Same songs, different medium

In a recent interview on The Eddie Trunk Podcast, RS mentioned that he’ll be putting together a new album of his hits recorded with a symphony – and writing a new song for that. How cool is that?! Fans in Australia will be happy to hear that he’s also talking about a tour in Australia.

Another interesting tidbit mentioned in the interview is that he recently recorded a Spanish version of “Jessie’s Girl” for a musician in Mexico who is putting a “Legends” type of album with musicians who inspired him.

Listen to the podcast here.

For those who are following the songwriting track of this blog, here’s a video I put together that includes two of the songs that I previously wrote. One was inspired after seeing Rick Springfield in a hotel lobby and the other one, “In the Fifth Row,”  was written in advance of a concert that I ended up not being able to attend.

They were written at different times – the first in March 2016 and the second in October 2017 – but they have similar melodies and the same chords and my tickets for the March show were also in the fifth row so it worked to combine the two. (I’m happy to report that I’ve learned several new chords since then so my newer songs don’t all sound the same.)

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Thoughts about set lists

This week marks two years since I saw Rick Springfield in concert, although I’m hoping to go his show next month when he’s in town. Thanks to those fans who post videos and set list pictures, I ALMOST feel like it hasn’t been so long.

Since many RS fans see multiple shows throughout the year, it’s nice that the band mixes things up now and then.

One song that is apparently back in rotation is “Souls,” which is my favorite song off of “Living in Oz.”

One of the songs he’s been playing is “Voodoo House, my favorite from his newest CD, “The Snake King.”

“Affair of the Heart” is one of my favorites from the 1980s and that’s one that he’ll probably always have to play, so that one is pretty safe, I think.

It’s also great hearing a longer version of “State of the Heart.”

A couple of songs that seem to have moved off the list are “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift and “Roar” by Katy Perry. Although I like both of those songs, I’d much rather hear Rick Springfield songs at a Rick Springfield concert so I won’t miss either of those AT ALL.

Another one I am glad is gone is “I Hate Myself,” which I heard live back in 2015. Although it’s great live, there was something disturbing about hearing hundreds of people shouting “I hate myself.”

One song that he’s played the last few times I saw him that seems to be gone is “I’ll Make You Happy,” from “Shock/Anger/Denial/Acceptance,” which was wonderful live so I will miss that one.

Currently “Our Ship’s Sinking” from “Songs for the End of the World” and “Down” from “Rocket Science” are on the set list of longer shows.

What really would be fun is the type of thing that happens at the fan events – albums in their entirety – but that’s unlikely. Especially from “Venus in Overdrive”because I didn’t go to any shows during those tour years.

I haven’t had any new videos to add lately so thanks to those who have shared theirs!

Rick Springfield on Tinder?

Sideswiped smile

What, Rick Springfield is on Tinder?

Before any rumors get started, he’s on Tinder the same way he is a creepy psychologist, a demented pastor and Lucifer – as part of a role. In real life, he’s a longtime married man so there’ll be no swiping right except for in your fantasies – and on an upcoming YouTube Originals show.

This announcement came today:

Here’s the official trailer:

Although my dating days were before swiping right was a thing, I’ve heard several Tinder stories from my sister and the dating site definitely sounds like good inspiration for a dating comedy series.

This multi-generational eight-episode comedy series about relationships and dating in the digital age is based on a true story from Carly Craig, who stars in the show.

A description of the show from Broadway World:

A lifetime of saying no has left “Olivia” single and miserable on her 35th birthday. This workaholic verging on a breakdown vows to plunge into the hellish world of Tinder by dating all 252 of her matches. She is spurred on by her sister “Jayne” – a young married woman experiencing a seven-year itch. The sisters are joined by their recently widowed mother, “Mary,” who is now also a part of the online dating scene.

