Suited for the symphony

I know what I’m about to say is going to sound ridiculous, but after watching some of the videos people posted tonight from Rick Springfield performing with the Oregon Symphony, I feel like I am about to burst with pride.

I’m writing this with tears streaming down my face, especially after watching the video of “My Father’s Chair.” Watching RS perform that with a symphony orchestra and then seeing him turn around and face the photo of his father showing on the screen on the back of the stage…. wow.

After hearing about what he went through last year and all the dark emotions and feelings that came out in “The Snake King,” it was incredible to see him performing all of those songs with his band and the symphony and looking like he was enjoying himself so much. I couldn’t help but think that if he had succumbed to his darkness last year that none of this would have happened or the cruise or… anything else.

So although I’m just one of thousands of RS fans sitting on the sidelines and observing the past four years of his life through my smartphone and computer screen, I just want to shout out “I’m so proud of you, RS! Way to go!”

He also performed one of my favorite RS songs from the 1980s: “Souls” (thanks to rsandus for posting these videos!)

Another classic:

From the newest CD, “The Snake King”:

And also this Beatles song:

Karma release: 19 years ago today

Since it’s now after midnight, it’s now April 13, which means its been 19 years since the “Karma” release date (which means that 19 years ago today I met RS for the first time).

cropped-rs3.jpg

This is what I wrote in my journal that day:

When it was my turn, I told him how it was great to meet him. I’ve been a fan for a long time. He said he could tell (I brought “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet” to sign). I said I’ve been a fan for 25 years. Then I said, I mean 18 and he said, “It’ll be 25 before you know it.”

Well, he was right and now it’s been 37 years. So maybe that’s why I was a little emotional tonight – he’s been a huge part of my life for so many years (although there were gaps of time I lost track of his career) and tonight’s performance felt like another important milestone for him. Plus he was wearing a suit, like he used to in the 1980s, so it may have also been a weird, subconscious reaction to that.

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Going through concert withdrawals

It’s been about 14 months since I was at a Rick Springfield concert and I think I’m going through some withdrawal symptoms because I had a dream about him last night.

I was at some kind of event and he was at the other end of a really long table playing a song. When he got up to leave, I got up to follow him to see if I could say hello but he was walking away really quickly. When he was playing, he was his current self, but when he was rushing out of the room, he looked like his 1980s self.

I’m not sure how to interpret that, but it did make me realize how long it’s been since I’ve had any interaction with my favorite rock star. Just two days ago it was the three-year anniversary of when I met him outside the Fox Theatre venue in Tucson after a Stripped Down show. (I wrote about that here and here.)

At the last show I was at – in July 2016 – I took a selfie with him after the show, but it happened so quickly that it almost seems like it didn’t happen at all.

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View from the end of the stage in July 2016.

However, although it’s been so long since I was at a show, he’s often on my mind. I’m at a current point in my life right now where the life experiences he’s shared are a huge source of inspiration. Maybe it’s my own version of a mid-life crisis, but I feel like I’ve reached a point where I need to make a big change, but I’m not sure yet what it is. Last year I made some big decisions in my professional life that I’m still adjusting to, and in the overall scheme of things, things are good, but there’s something eating away at me. Like there’s a choice I should have made or something I should be doing, but I’m not sure what.

Meanwhile I’m just writing and writing (not as much for this blog, but for my own blog and articles and songs) and making progress, but not sure where it’s all going. RS’s advice he’s shared in interviews to “never give up, never give up, never give up” keeps echoing in my mind.

There was recently an announcement that RS will be honored this month by Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services for his candidness in talking about depression. He will receive the 2018 Beatrice Stern Media Award on April 26 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. (An article was in the Morning Sun earlier this week.) Congratulations on this well-deserved honor, RS, thanks for sharing so much with your fans.

As usual, RS is keeping busy. According to his tour schedule, he’s had some time off since the 1980s cruise, except for one show in Florida right after the cruise, so hopefully he’s enjoying some down time with his family and friends. He was quoted in The Epoch Times after seeing a “Shun Yen” performance in Thousand Oaks last night ( those who were concerned with his spiritual side after listening to “The Snake King” might be interested in reading this article.) And tomorrow night he’ll be in Portland performing with the Oregon Symphony. Other April shows will be in Florida then California. (Check out his upcoming shows on rickspringfield.com.)

Since I don’t have any shows on the horizon, I recently amused myself with a page from the Rick Springfield and Us website: Concert Cliff Notes, which goes into great detail (with photos) of the different elements of a Rick Springfield concert, from rose explosions and signature moves to signs fans bring to the show and categories such as “shirtless” “memory lane” and “guitar throws.” Not quite the same as a show, but fun nonetheless.

PSA: Beware of celebrity friend requests

And now for a public service announcement:

Have you received a friend request from a celebrity?

Actor Hugh Jackman recently addressed this in a tweet, noting that it has been brought to his attention that he learned that impostors claiming to be him on social media were asking for personal information and trying to scam people into sending him money.

Oprah Winfrey and Robert Downey, Jr. have also warned their fans of possible scams.

I wanted to mention this here because apparently there are Rick Springfield impostors out there, too, creating fake accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and contacting RS fans. One woman said she had been in contact by one of these scammers for several months before realizing it was a scam once the impostor asked if she could send him money for a private jet plane to pick her up.

Other fans have been approached by a scam artist pretending to be RS or a member of his team soliciting charitable donations or VIP concert experiences.

Don’t fall for it! As much as you may be thrilled at the idea that your favorite rock star is contacting you, realize that he’s a busy happily-married guy and with those royalties from “Jessie’s Girl” still rolling in, he doesn’t need to turn to his fans for some extra funds. Save your money for a concert or a meet & greet instead.

beware-social-media-impostors

RS’s official website is rickspringfield.com, his official merch site is rickspringfieldmerch.com and his official social media accounts (notice the blue checkmarks – some of these impostors set up their page to look like the official page) are:

https://www.facebook.com/rickspringfield/

https://www.instagram.com/rickspringfield/

 

 

On the ’80s cruise

What an incredible ’80s cruise! Rick Springfield as the host and a long list of performers, such as Thomas Dolby, Loverboy, Mike+ The Mechanics, Lou Gramm from Foreigner, Terri Nunn from Berlin, Billy Ocean and Tommy Tutone.

I wasn’t actually on the cruise, but I enjoyed it vicariously through videos of those who were there. Many RS fans were on the cruise and shared videos in Facebook fan groups and the fabulous Shantelle Bisson her husband Yannik (former co-star of “High Tide” with RS and star of Canada’s “Murdoch Mysteries”) both shared some great behind-the-scenes videos on Instagram (along with some beside-the-scene views, such as clips of RS concerts from the side of the stage.)

The fact that I was able to watch videos taken by people I don’t know who were in the middle of the ocean is pretty incredible. It’s another one of those things that my 13-year-old self would have been thrilled about back in the 1980s. Back then being a RS fan meant taking babysitting gigs so I could watch MTV and possibly see a RS video or interview (we didn’t have cable at home.) Or I’d walk to the neighborhood Revco drug store to see if the latest issue of Teen Beat, Tiger Beat or 16 magazine was out. (For other examples, see “Rick Springfield fandom in the 1980s vs. today.“)

But sitting home watching a video of my favorite rock star performing on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean the same night it was happening? No way, not in my wildest dreams.

Some of the highlights of the cruise (from my limited view 2,400 miles away) were:

  • The piano bar when RS and Thomas Dolby were playing The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.”
  • The Mark Goodman and RS Q&A session
  • Videos of the band hanging out singing in one of the cabins
  • RS singing “Waiting for a Girl Like You” (watching that brought out my inner teen giddiness, for sure)
  • Watching RS perform so many great songs with all those other talented performers and seeing him have such a great time

I’m sure there were many more highlights from people who were actually there so check out the Facebook fan pages. If I can find any videos to share from YouTube, I’ll post at a later date.

Next year’s lineup looks fun, too, especially the English Beat. I was a big fan in high school and I saw them once in this little bar in Tempe where I danced on the same dance floor as Dave Wakeling. But this year’s cruise, with Rick Springfield as host, would be hard to beat.

I love the 80s

Back to the ’80s

Oh, how I wish I was in Florida preparing to embark on a trip back to that totally tubular time of the 1980s. Yes, the ’80s cruise that we heard about last year starts this weekend, with none other than Rick Springfield as its captain. Or host. Let’s go with captain, he seems to like that:

Human Touch

I never started playing the lottery so I never won and therefore am not going on the cruise, but hopefully some of the lucky fans who are will share some videos.

Tonight RS is performing in Florida and then the ship sets sail on Saturday. Sometimes I feel like I know WAY too much about RS’s life. My brain can only hold so much information and I wonder sometimes if I didn’t know so much RS trivia maybe I’d remember more of my passwords and not have to reset them so often.

There weren’t as many passwords to remember back in the 1980s. In fact, so many things have changed since then. My childhood mall is being redeveloped into an office complex. Toys R Us is closing all its stores. I feel like I’ve reached that age where I spend too much time explaining to my kids how things used to be and talking about things that no longer exist. Although the details are different, it’s a reiteration of my dad’s story about being one of the first families on his block to get a color TV.

Today as we prepared to set out for school drop-off, my car didn’t start. The AAA guy checked the battery, but that was fine, it’s likely my starter. (’80s note: My very first 45 record was “Start Me Up!” by the Rolling Stones). I ended up having to drive my husband to work and passed the Arizona State Fairgrounds where two of my kids sang “Don’t Talk to Strangers” with RS a couple of years ago. (Another ’80s reference, in case you didn’t get it.)

For some reason, today when people call me on my cell phone, I can’t hear them and they can’t hear me. To paraphrase Blondie, “Call me, call me any, anytime” but I won’t be able to hear you.

Despite all these ’80s references, the song that kept going through my head today was “It’s Always Something.”

For that reason, it sounds so fun to get way from all of this and go out on a big boat dedicated to the 1980s and all that great music.

To everyone who is going – have an awesome time. Totally. For sure.

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My bedroom wall in the 1980s.

High school fantasies and beyond

Do the students at Santa Monica High School realize how awesome it is that they will be performing in a concert at their school tonight with Rick Springfield? I bet some of their mothers do.

Tonight is the Greg Coote Concert For The Arts, a fundraiser for the Santa Monica – Malibu Education Foundation that helps support arts programs throughout the district.

According to a recent article in the Santa Monica Daily Press,  the event has a 13-year history working with professional artists. (The event was recently renamed to honor the memory of Greg Coote, a strong supporter of the arts.)

“Students are involved in nearly every aspect of this show. On stage, student choir, orchestra, and band members play and sing with the artists,” said SMMEF Executive Director Linda Greenberg. “Backstage, student technicians assist the professionals with AV and lighting. In the audience, student ushers assist the attendees. A student also designs the concert poster. Hunter Pearson from Malibu High School designed this year’s poster.”

How incredible is that?! Tonight RS will be one of the performers, along with Terri Nunn from the band Berlin (who will also be joining RS on The ’80s Cruise next week.)

The concert will be held in Barnum Hall, a 1,200-seat theater that was built in 1937 and renovated in 2004. Many die-hard Rick Springfield fans likely attended school events in that building back in the 1980s and would have been shocked that their favorite rock star would someday be performing with the school’s students.

Apprenticeships and mentors

I’ve recently been listening to the audiobook version of “Real Artists Don’t Starve” by Jeff Goins on the solo rides of my daily commute for school drop-off and pick-up. One chapter talks about Michelangelo’s apprenticeship under his mentor Domenico Ghirlandalo and about the idea of learning from a master in whatever field you’re interested in going into.

Naturally, listening to this story led to a daydream about studying songwriting from someone I consider a songwriting master – RS. How cool would it be to spend some time in The Black Lagoon (RS’s home studio) to watch the birth of a song? He says he wrote “The Snake King” in one weekend so maybe he could offer songwriting sessions that could culminate in recording a new song. I’ll just send that request out into the universe in the hopes of it materializing someday.

Hey, it could happen. After all, there was probably at least one student sitting in the ’80s Santa Monica High School Barnum Hall wishing she was watching her favorite rock star play on that stage.

Note from the next day: I just found out that Terri Nunn, the lead singer of Berlin who performed at the concert, is an alumna of Santa Monica High School. How cool is that?!

‘The Snake King’ tour – and a new video

Rick Springfield’s “Snake King” tour is now under way – last weekend, the drum skin with the cute chimpanzee from “Rocket Science” came off Jorge’s drum set and was replaced by the cool logo from the cover of “The Snake King.”

And now some songs from “The Snake King” are part of the set list. Here are two videos I found on YouTube from last weekend:

“The Devil That You Know”

“Little Demon”

Recent interviews about ‘The Snake King’

There have also been several interviews lately that divulge more about “The Snake King.”

Guitar World

Rick Springfield on Covering Katy Perry, the “Jessie’s Girl” Strat and His Bluesy New Album, ‘The Snake King’

This one reminded me that I was at the show where he first introduced Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” to the set list. (I’m pretty sure it was the first time because I remember being surprised about it and it seemed others were, too.) The article also mentions again that he wrote “The Snake King” in four or five days and he’s currently working on the sequel to “Magnificent Vibration.” He answers several questions from fans.

Salon

Rick Springfield: From “Jessie’s Girl” to “God, the devil and sexThe pop idol on why hitting it big at 30 was better, learning humility and, of course, “Gary’s Girl.”

This is a great article that focuses on RS’s many accomplishments. (And what a lucky guy this author is – this interview was over “soba noodles and green tea” – aka “in person” rather than over the phone or via email. On second thought, I don’t think I could sit there in front of Rick Springfield and eat noodles, it would be a little awkward. The green tea would probably be OK, though.)

Anyway, there are a lot of interesting details in this article.

Melodicrock.com

Rick Springfield Talks Influences Behind ‘The Snake King‘: Here’s another great RS interview by Melodic Rock. Here we learn more about the influences behind the new CD, as well as learn that he was drunk when he wrote much of it and that the overall theme is “WTF is going on???” (Note: If you are wondering what that means, take a look at today’s news. And by “today” I mean that there’s probably something in the news on any day that will make you say “WTF is going on???”). We also learn about what he would ideally like to do next: “I want to be in a great and creative night time TV series so that touring can be a seasonal thing.”

He is also on the cover of the Melodic Rock Fanzine.

Melodic Rock pic

The Herald Palladium 

Rick Springfield takes blues detour on new album: We’ve come a long way from those preview articles from four years ago that would say things like “80s icon ‘Jessie’s Girl’ soap star singer to play in town next week.” Thank goodness. This article touches upon many of RS’s accomplishments and contains some real substance like about RS’s writing process and details about the new songs.

Myglobalmind.com

This review of “The Snake King” is on an online magazine for hard rock and heavy metal. Do you hear that, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame judges? RS has fans from so many generations and in so many genres. Let’s plan for 2019, OK?

‘The Snake King’ slithers through your speakers like a honky-tonk cocktail consisting of good time boogie-woogie, with a heavy splash of heavenly blues ….. keep rocking n rolling buddy, we are right with ya!

Where to find everything before ‘The Snake King’

I just wanted to take a quick moment to thank the Rick Springfield and Us fan-based website for all things Rick Springfield for adding a link to this blog on the site. It is truly an honor to have a mention there on the comprehensive site of all things Rick Springfield. (Seriously, there is so much about RS on that site, it is so awesome. His music library, lyrics, tour datesTV and film roles, bio of his lifebooks, video footage,  lots and lots of pictures and so much more.) I wonder if RS used the site as a reference when he wrote his autobiography?

I suppose I should also mention the official RS page, too: rickspringfield.com, which has a list of all the upcoming full-band shows, Stripped Down acoustic shows and symphony shows (coming up in Portland and Nashville), as well as next month’s ’80s cruise.

And then there’s the latest news of the evening: Another new video – for “Voodoo House,” which is one of my favorite songs off “The Snake King.” It makes my heart go boom. (See the RS fan site for lyrics if you don’t have a copy of the CD.)

Hey ya, hey ya, ooh.

Aloha, let’s talk about dogs

Let’s take a break from the depressing lyrics and negative world view of “The Snake King” (as close to reality as it may be) for a moment to talk about dogs.

Rick Springfield Hallmark dog show

On Feb. 19, The Hallmark Channel will debut its first American Rescue Dog Show. And the ultimate dog lover Rick Springfield will be a judge. (Although he admits if it was really up to him, every dog will win simply because they’re dogs.) Check out the full interview here. I love how all the women on the show are gushing over him. Generations of women have a Rick Springfield crush. It’s also so cool to see the family photos.

This weekend RS is performing three shows in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ah, the life of a rock star. Hopefully he’ll find some time to relax on the island.

Speaking of Hawaii, RS was on “Hawaii Five-O” in 2011, playing a photographer, another role where his character met an untimely death – what’s up with that?

