All’s right in the world

Well, the headline isn’t altogether true because there are many horrible things going on in the world right now, but I’m referring to the RS world. He was back in Syracuse last night – on stage, where he should be, and not in a courtroom.

This great article on syracuse.com sums it up:  …Rick Springfield makes good on a promise. And here’s the review of the concert: “Rick Springfield roars at NYS Fair, thanks fans for supporting his butt.”

He’s back on tour, playing two of his new songs along with his hits, and thoughtful fans are posting videos of him singing the new songs at recent shows, so all is good. Whether you’re seeing RS in concert, watching his new movie, listening to his music or not doing anything RS-related at all, have a happy weekend, everyone.

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Same place-3 years, 2 months, 1 week and 6 days later

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Today, Rick Springfield posted this picture of himself standing in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

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Me in almost the same spot, a few years earlier.  Missed him by 3 years, 2 months, 1 week and 6 days.

Rick Springfield posted a picture on his Facebook page today of him standing in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

So I found my photo, standing almost in the same exact spot, 3 years, 2 months, 1 week and 6 days earlier (on a rainy day).

Cool, right?

His picture looks much cooler than mine though.

OK, I need some sleep.

Yes, so much more than ‘Jessie’s Girl’

There was a great article circulating online this week, which basically said what Rick Springfield fans have known for years, he’s really talented and there’s so much more to him than “Jessie’s Girl” and “General Hospital.” In fact, he’s been quite busy over the past 33 years. It could have used a better headline though, because “Beyond ‘Jessie’s Girl’: Why Rick Springfield was Better, and Way More Popular, Than You Think” kind of makes it sound like he died.

Fortunately he’s still alive (and kickin’) and I’m glad these accolades are being bestowed upon him now. Sadly, all too often artists are publicly appreciated after they are no longer alive.

There are three musicians in particular that I only became aware of right after they died.

1. Elvis Presley: I remember sitting on my parents’ bed when a report came on the television that Elvis Presley had died. My parents stopped what they were doing to watch the report and seemed shocked and I clearly remember asking, “Who is Elvis Presley?” (Don’t judge, I was young – I had just turned 8).

2. Stevie Ray Vaughn: I remember hearing one of his songs on the radio and thinking, “This is a great song,” and then the deejay came on reporting the guitarist’s death in a helicopter crash. I don’t recall hearing his songs before and all of a sudden they were frequently being played on the radio in his memory.

3. Amy Winehouse: I vaguely knew who she was but didn’t know much about her. After hearing about her death, I watched some of her videos and was amazed at her talent and wished I would have known about her earlier. I also read several articles about her that were written before she died – it was so sad that the press was so cruel to her when she was alive and expressed appreciation for her work only after it was too late for her to be comforted by it.

It’s unfortunate that too often we don’t express appreciation for people – celebrities or people in our own life – until it’s too late to let them know.

Hmmm.. I didn’t intend for this post to end on such a low note, sorry! If only they’d thought of a better headline. But since it’s a nice article about RS, I’ll publish this post anyway.

Happy birthday, Rick Springfield – 33×2

As I mentioned last year at this time, Aug. 23 is an international holiday to Rick Springfield fans around the world.

Since junior high, I’ve always thought “That’s Rick Springfield’s birthday!” any time I hear the date Aug. 23. And last year and this year, I’ve marked the occasion by listening to all night Springfield Saturday Night Specials – hours and hours of Rick Springfield music – first by Rowdy Ron then followed by Mark Davis, who is in Melbourne (That original demo for “Jessie’s Girl” was especially cool, Mr. Davis).

So, now Rick Springfield is 66 years old! And still rocking, acting, writing. Many people see age 65 as a time to retire from their career and RS seems to be going as strong as ever, trying and succeeding at new things each year. Pretty incredible!

There’s also something really cool about RS and the number 66, that I just realized. 66 is 33×2 and it’s been 33 years since 1982 when he was 33 and hit it big with “Jessie’s Girl” (and gained millions of new admirers who continue to be fans today) and now here he is 33 years later at age 66, having an extremely successful year in music, movies and TV, a “renaissance,” as some may say. I’m not really sure what the significance of these numbers are, but it feels significant.

Happy birthday, RS!! And thanks for live-streaming parts of your Hershey concert on your Facebook page (especially your new song “Down” – what a nice surprise – can’t wait to hear the new “Rocket Science” album in January!).

(Update: A funny little note regarding the 33×2 mention above – he posted on his FB page today that he’s touring in a tour bus for this current tour – for the first time since the ’80s. See, history is repeating itself. Only for the good stuff, though, I hope.)

(Another update, as of Aug. 24: The video of “Down” seems to have been removed from the Facebook page. Big bummer, since I was still trying to decipher all the lyrics, but it was still great to hear it. It just means I may be singing the wrong lyrics for a few months, which is probably also what I am doing with “Walking In.”)

Wonderful interview on the eve of a 66th birthday

One cool thing about a decades-long career like Rick Springfield’s is when he gets an opportunity to reflect on his life up to this point. And he has had quite a life. It would make a great memoir. Oh wait, it was (and maybe there will be a sequel to that someday, which would be awesome).

He shares many reflections about his life in a wonderful recent interview in Australia: “Rick Springfield: On learning the craft of acting, wanting to be a rock star and living with depression.” A very touching, insightful interview. I love that he is so honest and open about his life. I think by doing that, he has helped so many people.

Happy birthday, RS, hope you have a wonderful birthday weekend, thanks for sharing so much of yourself with others.

(On another birthday note, Rowdy Ron will have another one of his Saturday Night Springfield Specials in honor of RS’s birthday – Saturday, Aug 22 starting at 8 p.m. EST at rowdyron.com.) The previous Saturday Night Springfield Special, in December, was more than seven hours long. Yes, seven hours straight of Rick Springfield’s music. Freaking awesome!)

(And one more birthday note: The Rick Springfield Birthday Campaign has raised more than $7,500 so far. Click here to donate to great causes in honor of RS’s birthday. And who knows, maybe you’ll win the grand prize of dinner with RS!)

Rick Springfield by osmosis

I’ve been writing this blog for about a year now and while I enjoy writing it and hope that other RS fans enjoy it, I don’t really share it very much with people in my everyday life because, well, maybe because I realize it can sound a little obsessive at times and with all my other obligations, I’m not too sure they would understand why I devote so much time to it.

So a few people I know are aware of my RS crush but besides maybe talking about it too much with those truly near and dear to me, it doesn’t come up very often. But lately something’s changed.

AARP Table of Contents: Aug-Sept. 2015 issue

AARP Table of Contents: Aug-Sept. 2015 issue

One of my co-workers brought me her AARP magazine because she saw Rick Springfield in it. My sister admitted that when she recently flew into town for a visit, she found herself looking around for RS at the airport because she thought maybe if she saw him, she would invite him to dinner to surprise me.

Then she went on a date to a restaurant that had a wall covered with cassette tapes and texted me the following picture:

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Two funny notes about this picture, taken in a Phoenix restaurant: 1. In high school, a girl in my guitar class traded me any Rick Springfield posters in her magazines for the Alex Van Halen pictures in mine and 2. Quarterflash was the opening act for my first RS concert (see the two cassette tapes right under the RS tape). Kinda funny.

A few weeks ago I convinced someone who loves music and dogs and suffers from depression to read “Late, Late at Night.” He not only loved it, but it transformed him into a big RS fan who has since spent hours listening to his music/watching live performance videos and is now waiting for him to come to town so he can see him in concert.

And lastly, my dad and his girlfriend went to see “Ricki and the Flash” last weekend and they both enjoyed it.

I guess appreciation for RS’s work is contagious when people are exposed to his talent.

Interviewing in Oz

My fascination with Australia started in third grade when I really wanted to go hug a koala bear. Although I’m not much of a collection person, I did seem to accumulate many koala stuffed animals around that time. I still have never been to Australia but my RS crush continued my fascination with the country (and I enjoyed seeing the beautiful country through Wiggles videos, too, when my kids were younger).

Anyway, RS was recently in Australia to promote “Ricki and the Flash,” which opens there on Aug. 27, so I’ve enjoyed watching some of the promotional interviews there (and listening to the accents). One thing in particular that’s interesting is how the questions differ from the American interviews because of the circumstance – these include his fame in Australia in the 1970s, why he hasn’t toured in Australia since he found success in America and that they forgive him for cancelling last year’s tour because he was filming “Ricki and the Flash.” He also told the interviewers that they are planning to tour in Australia next year. Here are some of my favorite interviews from his recent visit.

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The Fix: “Rick Springfield on his Aussie roots, his ’80s lowpoint and rocking with Meryl Streep in their new movie” (click on photo for interview).

Looks like they are having a good time with this one:

This one is a fun one, too, as you can tell by the title: “That awkward moment when your interview goes way off.”

And here’s another good interview:

In this interview, RS mentions that he just finished a script:

Good stuff, mate!

‘Ricki and the Flash’ and motherhood

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People who follow their passion are often greatly admired. Their dedication is lauded and their ambition applauded. But that’s usually only true if they are successful.

If their efforts are fruitless, however, the response is much different.

For instance, there’s the character of Ricki Rendazzo, played by Meryl Streep in “Ricki and the Flash,” who leaves her husband and young kids to pursue a career as a rock star. Instead of the successful musical career she dreamed of, she sings cover songs in a bar band in Tarzana, California and works as a cashier in a Whole Foods-type of market. If she wasn’t barely surviving on the brink of bankruptcy and was instead a successful singer selling hit records and touring around the country, would it make it acceptable that she left her young kids in order to pursue her dream?

In an interview posted on The Globe and Mail website with the film’s screenwriter Diablo Cody, Cody admitted that the script for ‘Ricki’ is in many ways a projection of her own anxieties as a mother. “Could this be my future?” she asked. “Are my kids going to forgive me for the time I spent away from them because I was passionate about writing movies, or are they going to appreciate it?”

I think that’s a question many working mothers ask. And if a working mother has other interests outside of their workday that they try to fit in between school pick-up and bedtime, is that admirable or poor parenting?

In the last few weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time writing new songs – the lyrics and melodies are what comes most naturally and I can do that while driving or doing things around the house. But the actual music is much more challenging and I don’t have much time to spend practicing guitar or piano, much less try to create something new. I’m fortunate to have a job I’m passionate about – that involves lots of writing – but I still have a strong desire to write songs. So I try to fit it in between work and school schedules, meals and bedtimes, although I feel guilty about it. (What’s with motherhood and guilt?!)

Even now this very moment, at 1 a.m., I feel guilty because my 6-year-old just woke up and walked into the office and wants me to go into his room. Yes, I’m writing a blog post at 1 a.m. because that’s when I often end up having time for non-work writing and still (AT 1 A.M.!!!!) feel guilty about it because the little guy is asking when I’m going to be done.

So can a mom follow her passion without feeling guilty? Is it OK as long as you do it in moderation and attempt to balance it with your parenting duties and not simply forego your obligation altogether like Ricki Rendazzo?

I will have to ponder this another time because guilt won. The little guy just asked me again if I am done yet so I’m signing off now.

What a year

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What a year it has been in Rick Springfield’s life.

Since I began this blog a year ago today, I’ve been following his life pretty closely (online, through social media and interviews, I should probably clarify). At first it was mainly catching up on all the things I missed during the 15 years I hadn’t kept track of his work (got busy with work, getting married, having 3 kids, you know – life). I read his memoir and his novel, listened to his CDs since “Karma,” watched a documentary about him and his fans, caught up on past interviews, watched his guest spots on various TV shows, etc.

When I started writing this blog, it was a way to examine my “crush” on RS and involved going through my diary from junior high and my journals in the years that followed to find details about this crush in those pages. As I continued it, I realized that I really hoped that RS would someday see it so he’d have an idea the kind of impact he’s had on his fans. (Since then, I’ve learned that there are many, many other stories from other fans, too). Going through my journals led me on other personal journeys that I won’t go into detail about here, but this past year of RS sure provided lots of material to write about for this blog!

These include working on a new album, the “butt trial,” concert tours (full-band and Stripped Down, which I was fortunate enough to see both and meet him briefly afterward both times), his Club Med fan trip, Country Music Awards skit, “True Detective” and “Ricki and the Flash.”

Because I just can’t resist a good year-end countdown (maybe a result of listening to Casey Kasem’s Top 40 every weekend during my formative years?), here is a list of the 10 blog posts (out of nearly 100) that received the most views this past year (not counting the home page, which had the most views):

10: New songs for the new year

9: One in a million – back on tour

8: What a new RS album means

7: Muse musing

6: VIDEO: My Rick Springfield Crush Revival and Rickamania (TIE)

5: Yes, it’s makeup. (a True Detective-related post)

4: Questions for RS Stripped Down Tour Q & A

3: A brief crossing of paths (a post about when I met RS this past March)

2: 7 reasons to adore Rick Springfield even more after Syracuse trial

And the post that received the most views this past year is:

1: A new look for Rick Springfield (a True Detective-related post)

Although there wasn’t much interaction from readers, I hope that people enjoyed it – I know I enjoyed writing it! Since the number of views grew from 327 in 2014 (August through December) to more than 2,840 so far this year, obviously the interest in finding out what RS is up to these days has increased with all the work he has done lately. I’m sure the number of people who randomly click on this blog will increase even more in the weeks that follow because of “Ricki and the Flash.”

It’s exciting to see all the wonderful press about RS this past week in relation to the movie and I hope it only continues for this and future projects.

I’m not sure how much more I’ll be writing here – school starts this week and now that my youngest is starting kindergarten, that means homework x3 – and I have some projects that I plan to start working on. But I have two more RS concerts scheduled for the fall so hopefully that means there will be more stories to tell!

Day of RS

It was a big day for Rick Springfield fans. The day before his new movie comes out and he is everywhere. Or more specifically, Today show (really, opening it with Jessie’s Girl?), Live With Kelly & Michael, and The Talk.

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A great way to start my birthday, I might add. It was a year ago today that it was officially announced that Rick Springfield would be in the film and here we are a year later with its release.

On a related birthday note, I went to lunch today and in the restaurant there happened to be pictures on the wall of two others that share my birthday. Kinda cool!

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