Where it all began

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I’ve been wondering lately how to conclude this blog. After all, I can’t go on writing about my Rick Springfield crush forever, right? Today I think I found a good way to do this.

I was at my dad’s house today – the house where I grew up – and I decided to check in his backyard shed to see if there was any Rick Springfield memorabilia from my childhood there. And there was! I don’t know why I didn’t think of checking there earlier, I guess I just assumed it got thrown out at some point.

Let’s just say that I understand now why one of my aunts once expressed concern to my mom about my Rick Springfield obsession. I guess I was a little obsessed. Not only did I find a big pile of the posters that covered my walls throughout my junior high and high school years, but I found scrapbooks filled with articles and pictures that I clipped from teen magazines, fan club letters (I had forgotten that “Hard to Hold” was originally called “Forever One,” which I remembered after finding a letter showing that I joined the “Forever One” fan club, too), concert ticket stubs and even a “How Well Do You Know Rick Springfield?” quiz that I wrote for a  high school assignment, which involved working in small groups to create a newspaper. I also found a dusty copy of a book titled “Rick Springfield.”

As of today, this blog’s 189 posts (this is #190) have had about 12,500 views since I started it 21 months ago. I know the majority of the hits were from random “Rick Springfield” searches, but for those of you who followed the blog, thank you for reading it and I thought I’d share these super cool findings with you.

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A 1985 newsletter from the RS fan club – announcing the birth of Rick and Barbara’s oldest son, Liam. Also a mention of RS’s nomination for a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He finally got his star on May 9, 2014.

Scrapbook covers

I made two scrapbooks, made from  pieces of construction paper taped together and filled with clippings of articles and photos.

 

 

I thought it would be fun to unfold all the posters and spread them out on the floor of my dad’s living room to see them once again. There were quite a few!

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From this angle, you can kind of imagine how my bedroom walls looked with the posters:

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Then I folded all the posters away and stuck them, along with the rest of the discovered treasures, safely in a drawer in my childhood desk at my dad’s house to look at again another time.

Thank you so much for reading this blog – and thank you to Rick Springfield for all the years of joy and inspiration (hopefully you won’t think I’m too much of a nut after seeing all this). I’ve had so much fun writing it and reconnecting with my inner teen – and this journey to the past has had a significant impact on several aspects of my life.

Thank you also to all the generous RS fans out there for sharing videos and other information. (To new RS fans, check out the “Rick Springfield sites” page on this blog to find sites where you can find nearly everything you’d want to know about Rick Springfield – there are also Facebook fan pages and Twitter accounts that will keep you posted on his latest work.)

Maybe I’ll see you at a future Rick Springfield concert!

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From the audience to the stage

I just watched a video promoting a Paul McCartney concert, where he spoke about why he continues to tour after all these years. It nearly brought me to tears because it was about the connection he feels with the people in the audience during his shows, which of course reminded me of Rick Springfield.

I couldn’t help but think of a young Ricky Springthorpe at The Beatles concert in Australia all those years ago, watching Paul McCartney on that stage and dreaming all his big dreams about someday becoming a successful musician and having people sing along to his songs with the same excitement he felt at The Beatles concert.

And now 50 years later, both of these singer-songwriters are still touring, spreading joy and inspiration with every performance. Because of the longevity of both of their careers, their songs have been woven into our lives, with people all over the world listening to their songs for decades.

For many people my age, a Rick Springfield concert was among one of their first concerts, so it’s also kind of cool that the Beatles were RS’s first concert. What would little Ricky had thought about the fact that when he was in his 60s, he and Paul would both be on tour at the same time and that he would have touched so many lives through his own music? His father would be so proud.

It’s amazing to think that this one teenager screaming in the audience at a Beatles concert in Australia in the 1960s grew up to write hundreds of songs that would be instrumental in the lives of so many people all over the world. And there are likely many future musicians who are in turn inspired by Rick Springfield and will create more music that will inspire others. Music is a beautiful chain that links people to one another throughout generations.

 

Regrets

Today I am regretting my choice of school and occupation.

Why?

The university I attended never had a Rick Springfield concert when I was there and my work never had a gala featuring Rick Springfield  (heck, as of this year we don’t even have health insurance through work anymore and we have to bring our own box of tissues). Nor have I ever attended a conference that featured him in concert.

Tonight he is playing at a private event at a university across the country, which is what led to this post. And occasionally pictures of him performing at company parties or conferences pop up on social media. It would be worse if it was in town and I couldn’t go, but it makes me grumpy anyway.

I think it’s because there haven’t been any announcements of future concerts nearby.  OK, I know I just went to one last month, but I can’t help it, I am having withdrawals.

April 24

Here’s an example of turning a painful experience into something beautiful and the power that music has to connect people and bring solace to those in their time of need. Wishing strength to everyone who is missing a loved one today.

Fan club

I was a proud member of the Rick Springfield Fan Club when I was 13. I had the little record with the scratched in message on the center and whatever else I received as a member (unfortunately all of that is long gone).

But when I found out that there was still a RS fan club in 2014 – when I “rediscovered” Rick Springfield – I didn’t bother joining. After all, I’m friggin’ in my 40s now – who joins a fan club in their 40s? (No disrespect meant to those who are, it just wasn’t really my thing.) Plus from what I gathered, there wasn’t much happening except for pre-sale tickets to shows and I wasn’t financially in the position to do much traveling anyway (still not, but forever hopeful to be someday – but not with anything bad happening to allow me to do so, only good things). So I just followed RS on Facebook, Twitter and the fan pages to get my fill. (And caught up on music and interviews online and read his books and saw him in concert five times.)

But then late last month there was news on a RS Facebook fan page that RS posted a diary entry on the site. What?! What did he say?! I scanned the posts, but people were pretty tight-lipped about it. And then a couple days ago, it happened again.

Well, I couldn’t take it, I had to join. So now, $49.95 later, I just caught up on the past 10 years of entries. There’s so much that I would like to say, but I can’t because it’s supposed to be only for members and it wouldn’t be right to divulge it, but wow, so glad I signed up. I just joined last night, read until about 1 a.m. and finished up today even though I have so much to do in preparation for a Passover seder at our house tomorrow night. All I can say is that it’s like a prequel and sequel for “Late, Late at Night.” Thank you, RS, for sharing so much of yourself and for being so open with your fans.

I noticed that until last month, the last entry was in November 2014, a few months after I started this blog and about a week before I bought tickets to my first RS show in 15 years. There’s something cool about that timing, but I’m not sure exactly what. Hopefully he’ll continue to post diary entries there. It’s so cool that he has this connection with his fans. I really wish I could go to the fan event in November, especially about hearing about how great the past ones have been.

One last thing here – in the spirit of past blog posts, and with the loss of Prince yesterday (my little tribute is here) – I just wanted to get this out in case RS stumbles across this blog someday: Thank you, RS, for sharing so much of yourself with the world, for your great music, your honesty and for the inspiration. XO.

‘Soundtrack of our lives’

“Music is the soundtrack of our lives.” – Dick Clark

I was reminded of this saying when I was listening to the recent “guest DJ” gig that Rick Springfield did for iHeart Radio. So many of these songs brought back memories.

I’m going to apologize in advance because I feel a long blog post coming on. I’ve been feeling very reflective these past few days because my mom’s yahrzeit (anniversary of her death) is next week. A year after she died, I wrote a poem/song that has a melody but no music so I’ve been working on music for it. Plus I’ve been quietly freaking out at the realization that when my birthday comes around this summer, I’ll be only five years away from the age she was when she died (from pancreatic cancer). (UPDATE from April 22: Finished the song, here it is, in case you’re curious.)

ANYWAY, back to the music.

Here is the list of songs on the “Rick Springfield Guest DJ” channel on iHeart Radio (with some of the memories that came to mind when I heard them, to indulge my reflective mood.)

Or you can just click here and listen to the radio show for yourself and disregard the text below. If you listen to it, you get to hear RS’s DJ comments, too, so I recommend it.

Light This Party Up – Rick Springfield – Rocket Science (RSRS): I’m not sure what song this whole DJ gig started on because it’s playing on a loop, so I’ll just start here in the spirit of this song being the first song on Rocket Science. Makes me remember the first time I saw it live after only seeing videos of it from other concerts.

Here Comes the Rain Again – The Eurythmics

Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars: Catchy song, always makes me want to dance. And RS’s comment about living in the ’80s cracks me up.

Down – RSRS: I was so excited to hear this song live after hearing it many times on videos other people posted.

Let’s Dance – David Bowie: “Let’s Dance” was the first David Bowie album I had and this was one of my favorite songs from the album.

Sleep Together – Porcupine Tree

Walking on Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves: During the time it was playing regularly on the radio, it was one of my favorite songs to hear. A happy song.

That One – RSRS: Got to see this live for the first time last month. You can even watch this memory! (It was less blurry in real life.)

