Kasim Sulton is at the heart of two of the biggest stories in music. The first is the long overdue induction of his longtime collaborator, Todd Rundgren, into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The second is the tragic passing of legendary songwriter Jim Steinman. Beginning with Bat Out of Hell, Kasim had a long history of playing on Jim’s classic songs. Kasim recently took some time to talk about both of these stories, as well as the passing of Utopia keyboardist Ralph Schuckett upcoming plans and more.
Please press the PLAY icon below for the MisplacedStraws.com Conversation with Kasim Sulton –
On how he met Todd – I was kicking around New York City. I was playing piano with a girl by the name of Cherry Vanilla, who was David Bowie’s publicist at Main Man Records. That was David Bowie’s, original record label and management company. I met a bunch of really cool people through Cherry like Michael Kamen, Mick Ronson, Leee Childers, Tony Zanetta. All these kind of underground, behind the scenes, New York people and one of my best friends was someone who was very successful on Staten Island, lived on Staten Island, was Earl Slick. I just happened to go to his house one night, to take him to the airport and when I walked into his dad’s house, he said, “You feel like playing bass with Todd Rundgren?” I said, “I guess, I don’t know for sure. I would imagine that would be fun”, and he said, “Okay, when we get to JFK call, Michael Kamen and up. He will recommend you to Roger Powell, the keyboard player, who is putting together the auditions for the band”. I got to JFK. I think it was like a dime or twenty cents to make a phone call from a payphone at that time, I’m dating myself, and and Michael said, “I didn’t know you were a bass player. I know you as a as a piano player”. I said, “Michael, my main instrument is bass guitar”, he said, “Oh, okay, I’ll recommend you”. So, he recommended me. The next day I’m was on an Adirondack. Trailways bus from Port Authority up to Woodstock, New York, to audition for the band. Todd was coming home from a mopeding trip across India. The next day we ran over some material with myself, Roger, Powell and Willy Wilcox, the drummer and Todd came in the next day and I auditioned for Todd and went home. I didn’t think that I would get the job. I thought that it’s just a really good experience for me to do that. The day after that, I got a phone call from Roger Powell saying, “Welcome to Utopia”. So that’s how that happened. 2:23