Dear Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee,
I am writing to ask you to please nominate Rick Springfield to be inducted into the 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He has been eligible since 1994 so frankly I’m a little surprised that he hasn’t been considered yet. But that’s OK, no hard feelings, there’s always next year.
Rick Springfield has had a long musical career. Here’s a video of him from nearly five decades ago – in 1969, when he was the guitarist in the Australian band Zoot:
And again in 1970 with Zoot:
After leaving Zoot, he started recording his own songs. Here’s his first single, “Speak to the Sky.” This recording is from 1971, but it was on his 1972 album, “Beginnings.” (I’ve read that the number of hits an artist has isn’t considered for the nomination process, but I did want to note that this was his first hit in the top 20, reaching No. 14 in 1972. The first of 20 songs from his 18 studio albums to be on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. Not that it matters in the nomination process though, of course.)
The song that really propelled him to stardom, as everyone knows, is “Jessie’s Girl,” which has been featured in many films through the years and has become one of the iconic songs of the 1980s. Here’s his performance at the 1982 Grammy Awards (the year he won a Grammy for the song.)
And here he is, still rocking “Jessie’s Girl” last year on the “Greatest Hits” TV show, at age 67, 35 years after the song’s initial release.
So what does it take to get nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
According to to the website: ” Artists — a group encompassing performers, composers and/or musicians — become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Besides demonstrating unquestionable musical excellence and talent, inductees will have had a significant impact on the development, evolution and preservation of rock & roll.”
OK, so we already know it’s been more than 25 years since the release of Rick Springfield’s first record (Zoot’s first record was released in 1969 and RS’s first album, “Beginnings” was released in 1972 so we’re covered there. Can you believe that 48 years later, RS is still actively touring? Pretty amazing, right? This year alone, he’s done live shows with his own band, solo Stripped Down acoustic shows, Stripped Down acoustic shows with Richard Marx and will be performing shows with Pat Benetar later this year. Oh, and then there’s that European tour with a symphony orchestra starting later this month.)
Next: “demonstrating unquestionable musical excellence and talent.” If you’ve ever seen him perform or paid attention to his songwriting through the years, you know he’s got that one down.
“Inductees will have had a significant impact on the development, evolution and preservation of rock & roll.”
His role in Rock and Roll history was addressed in the Sound City documentary directed by Dave Grohl. (Here’s a video with the fabulous Dave Grohl performing “The Man That Never Was,” a song from the 2013 tour that was done around the time of the documentary.)
RS was also featured in another documentary, created by his fans, “Affair of the Heart,” which shows the impact he’s had on his fans – and younger performers.
When you listen to his songs throughout the years, you’ll see all the different styles of music he’s created (evolution). For his most recent album, “Rocket Science,” from 2016, he dabbled in country.
And also from “Rocket Science,” the song “Down,” written with Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts:
For the purposes of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I suppose it won’t do any good to mention that he’s also had a successful acting career in TV and films and has also written two best-selling books, one a novel and one a memoir, but I personally think that’s very impressive. Plus he’s also performed on Broadway and performed in “EFX” in Las Vegas.
If you get an opportunity to attend one of RS’s live shows this year, I highly recommend it so you can see for yourself what an amazing songwriter/musician/performer he is and why he deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Thank you for your consideration.