Borderline – Madonna: This was one of Madonna’s very first songs and it makes me think of the “Madonna-wannabes” at my high school that dressed like her. The very first song I wrote in high school (song meaning a poem with a melody because none of my “songs” had music at that time) was inspired by this song. It was called “Echo, Heart Echo.”

A Day in the Life – The Beatles: When I was in my 20s and living in L.A., I took an acting class and one of the assignments was to act out a song. This is the one I chose.

Abracadabra – The Steve Miller Band: Another song that was a radio favorite – so fun to sing along to.

The Best Damn Thing – RSRS

It’s Raining Men – Weather Girls

Another Brick in the Wall – Pink Floyd

Miss Mayhem – RSRS

Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’ – Michael Jackson

Roar – Katy Perry 

The Breakup Song – Greg Kihn Band: Another radio song that I’ve always enjoyed singing along to through the years.

Pay it Forward – RSRS

Straight Up – Paula Abdul

Everybody Wants to Rule the World – Tears for Fears: Classic 80s song I always enjoy hearing.

Life in a Northern Town-Dream Academy

Concrete Heart – RSRS: My 5-year-old son’s favorite song from “Rocket Science.” It’s so cute when he randomly starts singing it.

Holiday- Madonna

Human – Human League: I like this song but the band’s song “Don’t You Want Me” was one of my favorite songs in junior high.

Jack & Diane – John Cougar Mellencamp: I remember when I first heard this song I was about 12 years old and when I heard the line “Hold on to 16 as long as you can,” 16 seemed so far off. Then when I heard it when I was 16, I thought, wow now I’m 16, cool. Now, 30 years later, it just makes me feel old. But I still like the song because it reminds me of the time when age 16 was in the future.

Crowded Solitude – RSRS

You’ve Got a Friend – James Taylor: This song stirs up so many summer camp memories, as it was one of those songs that made everyone teary-eyed on the last night of camp. Almost every time I hear it, I start thinking of my fellow counselors from those years (many who I am now “friends” with on Facebook.)

Let’s Go Crazy – Prince: One of my aunt’s – actually the one that got me my diary in 1982 that I wrote about in an earlier post – got married in a park in Long Beach, California, and I remember just about when it was time to say the vows, a guy shouted from his car, “Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life!”  and I think of that every time I hear this song. Sadly, she died just a few weeks ago. Damn cancer again.

Let Me In – RSRS

Walk Like An Egyptian – The Bangles: Another ’80s song to sing along to (and do that King Tut thing with your hands).

All Hands on Deck – RSRS

Earth to Angel – RSRS

You Make My Dreams – Hall and Oates

Butterflies and Hurricanes – Muse: This was the first time I ever heard this song, but the name made me think of a poem I wrote right after our wedding – Bees and Earthquakes.

St. Elmo’s Fire – John Parr: This reminds me of the Brat Pack and all the Brat Pack movies – so much a part of the 1980s.

We Connect – RSRS

Family Snapshot – Peter Gabriel

We Got the Beat – The Gogos: Another classic ’80s song that brings me back to high school.

Found – RSRS: DJ RS shares a little more about the song and its path to what it became. One of my favorites off “Rocket Science.”

All Right Now – Free: At one time this was one of my Dad’s favorite songs and I remember him playing the song over and over again, singing along, on a long car ride.

The Church – Almost With You

Don’t Stop Believing – Journey

I think that was all of them, though I may have missed a few – not sure if new songs are sometimes added because once in awhile I hear a new one that didn’t come up in a previous listen (although I may have just gotten distracted).

I love the idea that music is something that we all share and that songs are part of our collective memory, although the specific memories may be unique. It was fun to see the songs RS picked and to hear what he had to say about them.

Now this looks fun

Five days of Rick Springfield in the Bahamas?! How great is that? And a Beatles tribute band, and Doug Davidson and Terri Nunn (my husband is a fan, so something for him).

Sounds so fun!

Unless a miracle happens, like I sell the screenplay or novel I haven’t written yet or something else wonderful (I wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to be able to afford it), I will have to enjoy it vicariously, like the last one. 

(Funny side note noticed by the hopeful part of me that tries to find signs in things – my 7-year-old son, who sang with RS at a concert last fall, had to give a report today on a song from a movie. He chose “Star Wars,” which is used in this Bahamas trip video that was released today. That has to mean something,  right? Right? Hello? OK, never mind.)

‘Hard to Hold’: 32 years ago

Rick Springfield’s film debut “Hard to Hold” came out 32 years ago today. I’m pretty sure I know what was on my 14-year-old mind that day.