In other RS news, RS is in this week’s People magazine, “How Rick Springfield reconciles depression & suicidal thoughts with his love for his family.”

Also, Feb. 16 marks the Chinese New Year and this year is the Year of the Dog so it seems like it should be a good year for Rick Springfield.

The aftermath of ‘The Snake King’

Rick Springfield has been busy since the release of “The Snake King” two weeks ago today. He continues his tour tonight after a few weeks of heavy-duty CD promotion. Here are some recent interviews:

On the “Steve Harvey” show:

Here’s a rather intense, in-depth, almost-an-hour-long interview with Rock Cellar TV . This great interview is by author Ken Sharp, a singer-songwriter whose most recent CD features RS on a couple of songs:

And, here he is surprising elevator riders playing in an elevator with Harry Connick, Jr.:

Wouldn’t that be a nice surprise to experience this type of elevator music as you’re headed to work? Once my husband and I rode in an elevator with Siggy (bassist in RS’s band), but that’s really the only cool elevator story I have.

RS visited the Jimmy Kimmel Show to sit in with the band. This didn’t air, but audience members got this treat and now we can see it, too, thanks to YouTube. The band members look like they’re having fun.

There were also some more great reviews, such as this one on maximumvolumemusic.com:

That all might give you the clue that this isn’t the record you might be expecting from a singer at this stage of his career. Expectations be damned it seems to say. This is very clearly a record that Springfield needed to make. And, if like me, you were only aware of Rick Springfield in the very broadest of terms before now, start here. Get yourself in the snake pit, because there is a very real possibility that “The Snake King” is the album of the year so far. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a back catalogue to check out.

A review from hardrockhaven.net says “The Snake King” is “Rick Springfield peeling back the flesh to lay bare his bones and it’s already making its claim as 2018’s best album” and is “going to surprise fans, the critics, pretty much everyone.”

How’s everybody else enjoying “The Snake King”?

I think it’s some of his best work ever and although I haven’t been listening to it on a loop as I did with “Rocket Science” because of its intensity (lately I’ve been in a mindset where I need positive, inspirational Napoleon Hill-esque input), the more I learn about the CD, the more fascinating it is, both lyrically and with his process. He has said in interviews that he basically wrote all the songs in one weekend and then spent time afterward developing them. That’s amazing talent. There are so many dynamics to it: a questioning of faith, the idea that the world has shifted into a primarily evil realm, where is G-d amidst all this evil, what are we doing to our planet, our country’s leadership, etc.

The idea that the songs seem to come from different viewpoints is an interesting one – some songs from the devil, some from a human (RS). The lyrics are incredible and although they are so intense and painful, the music is catchy and I find myself singing certain parts, primarily from “The Voodoo House” and “Blues for the Disillusioned.”

I feel like I’m using the word “intense” a lot in this post, but it’s the word that keeps coming to mind. For those fans who only connect RS to his 1970s or 1980s songs, it will be a shock to the system trying to reconcile their image of RS and what he divulges in this CD. (Though if they read “Late, Late at Night” and “Magnificent Vibration,” it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.)

Since the lyrics are so dark on “The Snake King,” that’s come up in conversation in many of these recent interviews, which has led to much discussion on depression. Specifically RS’s depression and how writing this album was a way to purge so many of those negative emotions that consume him.

It’s gotten me thinking about the flow of darkness and light in the world. There’s a lot of darkness happening with the way people treat each other and animals and the earth, yet there’s so much light, too. When the world gets darker, sometimes it propels people to be more determined to spread the light.

“The Snake King” deals with some difficult topics that may offend some fans, because religion is such a sensitive topic, but RS is an artist who deals with his troubles by writing. By sharing his depressing thoughts, he’s bringing comfort to those who may be experiencing similar feelings, thus spreading light that originated from darkness. And the album’s content is a keen observation, as there are many awful things happening right now. People attacking each other online and in person, crazy weather destroying people’s homes, wars, illness, terrorist attacks, etc. And our government keeps shutting down, that’s not a good sign.

RS could have written “The Snake King” songs then decided not to release them, but he chose to put them out there. As he says in the Ken Sharp interview, he would likely have still been writing music even if he didn’t do it as a career. Fortunately for RS fans, he still chooses to share his creations and the tour continues tonight.

When the game is done, the king and pawn go into the same wood box.