RS has talked about wanting to do some more acting and this looks like the show was shot in Los Angeles (the Dodger Stadium sign sighting) so this was probably filmed between two weekends of shows because his tour schedule has been pretty heavy this year between the full band shows, the solo shows, the symphony shows, the ’80s cruise and “The Snake King” special performances.

Did all of that really happen this year? Wow, and there’s still half a year to go.

I am so glad that he’s not playing another creepy character. Or is he? Although he looks like himself in the trailer, he is playing a Tinder date, so I guess we’ll have to watch to see what kind of date he turns out to be in “Sideswiped” on July 25!

Farewell to soundcheck access

It used to be that Rick Springfield fans could purchase a soundcheck package where they could sit in during the band’s soundcheck session and then afterward they could briefly meet him for autographs, pictures and a chance to share any personal thoughts about the impact that he’s had on their life.

This past week, the Rick Springfield Official Merchandise site announced that effective immediately, that option was being changed to a VIP Backstage Experience, which is described on the site as:

About an hour before Rick hits the stage, you will be escorted backstage by our VIP Host to a private room where Rick will perform a song, and you’ll catch a rare and personal side of him as he engages the few fans in attendance. You will be able to meet Rick, get a few autographs and a photo taken during this time. You also have the option of adding a guitar to this package.

The cost of this experience is $349.99, $724.99 with the guitar. There’s also a VIP Collector’s Edition Guitar Package for $2,499.99, which is described as this:

This is your chance to take home the very guitar that Rick plays on stage during the iconic song, Jessie’s Girl. This limited edition guitar features the artwork from the album that started it all: Working Class Dog. Rick will sign, date and label the guitar by city, making this is truly a one of a kind collector’s piece. Oh yeah, and it may be a little sweaty.

After the show, you and two of your friends will have the opportunity to meet Rick in his backstage dressing room. He’ll personally present the guitar to you, and you’ll have the opportunity for a bit of a chat, and of course, photos and autographs. It’s going to be a night you’ll remember for a very long time.

Only one guitar is sold per show, and there’s only so many shows in a tour! Hurry to secure your collector’s edition Working Class Dog guitar.

Don’t get me wrong, these experiences sound great, too, although the idea of sitting in on a soundcheck sounded really cool because it’s a little glimpse into what musicians do to prepare for a show. (Many years ago I was able to listen to a soundcheck for Sting and although I was standing up in the stands at the empty amphitheater and not up close, it was still a cool experience. To be able to do that standing right there with my favorite rock star on stage would have been incredible.)

But alas, it looks like that opportunity is gone. I’m grateful to the fans who have shared videos of the soundcheck experience in the past so I have an idea of what it was like.

You know what would be really cool? How about some “exclusive contests” for meet & greet opportunities through the RS fan club? (Hint, hint to the powers that be.)

RS is very generous with his time for his fans so I’m glad that he’s continuing these meet & greet and opportunities, even with these changes and although they are still out of my budget. I’m hoping that he’ll be doing some book tours with his next book since I missed out on those. (When I “rediscovered” him back in 2014, it was three months after his visit to an Arizona bookstore after the release of “Magnificent Vibration.”)

In other Rick Springfield news, here’s a recent video from Vintage Guitar where RS talks about his guitars (and alien-fighting capabilities) inside his studio:

Here’s another recent interview:

A recent article on newscentermaine.com mentions the second novel and also that he’s working on an album of his songs played with a symphony. That sounds cool (and wouldn’t it be cool to see that on DVD, too, like the “Stripped Down” set?)

His summer tour will bring him about 15 minutes from my house in August so I hope to catch that show since I didn’t make it to any shows last year. He has more than 20 shows between now and then, including symphony shows in Columbus, Ohio; Nashville; San Diego; and Park City, Utah. Such a busy guy!

