Paragraph in a library book

One of my favorite places to visit is a library, where I enjoy wandering through the aisles scanning book titles and seeing what captures my attention. I usually end up leaving with a stack of unrelated books of whatever varied topics catch my eye – usually a cookbook or two (though I rarely ever make anything from them), an inspirational book, a memoir and other random topics.

Anyway, a few visits ago I brought home “Congratulations, Who Are You Again? A Memoir” by Harrison Scott Key. It sat on my shelf for a few weeks but once I saw that it was nearly due I thought I would give it a try as it is about the author pursuing his dream of becoming an author and I love a good dream-pursuing memoir.

The reason I am sharing this here is because I just read the following paragraph on Page 121:

You never know when a RS reference will pop up in your life!

Well wishes

Since the New Year kicked off with a cancelled show due to RS testing positive for COVID, just wanted to a post a quick “Get Well soon, RS!” message (and a little message for 2022: “Really? C’mon, we had such high hopes for you, can’t you be more like 2019? This is not a good first impression!”)

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Hopefully he was able to safely get back home to recuperate and that it’s a very mild case that he recovers from quickly (and that nobody else gets sick).

Hopefully 2022 shapes up quickly to bring more positive news (but not more COVID-positive news.)

See ya, 2021

The year of “The Red Locusts,” “Jack Chrome and the Darkness Waltz,” and the 40th anniversary of “Working Class Dog” is coming to an end.

Fortunately it was a year of more un-cancelled shows then cancelled shows, which was a nice change from its predecessor, although it does look like the pandemic isn’t coming to an end any time soon so “World on Fire” (released in January 2021) is still pretty relevant.

Other RS highlights from this past year:

  • “Orchestrating My Life” concert film premiere via a pay-per-view event on Valentine’s Day.
  • Cover of “Love is Gonna Come at Last” on a Badfinger album.
  • RS got to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a DJ when he started the weekly Working Class DJ show on the Sirius XM ’80s on 8 channel.
  • A new Zoot song, “That Was Then.”
  • A return to live concerts, which included “fist-bump” human touches and at least a couple attempts to try “Human Touch” in the audience while wearing a hazmat suit and gloves.
  • An appearance on “Jay Leno’s Garage” along with his Corvette.
  • A virtual AARP concert celebrating the connection between music and brain health.
  • Interviews connected to the release of “Jack Chrome,” a collaboration between RS and Russell Morris, including several interviews with the Australian press,

He also filmed a PSA announcement for CalHope:

This year also marked the seventh year of this blog and to celebrate that, I wrote a new song and made a music video to mark the occasion. In other blog details, this is the 30th post this year, and there have been 7,629 visitors and 11,820 views (with an all-time total of 69,733 hits as of today.)

Some of the search terms that brought people to this site were “Rick Springfield” (duh), “Supernatural word crush,” “Joshua Springthorpe wedding,” “Rick Springfield looks younger,” “Rick Springfield Zoot,” “Red Locusts Rick Springfield” and “Swooning Chimp Snake.” (???!!)

The five most popular posts this year were “Coming soon: The Red Locusts,” “Introducing ‘Jack Chrome and the Darkness Waltz, ‘ “ “Twisted version on Californication,” “Working Class DJ” and “Wedding in Malibu, keynote in St. Louis.”

What can RS fans look forward to in 2022? So far there have been mentions of a “Working Class Dog” 40th-anniversary release, though I’m not sure of the details. I remember seeing something about the band being filmed playing the WCD songs in RS’s home so possibly a video and a CD? RS has also hinted that he’s been writing songs for a new album as well and that it would be more a lighter album then “Jack Chrome.”

Can anyone think of a RS lyric about time passing so quickly that you think something happened this past year but it actually happened last year? If so, that would be good to include here because there were a few things that I thought of would fit here in this retrospection but then discovered that it actually happened in 2020.

Thank you to RS for continuing to share your talents with your fans, thanks to the RS band and crew for going back out on the road to put out great shows and thank you to those fans who share their photos and videos from those shows.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy 2022!

Rick Springfield AARP concert scheduled for Dec. 5

OK, I guess this means we’re officially old. It’s not because Rick Springfield is in the AARP age group, it’s that those who were teenage fans in the 1980s – likely the target demographic of a Dec. 5 AARP concert – are now in the AARP age group.

It shouldn’t come as a big surprise – after all, this year is the 40th anniversary of “Working Class Dog.” So the fact that our teenage heartthrob is performing for what was once known as the American Association of Retired Persons (before the name was shortened to an acronym) shouldn’t be too shocking.

And yet, it is a little.

However, I’m not going to let it get me down. I’m glad I was a teen in the 1980s and didn’t have to deal with social media or the pending arrival of a Metaverse. I’m grateful I made it to the age I am now. Many people didn’t. I’m going to focus on the fact that 40 years after becoming a RS fan, I still get to see him live in concert (even if it’s on a computer screen instead of in person). Hmmm, come to think of it, maybe the Metaverse wouldn’t be too horrible if it meant an RS concert with a virtual “Human Touch.” That would be a silver lining.

So what if songs from my high school years are now on the oldies radio station and the original MTV VJs are featured in an AARP video discussing 80s songs.

Anyway, if you are ready to embrace the AARP connection and accept that you are now part of that demographic (if indeed you are), check out more info about the free virtual concert here or at aarpconcerts.org/rick-springfield.) Membership isn’t required (but you can get some deals on stuff and services as an AARP member – a Black Friday special is a two-year membership for $20, and no this isn’t a sponsored post, just pointing out another silver lining.) There’s a short video (featuring a sleeping Bindi) about the concert on RS’s Facebook page.

The virtual concert performed from his home – is part of AARP’s brain health program called StayingSharp (click here to see a video of RS talking about this in his home studio) and a way to promote the Staying Sharp’s Guide to Music and Brain Health. I was actually interested to learn about this because I feel like I’ve been forgetting things more often lately. But don’t worry, although I may forget what I needed at the grocery store, I still remember song lyrics so I will be able to sing along on Dec. 5.

Working Class VJ

Before Rick Springfield was a Working Class DJ on SiriusXM 80’s on 8, he was a guest VJ on MTV.

I just came across these videos from 1984 and thought I’d share them.

While we’re back in 1984, might as well include this interview with Mark Goodman, an official MTV VJ. (Looks like RS really liked that jacket…)

It’s so cool that the two are friends today and that Mark Goodman has been at some of the RS & Friends trips, and RS mentions him regularly on the Working Class DJ show. I miss ’80s MTV, it was incredible.

In the above video, RS talks about “Hard to Hold,” and mentions that it was originally rated X. I wonder what happened to the clips that ended up on the cutting room floor and what was on them. Fortunately it ended up as PG so my 14-year-old self could watch it.

In case you missed it

“Jack Chrome” is getting some attention in the Australian press:

Here are some recent interviews:

“Death and the Made Men: Russell Morris and Rick Springfield on Becoming Jack Chrome”

Death becomes these veteran musicians”

Remote Collaboration: Rick Springfield discusses his latest album”

The interviews mention the 40th anniversary of “Working Class Dog” and a project related to that (which includes some previously unheard demos), as well as another pop album. Whoo-hoo!

Another piece of good news is that a symphony show is on the schedule – Feb. 16, 2022 in Atlanta. That’s wonderful news and hopefully there will be more of those (perhaps one in Phoenix?!) Seeing the list of shows on the concert calendar is a welcome sight and hopefully we won’t see another round of cancellations.

More on ‘Jack Chrome’: Songs, videos & interviews

If you’re interested in learning more about Rick Springfield’s new album with Russell Morris, “Jack Chrome and the Darkness Waltz,” which celebrates Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Ambition Music Group has put together a playlist of songs videos and interviews.

There’s another RS interview on the album, on ABC Radio Melbourne (click here to listen) where you learn more about his wife’s popular tacos, his new car and memories from Australia, and an interview with Studio 10 in Australia.

Russell Morris also posted about the new album reaching #1 on Australia’s Jazz & Blues charts, #34 on the overall national charts, #14 on iTunes and #6 on the Australian national charts. Good job, mates! See his post here.

In other news, RS and the band had a concert in Redondo Beach last night and “Living in Oz” was on the playlist! It’s so fun to hear some of the older songs live again!

How to listen to ‘Jack Chrome and the Darkness Waltz’ in the U.S.

“Jack Chrome and the Darkness Waltz,” a project by Rick Springfield and Russell Morris, came out today and although at this time it looks like you can only order the album from Australia, it’s available to stream here.

I listened to the album tonight and the music is INCREDIBLE. The album celebrates Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and is definitely dark (think RS’s “The Snake King” from 2018) but I really enjoyed the music. I listened to it about 10 p.m. outside on the patio with a glass of wine and couldn’t help dancing to most of it. (And I realized how much I missed concerts and wanted to be back in an audience enjoying live music with others.)

Since I’ve only listened once so far, I missed a lot of the lyrics, but the music really grabbed me. Songs I especially enjoyed on this first listen were “We Are the Dead,” “Tonight We’ll Be Kings” and “50mg of Hope.” I imagined it as an animated film celebrating the holiday, which is a celebration of life and death. It would be interesting to hear how those who celebrate the holiday feel about the album, as I don’t know much about the holiday.

Enough on my thoughts about the album – go listen to it yourself and see what you think!

A song from the new album: ‘Godforsaken World’

Posted this morning on the Ambition Music Group Facebook page:

A video for one of the songs on “Jack Chrome ad the Darkness Waltz,” from The Morris Springfield Project. (Rick Springfield and Russell Morris): ‘Godforsaken World.’

Here’s what it says about the song on the Facebook post:

Warning: You may need a shot of “Rocket Science”* afterward to go about your day.

“The first song I wrote for the album and I poured all my darkness into it. It talks a bit about the plague we’ve been through. I look at all that’s going on in the world and I wonder, “Where’s God?” I see where evil is, but where’s God?” Rick

Other videos released so far:

Carmelita’s Dance

The Darkness Waltz

The album is scheduled to come out tomorrow (Oct. 15), but I’m not clear how to get it in the U.S. Does anyone know?

* ‘Rocket Science’ is considered to be Rick Springfield’s happiest album.

First glimpses at ‘Jack Chrome’

Russell Morris, who recorded “Jack Chrome and the Darkness Waltz” with Rick Springfield, has been posting clips from the new album on his Facebook page, which I just discovered this morning so I though I’d post them here. Not all the posts have the corresponding video with it, but the track listing is posted here.

A sneak peek of the album (coming out Oct. 15)

“I Am Jack Chrome”: Jack Chrome is the narrator of the album

Heart of God (Corazon de Dios)” – The character of Jack Chrome is looking for God. (RS says it could be somewhat autobiographical as he is also searching.)

Death Drives a Cadillac” – A song about our mortality

Carmelita’s Dance” – A song about Carmelita, a conduit who brings the spiritual world to the real world, brings the loved ones back to their family.

We Are the Dead

Tonight We’ll Be Kings

La Calavera Catrina

Lone Rider

Dancing Bones

Godforsaken World

50mg of Hope

The Darkness Waltz

Note: Russell Morris’ FB page also has pics of dogs and koala bears. : )

Concerts, interviews and ‘Jack Chrome’

To paraphrase The Red Locusts, our life has been turned upside down and it looks like our world is askew. What else can we do but try to make sense of it?

Here we are about 18 months from when the world as we knew it changed and although COVID-19 is still very much affecting things, it is comforting to see some aspects of pre-COVID life returning – like concerts. I haven’t personally been to any yet but have enjoyed seeing pictures and watching videos of recent RS concerts in other cities.

In an attempt to keep people safe, many venues have new guidelines in place, such as requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. Some may also require masks (although that doesn’t seem to be the case in any concert footage I’ve seen). RS fans, who are prone to traveling long distances to see their favorite rocker in concert, have been turned away at the venue for not having the proper paperwork so consider this a public service announcement to check venue requirements before heading to a show.

With touring comes the occasional pre-show interview including this one in Florida Today: “Q&A with singer/songwriter Rick Springfield: ‘I love what I do.’ No “Was there really a’ Jessie’s Girl’?” in this article – thank goodness. Instead it covers the music business, songwriting technique and a look at what’s next.

Here’s a recent review as well: “Buck Hill Concert Series heats up the slopes in Burnsville, Minnesota, September 21, 2021,” in All Music Magazine.

I don’t think Buck Hill and its patrons were truly ready for the headliner of the night, Australian-born singer, songwriter, author, and actor Rick Springfield. Looking suave and dressed in all black he commanded the stage when the lights came on. Just one month younger than my own mother, at age 72, Rick Springfield is still rocking like he’s 22.

Cat Parker, All Music Magazine

The review also mentions members of the band, which is nice, as it’s also been great seeing them all back on stage as well. The writer also spoke to a few fans. Plus there are a lot of great concert pics!

Thanks to all the fans who have shared concert pics and videos on social media!

Can you believe it’s already almost October? It seems like we were just celebrating the arrival of 2021 and the end of 2020 (little did we know that 2021 wouldn’t look much different then its predecessor.) The arrival of October means that it’s almost the arrival of “Jack Chrome and the Darkness Waltz,” a collaboration between RS and Russell Morris, an Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist. The new album is centered around “Day of the Dead” and is scheduled to be released on Oct. 15.

From jbhifi.com: “This is Russell Morris and Rick Springfield like you’ve never heard them before. They have come together to create Jack Chrome & The Darkness Waltz, an album that celebrates Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with the narrator, Jack Chrome, leading the listener through a compelling song cycle about life and death.”

“After losing parents and grandparents, I’ve always loved the concept of day of the dead,” Russell explains. “It’s all about celebrating life and bringing those spirits back.”

“Russ is the happy one,” Rick smiles. “He brought a lot of the positive songs to the project, whereas mine get pretty dark.”

jbhifi.com

Also from the article: “Russell and Rick first recorded together 50 years ago, when Rick played on Russell’s debut album, Bloodstone. Rick later appeared on Van Diemen’s Land, but this is the first time the good friends have made an entire album together. Ultimately, this album is a celebration of life.”

Sounds intriguing, I look forward to hearing it! Here’s a little teaser: