‘Irreplaceable’

Is it weird to know the song I want to be played at my funeral?

After hearing Rick Springfield’s new song “Irreplaceable,” I almost made that request to my husband, but then decided against it because I thought it might be a little morbid and perhaps a bit presumptuous. (Although I do hope he would consider me “irreplaceable.”)

What a beautiful song. RS wrote it in memory of his mother, Eileen Louise Springthorpe, who died on Dec 21, 2016, and it is so touching and heartbreaking.

You’re irreplaceable to me, inerasable and I see
We are breakable when we fall 
You’re irreplaceable in my soul
The sun will rise and morning breaks 
As the world awakes without you

A master lyricist at work again. RS fans are so lucky that he decides to share his lyrics with the world. The song is on his new “Orchestrating My Life” album and is performed with a symphony orchestra.

He has said in interviews that after his mom died, he experienced certain signs that comforted him because it made it clear to him that she was still around.

Your spirit shines tonight, blazing like a neon light
Love gives me second sight, I see your signs they’re clear and bright
I’ll find you in the great unknown where angels celebrate you home
And standing at the gate, alone, I’ll be reaching for your hand

I haven’t listened to the song yet without getting tears in my eyes. (And to those familiar with the song he wrote after his dad died, “April 24, 1981,” there’s the mention of the “great unknown.”)

Yeah I miss you most of these days, at moon-rising, sun-downing
But the pain comes in these wave and tonight I’m drowning

As a mom of three sons, it also gets to me when I think of him not as a heartthrob rock star, but as someone’s son who wrote this song about his mom. And even though he is almost 70 years old, he’s still her son.

Yep, there are those tears running down my face again when I think about it.

Just as his song “My Father’s Chair” has brought comfort to so many people who have lost their dad, “Irreplaceable” will also be very meaningful to many.

It’s such a beautiful tribute to his mom and I can picture her warm smile, beaming with pride.

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‘World Start Turning’

The song list for Rick Springfield’s upcoming “Orchestrating My Life” CD includes many songs that you would expect:

  • Don’t Talk to Strangers
  • Love Somebody
  • I’ve Done Everything for You
  • Affair of the Heart
  • Human Touch
  • Celebrate Youth
  • State of the Heart
  • Jessie’s Girl (of course)

Then there’s a concert favorite (especially for fans with variations of that name, I’m sure): Kristina

Then there’s the two dedicated to his parents: “My Father’s Chair” and the new “Irreplaceable.”

One song that I was surprised didn’t make the cut – simply because it’s one of my favorites and he’s played it before at symphony shows (which sounded beautiful) was “Souls,” off of “Living in Oz.”

The one song that I wasn’t expecting was “World Start Turning.”

Up until summer 1987 – when I graduated high school, moved out of my parents’ home and moved to California – my bedroom walls were covered with Rick Springfield posters. My Rick Springfield obsession started at age 12 and from junior high through high school, I went through a Duran Duran stage, a Beatles stage and a ska stage, but the RS posters remained through all those stages. After moving out, the posters came down and I didn’t see them again until about three years ago. (See the posters in the “Where it all began” post.)

Rock of Life

When the RS album “Rock of Life” came out in 1988, I was living in Southern California, taking some college classes and working. RS was no longer on my radar and to this day I haven’t owned this album (probably something I should remedy at some point, I know.)

Although I knew the song “Rock of Life” because I picked up a Greatest Hits CD after CDs were introduced, I didn’t hear any of the other songs until recently so they are not in my nostalgic memory bank.

Those past few paragraphs are a long way of saying that I wasn’t that familiar with the “Rock of Life” album or “World Start Turning.” (Or “Hold on to your Dream,” which I wrote a “Totally random post” about.)

Anyway, a recent, really awesome, concert review, “Rick Springfield reminds us he’s a rock star,” mentions that the March 19 concert in Airway Heights, Wash., included the “first-ever live performance of “World Start Turning.”

The review said:

Not only did the song kill, but Springfield appeared to break down in tears at the end, saying “That song brought up a lot of shit for me,” before taking a slug from a glass of wine.

So of course I had to check out the lyrics.

Like many of his songs, it’s autobiographical and the lyrics are pretty heavy. (In fact, the current Wikipedia entry for “Rock of Life” says it’s “considered to be the darkest Springfield album of his career.” Obviously that became outdated once “The Snake King” was released.)

We were taught if man believes in
What he wants in America
It’s only a matter of time, just a matter of seasons
But I walk through the houses of dreams that died
I see the ones still trapped there the ones that tried
But spent the rest of their lives wondering why
And searching for reasons (and they never wake up)

-World Start Turning lyrics

After reading his autobiography and learning about the depression he experienced at that time (and still today), fans will notice how autobiographical this is as we now have some insight on what he was experiencing in his life at the time the record came out.

“Rocket Science” fans might find this line from “World Start Turning” familiar:

“I’ve been standing on the beach crying to the raging sea.”

From “The Best Damn Thing”:

I was crying on the beach by the raging sea
Just a small town broken-down refugee
Holier than thou, I caused the damage done
You’re the best damn thing and I’m the lucky one

His sharing so much of himself in his songs is one reason why so many of his fans feel a personal connection with him. I’m pretty sure I know more about his life than I do about 99 percent of the people I know in real life. (I may even know more details about his life than I remember about mine.)

In other RS, news we got to hear a little sample of the new album on social media:

Whoo-hoo! Can’t wait to hear the symphony version of all these songs!

The general release date of “Orchestrating My Life” is April 26, but visit the official RS site for details on how to get it earlier.)

RS rock review

(Read the full review here.)

Update on April 4: rickspringfield.us site posted this video on YouTube from the dress rehearsal. Yay!! Such a great video!

 

Leading up to ‘Orchestrating My Life’

TheThe Rick Springfield website and social media pages will soon need to be updated to reflect his NEW new album, “Orchestrating My Life.” “The Snake King” is so 2018 because RS has been busy recording this next one with not only his touring band, but a 60-piece orchestra.

He’s invited his fans to attend a dress rehearsal on March 29, where 200 lucky fans will get to see RS perform with the award-winning 60-member Santa Monica High School Symphony Orchestra. (The experience is priceless, but if you have to put a price on it, it’s $250.)

The following night, March 30, is the world premiere of his newest new album, a concert at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills that will feature at least 13 RS compositions, including all of his biggest hits and “Irreplaceable,” a brand new song in honor of his mom.

But wait, there’s more

August Day Recordings, a record label that was founded in 2007 in London, set up a U.S. office in New York last year and according to its website, Rick Springfield is now one of several artists they work with, in addition to Wang Chung and A Flock of Seagulls, among others.

Rick Springfield

One of my favorite RS photos.

Not only do they use one of my very favorite photos of RS on their website, it looks like they set up a new website for him that is for now focused on his newest new CD: rickspringfield.org.

On this site is information about a limited edition special box set that includes four CDS, a signed postcard and two bonus CDs.

  • The main “Orchestrating My Life” CD
  • Instrumental versions of the songs
  • An Orchestra-only version (Not sure how that is different than the instrumental version, maybe the other one also includes his band?)
  • A CD where RS talks about the story behind each song (just like on the 45-record from the fan club with the little messages scratched in the middle circle!)
  • Bonus CDs are for the first 200 orders and are samplers of “Irreplaceable” and “Kristina,” according to the site.

NOTE: AT THE WRITING OF THIS BLOG, IT LOOKS LIKE THE BOX SET IS ALREADY SOLD OUT. Apparently they underestimated the demand. (Update the next morning: now it looks like you can order more and this is now mentioned on rickspringfield.com)

The site lists the “Orchestrating My Life” track list:

Kristina
I’ve Done Everything For You
Don’t Talk to Strangers
Jessie’s Girl
Affair of the Heart
Love Somebody
Human Touch
Celebrate Youth
World Start Turning
State of the Heart
Irreplaceable
My Father’s Chair
We also get to see the cover of the new CD (which features one of my newest favorite pics of RS, as of today):

RS OML

‘Orchestrating My Life’

My favorite rock star (and possibly yours, too, if you’re reading this…) was on a radio show tonight where he casually mentioned that his new album is called “Orchestrating My Life” and it will be out in about two months. He said there’s a new song on it and “a bunch of the big hits on there orchestrated and re-recorded.” They sound like the original, he said, but then they added the orchestra.

