It’s nearly a year since I first “rediscovered” Rick Springfield, after finding an interview on our local public television station with him discussing the recent release of “Magnificent Vibration.” During the interview I learned that he had also written a memoir and released a few CDs and before I knew it, my teenage RS obsession kicked back into full gear – even though I left my teenage years decades ago.
Not long after I listened to the interview, I discovered that RS himself was due to come to town for a concert about a week later. Unfortunately we were going through a difficult time financially and there was no way I could get tickets. I even tried to think of a clever way to sum up my desire to see the concert in a desperate plea for tickets in a 140-character message to his Twitter account. I don’t remember what it was – it wasn’t clever at all – and, feeling rather ridiculous, I quickly deleted both that and my desperate Facebook post. I now know that he never replies to any FB or Twitter posts from anyone (or at least he doesn’t appear to) and I doubt he even handles his accounts, but that didn’t occur to me at the time. (I’ve noticed other fans occasionally do the same thing before a show, which makes me feel a little better that it’s not just me who felt compelled to do that.)
But anyway, I was surprised how painful it was to know he was only a few miles away and I couldn’t go. But I did spend a lot of time over the next few weeks catching up – lots of Googling, watching YouTube videos, listening to and reading interviews, reading his memoir and his novel, and watching the “Affair of the Heart” documentary about him and his fans. Then I just couldn’t contain it anymore – I had to start writing.
First, I put together a blog focused on “Late, Late at Night,” where I compiled as many videos as I could find, divided by the chapters of the book in which RS wrote about the specific song. I did it simply because I searched for the YouTube videos as I was reading it and thought that maybe somebody else would find it useful.
But that wasn’t enough. I had to examine my obsession further and I didn’t want to irritate my husband, friends or acquaintances by talking about it nonstop. So I started this blog, in hopes that others who felt the same way would come across it in their own RS discovery.
But then it turned into something more. As I pulled out boxes of old journals from the garage – and found my diary from 1982, when this obsession started – I not only found more RS content than I anticipated, but I also realized how much songwriting has been a part of my life since high school.
Three months after I started this blog, tickets went on sale for a concert about four months in the future (it fell on what would have been my mom’s 70th birthday). As a result, the blog kind of morphed from looking backward to review my RS memories (which included meeting him once at a music store in 1999) to looking forward in anticipation. Out of all the places in all the years he’s traveled, we would be in the same vicinity. My mission became to have him see this blog.
Why this is, I cannot say for sure. I guess it’s just a need to connect with a person who has had such a big influence on my life. To just have my own personal “hey, thanks” and not just be one “like” in a Facebook post along with thousands of other fans. I knew I wouldn’t be able to be one of his fans who is able to follow him around to multiple shows throughout the year, scoring a seat in the first few rows each time. I’m not sure why it seemed that a few words among trillions floating around in cyberspace might have an impact, but I thought I’d try. I only told a handful of people about the blog since I wasn’t sure what would become of it.
Anyway, all the details are in past blog posts, but I was able to meet him at the March show and give him a little piece of paper with this blog address. And then I met him again in April, when I somewhat incoherently mentioned the blog again when I met him after a second show. I couldn’t bring myself to actually ask if he read it and to this day, I have no idea if he has. I’m sure I’ll scour every lyric in his upcoming CD to see if there’s any reference to it, but I’m not holding my breath. (He did, however, appear to me in a dream and mouth the words, “I saw the blog” to me, so that’s something.)
But despite the uncertainty that my mission has been completed – aka RS seeing this blog – something unexpected came out of writing the blog. When I was going through my journals, I remembered many of the melodies that went along with songs written among the journal pages – even the early ones from the 1980s. I remembered how much I enjoyed writing songs and reading those words brought back memories of those times in my life those songs represented – both the good and the bad.
And earlier this year, I started writing songs again. Although I’ve written lines with melodies here and there through the years, it’s been about 14 years since I’ve written full songs on guitar (back before I had kids – when I actually had hours of uninterrupted time to devote to it). My guitar playing is very rusty and the recordings are far from professional but I’m having so much fun. (You can listen to them here, but please don’t judge them too harshly…I realize they need some work.) I have written seven songs so far this year – the lyrics and the melodies – but the music itself is more of a challenge. (RS, you seem to be in a collaborative mood these days – want to take on a new project?)
I’m not sure how long I’ll continue writing this blog – there have been so many times when I felt like I had nothing else to write about but then two days later an idea popped in my head that I had to get out – but I just wanted to say thank you to RS for another year of inspiration. XO.