Out of nowhere last week came a surprise tweet with a poster about a movie premiere fundraiser. The movie? “Orchestrating My Life,” a documentary of Rick Springfield as he creates his rock-meets-orchestra album and tour featuring students from the Santa Monica High School Orchestra.
What?! How cool is that? Tickets start at $20 for general admission so all those Southern Cal fans have a great opportunity to see the film and the live performance by RS and the orchestra! Proceeds will benefit the school’s orchestras.
Other recent news is RS’s participation in a concert in tribute to Eddie Money on Feb. 20, a little over a year after Eddie Money’s death. Other artists will include Sammy Hagar, George Thorogood and John Waite. Proceeds will benefit MusiCares and the USC Eddie Money Cancer Research Fund. Another bonus for Southern Cal fans, as the concert will be in Beverly Hills.
As mentioned in the last post, he’s also been busy advocating for help in fighting the Australian fires, lending his voice to promoting awareness of how the fires are affecting the country’s wildlife.
The New Year also started with several shows – he’s already had two shows in Oklahoma and one in Louisiana, and tonight’s he’s rockin’ at Graceland in Memphis. There are a couple more later in the month, too, in Massachusetts and Connecticut. As usual, it looks like he has a full touring schedule this year, including Hawaii and Disney World Epcot, as well as his fan getaway in May in Cancun, Mexico. (Plus that whole summer tour with Chicago. Is he coming to your town? Check here. )
The recent news in Australia is so horrifying, it’s incomprehensible that a country is experiencing so much devastation.
According to recent reports, since September 2019, this season’s fire season have burned 24 million acres, killed at least 28 people, destroyed about 2,000 homes and may have killed half a billion animals. An estimated 8,000 koala bears have died from the fires, which is almost one-third of all koalas in New South Wales alone, which is their main habitat.
This is so heartbreaking.
As Rick Springfield is both a huge advocate for animals and from Australia, he is the perfect spokesperson to spread awareness of the fires. Today, he shared the following video with this message:
The images in this video may be disturbing to some, but this is our reality. It is our responsibility to heal the planet and help all its inhabitants, big and small. The damage these fires have caused will be felt long after the flames are gone. Native animals that are found nowhere else on the planet are now in great danger of disappearing forever. The Veterinarians and services treating all the burned animals need money to operate. Please help and give what you can. Love & Healing, Rick Donate: https://www.wires.org.au/donate/emerg…
Additionally, the Rick Springfield Merch site has announced a T-Shirt Fundraising Drive for Australia. The vintage jersey shirt is adorable, with a picture of a koala bear in Ron’s “Working Class Dog” attire. The text says “Souls to Save: Heal Australia.” The cost is $50. Here’s the text on the site:
Devastating wildfires in Rick’s native homeland of Australia have shaken the world, and what seems like an impossible number to conceive, over half a billion of the country’s animals are dead. While we try to wrap our heads around this incredible tragedy, Australia needs our help for the survivors. 100% of the proceeds of this shirt sale will be donated to WIRES Emergency Fund.
As I was writing this, I remembered the announced title of RS’s next novel, which now sounds so ironic: “World on Fire.” I wish what is happening in Australia was just a plot in a fictional novel rather than reality.
Can you believe it’s time for another year-end wrap-up? It seems like just yesterday that RS was donning a cowboy hat and letting his hair go gray for a role that never came to be. But that was already a year ago!
Not only are we as the world wrapping up a year, we’re also wrapping up a decade. Bye to the teens and hello to the 20s. I don’t know why, but 2020 seems like it’s going to be a good year. Just the sound of it – 2020. That number seems to evoke clarity and wisdom (20/20 vision and 20/20 hindsight). Hopefully that will be the case. Wouldn’t it be great if we could learn from the past and not repeat the same stupid things over and over again?
Anyway, soon we say farewell to 2019 and welcome 2020.
Here’s a look at the past year, as it pertains to the subject of this blog.