First of all, I love the title and its double meaning. It’s the perfect name. Plus, I can’t wait to hear his songs with the orchestra and I’m excited for a new song!

There are some videos of the Rick Springfield interview with Peter Tilden on the 790ABC Facebook page, where he briefly talks about this new album and a variety of other things. It was a fun interview to watch and I appreciate the fact that we got to see the radio interview – thank you, technology.

Listen carefully to the beginning of the third video (sorry, I tried to embed it here, but it didn’t work. It’s the one that’s 3:57 long. I also shared it on this blog’s FB page). Could it be the NEW SONG? I’ve listened it about 15 times and don’t recognize it, searched the lyrics on Google and couldn’t find them and Shazam-ed it and got “No Result” so I’m thinking it might be. (If I’m wrong, let me know, as if it was the NEW SONG you’d think one of them would say “Here’s the NEW SONG from the NEW ALBUM, right?) Inquiring minds want to know. I want to know!

(Do you catch that reference? One more thing imprinted in my mind from the ’80s.)

More music featuring Rick Springfield

Rick Springfield has not only been guest starring on TV shows, he’s also been a featured artist on other performers’ albums.

Here he is with Australian singer, Cleo Alexandra, 22, whose new EP was just produced by Keith Olsen (a producer of RS’s “Working Class Dog” album). The first video had kind of a creepy stalker vibe to it that distracted from the song, but you can appreciate the song much more in the studio version (below).

It could be that the stalker vibe was intentional, as it starts out with a view from the outside of a house and then shows RS’s head in a baseball hat and sunglasses floating on the screen as if he’s lurking behind the curtains. If that’s the case, then the video succeeded in its mission.

Cleo Alexandra has a beautiful, sultry voice in this different take of Men at Work’s “Who Can it Be Now,” plus it’s really cool to see RS recording his part of the song in his studio.

The other collaboration is with Jimmy Martin, a rock artist and producer from Luxembourg. He features Rick Springfield (who he called his mentor in a recent Facebook post) in a duet of RS’s 1984 hit “Love Somebody” on Martin’s “The Duets” album, which was released in November 2018 (though the song was recorded a few years ago). The RS appearance in this video is concert footage, which of course is always fun to see.

Since I started writing songs, I’ve had a dream of writing and recording a song with RS, so the fact that he’s working with these artists shows that he’s open to this sort of thing (and allows me to continue fantasizing about the possibility…). 😉

The hottest hair color of the moment

At the most recent concert (not counting the one that was cancelled due to travel delays), the cowboy hat was gone and we finally got a peek of what was under all the hats these past few weeks.

RS had explained that he was wearing the hats because he was growing out his hair for a movie role.

Fans at the St. Charles, MO show on Jan. 26 got to see it first – the gray hair:

 

Is it a big deal? No.

Just like all of his fans, he has aged. Shocker. (Not.) Although he has aged considerably better than most people do, he is turning 70 this year. How incredibly lucky are his fans that they still get to see their teenage crush perform regularly and that he still looks so good doing so? Really lucky. And that he’s still writing new great music? Wow, we hit the jackpot!

He’s had many different looks throughout the years. If you search “Rick Springfield” on Google Images and scroll down the pages, you can see all his different looks through the decades. Some I like, some I don’t and everybody probably has different opinions on what look they like best. But really it’s about the music and the person making it, right?

Coincidentally, there was an article in The Wall Street Journal a couple of weeks ago, that has a headline that sums up RS’s current look: “The Hottest Hair Color of the Moment is … Gray.

Fun little coincidences

A couple of years ago around this time, I wrote a blog post about the observation of how my brain was being saturated with details about Rick Springfield’s life. This past weekend, it happened again.

