RS fans: charity and documentary

Well, I now have one less thing to worry about – I don’t need to give any more thought about what to order if I won the dinner with Rick Springfield.

Yes, the Rick Springfield Birthday Charity Campaign has come to an end for this year, raising a total of $18,566. Great job to those fans who organized it (and thanks for the RS photograph and “Ricky and the Big Birthday Bash” guitar pic!)! The money benefited The Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation and Hoops for Life/Dr. Michael Edwards’ Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Program at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

I actually didn’t spend very much time worrying about what to order for dinner (this was the grand prize), but I admit that it did cross my mind a few times, with worries about food getting stuck in my teeth and spilling his glass of wine. And judging from my past encounters with him, I doubt I’d even be able to speak in complete sentences in his presence. But attending a sound check (another grand prize) would have been very cool. Oh well.

Since he’s on a short break from his tour, there haven’t been any live-stream concerts to watch, but I did come across this great interview on YouTube: an uncut interview from The Daily Buzz from Oct. 3, 2011 – four years and five days ago – when he was helping to promote the “An Affair of the Heart” documentary about his relationship with his fans.  Since it’s the uncut version, it means that although the “Who is Jessie’s Girl?” question did come up, there was plenty of time for other questions, too.

How many other rock stars inspire their fans to raise money for charity in lieu of birthday gifts and make a documentary about them?

A well-traveled rock star

In many interviews I’ve read over the years, a common response when musicians are asked about their experiences about touring the world is that they actually don’t get to see very much of it because of their hectic schedules. This always struck me as a missed opportunity, which is why it’s so much fun to see how Rick Springfield fits in some touristy stuff during his tour – and shares it with his fans.

This past week looked especially fun, as he toured the Oklahoma City Zoo before playing a concert there. He wasn’t afraid to get messy – while holding a canvas as an elephant “painted” it (a birthday present, according to the tweet from the zoo – he sure does get lots of mileage from his birthday, as it was a month ago, but hey, why not?) – and didn’t mind getting seal-y (kissed by a seal).

He also got to give a shower to a baby elephant and feed a Galapogos turtle at the zoo. Recent posts on his Facebook page also show photographs of the Bethlehem Steel Mill in Pennsylvania, Times Square in New York City (don’t those people notice that Rick Springfield is standing just a few feet away?!), a gondola ride in Venice, Italy, the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, and a Titanic Exhibit in Branson, Mo.

Plus he takes time to meet his fans before his shows during the sound checks and afterward at meet and greets. Here’s a rock star that uses his time well! Thanks, RS, for sharing your travels with us!

Rick Springfield fandom in the 1980s vs. today

Here are some memories from being a teenage Rick Springfield fan in the 1980s:

tiger beat-1

Checking the magazine stand at the neighborhood drugstore to see if the current issue of Tiger Beat, 16 Magazine or Bop was there so I could add another Rick Springfield poster to my wall.

Taking numerous babysitting jobs for families who had cable so I could watch MTV once the kids were in bed in hopes that a Rick Springfield video would come on.

Camping out overnight in line at the local mall with friends to buy tickets for a Rick Springfield concert.

Locking my bedroom door with a “Taping” sign taped outside then listening to Casey Kasem’s Top 40 countdown with a microphone plugged into a cassette tape recorder, ready to tape certain songs off the radio.

Hoping to meet RS after the concert, waiting for a glimpse after the house lights come on but after watching “Live and Kickin'” realizing that he was likely whisked away in a limo right after the encore and feeling incredibly disappointed.

Being a Rick Springfield fan in 2014:

Finding videos and interviews online that I can watch at home whenever I want.

Finding many RS songs from his past 17 albums online and listen to them at any time; and usually finding the lyrics, too.

Waiting for concert tickets to go on sale then buy them at my computer the second they go on sale and print them out – with the whole process taking less than five minutes.

Having the opportunity to purchase a sound check pass before the show or a meet and greet opportunity after the show.

Keeping up with his life on a daily basis – at least his touring/acting life – through Facebook, Twitter and online interviews.

Being a Rick Springfield fan in 2015:

Watching him perform live in concert at a venue across the country nearly every night of his tour – both through a live-stream on his Facebook page and through concert-attendees’ phones via Periscope.

What’s next?

How about a 3D live-stream concert?

Lyrics to Down (maybe)

When I listen to a song, it’s typically the lyrics that determine whether or not it becomes meaningful to me. It’s that perfect mix of a catchy tune and meaningful lyrics that really make me connect with a song.

So, after I watched a video of Rick Springfield’s new song, “Down,” I became a little obsessed with trying to figure out the lyrics, listening to it over and over again. “Light This Party Up,” his other new song, is catchy but it just didn’t strike me the same way as “Down” did.

Some of the words seem to change in the various live versions of “Down” that I’ve heard so I keep updating this post with each new video I see. I guess we won’t know for sure until the CD is released in January, but here’s what they sound like to me. (Hey, RS, maybe one of those lyric videos would help?)

Although I wouldn’t put too much credence to this, as I do have a history of mishearing lyrics, below is what the lyrics sound like to me. (For months when I was a kid, I couldn’t figure out why The Police would sing about staring in their cereal, hearing “Whee, I stare in my, my cereal” instead of “We are spirits in the material world.” Not sure what I was thinking, but hey, Google didn’t exist at the time for reference and maybe the reception on the car’s am radio was fuzzy.)

Feel free to comment if you think the words are something different – thanks! So, without further ado, here’s what I think the lyrics might be:

Lyrics to “Down” (maybe)

You’ve been down to the river and back (in black?)
Feeling like you’re drowning again
It’s as real as a heart attack
There like a mountain you stand
Your body keeps remembering when
But your soul keeps fading to black
And I know that you’re hurt, you’re betrayed inside
I want to be there when our worlds collide

I’m never gonna let you down
I want to be the one who stands his ground
I want to be that man

So low, you never felt so broken
You’re dreaming when you try to pretend
But you’ll run and you’ll never look back
Baby, life is hope, it’s a beautiful thing
Give me some rope and I’ll make you a swing for the little girl in you

I’m never gonna let you down
I want to be the one who stands his ground
I want to be that man

Yeah, hell-bent or heaven-bound
I’m walking on holy ground
I’m never gonna put you down

Here nobody leaves without a scar
The deepest cuts will make you who you are

I’m never gonna let you down
I want to be the one who stands his ground
I want to be that man

Either hell-bent or heaven-bound
I’m walking on holy ground
I’m never gonna let you down
I’m never gonna let
I’m never gonna let you
No, I’m never gonna let you down.

Update on Dec. 18. The official audio track was released today so now you can judge for yourself. I made a few corrections above and there are still some I’m not 100 percent about, but I think you get the idea.


Going to the fair, and bringing the boys

Got tickets today for the Rick Springfield concert at the Arizona State Fair. I sat at the computer with the cursor pointed over the “purchase tickets here” button and clicked as soon as the clock turned 10.

Got third row, the best seats ever!

I planned to go with my husband but after hearing my older sons singing RS songs around the house the past few days, we decided that it would be fun to also bring them. That’s the great thing about a concert at the fair – concert tickets are so pricey these days that I wouldn’t have considered buying tickets for them at a regular show (plus I wouldn’t be able to afford these seats at a regular show) so it’s a great opportunity to bring them to their first Rick Springfield concert. (Actually, it’ll be their first rock concert – they are 7 and 9).

If it was anybody else, I would have just gone with the “free with fair admission” option but, well, obviously, I had to go for the $20 reserved seats. (Did I mention it’s in the THIRD row?)  I’m really excited for my husband to see the show, too. He came with me to the Stripped Down show in Tucson earlier this year, but because he plays guitar and really enjoys hearing live music, I know he’ll have a blast at this one, too.

The funny thing is, before this show was announced, I had splurged a little for another show because I didn’t think he’d be coming back to Arizona for a third time this year. I bought tickets for the Vegas show and made arrangements to go with my cousin (who lives there). We always have a great time together and she remembers when my walls were covered with RS posters so I’m thrilled to bring her to her first RS show.

So about two days after I splurged on the concert tickets (not third row, but in the second section) and plane tickets, the free concert at the fair a few miles from my house was announced – the show is five days before the one in Vegas. That means two concerts in one week. Oh well, guess I will just have to live with that. 🙂

A beautiful tribute to a RS fan

Today was permeated with sadness as our country remembered the horrific morning 14 years ago. As I read about tributes and recollections in memory of that day, it was a reminder how much the world has changed since the second before the plane crashed into the first tower.

Long before Facebook and Twitter, Rick Springfield fans connected through various email lists. I was not a part of this as it was during the years where I had not followed RS’s career, but I’ve witnessed the camaraderie that RS fans had in those days by following today’s fan pages.

One of these fans was Marni Pont O’Doherty, a 31-year-old who worked as an investment banker on the 89th floor of 2 World Trade Center, who entertained her fellow fans with her stories and fantasies about RS. In a tribute to her, her RS friends have compiled her various emails and stories on a site dedicated to her memory, Remembering Marni. She was a wonderful writer and her stories are so fun to read, such as “The day Marni met Rick” and “Marni’s Party.” (I’m sure that she would have been thrilled that RS mentioned her in his autobiography).  It’s so nice that her fellow fans put this site together.