As mentioned above, 2019 started with a cowboy hat and gray hair. He soon went back to dark brown, but not before the sophisticated and debonair cover photo for “Orchestrating My Life,” the CD release this year of Rick Springfield hits performed with a symphony orchestra.
January also included a performance at Graceland and the addition of “Jailhouse Rock” to the set list.
In May, his parents’ former home in Australia was one of the stops on a public art bus tour that included a group of singers dressed like Ron on the cover of “Working Class Dog” and lots of bull terriers.
This year RS also continued speaking about depression, participating in the #MyYoungerSelf campaign for the Child Mind Institute. This was also a year where I was told that my youngest child potentially may have a tendency for depression so RS speaking out about it has been helpful for me on a personal level as well.
June was a nice RS month for me, as I got to see him in concert (#14) from the second row (“A spritz of happiness at Wild Horse Pass“) and heard “Souls” live for the first time I could remember. (It’s possible I heard it back way back when, but I don’t recall.)
This year brought a milestone birthday for the rock star – the big 7-0. (And my big 5-0). The fans behind the Rick Springfield Birthday Campaign did a great job celebrating and raised $34,170 for the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation, which helps rescue dogs. (And I won a calendar of fantastic concert photos and an EFX prize packet – thank you to those who gave those prizes!)
Mr. Springthorpe also became an ordained minister so he could marry off his guitarist. (His youngest son also got married this year, but I’m not sure if he also officiated at that wedding.)
And here we are already in December, when him playing piano was added to the Stripped Down set list “Sing us a song, piano man“).
What’s coming in 2020? I can’t say for sure, but we’ve heard things in the works include a sequel to “Magnificent Vibration” and another novel and that he’s been working on more new songs. Plus there’s the fan trip in Cancun in May that was the postponed trip from November this year in Punta Cana and a summer tour with the band Chicago.
(In case there is anybody out there that has even an iota of interest, I’ve written lots of new songs this past year and even spent an afternoon in a recording studio, which was pretty exciting even if it wasn’t the Black Lagoon in Malibu.)
To go with the end-of-the-year theme, here’s the blog recap, as of 10 a.m. on Dec. 31: In 2019, there were 11,384 views from 7,165 visitors (All-time stats are 49,523 views by 29,641 visitors and this is post #403, the 34th post of 2019.)
Why do I include these numbers? Partly because they’re there and if somebody took the time to figure out how to measure them I thought I’d share since nobody else will so I don’t want to let that person’s efforts go to waste. And also partly in wonder because only one person read my ramblings in my high school notebook journals (me) so it’s kinda fun to know that there are people out there actually reading this.
It’s been fairly quiet on the RS front, at least from the fan onlooker’s point of view. He’s had some family time and a break from touring. The big news that was released was next summer’s tour with Chicago June 12-Aug. 1, 2020.
This week he hit the road (or the skies) for acoustic Stripped Down shows with Richard Marx and judging from some videos from those shows, it appears that perhaps he spent some of his downtime practicing piano. (Maybe on the piano from his parents’ home that he shipped from Australia?)
Check out this video from the rsandus YouTube page that captures “What Kind of Fool Am I?” on piano. Such a treat to hear the song in its entirety rather than part of the medley. There’s also video of him playing “State of the Heart” on piano (though not on YouTube yet.)
It’s not like piano is new to him, but it’s the first time I recall seeing him play it at a concert. His fan trips have a piano bar component where he and other musicians sit in the resort/ship bar and perform. For example, here are videos from a past cruise posted in 2008. (Ah, those innocent days before “Late, Late at Night” before knowing what “Wasted” was about.)
And this one from 2009. Those trips look like so much fun!
And this beautiful one from 2016 for “Ordinary Girl,” a song about his wife:
As you may remember (especially if you were planning on going), the Rick Springfield fan trip was scheduled in Punta Cana this week. Because of all the tourist deaths in the Dominican Republic being reported in the news a few months ago, it ended up being moved to Cancun, Mexico and postponed until May 14-18, 2020 (so there’s still time to play and win the lottery!).
