Some Sirius-ly good stuff

For those who subscribe to Sirius XM, you may have already enjoyed the Thanksgiving Virtual Town Hall featuring Rick Springfield hosted by Mark Goodman. The show includes an interview, questions from fans (who got to be on a Zoom call with him) and song performances.

First of all, I love that Mark Goodman is on this ’80s on 8 channel, as MTV was an important part of my formative teen years (although we didn’t have cable at home, I took whatever babysitting jobs I could, with those homes with MTV being a top priority). RS performs the standard songs – including “Don’t Talk to Strangers” and “I’ve Done Everything for You” – as well as “Little Demon” and Todd Rundgren’s “Love is the Answer.” He discusses his work during the pandemic, ‘General Hospital’, Zoot, his depression, why he became an ordained minister, Thanksgiving and much more. Since those on the call are die-hard fans, there were some great questions (and nobody asked about ‘the real Jessie’s girl’ – yay!) Plus you can watch the video of the interview so it’s good to see him!

The good news for those who don’t subscribe to SiriusXM, is that it’s offering many of its channels for free through Dec. 1 (and one of the channels is the ’80s station with this interview). Learn more here.

It’s not the first time RS has been on the channel so you can also find past interviews about “The Wall Will Fall” and “The Snake King.” I haven’t listened to them all yet, but I plan to.

Maybe someday there will even be a Rick Springfield channel! Between all his albums, covers, interviews and Zoot songs, there’s a lot of material there.

An extra reason to give thanks this Thanksgiving: A reality show musical guest

Although Thanksgiving may feel very different in so many ways this year, that evening we get to pretend for a little while that things are normal – that there’s a new TV show episode we can watch that features a favorite rock star.

So let’s all say a moment of thanks that Rick Springfield will be the musical guest on this week’s “I Can See Your Voice” reality show. (It’s usually on Wednesdays, but this week’s is on Thursday, probably because with all the other crazy things going on in the world right now the universe wants to sprinkle an extra dose of something for us to be thankful for. Yep, that’s probably it.)

Here’s a little preview, courtesy of Fox:

The game show is an adaptation of a South Korean show and the premise is that a contestant must figure out which of six “secret singers’ can actually sing. The singer left at the end then performs a duet with the musical superstar. Should be interesting! I haven’t watched the show yet, but I plan to this week!

The show premiered in September, with only one episode completed before production was halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an article on deadline.com. Then Fox resumed production with no audience under enhanced safety protocols in August.

The show is on this Thursday, Nov. 26, at 9/8c on Fox. Have a safe, healthy and happy Thanksgiving!

Thinking back to October 2015

Five years ago today I was in Las Vegas getting ready to see Rick Springfield and Loverboy perform at The Joint in Hard Rock Hotel. It was an extra special RS week, as I had seen him earlier that week in Phoenix at the Arizona State Fair. (I had purchased the Vegas concert tickets and plane tickets before the Arizona show, a few minutes from my house, was announced.)

My two older sons, who were 7 and 9 at the time, got to sing “Don’t Talk to Strangers” with him at the fair, which was a huge thrill!

Can you imagine? Two Rick Springfield concerts in one week?! (And I’d seen him twice earlier that year – a full-band show and a Stripped Down show – and got to briefly meet him afterward both times.)

As painful as it is to fans that there are no RS concerts on the horizon to look forward to, it must be even more difficult for RS to not have any planned. He looked so happy to be up on stage for the recent Sammy Hagar birthday bash on Catalina Island. After touring pretty much nonstop for 20 years, I imagine that this eight-month hiatus from performing has been difficult. Hopefully he’s taking solace in the knowledge that all the fans who attended those concerts are missing him and his shows. (This past week I had a medical procedure where I was knocked out for a little awhile and my last thought before falling asleep was wondering how he was doing. Is that normal?)

Hopefully this is a temporary phase that we are all going through and at some point it will be safe to start having concerts again. This can’t last forever, right?

Meanwhile, our concert memories will have to suffice and maybe RS will be up to sharing some more new music soon because thank goodness we have the technology that allows for him to share when he wants to. (Thinking back to the 1980s when the anticipation was the teen magazines and what new posters and information would be in the next issue and maybe there would be a new video on MTV. We’ve been really lucky these last few years when there’s been so much content to help feed the cravings.)

I thought I’d revisit that happy time of October 2015.

  1. That anticipation before a show: “Two weeks from tonight!”
  2. The gratitude that the favorite rock star of my youth still performs decades later.: ‘Back to the future is now the present.”
  3. The ability to enjoy concerts from afar, in this case shows at Walt Disney World: “Happiest Place on Earth
  4. An appreciation of sharing RS songs with my kids in advance of their first concert: ‘Greatest Hits’
  5. The night before the concert
  6. “My sons got to sing with Rick Springfield!”
  7. More about the concert: “Concert afterglow”
  8. A report on the Vegas show: ‘What happened in Vegas’

And that’s that, a really good RS month. Hope this post brought more joy than sadness, we need to hold on to all the joy we can!

Sail-in concert and a sinking casino

In this crazy time, any fun distraction is appreciated, especially when it involves Rick Springfield.

Although his various live tours are all on hold for the moment (full band, solo acoustic, symphony and Zoot concerts), RS recently performed live to film a birthday bash boat-in for his buddy (and rum business partner) Sammy Hagar. They filmed it on Catalina Island in California, where some lucky people got to watch from their boats. The beach party will be featured on a pay-per-view stream this weekend, beginning at 6 p.m. on Oct. 17. To find out how to watch it, visit redrocker.com.

RS also popped up in a video by The Postal Service band in support of HeadCount’s “Make Your Vote Count” campaign.

The scenario in the video is that the band is auditioning over Zoom for new members of the band and those “auditioning” include Huey Lewis, Anne Hathaway and Kenny G, among others.

In its coverage of the video, Paste Magazine named RS the overall MVP of the video:

He really sells the sadness and desperation of a man who lost all of his money on a floating casino in international waters that eventually sank, and now needs a job—any job—to stay afloat himself. Here’s a little reminder that Springfield isn’t just an ‘80s pop legend, but also a pro actor, with multiple movie and TV roles under his belt.

-Paste Magazine

RS’s part in the video comes at 13 minutes in.

With all this talk about boats and sinking ships, I thought I’d end the post with this:

Update on Oct. 16

One more (sinking) boat note: RS’s contribution to a Titanic exhibit on Catalina Island, at the Catalina Museum.

$21.771.71 raised for the dogs

Last year, the fans behind the Rick Springfield Birthday Campaign announced that it would be the last year they would conduct the birthday campaign and the 13th annual campaign of 2019 (which celebrated RS’s 70th birthday) exceeded its $20K goal and raised $34,170!

But then, in the middle of a global pandemic, they surprised us all and a few days before RS’s 71st birthday, they announced a shortened five-week campaign to raise funds for the Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation, which helps rescue dogs. What better birthday present for our favorite rock star than to help dogs, right?

So in a mere five weeks (and prizes that included a private Zoom call with RS and a sketch he drew for the campaign), fans donated $21,771.71! (Funny how the amount donated is his age each year… hmmm.. what a coincidence. 😉)

Way to go, Rick Springfield fans! This brings the total amount raised for charity over the past 14 years to $178,502.23!

(Finally, some much-needed good news!)

The official logo of the campaign, which was also sent as stickers to donors, with a masked Bindi as the mascot. (Or should I say masked-ot? Masked-dog? You choose.)

Clearing up misinformation

Social media is filled with misinformation and “fake news,” causing Americans to often have very different realities, depending on what information their news feed feeds them. I witnessed some of this firsthand yesterday on Twitter.

It wasn’t a political matter nor a health issue – both which I claim no expertise about and rely purely on news sources that I deem reputable – but I want to use my minuscule spot in Cyberspace to clear up one misconception.

I’m referring to a thread that mentioned actors who released songs in the 1980s and Rick Springfield’s name came up as an example of a soap opera star who released an album.

I find it difficult to believe that despite RS’s illustrious career as a musician, actor and author, in some Twitter feeds he’s reduced to a soap opera star who had one hit song so I wanted to clear that up. (Although readers of this blog already know that, of course, I just wanted to document it in case a conscientious tweeter wants to do a little research before spreading misinformation.)

Here’s some evidence that shows that indeed Rick Springfield pursued music before acting.