It’s also so heartbreaking that her last post was written only about a half hour before the second plane crashed into the building.

Fact checker: Mayhem/Rocket Science

This is a courtesy post for those reporters out there who interviewed Rick Springfield a few weeks ago but are running the articles now in preparation for his upcoming concert in your city. His new album, previously referred to as “Mayhem” is now being called “Rocket Science,” and although his fans wish it was still coming out in October, the latest is that it will be released in January 2016.

(Oh, and if you get the opportunity to see the concert, you should go – he puts on a great show.)

Update : At the Phoenix concert on Oct. 21, RS said his new album will be out in February 2016.

A matter of time

Everyone is given the same amount of hours in each day, yet the various ways people choose to spend them is fascinating.

For instance, if your workdays kept you busy from the afternoon until late at night with people constantly demanding things from you the whole time and as soon as you finished, you had to travel somewhere else for the next day’s work, I imagine you’d be pretty exhausted after a few days of this and ready to take a few days off to unwind, even if you love your job.

RS in Venice, Italy

Rick Springfield attends the Jury And Jonathan Demme Cocktail Party during the 72nd Venice Film Festival at Albergo Quattro Fontane on Sept. 8, 2015 in Venice, Italy. (Source: Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images Europe)

That’s why I was amazed to find out that when RS had three days off during a two-month concert tour, he left from his Sunday night concert in Charlotte, North Carolina to travel to Venice, Italy to spend a day and a half promoting “Ricki and the Flash” then turned right back around for a Thursday night show in Chicago. And this is at an age when many people his age are welcoming their retirement years. But I imagine that many people half his age aren’t even half as productive as he is.

(During interviews, when reporters inquire about his intense work schedule, he has attributed it to being a result of having ADHD and has said that he likes to keep busy because it helps ward off his depression.)

Next week is the Jewish New Year, a time that involves a great deal of introspection, as one reflects upon the past year and thinks about what changes they’d like to make in their lives in the upcoming year. Although it’s a joyous time, spent with family and friends and eating lots of good food, it’s also a somber time. So this is the frame of mind I’ve been in the past few days and pondering how one spends one’s precious time fits right in.

OK, but before I go off in a totally different direction, I will try to focus here, as it’s getting late. I just wanted to mention another way that RS is so inspiring. In his memoir, “Late, Late at Night,” he writes about his time in “the burbs” in Glendale, California in the late 1970s when his fourth attempt to make a record falls through and he decides to sculpt figures of aliens and tries to sell them at swap meets, contemplates becoming a priest and hangs out with chickens in his Glendale backyard. And his breakthrough song “Jessie’s Girl” came about when he had decided that if his musical career wouldn’t work out, maybe he’d become a stained glass artist (and then wrote “Jessie’s Girl” about a girl in the class).

And then, finally, when he became extremely successful, he realized that the success hadn’t made him happy and he walked away from it all in the late 1980s. In his book, he writes about all the highs and lows during his career and although it probably never occurred to him as he was going through all these challenges that someday he would share them with others and, as a result, it would help them get through their own challenging times, it’s fortunate he chose to be so honest. By sharing all these highs and lows, he provided hope to those who are on the low end, by showing that paths can shift direction at any moment.

Concert tour via Periscope

All technology has the potential to be used in amazing ways or horrible ways and so far my only glimpse of Periscope has been great. I only discovered it a couple of days ago – two Rick Springfield concerts ago, to be precise.

I noticed a tweet that contained the words “Rick Springfield concert” and “Periscope” and had to explore further. Not being terribly technology-savvy, I hadn’t heard of Periscope before but soon discovered that it is Twitter’s new video-streaming platform.

Basically, it allows you to use your phone to broadcast video and audio from wherever you are to any viewers following your broadcast. So for the purposes of this blog, it means that a fellow RS fan can go to a concert, shoot a video with their phone and all the RS fans from around the world can tune into the concert as it is happening.

Pretty amazing, right? No more waiting until later that night or even the next day to see if anybody posted a concert video on Facebook or YouTube. The Periscope app also allows for a live discussion and feedback, as well as sharing on Twitter.

After the broadcast ends, it can be replayed for up to 24 hours and then it is erased. (But it can still be saved to your phone and shared on social media later.) The video quality isn’t great – at least on my phone – but hey, it’s better than nothing.

Here’s a helpful article that explains it in more detail.

Of course the other aspect of Periscope continues the “little brother is watching” (see this post) creepiness that social media can bring, but if we all just keep it civil, it could be lots of fun.

Update: The Rick Springfield Facebook page also recently started a live stream of concerts so check that out, too. Sometimes the view is better.