Today we have access to so many interviews via the Internet, but in those days, it was all about the teen magazines. So it was fun to watch this video from 1984:

At that time, it wasn’t surprising that one of the interview questions was whether he would return to “General Hospital.” After all, his 18 months as Dr. Noah Drake propelled him to fame and not much time had passed since he’d left the show in 1983. He probably had no idea that he’d still regularly be asked to answer that same question 30 years later. (Perhaps his return to the show at different times from 2005 to 2013 reignited the question?)

A question that you probably wouldn’t hear today is whether he envisions the music video as he’s writing a song.

Even then he was gracious during an interview; he looks a little bewildered by a couple of the questions.

One question that was noticeably missing was whether there is really a “Jessie’s Girl.” I guess because although the song had reached No. 1 and won a Grammy Award, it hadn’t yet reached the status that it has today. How many times has he been asked THAT question over the years? (5 million and 4 times, according to a recent Talk Stoop interview.)

Although he often still apologizes for the film, there’s no need – he made many 220px-Hard_to_Hold_coverteenage girls very happy. And it had a great soundtrack! (My favorites are “Love Somebody,” “Taxi Dancing,” “Don’t Walk Away” and “Great Lost Art of Conversation.”)

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‘Ricki’ reunion at ‘All the WOO in the World’

There are so many great photos on social media today from last night’s “All the WOO in the World: An All-Star Celebration of Bernie Worrell,” an all-star concert to help raise funds/express appreciation for the musician, who is battling stage-four lung cancer.

Stepping back for a moment from my initial reaction of “Wow, there are so many great photos of Rick Springfield, he’s looking better than ever,” let’s take a moment to reflect on what a great event this was. In addition to the amazing musicians that performed there, these quotes from a “Rolling Stone” article sum it up well:

“This year has been tough — we’ve lost so many great musicians,” Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid told Rolling Stone. “Bernie is facing a serious situation, but he’s determined to make art, to play it out. This will be a great opportunity to recognize and celebrate a person while they’re still here with us.”

“Artists don’t get 401Ks; they don’t get insurance with their record deals; they don’t get a lot of stuff that other people get in corporations, like the people inside the music business get,” notes Nona Hendryx, who is spearheading the April 4th benefit. “I wanted to do something where Bernie could hear people sing his praises while he’s here.”

Such great sentiment, since so often people don’t express their appreciation for others until it’s too late to tell them. When artists are memorialized in the press after their death, I have often wondered if they realized when they were still alive that they were so valued.

The RS connection to this event was that Worrell was the keyboard player in “Ricki and the Flash,” which made this also a mini-reunion, as Meryl Streep and director Jonathon Demme were also there. (Another reason why it was a good thing that he listened to his publicist and flew across the country for the “Ricki and the Flash” audition, right?)

<> at Webster Hall on April 4, 2016 in New York City.

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Click here to learn more about the fund set up to help Bernie Worrell with medical expenses.

Watching QVC at 6 a.m. on a Sunday

Yes, I watched the home-shopping channel QVC at 6 a.m. last Sunday.

Why was I up so early watching demonstrations about indoor/outdoor reversible rugs, a steam cleaner (with three kids and a dog, I REALLY wanted that), a paw print wind chime, a Trolley Dolly On the Go Cart,  a sleep tracker wristband, travel pillows and a Dell laptop?

This is why:

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Yes, right before a demo about a steam iron, Rick Springfield played “Down,” one of his songs off his new CD “Rocket Science.” The song is the official new theme song for the “Sundays with Carolyn & Dan” show on QVC.

The reason I woke up early to watch it rather than record it is because we don’t watch much TV so we don’t have the DVR add-on and I didn’t want to miss it. So I recorded it with my phone instead (as a throwback to when I used to record songs off the radio with a tape recorder, I guess). Here it is, although there’s some weird clicking sound, I’m not sure what that is.

After the performance, he did a live chat and performance on Carolyn Gracie’s (the Carolyn of Carolyn & Dan) Facebook page. (I didn’t record this one, but I found it on YouTube.)

He mentions that he only got a couple hours of sleep the night before. Although he doesn’t mention why in this interview, there were reports on social media that the flight he was on the night before was diverted due to issues with the bathroom. But as if that wasn’t enough, there was reportedly a large group of preteen girls on the plane who recognized him and started singing a few rounds of “Jessie’s Girl.” Some of the girls got their pictures taken with him and on Twitter somebody posted a video clip of them singing “Jessie’s Girl” on the plane.

Awww, is that cute or what?