A devilish rock star role

About a year ago at this time, we were waiting for the premiere of “Ricki of the Flash,” in which Rick Springfield played Greg, a nice aging rocker who played in a bar band with his girlfriend (played by Meryl Streep). Yesterday, it was announced that RS is filming another aging rocker role – but one very different from Greg.

In the TV series “Supernatural,” he is going to be Vince Vincente, an aging rock star trying to make a comeback and whose body provides a vessel for Lucifer. I’ve never watched “Supernatural” and hadn’t even heard of it until last week, so I can’t explain what that means, but I’m sure RS will do a great job. He also played an out-of-control aging rock star in “Drop Dead Diva” in 2014;  in 2009, he played a narcissistic rock star version of himself on “Californication”; and in 2007 he played rock star Eli Love on “General Hospital.” And of course, his role of Jamie Roberts in his 1984 film debut, “Hard to Hold.” Sometime this year, the film “Traces” is supposed to come out, where he’ll play Carl, a record store owner. Not sure if Carl was a rock star before he opened the record store. (He also played a very creepy non-rock star, Dr. Irving Pitlor on “True Detective” in 2015.)

In the tweets following the announcement of this “Supernatural” role, some tweeters tweeted about whether RS would now sing “Jessie’s Girl” at future comic-cons.

There always seems to be a “Jessie’s Girl” comment no matter what RS does. But it did make me realize that RS would actually be a great guest at a comic-con because if that was something he’d be interested in, he certainly would be qualified. His 1970s credits include “Wonder Woman,” “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “The Incredible Hulk” and “Battlestar Galactica.” He was even a cartoon in “Mission Magic!” and “Family Guy.”

The list of his acting credits is long (check out his IMDb credits to see for yourself, if you’re not aware of all his acting work; there are many non-rocker roles and he has also done musical theater.)

So just as he’s much more than “Jessie’s Girl” in his musical career, he’s more than Dr. Noah Drake in his acting career. And in addition to his musical and acting accomplishments, there’s also his bestselling books – his memoir “Late, Late at Night” and his novel, “Magnificent Vibration.”

In real life, RS is more of an ageless rock star. With a new album that came out earlier this year (“Rocket Science”), the new film scheduled to come out sometime this year (“Traces”), a national tour (with both full-band shows and solo shows) and now this TV show (“Supernatural”), this rock star sure has a lot going on.

Here are other sources that highlight his acting roles:

rickspringfield.us

weloverickspringfield.com

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Birthday season

Similar to the idea that Christmas decorations start making an appearance in stores around Halloween, Rick Springfield’s birthday season has begun, although his birthday is more than a month away (Aug. 23).

At a concert last week, a round of “Happy Birthday” was an unofficial part of the set list and dedicated fans have kicked off The 2016 Rick Springfield Birthday Charity Campaign.

His fans started raising money for charity back in 2007 – generated by his return to “General Hospital” that year that had a fundraising component  tied to the show. Over the years, it has morphed into an annual birthday campaign – since 2007, the effort has raised over $80,000 for charity.

Last year’s campaign raised $18,666.

The fans raise money for a charity of RS’s choice – he has requested that people donate to charity rather than spend money on gifts for him. This year’s charity is the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation, which provides a safe haven for the animals it rescues. And as any RS fan knows, he loves dogs. So, in a sense, this fundraiser helps him carry out his early aspirations of being a veterinarian because money given in his honor is helping so many dogs.

The fan-driven campaign officially began on July 15 and continues through Sept. 3 (although if I recall correctly, there were still rounds of “Happy Birthday” sang at October shows last year.)

All donations will receive raffle tickets and this year’s grand prize is “Rockin’ with Rick,” a soundcheck for two. There are other prizes, too, donated by fans. For entry rules and prize information, visit happybirthdayrick.com.

And what is the birthday boy up to as he reaches retirement-age-plus 2? He seems to be making up for the time he took off back in the 1980s/1990s and doesn’t appear to be slowing down at all. He’s currently on a summer tour and doing some filming for an acting gig. (Update on July 24: It was confirmed today that RS will appear as rock star Vince Vincente/Lucifer on the “Supernatural” TV series.) Probably doing some writing during his travel time, too.

He’s received some nice press on his current tour, a nice change from the “‘Jessie’s Girl’ singer is coming to town” headlines that seemed much more prevalent two years ago when I started this blog. Check out this beautiful blog post on The Huffington Post written by a mom/longtime fan: Celebrating Youth: 9 Year Old Boy With Autism Rocks Out on Drums, While Rick Springfield Leads the Crowd in Singing Happy Birthday to His 7 Year Old Sister. The blog post includes a video of this sweet encounter.

