One in a million – back on tour

Now that the personal injury case is over, RS is back in warmer temperatures – and in the studio working on his next album. A much better place for him to be!

RS spoke to Judge Cristina Perez about the case this week and it was interesting to hear his take on it.  I especially liked this quote: “It’s about justice and the truth in the end and hopefully that generally wins.”

He also posted a video on YouTube bringing his fans into the studio for a minute or so – that was fun to watch!

As he heads back on tour this weekend, RS fans are anxious to see whether or not he’ll resume the “Human Touch” portion of the show, going out into the audience at his concerts. As his Arizona concert gets closer, I’m definitely curious, too. (Although I’m not sure that he actually makes it out to the 30th row so it may not even be an issue).

But I have been thinking a lot about that feeling before a RS concert – about the possibility of being in the right place at the right time and meeting him. After one concert back in high school, me and my friends headed toward a tour bus afterward – before our parents picked us up – but it was Quarterflash inside.

How many of the thousands of fans who attend his shows – not counting the ones who purchase Meet-and-Greet packages – are embracing the hope that they may cross paths with him when he’s in town?

I’ve been thinking about that all week and this is the result:

One in a million

They feel like they know you
From all that you’ve shared
Devoted for decades
They’ve shown that they care

To them you’re one in a million
The brightest star in the sky
A light in the darkness
A muse in their life

You fly in for the evening
By the next day you’re gone
Fueling fantasy
With a touch or a song

A snapshot to capture
Memories intertwined
Reality merged
With a touch of divine

To you they’re one of a million
A face in the crowd
A blur in the spotlight
In an indistinct town

A voice in the roar
As the star takes the stage
Internal illusions
Dissolve in the haze

One in a million
The brightest star in the sky
Flashes through the evening
Then disappears in the night.

Update: I finally recorded this song – written on piano (July 12, 2015). Here it is:

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7 reasons to adore Rick Springfield even more after Syracuse trial

2015 has been a busy year so far for RS – he started it on the west coast recording a new album and within two weeks was on the other side of the country in single-digit temperatures to testify in a ridiculous case because somebody accused him of knocking her out with his rear end at a concert at a state fair more than a decade ago.

Really, what some people will do to be in a room with Rick Springfield. Or for the money.

Because of the awesome live tweets from reporters Sarah Moses and Chris Baker from syracuse.com, RS fans got to follow along with the trial as it was happening. SarahBeth Ackerman from CNYCentral.com also provided some good coverage. Because of the absurdity of the lawsuit, most of the media reports seemed like material from The Onion or a “Saturday Night Live” skit.

Here are some reasons why RS’s time in court cemented his fans adoration of him even more (at least my reasons why).

1. He’s got class. You can tell a great deal about a person from how they deal with adversity. He handled himself so well despite having to deal with such ridiculousness. He even stopped to take photos with fans in the courthouse hallway upon their request.

2. His awesome sense of humor.

“My butt’s never received so much attention.”

“Springfield said it’s common for women at his concerts to ‘grab my butt if they’re feeling a little saucy.’ ”

His photobomb of a reporter’s report after the verdict was read.

3. He showed his sensitive side. When talking about his connection with his fans, he teared up and said, “I get emotional sometimes.”

4. He’s no wuss – he stood up to the plaintiff’s lawyer when the attorney was getting out of hand. And he stands up for what he believes in.

5. He looks so cute all dressed up. Not that we mind seeing the shirtless concert pics but he sure does look dapper in a suit and tie.

6. He has depth. Sure, he was forced to sit in a courtroom and talk about his butt all week– a main piece of evidence was a snapshot of his rear end and media coverage during the week of the trial consisted of all kind of butt-related headlines – but what did he appear to be reading on his laptop as he sat waiting for the trial to begin? A story about Charlie Hebdo. So despite having to spend the day talking about his butt and how women have been groping it during concerts for 20 years, he knows that there are more important stories out there and follows them.

In an article on syracruse.com after the verdict, he sums it up so nicely: “Our lives are incredibly limited and we shouldn’t be wasting them over doing things like this.”

7. He’s so thoughtful. The newspaper reports on the first day of trial made him see a little “emotional” about the whole ordeal (see #3 above) and he looked kinda sad in some of the shots. Perhaps he sensed that his fans would be concerned. After court was adjourned for the day, he tweeted a photo from outside the courthouse that showed the snow on the ground with this note: “There are still beautiful sunset moments. But it is 3 frigging degrees in New York state right now Xo”

(Even his tweets are poetic, he should tweet more.)

Now that this trial is behind him (sorry, couldn’t resist…), on to a better and brighter 2015. See you in March! XO

Coincidence?

I’m reading this new book called “Small Miracles from Beyond: Dreams, Visions and Signs that Link Us to the Other Side”  –  the newest book by the authors of the “Small Miracles” series – so I’m currently on the lookout for “coincidences” in everyday life.

I experienced one today that could be merely the result of an overactive imagination or just plain irrelevant but it was peculiar nonetheless.

I’m co-chairing an event coming up that has a 1970s theme – it’s going to be a 1970s party – and we had a meeting this morning discussing different 1970s topics. Then tonight I was checking my Twitter feed and saw that Rick Springfield (or his social media rep) posted a photo this morning of a young RS merely labeled “1974.”

When I first saw the photo, I wondered what the significance was. Is it the anniversary of something? There aren’t usually many photos on his Twitter page and the ones that are posted are usually current ones. And it’s Sunday – not Throwback Thursday or Flashback Friday. So what is it?

I did a Google image search to see what information I could find about the photo and – surprisingly because there are LOTS of RS photos all over the Internet – there were no others of this image posted. Then I noticed the time the photo was posted. It was at the same exact time I was sitting in my meeting discussing the 1970s!

(cue “Twilight Zone” music).

Seriously, isn’t that a little weird?

Meanings of songs

Listening to songs can often magically transport you back to a different time in your life. Whether it is the lyrics of a particular song and how it resonates in your mind or just the song itself reflecting a certain time in your life, it’s a powerful thing.

For instance, when I hear fifties music, I think of car rides with my Dad since he would often listen to that music as we were driving. When I listen to eighties music, it reminds me of high school.

When my kids were a little younger, we went through the “children’s music” phase – primarily Raffi and The Wiggles. I embraced it because I saw how much the boys enjoyed it and I knew it was for a limited time. (I probably shouldn’t admit it, but I actually enjoyed The Wiggles – we even took the boys to see them in concert more than once, including the Farewell tour with Greg right before Jeff and Murray retired and to see Greg back in the group kinda felt like a Beatles reunion, kiddie-style).

Anyway, since then, we’ve introduced the kids to music that we enjoyed pre-kids (starting with The Beatles, of course). But since I’ve been listening to “Venus in Overdrive” and “Songs for the End of the World” in the car these past few months, it’s become a whole different level of sharing.

It’s been a really cool experience. I’ve always really enjoyed Rick Springfield’s lyrics and it’s fun to see how they respond to them, too. We discuss what the songs mean (sometimes with me relating details RS shared in interviews and sometimes about what I think it means). It’s also been somewhat educational.

History: When “3 Warning Shots” came on during a carpool ride after school the other day, my 8-year-old turned to his 9-year-old fellow passenger and said, “This song is about the man who shot John Lennon.”

Vocabulary: My 6-year-old: “Mommy, what does oblivious mean?”

Spelling: D-E-P-R-A-V-I-T-Y

Science: After this line from “One Passenger” –  “Why you’d change a worm into a butterfly”  – my 4-year-old said, “Actually, worms don’t turn into butterflies, caterpillars turn into butterflies.”

We’ve also discussed the songs about Sahara and they know she was a young girl who was friends with RS and how sad he was when she died. They wanted to know how she met him and whether they would get to be friends with RS, too.

Sometimes I play the “My Precious Little One” CD in the evenings when I’m trying to get them to settle down before bed (my 6-year-old recently asked why RS doesn’t scream in any of those songs) and they especially like “Don’t Keep the Sandman Waiting.”

I often hear them singing RS songs around the house (sometimes with completely different lyrics). They also like to point out when RS has said a bad word, which hopefully the carpool kids don’t repeat, and if I turn down the volume to discuss anything, they remind me to “turn it back up.”

I can appreciate that.

What a new RS album means

I can’t explain my reaction to the photo on Rick Springfield’s Facebook page today – it made me feel so happy that I felt like I could possibly burst from the happiness.

I’m not even sure why. Yes, I’m looking forward to hearing his new songs. Yes, he and his bandmates looked like they were having a fun time. Yes, I was glad to see that he cut his hair and shaved his beard. But it must have been more than that.

Maybe it was my inner teenager that was just ready to burst out. If social media had been around when I was in high school, I may have never gotten anything else done.

That immediacy is just so addictive. Not only did RS fans learn yesterday that he was in the studio rehearsing for a new album but we learned about it the same week it was happening (and not weeks or months later after the new record was released). There is even a video of RS with his songwriting partner Matt Bissonette from three days ago, the first day of rehearsals.

(As I was writing this I had to watch the video again and then got a little distracted by another video I hadn’t seen before – thank you, YouTube teasers. It was a fun video though, a KTLA Google+Hangout promoting “Songs for the End of the World” so it kind fits with the theme of this post.)

So anyway, where was I?

Ah yes, what does a new RS album mean?

More new songs! More insight into what he’s been experiencing since his last album. And just the fun of anticipating the new album (in addition to the new movie, new book and concert).

It seems as one gets older, there’s less to anticipate. When you’re a kid, there’s a long list of things to anticipate – driving, turning 18, turning 21, the possibilities of who you may become and who you may meet. But then you reach an age when you realize how fragile everything is and just become really grateful for what you already have. The more you learn about all the things that could go wrong, the more you appreciate all the things that go right and are apprehensive to wish for more. Kinda depressing but also kinda true, at least for me, especially after having kids.

