February milestones

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February seems to be a big month for Rick Springfield milestones.

One day in particular stands out:
Feb. 24, 1981: “Working Class Dog” is released
Feb. 24, 1982: RS wins a Grammy for “Jessie’s Girl”
Feb. 24, 2004: “Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance” is released
Feb. 24, 2015: “Stripped Down” is released

Last night Rowdy Ron had an online radio show where he played the full albums of WCD and SDAA, including bonus tracks, in celebration of the milestone. Unfortunately I only caught a few minutes of it, but I’m sure it was a great show!

Other notable dates (courtesy of rickspringfield.us):

Feb. 14, 1945: RS’s parents are married
Feb. 19, 2016: “Rocket Science” is released
Feb. 20, 2016: “iHeart80s Party” at the Forum, which gave him great exposure
Feb. 23, 1981: “Jessie’s Girl” is released as a single

This year also marked the 10th anniversary of his Valentine’s Day weekend show at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, which was covered this month in a great interview in Center Stage Magazine and this nice review in National Rock Review. In the Center Stage interview, he talks about his desire to do more acting and mentions his upcoming tour in Germany with Rock Meets Classic and the review mentions some highlights from the Nashville show:

“Since this is live music, anything can and usually happens. Tonight, mid-way through the opening song, the music suddenly stops, and the faint ring of the fire alarm is heard. Not to be outdone, Rick is out among the fans, shaking hands and fist bumping those around him while the guys break into a jig on stage entertaining fans while the power and fire alarm issues are sorted out.”

After a brief delay, Rick and the guys launching into “Light this Party Up” for the second time and the crowd jumps in on the fun, raising their glasses, dancing, and singing along.”

And this is sweet:

“Slowing down the pace, Rick takes center stage with his green dobro guitar on his knee. He takes a moment to tell a quick story about long-time guitar tech, Ruben Velasco, who died last year. Velasco, who’s birthday was this day, had repeatedly said that Rick needed a light-up guitar. Springfield now plays a light-up guitar on tour which he appropriately named “Ruben.” It was a touching moment and a class move by Rick Springfield.”

Liked this line, too:

“Springfield exudes energy and positive vibes.”

Speaking of articles – and energy- there was some interesting information in a recent one in the Orlando Sentinel in advance of Sunday’s night’s show in Orlando.

“He is working on another novel to follow “Magnificent Vibration,” a 2014 bestseller, but laughs when asked when it will come out.

“It’s like a song. When it’s done, it’s done. You can’t really push it,” he said. “There’s been a lot of stuff that’s come up and gets in the way of it, but I like to do it all.” 

And this is a cool possibility:

He is writing a new record and screenplays. Another possibility is a memoir to follow 2010’s “Late, Late at Night.” “Certainly enough has happened. I was actually thinking about that —  the stuff I didn’t tell you,” he said.

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Houses and homes

I’m feeling rather heartbroken today for RS and his brother, Michael. There was a news story from Australia today that his mother’s house was sold at an auction.

I saw this news as I was at my dad’s house, where my kids and I are staying for a couple of days while some repairs are being done at our own home. My family moved into this house when I was in third grade so there are many memories there. I haven’t stayed overnight there in probably about a decade or so and I couldn’t help but think of how RS must be feeling this weekend.

In one of the bedrooms, there is a photo of my grandparent’s house, the house my dad grew up in and that his parents moved out of a little over  decade ago. I’ve only been back to their city once since then and it was so strange to sit in a car front of their house and know that it wasn’t part of our family anymore. Sometimes when I go back to L.A., I take a drive past each of the places I lived. It was so long ago now, it’s not as nostalgic as it used to be, but I do take a few moments to reflect on who I was then and the people who were in my life at that time.

The Australian article made a big point to make it clear that it was the house that RS grew up in and that it was the place where he wrote “Jessie’s Girl.” I don’t think that’s altogether true, though, I think he was a teen when they moved in and past accounts have him writing JG in his house in Glendale. Maybe they got it mixed up with “Painted Girl”?

Anyway, the article said that they played “Jessie’s Girl” and other RS songs before the auction, which I thought at first was pretty tacky, but the more I thought about it, I think his parents would have probably gotten a kick out of it. After all, it was in that house where he dreamed of having a successful musical career and if they would have known back in those days about his son’s future, they would have been so thrilled for him and proud of him.

Ironically, the family who bought the house had never heard of RS before, according to the article. It said that they were a young family with two young children – and there was a picture with one of their kids, whose name is Michael.

Although I never met RS’s mom, from what I know about her, I imagine that she would be pleased that a young family is now living in her family’s house and starting their life there. And I hope the memories of his parents and their house bring RS more comfort than heartache.

Circa 1982

My family and I are at my dad’s house tonight and I came across my bat mitzvah guest book. Guess who “signed” my bat mitzvah guest book, way back in 1982? 

I wonder how many bat mitzvah parties Rick Springfield “attended” in the early 1980s. 😂

Saturation

In the two-and-a-half years since I started writing this blog, I think my brain has become saturated with details of Rick Springfield’s life. At the risk of sounding a little crazy, let me explain.

Today I attended a daylong conference that offered at least 10 choices of topics and speakers every hour and somehow I found Rick Springfield references in nearly every one of them. Here are some examples:

1. One was a musical session that took a biblical excerpt and those present created a group song out of it. Because it was the Jewish holiday of TuB’Shevat (the birthday of trees), the passage was about the Tree of Life. One of the messages of the song was how we plant trees for future generations. That reminded me of the tree RS’s father planted in his backyard, which I wrote about in a previous post.

