Making wishes come true

Although I enjoy Rick Springfield’s songwriting and music, that alone is not what makes him my favorite rock star. I like lots of music by many different artists, but stories like the one that happened last night make him my #1.

Last night, he invited one of his longtime fans, an 18-year-old with autism, onstage to sing “Jessie’s Girl” – the teen’s favorite song – with him. After an eight-hour trek from  Princeville, Illinois to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan on Wednesday with family members, Gavin Sibley attended RS’s Thursday show at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort. The trip, planned through the Make-a-Wish Foundation, included the concert, a meet-and-greet and a chance to play around with one of RS’s guitars. They found out the day of the show that Gavin would also be given a chance to perform his favorite song with RS.

This kind of gesture of kindness is what makes RS so special.

For the story, pics and video, check out this story from the Oakland Press: “Rick Springfield rocks Mt. Pleasant with special Make-A-Wish guest.”

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Looking forward to 2018

Besides next month’s release of Rick Springfield’s new CD “The Snake King,” it sounds like there might be some other cool RS offerings in 2018, too.

In an article on oaklandpress.com, “Rick Springfield at Sound Board: 5 Things to Know,”  RS mentions that his upcoming projects could include a prequel to “Magnificent Vibrations,” which started as a sequel, and a follow-up to his autobiography, “Late, Late at Night,” which came out in 2010. After learning so much about his life in LLAN, I think it would be so interesting to hear his perspective on the past seven years, too, especially after following his career so closely the past three years. It would be like those books where the narrator switches between characters so the reader learns what’s going on in everyone’s heads. I’m familiar with the fan view, now it would be interesting to hear the rock star’s point of view.

He also talked about the inspiration for “Little Demon” in “Rick Springfield channels ‘The Snake King,’ “ an article on cantonrep.com.

“It was just a riff I came up with, actually while I was touring in Germany last year.* I always loved the tracks from the ’70s where there would be several parts to the song — before punk told us that was (BS) — and I set out to write something like that with two totally different moods. Lyrically, its probably the most normal song on the album. Again, unrequited lust.”

So for those fans who are concerned that RS has gone to the dark side, judging from the song titles of “The Snake King,” it’s OK, it’s just a bluesy rock version of unrequited lust, 35 years after “Jessie’s Girl.” Speaking of “Jessie’s Girl,” I just have to say that I really appreciate how both of these reporters handled these articles. So much better than article angles from three years ago. (See the  “Enough with the Jessie’s Girl references!” post from December 2014 for examples.)

Plus, learning more about the theme of the album (from the cantonrep.com story) explains more about those titles.

 “The Snake King is the character that tells most of these stories on this record, so I wrote this to define who or what that character was. He is a hedonist, a sex addict and a generally good-time dude. I wish I was more like him. The title track was the first song I wrote for the album, and the verse came in a dream, which doesn’t happen often but is awesome when it does. I woke up with the whole verse, and got up at three in the morning to record it. It really started the whole writing process again.”

Since it’s been over a year since I’ve been to a RS concert, which means no show in 2017, I also hope that there will soon be a 2018 RS concert that I can look forward to.

* “Last year” meaning the Rock Meets Classic tour March 30-April 18, 2017.

Who (and what) is ‘The Snake King’?

Two new articles posted today share a little more information about “The Snake King.”

In one of the articles, “Rick Springfield Calls Original Blues Set His ‘First Theme Record‘ ” on wxhc.com, RS says the new album tackles both personal and universal topics, often at the same time:

“It’s stuff I’ve been thinking about for a long time, and I wrote it, actually, kind of, over a weekend, and got the basic form for a lot of the songs and what they’d be about — it happened pretty quick. And then I just fiddled with them over the months after that — but it came pretty fast, what approach and what the focus. . . and basically it’s the first ‘theme’ record (laughs) I’ve ever done, based on a character named ‘The Snake King.’ And sometimes that character is the devil, sometimes it’s God, sometimes its me — sometimes it’s, y’know — the news.”

In a second article, in the Midland Daily News in advance of his Dec. 28 concert at Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort, RS calls “The Snake King” an experiment.

“It’s a different approach to both the music and the lyrics and reflects on what is happening in the world and in my head.”
It is also a departure from the way things are usually done in the music business — heading out on tour to spread the word about a new album.
” I don’t really tour to support an album anymore,” he said. “The biz has changed so much. It’s now kind of the reverse. I put out a new record to support the tour. And, it’s good for my head to have new music to play live.”

The article also indicates that “that new music will be mixed in Springfield’s hits” so those lucky fans who are going may get to hear some of the new music at next week’s show.

The article ends with this:

As the years roll along, Springfield has a full plate in front of him, filled with more live shows, another book and as he says “other projects.”

Springfield says retirement isn’t on the horizon.

“I really don’t know what I would do if I retired,” he said. “I’d probably get a band together and play some gigs. Maybe drink more. I love doing what I do.”

Well, we love what you are doing, too.

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Rick Springfield exploring his blues at the Grammy Museum

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View from my hotel window last month

Last month I was in Los Angeles for a conference with a view of The Grammy Museum outside my hotel window and was able to find an hour to quickly walk through the museum before leaving for the airport. I kept my eye out for a mention of Rick Springfield since he is a Grammy winner (and I thought it would be nice to mention his presence there in this blog), but I found nothing. But now I can write about it because he will be performing in the museum’s theater on Jan. 24, right before the release of his new album, “The Snake King”!

Ahead of the release of his new album, The Snake King (Frontiers Music Srl), on Jan. 26, 2018, the GRAMMY Museum will welcome GRAMMY®-winning singer/songwriter Rick Springfield to the Clive Davis Theater for an intimate conversation and performance. His new album finds Springfield exploring the blues side of his rock & roll, and marks a definite departure from the power pop he has been known for. With 25 million records sold, Springfield has withstood the test of time far better than most critics would ever have imagined, performing nearly 100 concerts around the world every year.

I’m so excited for those fans in Los Angeles because that’s such an intimate venue and the tickets are affordable ($20). The album launch party of course sounded amazing, too, but that’s sold out (and was $325). Then there’s the three-night engagement in Honolulu, Hawaii in February and the ’80s cruise in March. Ah, the rock star life (and the rich rock star fan life).

But since I’m not a rock star or a rich rock star fan, I have to take what I can get and in this case, it was a quick tour of the Grammy Museum so here are some pictures, just because I have a good excuse to post them now.

 P.S. If anyone has been to the museum and found any RS mention besides this concert, please let me know.

Update as of Dec. 22: Apparently the 200-seat show is already sold out, before going on sale to the public as museum members got first dibs on the tickets and who could pass up that opportunity? What a bummer for the L.A. fans. How about a second engagement for Access members? 😃

‘Santa is an Anagram’

What a nice first night of Hanukkah surprise – the next song off of “The Snake King”: The debut of a lyric video of “Santa is an Anagram.”

This popped up on Twitter tonight:

It sounds like the song was written by his Supernatural character channeling Chuck Berry and the lyrics reveal his dark sense of humor. The lyric video is fun to watch and it’s good to know there’s some humor, albeit dark, on the new CD, mixed in with songs with titles like “Suicide Manifesto” and “Blues for the Disillusioned.”

Definitely will be interesting to see what the rest of “The Snake King” is like!

Song source for ‘I Know What You Want’

For several weeks, guitar pics with the text “I Know What You Want” have been thrown into the audience during concerts and those words were also spotted on RS’s sling after his surgery and on a leather jacket. The other side of the pic said “The Snake King” so it was assumed that would be a song on the new album. But there wasn’t any “I Know What You Want” on the list of songs.

But now, thanks to a new mug on the Rick Springfield merchandise site, now we know that it’s a line from “The Devil That You Know.”

Rick Springfield mug

That’s a little fix of “The Snake King” information while we’re waiting for another song to be released. (Because there’s going to be another one released soon, right? Jan. 26 feels like a long way off.  Hanukkah starts tonight, how about sometime in the next eight days?)

Rick Springfield The Snake King mug

 Meanwhile, while we are waiting for another song, here’s a little something to enjoy, “Rickie’s Toys” by Leigh Roberts, a new “Jessie’s Girl” parody about Rick Springfield’s “Star Wars” toy collection:

Rambling thoughts on the new album ‘rising’

The publicity so far for “The Snake King” has said that the album will be “rising” on Jan. 26. I haven’t heard that wording before as it pertains to an album, and because Rick Springfield is a writer who seems to select his words carefully (at least in his writing), I am thinking that the word was chosen for this album for a specific reason.

First I Googled “album rising” to see if that wording was music industry terminology that I wasn’t familiar with. All that came up was a “Rising” album by a band called Rainbow (Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple and Ronnie James Dio of Black Sabbath and Dio) and “The Rising” by Bruce Springsteen. Although RS’s life seems to have been involuntary intertwined with Springsteen’s, I’m pretty sure that there’s no connection here. (For anyone who still gets them confused, read this post.)

So, why the use of “rising” for “The Snake King” instead of”drops” or “will be released”? Since we still have some time before the album “rises,” I thought I’d explore possible reasons.DOO-b7SW0AA2Fmn

  1. Religious implications: Judging from the song titles, there seems to be some religious elements so the “rising” can relate to Christianity.
  2. Political implication or world events: I don’t want to get political but so much has happened this past year that could provide inspiration to sing the blues. Maybe “The Snake King” rising refers to a change in leadership?
  3. Rising definition: ‘coming to the surface’ ‘appearing above the horizon’: Could refer to RS releasing some of his thoughts about things that he previously kept suppressed.
  4. Rising definitions: ‘reaching a higher position,’ ‘moving to higher ground’: Could refer to RS adding new heights to his career by publicizing his incredible guitar playing more than ever before.
  5. Rising definition: ‘reacting with annoyance or argument to’: A combination of #2 and #3, with RS not holding back on how he feels about things.

Maybe the use of the word “rising” will be clear once we hear the whole album or maybe somebody can ask about it during the Q&A at an upcoming Stripped Down show. (If you find out, please share!) Or maybe we’ll never find out. But by then we’ll be so busy listening to the new songs, that we may forget about it anyway.