Because the year ended on such a sad note, I wasn’t going to do a 2016 recap, but since RS ended the year with a live performance (at a private party at a Hard Rock in Florida), and because it really was a productive RS year, I thought I’d go ahead and do one anyway.
So here’s a recap on the year of the “Human Touch“:
Touring: RS continued to have a busy touring schedule for both live shows and Stripped Down acoustic shows and, at the end of the year, introduced a Stripped Down show with Richard Marx, where they each played their own set and then shared a few songs as well.
Live-stream concerts: Streamed a live Yahoo video of a concert in Nashville and there were lots of live streams and videos on his Facebook page and from many fans on Periscope, Facebook and YouTube throughout the year.
New videos: Released two videos of songs from “Rocket Science.” The first one, “Light This Party Up,” used existing footage and some animation, while “Down” was filmed using a drone at Sunset Cliffs near San Diego.
International exposure: Performed at the iHeart80s concert in Los Angeles along with other ’80s icons: Culture Club, Tears for Fears, Billy Idol and Loverboy. The show was shown/heard live online. One of the songs off of “Rocket Science,” “Light This Party Up,” was used in a TV show promo. Another song, “Down,” becomes a theme song for a home shopping network show. In addition to all the interviews he does to promote “Rocket Science” and concerts, an in-depth interview he did in Australia is shown. He also performs on a new TV show, “Greatest Hits,” and appears as Lucifer on the TV show “Supernatural.”
Losses: Besides the loss of his mom in December, the RS community lost its guitar tech in 2016, Ruben Velasco. During the summer 2016 tour, the band held a “Rick Springfield Honorary Guitar Tech For A Day” fundraiser, with proceeds of $35,576 “being dispersed to the Fur & Feather Animal Sanctuary in accordance with Ruben’s love for his animals. According to rickspringfield.com: “The funds have been applied to assist the Los Angeles-based animal sanctuary (which resides in a Level-4 fire zone) in the purchase a renovated 27 ft. mobile RV to empower the staff in their care for the animals. The “RV-RV” will be used for the sanctuary’s adoption, emergency evacuation and education programs as well as a spay/neuter program in Ruben’s name. The “RV-RV” will be custom wrapped with the artwork created by Britney Farina and will include images of Ruben’s beloved cats (Goo, Boo & Mew) and will include the messaging “In Celebration Of The Real Cat Guy: Ruben Velasco” on the back of the vehicle.”
My RS year: On a personal note, I got to see him live twice, before one show I saw him in the hotel lobby and after the other show I got to get a selfie with him. I also found my scrapbook and posters from my high school days, which were fun to look through. I also had the opportunity to visit his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
As far as this blog, here’s a recap of that, as well. As of Dec. 31, 2016, there were 17,418 views on the blog since its inception in August 2014 and this is the 238th post. In 2016, there were 5,472 visitors and 10,361 views. Hopefully that number will increase even more in 2017 so many more people will learn that there’s so much more to RS than “Jessie’s Girl”/”General Hospital.”
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m never sure how much longer I’ll write this blog, but there does seem to be quite a few things on the schedule for 2017, so you never know. What’s next in 2017?
Not sure when the movie “Traces” is supposed to be released. It was supposed to be 2016, but there hasn’t been any trace of it yet (ha ha, sorry, couldn’t resist) so that could be out in 2017. Then there’s that Rock Meets Classic tour in Germany in the spring (Hey, future interviewers and Stripped Down Q&A askers – that would be a good topic to ask RS about), as well as numerous live and Stripped Down concerts (including some with Richard Marx). And maybe it’s also the year for the sequel for “Magnificent Vibration.” Plus he probably has some other surprises that we have yet to learn about.
Meanwhile, I wanted to wish RS and family, crew and fans a happy, healthy and meaningful New Year.