So the opportunity to experience this anticipation is actually a huge blessing (which I am grateful to be experiencing).

In fact, I found scientific evidence for this reaction – it is the dopamine, according to this 2011 article on medicalnewstoday.com:

“Experiencing and even anticipating thrilling music releases the neurotransmitter dopamine, a “pleasure” chemical in the brain that is linked to tangible rewards like food, drugs and sex, said scientists from Canada who measured dopamine response to music and found the more “chills” or “frisson” the music elicits, even in the anticipation phase, the more dopamine is released…”

“And, [the researchers] added, it also shows that the anticipation of an “abstract reward” (music is not considered a tangible reward like food or sex), can release dopamine in a different anatomical pathway to that which is triggered at the peak of actually experiencing the pleasurable reward.”

That explains a great deal, actually.

And now we have an answer – a new RS album means a whole lot more dopamine will be released into the world.

Flashback to 1999 concert

I noticed a box on the top shelf in the garage marked “Notebooks” and found one of my notebooks from 1999, in which I wrote about the Sunset Station concert in Vegas that year. I went with my best friend from high school, who I will be going to the concert with this year in March.

Here’s what I wrote about the concert:

“Sunset Station around 8. Woman let us in right away, no standing in line. Rainbow wristband, front section.”

[Then I drew a little diagram of the stage, with three areas marked. 1, 2 and “10th row – started here.”]

“After show started, tried 1 but speakers were RIGHT there and it was TOO loud. So went to 2 which was in the middle of stage (aisle). Worked way to front by middle of concert.”

During Human Touch: “For about 2 split seconds, I held both of his hands in mine. Woo!”

“Only pissed off one chick while making my way to the front. She stood stiffly with her elbows in my sides. But woman with big hairspray-smelling long curly hair stood in front of me so I had to lean to the left. Tore a leaf off a bouquet he threw but shared with Beth and another girl who couldn’t reach.

After concert, waited a bit but no “meet and greet” announcement (missed him at Tower Records earlier in day).

In casino, his band was hanging out where we were – near craps tables. Told Beth that my friend Wendy said she knew Dave (guitar player). Had a couple beers so we went up to him and I asked him if he knew her. He said the name sounded familiar. I described her and he mentioned her working with [name of other musician here]. Yep. Then he gave me his phone number to give to her and said I and Beth could also call him. I got the phone number of Rick Springfield’s guitarist! Wow! Tim Pierce played also – his guitarist from the 80s (hadn’t played together in 15 years). Walked by him in the band and said good show.”

Back to today:

What?!! I had the phone number for Rick Springfield’s guitarist?!  Well, I never called and as far as I know, I no longer have the piece of the leaf either. And I guess I should feel bad for moving my way to the front but sorry, I would probably do it again if I had the chance to be that close to the stage and have another two seconds…

Is that wrong?

New songs for the new year

Yesterday on Rick Springfield’s Facebook fan page, there was a photograph of RS and his band in the studio with the caption “Rehearsing for the next record.” Needless to say, the post received a number of likes – more than 4,700 so far – and more than 200 shares and comments. The announcement gave RS fans another dose of anticipation for the upcoming year – so far we’re looking forward to the release of his next movie, “Ricki and the Flash”; the sequel to his best-selling novel, “Magnificent Vibration”; his episodes on “True Detective” (for those with HBO); and upcoming concerts for both full-band tours and “Stripped Down” tours. And now more new songs!

So in the spirit of new songs for the new year, I’m going to share my first song of the year – not anticipated by anybody but I’m going to share nonetheless.

It’s called “Holes in the Wall.”
 
There are holes in the wall
Hidden underneath the pictures
I can’t answer when you call
There’s a shortage in the fixture
The lawn is overgrown
And the floor’s in need of sweeping
But I can’t get out of bed
I only feel like sleeping
 
The sun is shining brightly
But it’s icy cold outside
There’s a nail in the tire
That prevents me from a ride
The volume’s all turned up
But the mute button is blinking
It appears that we are floating
But it feels like we are sinking
 
There are holes in the wall
Hidden underneath the pictures
I can’t read the tiny scrawl
Scribbled among all the splinters
The pantry is empty
And the wall’s in need of painting
But I can’t get out of bed
So I’ll just lie here waiting
 
That may be light inside the tunnel
But it’s just too dark to see
Can’t tell if it’s salvation
Or a train headed toward me
It’s dark although it’s morning
Because the sun has yet to rise
So you don’t notice the new day
When you open up your eyes
 
There are holes in the wall
Hidden underneath the pictures
I can’t answer when you call
There’s a shortage in the fixture
The lawn is overgrown
And the floor’s in need of sweeping
I’ll try getting out of bed
Though I only feel like sleeping.
 
© 2015

NOTE: Hello from six months after this post was written – June 18. I finally recorded this song (a very rough version) – here it is: