Rick’s return

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Rick Springfield at The Wherehouse in the Beverly Center in Los Angeles, on April 13, 1999 – the year his “Karma” CD was released.

Although I wasn’t aware of it at the time, Rick Springfield took some time off after “Rock of Life” and I didn’t hear much about him except for that horrible ATV accident and that he had had a couple of kids. Life got busy and that was that.

At the end of 1998, I learned that Rick Springfield was going to be doing a show in Las Vegas. I lived in Los Angeles at the time so I headed to Vegas to see the show with a friend. My husband also came with a friend – they headed to the strip instead of the show (I stayed with my aunt and uncle, who lived near the casino where the show was, my husband and his friend stayed at the Sahara, which is a little ironic if you fast forward years later to Rick Springfield’s connection with a little girl named in Sahara in Las Vegas). My journal entry at the time: “Went to see Rick Springfield Sat. night. Row H. Ah! Rick was great – very nostalgic and I remembered most of the words!”

Then in 1999, when I heard he had a new CD out – and that he’d be doing a meet and greet at The Wherehouse in the Beverly Center in Los Angeles, not too far from where I lived – I knew I needed to go,

It was Tuesday, April 13. (No, I didn’t commit that to memory, I just dug up my appointment book from that year from a box in the garage.) The description in the book doesn’t go into much detail, it just says:

“MET Rick Springfield! Wendy got us in with the first group – no line. Rick was so nice! And looked so good!”

He signed my new copy of “Karma” (CD) and an old copy of “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet” (record).

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I don’t remember much about the meeting, except that he was really nice, looked very cute and he said he liked the way I spell my name. I still have a framed photo of him from that day on the bookshelf in my office. Not sure if there are other photos – like maybe one of him with me?! (I think I was trying to be respectful of my former husband by not having a photo of me with another guy displayed on our bookshelf but maybe there’s more photos in one of the boxes in the garage. This was long before digital cameras). I don’t think I said much as my mind tried to process that I was actually standing right next to him. The moment lasted forever but was over in few seconds.

After reading his “Late, Late at Night” memoir, I recently learned that “Karma” represented a spiritual journey for him, and in 1999, the songs really resonated with me because I had spent the last few years on a spiritual journey of my own.

Soon after that brief meeting, I learned that he would be performing in concert near Las Vegas – at Sunset Station in Henderson, very close to where my aunt and uncle lived – and my best friend from high school and I planned a trip to see him in concert (she was one of my friends who camped outside the mall for tickets).

By that time, I had returned to Arizona and my friend and I traveled to Vegas for the Aug. 28, 1999 concert. My appointment book said that we were in the front row by the end of the concert and I got to touch his hand and then met his band afterward but I don’t have any memory of any of that. (This was 15 years ago, you know-most of my memories are written in notebooks or appointment books in boxes in the garage). However, I do remember being surprised at how loud I could still scream and wondered how the children of some of the women who were there would feel if they saw their mom throw her bra on the stage.

Then he came to Celebrity Theater in Phoenix later that year – on Sept. 24 – and we saw him there again. Great shows both times! Both concerts were also surreal – the idea that the rockin’ guy on stage is THE guy who wrote all those songs that I’d been listening to for all those years. Out of everywhere in the whole world we could be or could ever go, we were both together in the same room at the same time. (OK, there were hundreds of other people in the room as well, but still…)

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