2. The second session was about finding purpose and passion at every stage of life. The speaker began her session by telling about her daughter reminding her that a person only has so many heartbeats in their life and that you need to live a life of urgency because you never know how many you’ll have. This made me think of RS’s song “4 Billion Heartbeats.”

The speaker also talked about adversity making us stronger and her mother’s lessons to her to do your best work and presevere, which are central themes in RS’s life.

When she talked about successful marriages, she talked about remembering that extraordinary fades away and the ordinary is the important steady safe harbour of life, which of course reminded me of the song about his wife – “Ordinary Girl.” She also talked about couples who are the most successful are those who support each other following their passion. I don’t pretend to know anything about their marriage, but obviously he’s following his passion of music and his wife seems to be very supportive of him doing that.

There were no RS reflections from two of the sessions I attended, but the last one was about the secret of happiness. The speaker talked about how happiness cannot be found in external things, but must be found within. And as anybody who’s read “Late Late at Night” knows, RS had that revelation in the 1980s after his career took off.

Should I be concerned that so many things remind me of Rick Springfield? Was it all the great photos and videos posted from the Nashville shows lingering in my mind?

I guess as long as I contain it on the pages of this blog it’s OK. But sometimes I think it’s beyond my control. For instance, as I drove away from the conference, this is what I saw:


More on ‘Rock Meets Classic’

My last post put a request for more information on Rock Meets Classic out into the universe and a response came back on my phone today in the form of an article in the Chicago Tribune. Thanks, universe (and writer of said article, “Springfield proves there’s life after ‘Jessie’s Girl,’ ‘General Hospital.'”)

So here you go, straight from the fingers of the man himself (it was an email interview):

“Next month I’m doing a tour of Germany, with a symphony orchestra playing my songs that have been transcribed for the different instruments,” the 67-year-old singer said. “Don Felder (Eagles) and Steve Lukather (Toto) are also on the bill. I have gigs booked through the year and we are looking at TV and movies with more focus now.”

And this clarification on my last post – new material, not a CD of the symphony music (no confirmation yet on whether it’s a blues album):

Additionally, Springfield noted that he is “writing a new CD/album/free download that I hope to have out before the end of the year.”

Now just waiting for an announcement about one of those “gigs booked through the year” being within driving distance from my house, no flight or hotel stay required (because I’m not sure I can get away with another getaway for just myself and not the whole family…).

I might as well ask the universe for that too, right?

Rock Meets Classic

At the end of next month, Rick Springfield is scheduled to be part of the Rock Meets Classic tour in Germany – March 30-April 18 (the last date is in Switzerland). I haven’t heard much about this yet, but it sounds pretty cool. Rock Meets Classic is an annual European tour featuring classic rock artists backed by The Mat Sinner Band and Bohemian Symphony Orchestra Prague.

RS is being featured as the “very special guest” in the lineup, which also is scheduled to include Don Felder from The Eagles, Steve Lukather of Toto, Mick Box and Bernie Shaw of Uriah Heep, and Bob Catley and Tony Clarkin of Magnum.

Here’s a trailer:

As I said, I haven’t found out that much about the show – but I did learn that Steve Lukather is in Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band along with Todd Rundgren so there’s that RS connection (Rundgren is the musician in the story with the wiener dog in the “Stripped Down” show).

I found this April 7, 2015 article on the Magnet Magazine website with Todd Rundgren about RS’s visit:

“I remember when I lived in Sausalito, Rick Springfield came to my house wanting to write songs together, and all I could do was sit and stare at him.”

Yes, I can understand how that would happen.

And another RS/Todd Rundgren connection:  At the Tucson “Stripped Down” show on April 9, 2015, this mysterious tweet appeared on RS’s Twitter feed as I was sitting in the audience of the Fox Tucson Theatre waiting for the show to start:

Normally that wouldn’t make any sense, but since I had a pamphlet listing the  upcoming shows at that theater, I saw there was a Sgt. Pepper tribute band coming up, as well as Todd Rundgren’s show, “A Wizard a True Star,” so I actually understood the obscure tweet. My 12-year-old self was pretty thrilled with that, let me tell you! (And even more thrilled with getting to meet RS after the show, even though I look like a dork in my photo with him.) (Oddly enough, the article I mentioned above was posted exactly two days before this concert. Weird, right? Two random RS/TR things in one blog post happening within two days of each other.)

Anyway, where was I? Steve Lukather-Ringo Starr – years ago, I saw Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band in Los Angeles twice – great shows…

Oh, right – Rock Meets Classic. So I don’t really know anything else about the show. So if anybody’s interviewing RS soon, please share what you find out!

Speaking of interviews, here’s an excerpt from a great one from Center Stage Magazine, a Nashville-based magazine: Here’s his reply when the magazine asks about his upcoming plans:

Rick: There is an 80’s cruise in 2018 with Mike and the Mechanics, Loverboy, The Tubes and a host of 80’s bands that I will be playing on and hosting (whatever that means) but its 7 days at sea with us all so it should be pretty cool. I will have a new record/CD/free download out this year sometime that will be very different from anything I’ve done so far and will be doing a lot more TV and acting stuff. Also writing.

Is the new record/CD/free download out this year with a symphony orchestra – that is very different – or is it a blues album he’s mentioned that he’d like to do? And is the writing the sequel to “Magnificent Vibrations” or something else?

I guess we’ll have to wait and see.