Words of advice to those struggling with depression

Rick Springfield’s Twitter response to the tragic news about Anthony Bourdain’s death was so meaningful, as RS both shows compassion for Bourdain’s family and loved ones, but also demonstrates that he understands what Bourdain went through, as it’s something that he’s dealt with for most of his life. (Was it wrong that the “award-winning depressionist” part cracked me up among all the sadness?)

Although Rick Springfield’s most recent CD “The Snake King” was such a shift from his previous music, it’s pretty amazing that somehow it seems to fit the mood of the world lately. As if his musical spirit was saturated by all the things going in on in the world and it came out through him in those songs. He’s already said that was the case for him personally, but lately it feels as if that tone fits the world in general.

That being said, perhaps some people who may be suffering from depression could benefit from some of the wisdom RS has shared about his depression:

People magazine: “‘Suicide Manifesto’ is stuff I think about. I’ve been close to it,” he said about his forthcoming song from his new album, The Snake King. “When Robin Williams and Chester [Bennington and Chris Cornell] and those guys … I didn’t go, ‘Oh that’s terrible.’ I went, ‘I get it.’ I get being that lost and dark.”

Adding, “You’re in so much pain that you just want it to end. I have been there and I know what it’s like and I understand. It’s just part of your makeup.”

“I’ve taken Prozac and all that kind of stuff and I meditate. Meditation is the only thing that takes me out of it. If I truly meditate and focus and get to that place, I’m not depressed. No matter what’s going on. But it’s pretty hard,” he shared.

“I’m alive and well. Anyone says, ‘How you doing?’ I never go, ‘Great.’ Because it’s bulls—. I go, ‘I’m okay — I’m there.’ Sometimes I’ll go, ‘F—ing horrible, I’ve had a terrible day.’” Springfield said of talking to other people about his emotions.

“We’ve all had the social front and it just makes me feel like such a liar when I go home and I look in the mirror and I go, ‘Really, you said that to somebody? That everything’s great and you’re feeling awesome? That’s bulls—,’ ” he continued.

Adding, “I’m at the point now in my life where I want to do what’s truthful.”

Extra: As for what goes on in his head when he is hit with depression and suicidal thoughts, Rick shared, “You’re not trying to hurt anyone else. You’re not trying to hurt your family. You’re just trying to get away from the thing that you can’t get away from.”

“You know, you’re always kind of on the edge of the cliff with depression, and you gotta deal with it the way you do,” Springfield continued. “I’m doing my best to pursue the life that I want even though the hand drags me down every now and then.”

Look to the Stars: An accomplished actor, writer and Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, Rick Springfield received the Beatrice Stern Media Award for his work as a mental health advocate who has openly talked about his depression and suicide attempt as teen. “I grew up thinking I’ve just got to become famous, successful, wealthy, have a house with a wife and kids and it (my depression) will all go away. In 1985, I had all those things and I wanted to kill myself. I realized the lie of fame right there—that it wasn’t going to heal me.”

Springfield’s award was presented by his longtime friend, Emmy-winning actor Doug Davidson who shared with the audience that he too, struggles with depression. “We all know 16 is a difficult time for anyone, and it was for Rick, too. He didn’t like the way he looked. He thought his ankles were too thin. He hated his nose. This is teenage angst. But by talking about it, he became a role model for teens everywhere. When you find out a rock superstar went through the same kind of angst and depression you’re going through, it helps you realize you can get through it, too.”

People magazine: Springfield —who has been married to his wife Barbara Porter, 56, for 33 years — says his family, including Liam, 32, and his younger son Josh, 28, help him remain thankful for his life.

“It’s like your heart beating. It’s something that’s there. I’m always aware of my family, absolutely, and the love that we have,” he says. “Being grateful is very important to trying to combat depression.”

Taking things day by day, Springfield hopes to one day forgive himself for his past mistakes and enjoy life a bit more with his loved ones.

“I look back on my regrets with great relish and my successes, not so much,” says the singer, who wrote about his multiple infidelities in his 2010 memoir Late, Late at Night. “In the end I’m always trying to prove my worth to myself which is what depression is all about.”

And this article on CBSnews.com from eight years ago, after the release of “Late, Late at Night”:

In the rash of recent teen suicides, Springfield, now 61, has a message for kids who feel as isolated and hopeless as he once did: Stick it out, it gets better.

“I know what it’s like,” he said Tuesday on “Good Morning America.” “You just want out. You want the pain to stop. Give yourself a year. Your life will change.” …

As for his message to teens on the edge: “Nothing remains the same,” he says. “I would have missed out on a lot of amazing stuff in my life.”

Quite a commute

I’ve been traveling the past couple of weeks, which has included time in planes, trains and automobiles.

During my journey, I’ve thought about the people who travel regularly for their jobs, such as musicians. Specifically, Rick Springfield. With about 100 shows all around the country each year (and sometimes internationally), the life of our favorite rock star must include lots of security lines, seat-belt and oxygen-mask demonstrations and waiting at the baggage claim carousel.

Sometimes people will snap a picture of him in the airplane or standing at baggage claim. Other times, reporters accost him as he heads into the airport. On one flight, a group of girls sang “Jessie’s Girl” on the plane after recognizing him. None of these things have ever happened to me during my travels, fortunately.

RS has often said that he gets paid for traveling rather than for playing music because he enjoys playing music so much, he’d do it for free. Lucky for him, he gets paid for both traveling and playing music. What a great gig.

 

Whenever I’m at the airport, especially at LAX, I can’t help but keep an eye out for RS, just in case. I’m not really sure what I would actually do if I saw him, but I look anyway. I recently flew into the Burbank, California airport and during the short walk through the terminal from the gate to the outside baggage claim, “Jessie’s Girl” played over the loudspeakers. Out of all the songs in the whole world that could have played in those few minutes, I thought it was pretty funny that it would be an RS song. Of course, I interpreted that as my personal welcome to Southern California from RS. (If you’ve read any of this blog, you may have learned that my thinking process is about age 13 when it comes to RS, so you shouldn’t be too surprised.)

I’m happy to report that I did recently spot RS at the Los Angeles International Airport, although it was in a different scenario than I had hoped. I had some time before I needed to get to the gate to board my flight so I wandered into a bookstore in the terminal. As I scanned the books on the shelves, I saw RS right there on a bottom shelf staring out at me.

Late Late at Night

I’ll be at LAX later this week so MAYBE I’ll run into him if he heads to Las Vegas early for his show there this weekend. I’ll look out for him just in case.

Coming of age

I recently realized that my oldest son is approaching the age I was when I first became aware of Rick Springfield: 12.

Here’s the first mention of RS in my diary, entered on May 15, 1982, almost exactly 36 years ago from today:

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It was just a couple of months after RS debuted on General Hospital (March 25, 1981) and although I don’t remember if I was already watching “General Hospital” at this time, it looks like RS and John Stamos were the only ones in the magazine that rated my three-star “Wow” poster rating.

So far my, son’s main interest is in basketball and although he does like music – some of his favorite are Imagine Dragons, Fall Out Boys and Bruno Mars – he hasn’t gotten to the point where there is any non-sports-related decor on his walls.

This is how my walls looked when I was in my early teens:

cropped-imag0914.jpg

Did my parents think it was odd that I had all these posters of a guy in his 30s all over my wall when I was 13? Or listening to these lyrics?

I get excited
Just thinkin’ what you might be like
I get excited
There’s heaven in your eyes tonight
The fire’s ignited down below
It’s burning bright
Oh baby, stay, we got all night, all night
Baby please, I can’t please
If I’m on my knees tonight

(“I Get Excited” from “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet” – 1982 – my parents bought me the album for my birthday that year)

Or this from “Inside Sylvia” from “Working Class Dog” – 1981

Inside Silvia, oh Silvia, yeah, yeah, Silvia
I know my love is alive
Inside Silvia, yeah Silvia, oh Silvia, oh

(I know he has said that his relationship with Sylvia was not of a sexual nature, but still, those lyrics…)

As he’s said himself, most of the songs from WCD and SHSMY are all about lust and sex – did I know that at the time? I think I sensed that they had adult themes, but I was pretty innocent at the time overall so I’m not sure how much I actually understood. But I did recognize his “wow” factor, that’s for sure, and the crush factor was pretty strong.