1.Long before he was Noah Drake, RS was a guitarist in a successful Australian band, Zoot, before ever coming to America.

2. Although he wasn’t the singer of the band, he was already writing songs at that time.

3. Here’s his first solo hit, “Speak to the Sky” in 1971.

4 Here is an interview with RS about his music career in 1972, long before Dr. Noah Drake existed and before he started acting (Australian accent alert!).

5. In 1973, he made his debut on American network television (after being named Australia’s number one songwriter) on the “The Sonny and Cher Show.”

6. Here’s a promo for his 1973 album “Comic Book Heroes.”

7. RS got a little off track from his dreams and took what he thought at the time was a good opportunity and wrote music for a cartoon, “Mission: Magic!” (But of course there are no mistakes – it was just part of his long career and likely gathered some of his longtime fans at this point.)

8. In 1976, Dick Clark interviewed RS on “American Bandstand” (also featured is Jack White, who toured as RS’s drummer through the 1980s and producer Jeff Silverman who has produced many RS songs through the years). In this interview, he talks about how important his music is to him and now he was focusing on getting back on track.

9. Here’s a 1976 appearance on a show called “Mean Salsa Machine.”

10. I also found this gem online: RS live at ‘The Starwood in Hollywood, CA in approximately 1977. The video’s not the best quality, but it sounds great!

11. In 1978, he was on the MDA Telethon, performing his song “Bruce,” which was about how people often confused him with Bruce Springsteen.

12. Here’s a 1979 video of “Take a Hand,” still before Dr. Noah Drake. (By this time he was supplementing music with acting and had appeared on “The Six Dollar Man,” “The Rockford Files,” “Battlestar Galactica” “Wonder Woman” and other 1970s shows.)

13. Rick Springfield’s first day on “General Hospital” was March 25, 1981, about a month after “Working Class Dog” (his fifth studio album) was released. The synchronicity of his first huge hit album and being on the most successful soap opera propelled his career to new heights, but behind that seemingly “overnight success” was years and years of dedication and hard work.

At a time when people become famous for the strangest reasons – and sometimes overnight due to a viral video – I think we should recognize when people truly work hard at their craft and successfully keep it at for decades.

Not only did he have a whole musical career before “General Hospital,” RS has toured almost nonstop for the past 20-plus years only to be stopped by a global pandemic that shut down all tours. He’s also written a best-selling memoir, a best-selling novel (with the sequel scheduled to come out next month) and released three albums just in the past five years (not to mention all those he released between “Working Class Dog” and 2012’s “Songs for the End of the World.” He’s continued his acting career, too, continuing to guest star on TV shows and even acted in a movie with Meryl Streep.

So to say that RS is an actor turned musician isn’t correct. Did he find musical success after being on a successful soap opera? Perhaps, but it doesn’t group him in the same category as a “soap opera star turned musician.” (Personally, I find his career so inspiring, as it is an example of the importance of perseverance when pursuing one’s goals.)

Is this the most pressing issue in our country right now? Uh, no, not at all. But it does prove that you can’t always believe what you read on social media. (Plus it’s fun to watch these old videos and if they can provide enjoyment and a break from all the awful things currently happening out there, then it’s worth addressing.)

Happy 71st birthday, Rick Springfield

Nobody knew 71 years ago today what would become of that baby born in Sydney, Australia, but he sure made an impact on millions of people worldwide!

When you think of how many people he has touched with his songs, his music and acting, his writing, his philanthropic work – and the countless people he inspired and encouraged along the way, his impact is immense (and he still looks great doing all of this).

Happy birthday to Richard Lewis Springthorpe (aka the legendary Rick Springfield)!

My cousin mentioned on Facebook today that NASA has images captured by the Hubble Telescope and if you enter your birth date, you can see an image they captured on that day (not necessarily the year, but the date). Since I saw her post today, I thought I’d share the image NASA posted for Aug. 23. This photo was captured on Aug. 23, 2013:

Galaxy Cluster Abell 2744

Located 3.5 billion light-years away, Abell 2744 (also known as Pandora’s Cluster) contains several hundred galaxies and might be a pile-up of at least four smaller galaxy clusters. Abell 2744’s strong gravitational field acts as a lens, brightening and magnifying the light of nearly 3,000 distant background galaxies.

Just like Abell 2744, RS has a strong gravitational field that brightens and magnifies the light of the distant galaxies (or the cities around the world where his fans live).

Too corny? Oh well, that’s just the way I feel today.

Happy birthday, RS!

Birthday celebrations

Happy birthday to my favorite rock star, Rick Springfield, who turns 71 tomorrow!

The team behind the fan-led Rick Springfield Birthday Charity Campaign has announced that they decided to bring back the birthday campaign again this year to help the dogs at the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation, a beneficiary of past birthday campaigns.

This year’s theme is “Light This (Birthday) Party Up!” and features a cute sketch of RS’s dog Bindi wearing a mask and holding a balloon with the number “71” on it. (Who would have imagined this time last year that a dog wearing a mask would not seem strange?!)

The campaign began on Aug. 20 and runs through Sept. 27. For more details, visit the campaign Facebook page (where you can watch a welcome video by the birthday boy himself) or website, happybirthdayrick.com. Since the campaign first started in 2007, it has raised $156,730.52 for charity.

Tonight, Saturday, Aug. 22 at 8 p.m. EST (5 p.m. PST), DJ Rowdy Ron is back with his Rick Springfield Saturday Night Springfield Special, where he plays Rick Springfield music all night in celebration of RS’s birthday – without repeating any songs. It’s truly incredible how much music RS has released through the years and tonight is a way to celebrate that. Find out more at Rowdy Ron’s website, rowdyron.net/. Rowdy Ron does a great job putting these specials together and it’s greatly appreciated. If you are not very familiar with RS’s music since “Jessie’s Girl” and other ’80s songs, it’s a great way to catch up.

Let the birthday celebrations begin!

Whatever happened with ‘Jessie’s Girl’?

In countless interviews, Rick Springfield has been asked about the fate of “Jessie’s Girl.” Now we know.

Well, maybe not “know” exactly, but we have a fun scenario to consider.

Claudio Sanchez of the progressive rock band Coheed and Cambria recently approached RS about writing a sequel to “Jessie’s Girl” (see their Instagram chat here) and the new song, “Jessie’s Girl 2,” and video was released today.

In the video, RS is a bartender at Springfield’s Bar (with product placement of the Beach Bar Rum he owns with Sammy Hagar) and we learn that “Jessie’s Girl” is a bit of a psychopath as we watch her steal keys and light a pool table on fire. (Not a recommended way to light a party up.)

Apparently it’s a good thing that RS didn’t end up with her, because the fictional bartender version of RS who spills the rum instead of profiting from it, is stuck with his previous obsession and living a life of regret, as explained in the bridge.

“Jessie played sincere, He sure seemed cool
What I hadn’t known was I was his fool
We’re married now: house, job, three kids
Dreaming of what life could have been
Stranded on the if’s and maybe’s
Had I left that monster in the 80’s”

Speaking of the ’80s, there’s also a reference to Tommy Tutone’s 1981 hit “867-5309/Jenny.” (Sidenote: For those who aren’t aware, RS toured with Tommy Tutone recently so RS fans actually got to hear Tommy Tutone sing the song at RS concerts.) Is the added animation a reference to the ’80s video of the song “Take on Me” by A-Ha?

Other random thoughts after watching (and re-watching) the video and the original video.

  1. The original video starts with “Jessie”spray painting “Jessie’s Girl” on a brick wall, this video has JG writing Jessie’s Girl on a mirror with lipstick and there’s a brick wall behind bartender RS.
  2. The clock at the beginning shows the time as 11:10 but in the next scene the time is 11:30 then in the next scene it’s 11:05. Does that signify that we are going back in time?
  3. RS stares into the mirror in both videos.
  4. Wasn’t there another sequel to “Jessie’s Girl”? (Patty’s working, but she’s watching the clock, she’s in the back room counting stock, and down in a warehouse out by the dock, Jessie’s lifting crates and breaking rock,” from “Tonight”on ‘Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet.” (In the 1981 video, “Patty is Jessie’s Girl” is what is painted on the wall. )
  5. Can you believe the original video was filmed in 1981, 39 years ago, and that Rick Springfield is going to turn 71 this weekend? From looking at him, you’d never guess that so much time has passed.