So instead of a plethora of videos and posts from the fan trip flooding my RS social media feed this week, it’s a little quieter due to there no being no fan trip this week and no shows scheduled to take its place. However, as indicated in the previous post, RS still keeps himself busy so there’s some activity to catch up on since that previous post. (Although hopefully he’s getting some resting and relaxing in with his family during this time off.)
Honoring a former band mate
The same week he officiated at the Malibu wedding of his guitarist AND was a keynote speaker at a conference in St. Louis, he also performed at an event, the Rock Godz Hall of Fame, honoring his former keyboardist Brett Tuggle, a member of his Fabulous Eels band back in the 1980s.
For Halloween, he performed at an elementary school for Great Pumpkin Day. Although I don’t think the kids truly appreciated how lucky they were to be sitting there with him, some of the teachers sang along.
Why at an elementary school, you may wonder?
Rick Springfield helped students celebrate Halloween with a special performance, including singing Witches’ Brew with his son, alum Josh Springthorpe ‘07 – Facebook page of Viewpoint School Alumni Association
Unfortunately I haven’t seen any video of RS singing “Witches Brew” with his son Josh, which was probably pretty adorable.
How much would you like to see the unedited version to see what they couldn’t use on camera?!
In the interview he mentions that he’s getting ready to release “World on Fire,” his second novel. Whoo-hoo!
A happy occasion
Despite the inconvenience it may have caused for some, it’s probably good that the fan trip got postponed because apparently his youngest son is getting married this next week so it’s good that everyone will be in the country in the days leading up to the big day. Best wishes and congratulations to the whole family!
in the early 1980s, teenage girls around the world fantasized about marrying Rick Springfield. That possibility disappeared in 1984 when he got married (35 years ago tomorrow). However, although it’s not an option to get married TO Rick Springfield, a couple has gotten married BY Rick Springfield.
When RS mentioned at a recent concert that he is now ordained to officiate at weddings and was going to marry his guitarist George Nastos, I thought he was joking and replayed the video (it was posted on FB) a couple more times to make sure I heard it correctly.
As discovered after some RS sleuthing on social media, he wasn’t joking. This past week, he officiated at the wedding of Nastos and his beautiful bride, which was held in the backyard of the Springthorpes’ Malibu home.
Best wishes to the newlyweds, may they have a happy life together! (And Happy Anniversary to the Springthorpes!)
Providing inspiration in St. Louis
A few days before the wedding, RS performed a few Stripped Down shows with Richard Marx and after the wedding, he headed to St. Louis, where he was the keynote speaker at a Missouri Coalition for Community Behavioral Healthcare conference. He shared his personal experience about living with depression and provided inspiration and encouragement for those who are suffering with it.
If being a rock star who officiates at weddings and inspires others by sharing his challenges isn’t enough awesomeness for one post, he also lent his song “Saint Sahara” from the “Venus in Overdrive” album to an annual Childhood Cancer Canada fundraiser for childhood cancer that his good friends Shantelle and Yannick Bisson are involved with.
It’s so heart-wrenching to think of the loss of all these beautiful children and what their families must have gone through. Each picture represents a heartbreaking loss for a family. (To learn more about Sahara, click here.)
Although life can be distressing and challenging at times, it’s comforting to know that there is also a great deal of beauty and goodness out there in the world, too, with people working to bring light into the world and helping others.
The final total is in for the fan-led Rick Springfield Birthday Campaign: $34,170!
It’s pretty incredible when you think about it – a group of Rick Springfield fans who I’m sure already have very busy lives take on this huge responsibility of raising funds in honor of their favorite rock star’s birthday.