We made it through the baby stage with our sons, survived the toddler years, and now all of them are in elementary school. After reading “Late, Late at Night,” and getting a glimpse of what puberty can be like for boys (we are all girls in my family), I’m trying to prepare myself for being on the opposite end of the equation (the parent instead of the teen).

Of course things are much different these days – kids have exposure to many more things today then my generation did at this age. And what seems shocking in one generation, often doesn’t phase the next one at all (such as Elvis “shockingly” shaking his hips on national TV – if those shocked adults would have known what kind of things end up national TV today, they would likely be horrified.) It goes the other way, too, things that were everyday happenstance in previous generations (such as how women and minorities were treated) seem horrifying today (hence, the #metoo movement).

I’m not really sure what my point is here and I’ve probably gone off on a tangent, but what I’m TRYING to say is: How did this happen so fast that I was once a tween (although they didn’t call it that at the time) who innocently listened to Rick Springfield records and had his posters covering my wall and now I’m nearly 50 writing a blog about him and have a son who is almost the age I was when I started being a fan?

If I had to sum it up with one word, I guess I’d have to say, “Wow.”

New video: The Voodoo House

It’s here – the video for “The Voodoo House”!

If I had to pick my favorite song of “The Snake King,” “The Voodoo House” would be it so I’m happy to hear he’s been playing it live and that he made a video for the song.

From an article on Nola.com:

Playing a shiny National guitar, Springfield seems to glide through a sunny, Spanish moss-draped swampscape, when he’s not cavorting with a mysterious seductress in a smoky nightclub … or is it all just an absinthe-fueled fantasy? Either way, we in Louisiana welcome the Australian-born star to our milieu.

The “swampscape” is breathtakingly beautiful and he’s got that cool rock star look, as do the band members. So fun to watch.

Did you notice that he looked right at me when he sang “I’ve got a voodoo doll that looks just like you?” (He still got that heartthrob rock star vibe, and I still have some of that teen fantasy imagination, sorry, can’t help it.)

I almost didn’t recognize Siggy (the bassist) in that cleric getup. I wonder what the story behind that is.

In other news, specifically on chicagotribune.com, there’s also an update on more upcoming RS work:

He’s also the author of two books; the aforementioned autobiography and a fiction novel called “Magnificent Vibration.” He’s editing a new one hopefully to be released this year, he wrote.

Hey ya! Hey ya! Oh!

A powerful ripple effect

Embed from Getty Images

Last week, Rick Springfield received the 2018 Beatrice Stern Media Award from Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services for raising awareness about depression and mental health issues. The Erasing the Stigma Leadership Awards ceremony was held April 26 at the Beverly Hills Hilton and his best buddy (and funny guy) Doug Davidson introduced him.

RS gave a very touching acceptance speech (I keep checking YouTube to see if it’s posted there yet so I can share it, but so far I’ve only seen it on the Facebook fan pages where fans were kind to share the video).

Basically he said that he wrote about his depression in his autobiography not because of any altruistic aspirations, but because it’s such a big part of who he is. He said it was news to him that it was news to people that successful people could be depressed.

He started his talk with his dark humor: “When I was 16, if I knew that I was getting an award for being depressed, it might have made me think before I tried to hang myself.”

He spoke about his struggle with depression in 1985, after achieving great success and fame, and how he realized that those couldn’t heal what was going on inside him. As his longtime fans know, he took time off from his career to go into therapy to deal with his demons, although they never went away. He mentioned his dark episode last year where he contemplated suicide and how channeling his depression into creative pursuits helped him get through it (as well as meditation and the support of his family).

