Joseph Charles, Musician
It wasn’t what I’d call a feud; they each took swipes at each other in 1974, and that was it.
Rundgren criticized Lennon rather harshly in an interview with Melody Maker magazine. A few choice quotes:
"John Lennon ain't no revolutionary. He's a fucking idiot, man. Shouting about revolution and acting like an ass. It just makes people feel uncomfortable."
"All he really wants to do is get attention for himself, and if revolution gets him that attention, he'll get attention through revolution. Hitting a waitress in the Troubador. What kind of revolution is that?"
"He's an important figure, sure. But so was Richard Nixon. Nixon was just like another generation's John Lennon. Someone who represented all sorts of ideals, but was out for himself underneath it all."
"Like the Beatles had no style other than being the Beatles. So the Nazz used to do, like heavy rock, and also these light, pretty ballads with complex ballads."
Rundgren also wrote a song called “Rock And Roll Pussy”, criticizing self-styled revolutionaries in rock, and pretty clearly aimed at Lennon.
Lennon hit back with a hilarious open letter, published later in the same magazine, and worth quoting in full:
AN OPENED LETTUCE TO SODD RUNTLESTUNTLE. (from dr. winston o'boogie)
Couldn't resist adding a few "islands of truth" of my own, in answer to Turd Runtgreen's howl of hate (pain.)
I like you, and some of your work, including "I Saw The Light", which is not unlike "There's A Place" (Beatles), melody wise.
1) I have never claimed to be a revolutionary. But I am allowed to sing about anything I want! Right?
2) I never hit a waitress in the Troubador, I did act like an ass, I was too drunk. So shoot me!
3) I guess we're all looking for attention Rodd, do you really think I don't know how to get it, without "revolution?" I could dye my hair green and pink for a start!
4) I don't represent anyone but my SELF. It sounds like I represented something to you, or you wouldn't be so violent towards me. (Your dad perhaps?)
5) Yes Dodd, violence comes in mysterious ways its wonders to perform, including verbal. But you'd know that kind of mind game, wouldn't you? Of course you would.
6) So the Nazz used to do "like heavy rock" then SUDDENLY a "light pretty ballad". How original!
7) Which gets me to the Beatles, "who had no other style than being the Beatles"!! That covers a lot of style man, including your own, TO DATE.....
Yes Godd, the one thing those Beatles did was to affect PEOPLES' MINDS. Maybe you need another fix?
Somebody played me your rock and roll pussy song, but I never noticed anything. I think that the real reason you're mad at me is cause I didn't know who you were at the Rainbow (L.A.) Remember that time you came in with Wolfman Jack? When I found out later, I was cursing cause I wanted to tell you how good you were. (I'd heard you on the radio.)
Anyway, However much you hurt me darling; I'll always love you,
30th Sept. 1974
EDIT: Thanks to David Kenyon for spotting a mistake in my original answer. It seems my source was trying to clean up the language a bit.