He also received some press about his appearance in Cleveland earlier this week, a charity concert held at the same time as the Republican National Convention. Rather than spew any political opinions, he simply performed a hit-filled, high-energy concert and wore a T-shirt that said, “Not an endorsement.” A wise move, I thought.

Since I don’t have any concerts lined up for the RS birthday season, I’ll just extend my birthday greetings here (yes, my 13-year-old self that generates this blog sometimes pretends that RS actually reads it): Happy birthday! Your fans are glad you’re alive and we appreciate all the joy you bring to the world!

 

 

33 years since ‘Living in Oz’?!

Living in Oz

My bedroom door in 1983.

Hearing that today marks 33 years since “Living in Oz” was released made me feel really nostalgic. Thirty-three years?! That’s how old Rick Springfield was in 1983 when the album came out (the month before his 34th birthday). And when I say album, I mean an actual record album. And do you notice the cassette tape cover on the promotion poster?

And if he was 33 that year, that means I was 13. Thirteen!!! How can that be 33 years ago?! It’s still one of my favorite RS albums and “Souls” is one of my all-time favorite RS songs.

On the upside, who would have guessed that 33 years (33 YEARS!!!) after I taped this poster on my 13-year-old self’s bedroom door that I would be writing this blog post – nevermind the fact that none of us had ever heard of a blog at that time – 10 days after I saw that guy on the poster perform “Affair of the Heart” and “Human Touch” live during his summer bus tour (along with new music)? 

That’s pretty cool.

 

On Hollywood Boulevard 

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Two years, two months and six days ago, Rick Springfield finally got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and I finally got to see it today.

Fortunately it is a little off the beaten path – in front of the Live Nation building instead of Groman’s Chinese Theatre or the Hard Rock Cafe, where there were more crowds and less room to take photos (and more stains on the sidewalk).

Here’s a flashback to that day, during the official ceremony:

Summer tour rolls on

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RS and team are off on their summer tour and I was fortunate to see one of their first shows on the tour – at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix this past weekend.

I had plans with my family for earlier in the evening so when my friend and I got inside, The Romantics were finishing their last song. Part of the delay had to do with all the roads closed off downtown for a civil rights protest and the parking garage being on the other side of the closed roads. At one point, the protesters were facing us as we turned down one street. Fortunately the demonstration was still peaceful at that time.

I hadn’t told my friend – who I went to a RS concert with last year, as well as a few times in high school and during the Karma tour – where our tickets were so it was fun to surprise her as we got directed to the second row. It was also fun to meet a fellow fan that I had chatted with on Facebook before – coincidentally our seats were right next to each other.

It was a great show with a wonderful view – toward the end we made our way to an empty spot directly in front of the stage – and I even got two seconds of the human touch, a quick tap on my fingers as he walked by. I forgot to reset the settings on my phone for concert conditions and most of my photos and videos are blurry so I won’t bother posting them here.

Afterward, my friend and I hung out outside for awhile catching up. We’ve known each other more than 30 years and although our schedules don’t allow us to get together much, we always have a great time together. It was very quiet outside the theater with no sign of the earlier protests, but with a quick check on our phones, we saw that about a mile or so away, the demonstration was no longer peaceful. Police were in riot gear and there were reports of tear gas being used on the demonstrators who were trying to close down the freeway. It was sad to hear that as we were enjoying our concert inside, anger and  hatred was manifesting into violence not too far away. I had hoped that it would remain a peaceful demonstration and am grateful to those officers who prevented it from getting any worse.

In fact, with all the anger and hate manifesting in violence all around the world these days, music is such a refuge from it all, as are movies, TV shows and other forms of entertainment. I’m grateful to all of those performers who add love and laughter to the world or else it would be too overwhelming.

That being said, I sometimes feel a bit shallow spending so much time writing a fan blog, when there are so many other things going on in the world, but I guess this is my little refuge for now.

Anyway, back to the evening of the show. Despite believing I can just leave one of his concerts without at least trying to run into RS afterward, I failed again. My friend and I ended up hanging out awhile and once he came out, I – along with about 20 or so other people – approached him and I was able to get a quick selfie with him. There was no time to say anything besides, “Can I have a picture?” and I ended up feeling a little guilty because it was late and he probably just wanted to get inside his bus, have a glass of red wine and go to sleep.

It occurred to me afterward that RS gets his picture taken with so many people during his tours and he has no idea what is going on in the person’s head. Whether it’s “Oh cool, I’m getting my picture taken with Dr. Noah Drake,” “Wow, I can’t believe this is the guy who sings ‘Jessie’s Girl,'” “Wow, I had posters of this guy all over my walls in high school and now I’m meeting him!” “This is the person whose music got me through so many difficult times in my life” or people who have read every line of his autobiography, watched/heard numerous interviews with him and know more about him than they probably know about anybody else in their own life. (Or whether they’ve spent the past two years blogging about him – ha ha.)