I know this sounds a little bit crazy, but I got a kick out of it and thought maybe other RS fans would as well. Here goes:

This past weekend, my sister and I spent the weekend together on a sisters’ trip as an early celebration of my milestone birthday. We left for Southern Arizona on Jan. 26 and that afternoon we went ziplining. In our group, there were eight women and one man. The man’s name? Rick.

That evening, we went to Tucson to see The Fab Four, a Beatles tribute band at the Fox Theatre. The only other time I’d ever been there was to see RS’s Stripped Down show back in April 2015 (and I briefly met him afterward).

The next morning, we had breakfast at the B&B we were staying at and were chatting with the manager. My sister asked him where he was from. He said he grew up in St. Charles, Missouri. It so happens that the night we were staying at the B&B and saw The Fab Four show in Tucson (Jan. 26), Rick Springfield was performing in concert in St. Charles, Missouri.

During our conversation, the discussion drifted to traveling and my sister asked our host what his three favorite places were to travel. His #1 choice? Australia; he especially loved Melbourne.

C’mon, it is a little weird, don’t you think? Do things like this happen to you, too? I find it so fascinating!

(Jan. 26 is also the one-year anniversary of the release of “The Snake King.”)

P.S. This is a combination of this post and the last: My third-grade son’s teacher picks a “Song of the Week” each week that she plays for her students. Oftentimes, my son likes it and requests it at home. The song she chose the week of Jan. 7-11, which was the week he was requesting the song at home, was “Jailhouse Rock.” On Jan. 18, the night before RS performed at Graceland, there he was performing “Jailhouse Rock” in a video on my Facebook feed.

Visiting Graceland

Although my last post was about how I’m reaching a milestone age this year – as is my favorite rock star – I was reminded today that age is only a number and it often doesn’t affect our thinking or actions (or even our reasoning, in some cases).

For instance, RS has said in interviews that he loves toys and although he’s said that lately he’s been selling some of his Star Wars toys, he probably has some items in his toy collection that he still treasures. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but when I was younger, I would have never imagined that somebody in their 60s would still enjoy toys.

But now I know that there are some things that you still like because you like them and it doesn’t matter what you age you are. For instance, how I can still have a crush on a rock star in my 40s.

So with that in mind, it may explain my reaction to seeing today’s picture of RS in front of Graceland.

Why was I so excited to see this photo? Because not only was it cool to see RS so happy, but I stood in that same exact spot before! Yes, about one year, nine months, two weeks and two days earlier, I stood in that same spot when I visited Graceland. I don’t have a picture of me in that spot because I was just in line behind other people, but I just looked at my photos from that visit and I do have a picture of the spot where RS would once stand (and where Elvis once walked many years ago):

graceland outside (2)

It’s kind of like that time he stood in the same spot in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia three years, two months, one week and six days after I did. It’s just a little reminder that although I only get to see him in concert once every year or so, we are still inhabiting the same earth.

Not only that, but when I visited Graceland, I was inspired to stand in a similar pose at the entrance:

graceland sign

Should random things like this still bring joy to my world? Shouldn’t I be more mature than this by now and not be imagining connections that don’t exist? Possibly. But it sure is more fun to allow these little bursts of joy to exist when the opportunities arise!

So far I’ve only found one video of RS at Graceland to share so I’ll post it here to mark the occasion. (I’ll add more later if I see other videos posted.)

Update on Jan. 22.

Here’s a video of RS covering “Jailhouse Rock” the night before the Graceland show. So nice that fans share these great videos!

Update on Jan. 27:

Awesome video of RS playing “Jailhouse Rock” at Graceland. So cool!

If you reach a milestone age, you may as well embrace it

This year my favorite rock star reaches a milestone age: the big 7-0. You’d never guess it by looking at his lifestyle – last year he performed more than 85 shows, guest-starred in a couple of shows and hosted an ’80s cruise. Although he’s said in recent interviews that he hopes to cut back the touring a bit and get an acting gig closer to home so he doesn’t have to travel as much, he doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all as he continues to write, act and perform.

As I’m reaching a milestone age this year, too, I decided that I’m going to embrace it. My mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at 51 and died a few weeks later at 52 so in the past I always looked at the big 5-0 with a sense of trepidation. But now I just feel a sense of urgency to try things I’ve always wanted to try and if I’m fortunate enough to make it to the big 7-0, I hope I’m still going strong, too.

Yesterday I decided to check out the AARP website to see what that was about (don’t laugh, they have good articles).

2015-09-03 09.41.48

AARP Table of Contents: Aug-Sept. 2015 issue

Plus, if I’ll be eligible for some discounts soon, I want to learn more.

Anyway, there was an article about celebrities who are turning 50, 60 and 70 in 2019.

I scroll down the 50 list

Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez – 50 looks pretty good! Dave Grohl – hey, a RS connection (“Sound City”)

On the 60 list

Another RS connection – Martha Quinn (flashback to that MTV interview with the striped shirt): Look how cute they both look!

Also on the 60 list: Marie Osmond. Yet another RS connection!

Linda Blair is also turning 60 this year – she and RS have a long history together that continues today – her foundation for rescue dogs is usually one of the charities that RS recommends when fans want to donate money in honor of his birthday.

And then there’s the 70 list.

Steve Perry (“Don’t Stop Believing” starts playing in my head)

Billy Joel (“Sing me a song, you’re the piano man,” one of my favorite sing-along songs)

Meryl Streep (Obvious RS connection – “Ricki and the Flash”)

And then there he was:

rs 70 aarp

I KNEW he’d be on the list, but it still made my heart skip a beat when I saw it. Imagine that, me almost 50 and him almost 70 and all these years later and I still have that reaction. That’s something that would have shocked me back in 1982.

(Note, Bruce Springsteen is on the list too, which is kind of a connection, as people often get the two mixed up, which RS wrote about in his song “Bruce.”)

Let’s go back 20 years

As I’ve mentioned before, probably a few times, RS has been a huge source of inspiration to me these past few years. Primarily with my songwriting. (Two notes here: First, I’ve started a songwriting blog so I have another place to ramble about my songwriting rather than cluttering up this blog with it and second, I’m going to be performing a few of my songs at a local songwriting event this month – on the same day RS is performing at Graceland. Absolutely no connection there, but it’s still cool to me.)

Anyway, let’s go back 20 years to when RS was about to turn 50. It’s 1999 and RS is planning on releasing “Karma,” his first album since “Rock of Life” in 1988. In 1998, he had started touring again after many years (and I was there at a show in Henderson, Nevada). When Karma was released in April (I was there!) he was still 49.

Here’s 49-year-old RS on the day Karma was released. When I first met him, he was the age I am now. I just need a moment for that to sink in.

OK, I’m ready to continue.

cropped-rs4.jpg

(OK, after I wrote that and posted this pic I noticed that it says “now” in the background. Weird. I have had this picture framed in my home for almost 20 years and never noticed that before.)

Anyway, sure he had a HUGE successful career already by then, but let’s look at all his songwriting AFTER he turned 50:

2004: Shock/Denial/Anger Acceptance
2008: Venus in Overdrive
2009: Precious Little Ones (lullabies he wrote when his sons were young)
2012: Songs for the End of the World
2016: Rocket Science
2018: The Snake King

Also a best-selling autobiography and a best-selling novel. Plus lots of acting.

So the moral of the story is, even though reaching a milestone age might feel unsettling because of all it represents, you should still embrace it because not everybody gets that opportunity to be that age and as long as you’re here, there is still plenty you can do.

And now I’m going to sleep because it’s almost midnight and at my age…

2018 recap: Snake King, back to the 80s (twice) & a close call

This time last year, Rick Springfield fans were anxiously awaiting the release of “The Snake King” and had only heard “Little Demon” and “Santa is an Anagram.” At that point, we were oblivious to the darkness that filled the songs on the album or the darkness that had returned to his life during that past year.

It was heartbreaking to hear that he had experienced such intense depression so recently but he openly talked about it in interviews, which most likely helped others who experience similar feelings. He even received an award from Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services for talking about his depression and how he deals with it.

Between this revelation and the darkness expressed in “The Snake King,” the RS year started off pretty intense, but here is a look at the whole year.

Here’s a RS recap of 2018:

Music: “The Snake King” took a much darker turn from the upbeat country-twinged  “Rocket Science” and the blues-rock tone fit the new CD’s content perfectly. I think it is a brilliant CD, although there are a couple of songs I still skip over because they are just too dark for me. I’m also still super impressed that he wrote the majority of the album in only a few days. The music and the lyrics are so good and cemented my belief about how talented he is. This year, his Australian band Zoot also released a retrospective album titled “Archaeology,” which marks the band’s 50th anniversary.

 

Touring: I guess RS enjoyed the experience of the Rock Meets Classic shows in Europe last year, where he performed his songs with a symphony orchestra, because he’s added a few symphony shows to his touring schedule, which include full-band shows and Stripped Down solo acoustic shows. In fact, he’s even working on a CD of his hits performed with a symphony orchestra that’s supposed to be out in March 2019. I’ve watched some videos from the symphony shows and the songs sounded beautiful. His performance of the songs about his parents accompanied by a full orchestra was extremely powerful and I also really enjoyed the symphony version of the song “Souls.”

A symphony concert marking the debut of the new CD is scheduled for March 30 in Beverly Hills. I’m hoping there will be a live stream of that, as there was with “The Snake King” release party at The Grammy Museum earlier this year.

Videos: Two “Snake King” videos were released this past year: “Land of the Blind” and “The Voodoo House,” the latter that was fittingly filmed in New Orleans.

Back to the ’80s: RS was the captain of the 2018 ’80s cruise and many people posted videos throughout the cruise, which were really fun to watch. RS also traveled back to 80-something when he did a guest appearance on “The Goldbergs.”

 

Acting roles: In addition to his appearance on “The Goldbergs,” (which he filmed the day after I saw him in concert, a fact I’ll likely always remember), he played an “aging rock star” in the YouTube Originals show “Sideswiped.” The latest news is that he’s growing his gray hair out for a movie role (leading him to wear a cowboy hat during recent shows), but so far there’s not any other information about what this movie is. There also hasn’t been any update on the film “Traces” that he filmed in 2015. Although this isn’t really an acting role, he was also a judge on The Hallmark Channel’s first American Rescue Dog Show.

A close call: “The Snake King” would have fit the mood to serve as a soundtrack to what happened in California at the end of this year – massive fires that killed people and destroyed thousands of homes. Soon after the fires were extinguished, the same areas were threatened by mudslides after heavy rains. One of the fires in Southern California came frighteningly close to RS’s home and his home survived due to the kindness and bravery of his neighbors. A house two doors down was completely destroyed.

My RS year: I’m happy to say that I did make it to a RS show this year (my 13th) and although I ended up going myself this time, I still totally enjoyed the show, especially since I didn’t make it to any shows last year. It was cool to hear two “The Snake King” songs live – “Little Demon” and “The Voodoo House.”

As for this blog, there were 11,809 views by 7,561 visitors in 2018 and 56 posts (including this one) as of the afternoon of Dec. 31, 2018. I appreciate that those at the comprehensive RS fan site Rick Springfield and US added a link to this blog on its site and I hope people have enjoyed my RS ramblings. As of this afternoon (to be precise, at 3 p.m.), the blog has had 38,122 views by 22,464 visitors since its inception in August 2014 and this is the 369th post. (Since WordPress stats provide this information, I’ll also mention that up until this post, this blog has had 134,942 words. Why would someone need to know that? I don’t know.)

The most viewed post in 2018 was “Yes, that was Rick Springfield on ‘American Horror Story: Cult’,” which was actually a post from October 2017. The 2018 post that had the most views was “A devastating time for California.”

Looking forward to 2019: From recent interviews, we’ve learned about the symphony CD and RS has hinted that he’s working on some new songs as well. Plus, there’s that movie that he may soon be filming and possibly another novel on the way. Also, some lucky fans will also be joining him on his next fan trip in November.

Onward to 2019! Happy New Year!