Unfortunately I don’t have any other irrelevant thoughts to share because as I was writing this, the video was blocked – when you try watching it on YouTube, there’s a message that says “This video contains content from WMG (Warner Music Group), who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.”

In case that gets worked out, you can enjoy the video here:

If not, you can at least learn more about the song and merch on the Coheed and Cambria Facebook page or listen to the song here:

Cheers to 6 years

Yesterday marked the sixth anniversary of this blog. Six years of celebrating Rick Springfield music, acting and fandom.

Here’s a recap of some of the highlights of RS activity in the first five years, as listed in last year’s anniversary post:

This past year has been different than any others since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in the world, halting life as we know it. Touring stopped and all the new concert footage RS fans have been lucky to enjoy on a regular basis over the past few years ceased. His big tour with Chicago that was supposed to happen this summer was cancelled, as well as his tour with Zoot in Australia (which has now been rescheduled to 2021). The fan trip was postponed indefinitely.

There have been some silver linings in this, as RS partnered with Vance DeGeneres for a songwriting video series that resulted in two new songs (and videos), “The Wall Will Fall” and “Welcome to Your Bright New World.”

Also, RS has held regular happy hours (half-hours) with fans on Zoom, where we’ve learned that he’s almost finished with “World on Fire,” the sequel of “Magnificent Vibration,” and it’s scheduled to come out on Audible in October. He also formed a band, The Locusts, with his former bassist Matt Bissonette and drummer Gregg Bissonette and they recorded an album and will soon be releasing songs. If you watch the happy hour videos (available on his Facebook page), you can learn more RS trivia such as his favorite places in the world (Tahiti and Italy) and that he is scheduled to be a judge on an upcoming mystery singing game show, “I Can See Your Voice.”

He’ll also perform a live invite-only Labor Day weekend performance for those who post a picture of their own paradise that features Beach Bar Rum, a line of spirits with Sammy Hagar. (Haven’t found anywhere local that carries the rum, though it can also be ordered online.)

Returning to the past year, here are some other highlights:

  • Fans raised $34,170 for the 2019 birthday campaign in honor of RS’s 70th birthday. The funds went to Linda Blair’s Worldheart Foundation, which helps rescue dogs.
  • RS started playing piano at some of his concerts.
  • RS performed to raise funds for the wildfires in Australia and also sold some guitars and T-shirts to raise funds to help the animals hurt in the fires through Steve Irwin’s Wildlife Warriors.
  • RS announced his venture with Sammy Hagar for Beach Bar Rum.
  • The premiere of the documentary “Orchestrating My Life,” about the making of RS’s CD featuring students from the Santa Monica High School Orchestra. (Still no word on when that will be available to view elsewhere.)
  • RS was featured on the show “The Song: Recorded Live at TGL Farms.”
  • After quarantines and lockdowns began once the pandemic struck (his last live in-person concert was March 7, at a Rock the Casa benefit concert), RS started doing fun videos about how to play Jessie’s Girl “Human Touch” and “Love Somebody” parodies (“No Human Touch” and “Glove Somebody) then next came the songwriting series I mentioned above.
  • After writing that last item, I just realized that the last concert he did this year was on what would have been my mom’s 75th birthday. On her 70th birthday, I met RS briefly after a concert. (RS is now 70.) I know that’s all totally irrelevant to anyone else reading this, but that’s kinda weird, right? That was the day I slipped him a note with this blog address on it in hopes he would look at it. What if instead I wrote “Five years from tonight will be your last concert in 2020 because a few days later, the country will shut down due to a worldwide pandemic.” He probably wouldn’t have believed it. (He probably would have also been surprised to hear that his sequel to “Magnificent Vibration” – which is about a plague – wouldn’t be coming out for five more years and that it would be released during a worldwide pandemic.)

Speaking of birthdays, RS fans would by now have had lots of opportunities to sing him happy birthday in concerts since the celebrations typically begin in June. Since we can’t do that in person this year, here’s a clip from last year.

Hope he’s feeling that birthday love headed his way, as many of his longtime fans have had his birth date etched on their minds for a few decades.

If you got to the bottom of this post, thanks for reading.

Be well.