He said that so many people suffer from depression and he was there to help any kids who may be struggling with it. And he concluded by saying that if his mom was still here, he’d give the award to her.

I’m guessing there were many teary eyes in the room (and watching the video on the Facebook fan page.) His honesty, humor, humbleness and compassion really shone through. It always amazes me that somebody who has experienced so much darkness in his life has brought so much light to other’s lives.

One reason his story is so inspirational is because it proves that you never know how things will turn out. Just because one chapter of your life seems hopeless doesn’t mean things won’t improve a few pages later. When you learn about all the ups and downs of RS’s life and career, there are so many different ways things might have gone. And that’s true for all of us.

One never knows the impact their life has on others. For example, what if he decided to not return to his musical career in the late 1990s? Then there would be nine less Rick Springfield albums in the world and the impact that those songs have had on people never would have existed.

By talking about his depression, he helps others who are struggling with similar challenges. This has a huge impact on their lives and the lives of the people in their lives. It’s a giant ripple effect, and we all play a part in these powerful ripples.

Here’s an interview from last week, in advance of the award presentation.

For information about suicide prevention, visit the Didi Hirsch website.

More subtle than posters on the wall

If anyone peeked into my teenage bedroom, they would know beyond a doubt that I was a Rick Springfield fan. His face was plastered all over my walls and his music was likely playing from my stereo speakers (my stereo had a record player AND a cassette player, which I guess would now be considered vintage).

But although my walls are no longer covered with pictures of Rick Springfield (my husband wouldn’t appreciate that), I realized this morning that there are still signs around the house that show I’m a fan.

On the top off a bookshelf in our office is the original location of RS memories, with the signed “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet” album and a framed pic of RS from the first time I met him (on the day of the release of “Karma” in 1999.) It’s a little dusty up there (sorry RS), so I guess I’ll call that my dusty Springfield shelf. (Ha ha.) Tucked into the frame of the picture are two guitar pics that I got at concerts in October 2015 and March 2016. These items sit on the shelf with a menorah my husband’s grandfather made, a vase from my wedding reception, a cuckoo clock from my parent’s house and a glass lamp shade my husband’s aunt made. And a little violin sculpture, not sure where that came from.

Rick Springfield on top of shelf

Another shelf in the office contains my RS items from the past few years since I started this blog (except for the “Tao” cassette, which is another “vintage” item from my high school days and the signed “Karma” CD, which I got on the day I met RS in the picture above.)

This collection includes CDs, a CD stand (which was my “Santa’s gift” from Rick Springfield Official Merchandise last year), a copy of handwritten lyrics of “Carry Me Away” and “Everybody’s Girl” (my extremely treasured “Santa’s gift” from the previous year), a signed RS pic from one of the fan giveaways and my treasured “Rick Fit” winnings, which includes a signed “Speak to the Sky” record and a signed “medal.”

Rick Springfield on book shelf

(Full disclosure: I moved the “Late, Late at Night” book from a different bookshelf for the sake of this picture.) On the shelf underneath is the manila envelope with those mysterious photos I found last year and an envelope with the lyric booklet from “The Snake King.” I have a couple of DVDs somewhere, too.

Downstairs there are only a couple of clues, the “Working Class Dog” tumbler currently sitting on the counter (my Mother’s Day gift to myself last year, on the 35th anniversary of WCD) and a magnet on the fridge from last year’s RS birthday campaign.

Rick Springfield magnet

My RS treasures from high school, which includes all my posters and my RS scrapbook, are all at my dad’s house, but you can see them in this post: “Where it all began.” They are no longer on the walls of my former bedroom (my former bedroom is now my dad’s office) but are in a desk drawer in the guest room, the same desk I had in high school, which would also probably considered vintage by now, too.