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There are probably some ways he can determine the different levels of fan-ness, such as those who bring album covers to sign or other artifacts from his career. Or when he casually mentions during a show that peanut butter stops his hiccups and somebody in the front row hands him a little package of peanut butter (yes, that happened at the Phoenix show.)

Fortunately he seems to recognize that his fans may not be able to express their feelings and appreciation for him when they’re standing right in front of him and he’s still gracious to them.

Wishing RS and his band and crew a wonderful – and safe – tour!

 

Way, way, way back Wednesday

Somebody posted this video on Facebook and I just wanted to post this here because it’s from the recording of one of my very favorite Rick Springfield songs – “Believe in Me” off of the 1973 “Comic Book Heroes.”

For some reason, these lines always get to me:

“And if I get to be a star, or maybe nowhere near that far
I know that either way, it doesn’t matter much to her…”

Probably because he wrote them in his 20s before he became really successful in the U.S. and there’s something really cool about hearing this perspective years after he achieved stardom. I was probably around 13 or so when I heard “Comic Book Heroes” for the first time (years after it came out -I was around 4 years old or so when this video was filmed… yikes) and CBH is still one of my favorites.

So thanks to rsandus for posting! (By the way, if you are not familiar with the rickspringfield.us website, you should really check it out – the fan-based site is celebrating its 15th anniversary and is an amazing resource for all things RS.)

The show must go on, with or without lemons

As I read the reviews of SummerFest show on July 2 in Ketterling, Ohio, two phrases got stuck in my head: “The show must go on” and “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

RS has exemplified the first phrase many times – he’s often put on amazing shows even when sick – and it’s rare that he cancels a show (he had to cancel one last week on doctor’s orders and occasionally the weather doesn’t cooperate). But this past Saturday night, two members of his band and his sound guy didn’t make it to the show on time – due to flight delays and cancellations and plane malfunctions, totaling more than 30 hours in travel time – but did he let his fans down?

Noooo! He started out with an acoustic set – a taste of his Stripped Down tour, apparently – and then the bassist from one of the other bands playing that night – Night Ranger’s Jack Blades – came to help out. Since he didn’t know RS songs, they played songs they both knew – and rocked the place, by all accounts – then when the band showed up 30 minutes before the noise ordinance kicked in – they jammed through the hits and finished up by the curfew. (For more details about the show, check out this review and this great recap video).

This shows what a pro he is at this rock-star role. I wonder how many of today’s artists would be able to pull off doing an unexpected show like this.

Anyway, as far as the lemons go, I’m sure the travel delays and late luggage (photos from that night’s concert show RS wearing a “Rocket Science” T-shirt sold at the merchandise table) weren’t much fun for those involved, the willingness to improvise and go on with the show – and still give an amazing performance – won him some new fans, according to some of the Facebook posts I read.

(And that’s why the phrase “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” came to mind, in case that wasn’t clear.) Kind of like the origin of the song “Down,” off the new “Rocket Science” album  – written with Jay DeMarcus of the Rascal Flatts after an ice storm caused planes to be grounded and so RS ended up catching a ride back to Nashville on DeMarcus’s tour bus and it was during this ride that they wrote the song.

Since everyone’s life has its share of lemons, I thought this past weekend’s show was a nice reminder that unexpected challenges can sometimes bring unexpected sweetness.

Reliving the ’80s in 2016

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Rick Springfield rocked on the new ABC series “Greatest Hits” last night! For anyone who has seen him live in concert lately, that was no surprise. What a great idea for a show, it was lots of fun to watch. (In case you missed it, you can see it here.)

In addition to the nostalgic feeling of the show – hearing all those familiar tunes and the intro with all the 1980s clips from TV shows and movies – it was also nostalgic to have that feeling of watching something fun along with so many people from across the country. I rarely watch live TV and seeing the tweets and Facebook posts about a show I was also watching reminded me of the days when you went to school the next day and everyone was talking about the same show. Back in the days before hashtags, when there were only a few channels to choose from so the chances of that happening were much more likely.

It also reminded me how much technology has changed since the 1980s – in addition to the tweeting and Facebook posts. I tried to turn on the TV downstairs, but the TV is hooked up through the Xbox and I couldn’t figure out how to switch it to live TV. Then I couldn’t find the remote control upstairs and for some reason the TV was on a Spanish station and I couldn’t change the channel without the remote so I was frantically looking for the remote as the clocked ticked closer to 8 p.m.

But in the end, it all worked out and I got to watch it along with all those other ’80s fans out there.

And it was cool to know that my favorite rock star from the ’80s is still making music today and I get to see him perform live next week!