They’ve done this each year since 2007 – 13 years in all, raising a total of $156,730.52. The totals of previous years ranged from $2,500 back in 2008 to $18,666 in 2015 so this year’s campaign really blew all the others away! This year’s donations, raised from July 26 to Sept. 27, all went to Linda Blair’s Worldheart Foundation, which helps rescue dogs.
Not only did they promote it through a website they created, as well as social media channels, they also sold birthday campaign T-shirts and coordinated a whole prize-giving campaign that involved lots of other generous fans who donated prizes. I’m excited to say that I received a prize this year! My prize relates to a period of RS’s career that I’m not that familiar with so I’m especially excited to learn more about it. I’ll share more about it when I receive it, since I don’t think I’ve addressed it much in this blog.
(Congrats to the grand-prize winners of the dinner with RS and the original drawings!)
The contest organizers have mentioned that this will be the last year they run this campaign to this extent so I just wanted to say THANK YOU to them for making the RS birthday season so fun for fellow fans!
Here we are two weeks after Rick Springfield’s birthday and three weeks before the fan-run birthday campaign officially ends and the campaign has already surpassed its $20,000 goal! As of today, $22,000 has been raised for the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation. It’s a “Holy Shit” campaign for his “70th Holy Shit Birthday”!
Before this year, the birthday campaign that raised the most money was in 2015 for his 66th birthday, which raised $18,666.
That’s pretty awesome that so many dogs will receive help from RS fans in honor of his birthday because as any fan knows, he loves dogs. (The idea of a dinner with Rick Springfield, the grand prize, is cool, too.) There’s still time to be eligible for this grand prize plus lots of other great prizes. Visit happybirthdayrick.com.
In other recent news, RS rocked a teal guitar for ovarian cancer awareness at the New York State Fair for the nonprofit Hope for Heather. September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. (Teal stands for Tell Every Amazing Lady – learn about the symptoms here.)
Thank you to Rick Springfield for being an honorary Man of Teal rocking the H4H Teal Guitar during “Jessie’s Girl” at the NYS Fair tonight! His speech was so moving and it was simply incredible for him to share the message on stage during his packed concert. So grateful! Tell Every Amazing Lady about the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. 💙
Happy birthday to my favorite rock star! I hope he can feel all the love being expressed in Cyberspace today by those who are so grateful for all he’s accomplished in his 70 years.
Here’s my little message through Cyberspace for him:
Thank you, Rick Springfield, for providing so much inspiration to so many people, in addition to all the great music you’ve put into the world. By sharing so much of yourself, you’ve brought healing to so many people. Simply put, the world would be a VERY different place without all your contributions throughout your seven decades here on Earth and my life would have been very different as well. Both my teenage self and my 50-year-old self wish you a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
In celebration of his birthday, his fans are raising money for the dogs from the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation (to honor his love for dogs) and this year’s campaign has raised over $14,000 so far. (The campaign runs through Sept. 27 and donations can qualify you for different prizes, such as original drawings by RS and a chance to have dinner with him.) Visit happybirthdayrick.com to learn more.
This weekend DJ Rowdy Ron will present his Saturday Night Springfield Special to celebrate the big birthday – an all-night show featuring Rick Springfield songs through the decades, including lots of limited-edition versions. This Saturday night, Aug. 24, beginning at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. EST. Check out the Rowdy Ron Radio group on Facebook
for details and for a live chat during the show.
Since RS isn’t performing in concert tonight, here are some “Happy Birthday” videos from recent shows:
What do you mean, you may ask. Isn’t every day Rick Springfield Day?
True, but on Aug. 13, 1982, Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley officially proclaimed the day as Rick Springfield Day. Since the former mayor has a terminal at Los Angeles International Airport named after him, you know he had some clout.
So if you need an excuse to play Rick Springfield music all day long, today can be the day.
Here’s a news report on the proclamation, courtesy of rsandus:
On a related note, one of the photos I wrote about finding in a past post, Random photos in an envelope, captured the moment in the photo by Jeffrey Mayer/Rainbow Photography that is on the top of this post.