On The Road To Utopia

The May 5 edition of Greasy Tracks featured a two-hour special on Todd Rundgren’s Utopia which is currently in the midst of its first proper tour since 1985.

The program included interviews with with bassist/vocalist Kasim Sulton and drummer/vocalist John “Willie” Wilcox as well as music from across Utopia’s recording career which ran from 1974-1986. Click here to listen to the archive, playlist is here.

Prog heading to power pop: Utopia circa 1977 with (from left) Roger Powell, Todd Rundgren, Willie Wilcox and Kasim Sulton.

Prog heading to power pop: Utopia circa 1977 with (from left) Roger Powell, Todd Rundgren, Willie Wilcox and Kasim Sulton.

In addition to guitarist/vocalist Rundgren, the reunited line-up includes Sulton,  Wilcox and keyboardist Gil Assayas who was a late recruit when former keyboardist Ralph Schuckett bowed out due to health reasons.

Keyboardist Roger Powell — who was part of 1975-86 line-up which gained the greatest acclaim and was the most prolific in the studio —  had retried and was not in the tour plans much to the disappointment of fans and band members who were hopeful of seeing the quartet on stage again.

Utopia tourThe group plays May 6 at the Orpheum in Boston and May 7 at the Ridgefield Playhouse in Ridgefield, Conn.

Since opening its tour on April 18, Utopia has been playing two sets — the opening one focused on the progressive rock the band was known for in its early years when extended, 10-plus minute songs were the norm and the second part geared more toward the power pop style the band turned toward in its “second era.”

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