd & Utopia’s appearances, along with a disc of highlights form the festival and a dvd history of the festival as well, including highlights of Led Zeppelin, and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s legendary performance of “Freebird!”
And of course, Todd fans will love tboth performances by the band at Knebworth: first in 1976, and again in 1979!
The band’s 1976 performance includes the Overture from “RA”, as well as “The Seven Rays”, “The Verb To Love” and more, ending with “Heavy Metal Kids” and “Do Ya!”
Utopia Live 1979!
Todd and the band returned to Knebworth three years later. Here is the 1979 setlist that Todd and Utopia performed:
Last of the New Wave Riders
Back on the Street
Love of the Common Man
The Last Ride
The Seven Rays
The Death of Rock and Roll
Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere
(tribute to Keith Moon)
Couldn’t I Just Tell You
Just One Victory
The sound is a little muddy at first, but the vocals are strong and distinct, and this is a great way to hear the band at their prime! Finally, the box set includes a collection of performance photos of the band as well!
Kudos To Freddy Bannister!
This is an amazing box set, and I encourage all Todd fans to rush out an buy it! And Bannister has done the same for other bands as well, including Pink Floyd! Check out more on the offerings here:
And to read all about the great Knebworth House, check out their official website here:
A great gift for every Todd fan!
Categories: 70's Cinema, Awards, Books / Media, British Cinema, Classic Rock, documentary films, Great Films, Independent Cinema, Led Zeppelin, London, Memoirs, Movies, Music, Obscure Music, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, TV Show, Uncategorized