Rick Springfield on The Goldbergs

RS poster on Goldbergs

After I heard that Rick Springfield was going to guest star on “The Goldbergs” this season, I thought it would be a good excuse to familiarize myself with the show.

I don’t usually watch much TV except when I fold laundry so I tend to work my way through one show at a time. I’m all caught up with “This is Us” and am excited for the new season. Other shows I watched my way through include “Nashville,” “Parenthood,” “Parks and Recreation” and “The Office.” (We go through lots of laundry.) I’d never watched “The Goldbergs” before, but it was on my radar as one to check out.

So far I’m a few shows into the first season and it’s such a fun show, like “Wonder Years” for my generation. An entertaining ’80s nostalgia experience filled with so many references from my childhood. My sons have gotten into it, too, which gives me a chance to relive certain memories and pause to note subjects like records, VCRs and video stores and what rewinding a video means.

Tonight we took a moment to watch the Life Cereal commercial with Mikey while watching an episode that covered the rumor about him dying after a combination of Pop Rocks and soda made his stomach explode. It’s fun to be reliving these snippets of my childhood memories with them. When I was the age that my oldest son is now, my Tuesday nights were filled with “Happy Days,” “Laverne & Shirley” and “Three’s Company” – and watching this show reminds me of that, although we stream it through Hulu whenever we want.

One of my favorite parts of the show is at the end, when they show the clips of videos that the show’s creator, Adam Goldberg, filmed when he was a kid. They feature his real-life family members and friends and often relate to the theme of the episode.

I’ve spotted the Rick Springfield poster on the wall of Erica’s bedroom and the episode I watched last night showed a newspaper article announcing a Rick Springfield concert.

RS on the Goldbergs

RS is scheduled be in the Oct. 10 episode, playing a character named Gary, who is the owner of a karaoke bar and Erica’s new boss. Since I’m still watching the first season, it will be interesting to see the cast five years later.

I wonder if there’s a reason his character’s name is “Gary.” Will there be a reference to “Gary’s Girl”? (aka the original subject of “Jessie’s Girl”). Will somebody be singing “Jessie’s Girl” at the karaoke bar? (It’s thought to be one of the “ultimate” karaoke songs.) Will the karaoke bar have stained glass? (RS wrote “Jessie’s Girl” after being infatuated with a girl in his stained glass class who was originally “Gary’s Girl.”)

I guess we’ll find out on Oct. 10!

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Comic Book Heroes-45 years ago

After I learned that today is the 45th anniversary of the release of Rick Springfield’s “Comic Book Heroes,” I grabbed my CBH CD as I headed out the door to listen to it on the way to work.

It’s been awhile since I listened to it and I belted out the “Na, na, na, na na”s as I sped down the freeway.

CBH

Check out this cool video of the promo for this album, a cute 24-year-old Rick Springfield with his Australian accent:

The song he’s singing in this video is my favorite from the album. I’ve always especially loved the line “And if I get to be a star, or maybe nowhere near that far…” because by the time I heard it (I was 4 when it came out, so it was several years later), he was already a star and I loved that he got to be where he wanted to be.

Now I kind of see that song as a love song to his wife, although he didn’t know her at the time (she was about 12 at the time – he wouldn’t initially meet her until a few years later – although he did say once – maybe in “Late, Late at Night”? – that she did have a small poster of him on her wall when she was younger, which is so adorable). But she has stuck by him through all his ups and downs and obviously believes in him.

I wonder what RS would say about this video – would he still have decided to wear that shirt if he knew it would live on forever on YouTube?

Seriously though, what a great album. So fun to sing along to and I even remembered most of the words. And that accent…

The party ended when I picked the kids up from school though. “What are you listening to, Mom?!” They’ve developed their own musical tastes by now (not like a few years ago when they would just listen to whatever I put on). Their tone changed when I told them who it was and listened a little more intently, but only to one more song before requesting something else.

After knowing who it was, my 10-year-old said he could sometimes tell it is RS’s voice, although he noted that the music sounds so different from other RS songs.

The other songs that move me from this CD are:

“The Photograph” – such a sad song, even today it made me a little teary-eyed – and “Born Out of Time” – because in my young teenage mind, that’s how I felt about RS because of the 20-year age difference. If only…

So weird that in this video he’s 25 years younger than I am now.

A good mail day

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I received a nice little present in the mail today – this cool little sticker from the organizers of the Rick Springfield Birthday Campaign. Each year this group of fans raises money for RS’s charity of choice and fans also donate prizes. This is such a cool project, which has raised more than $100,000 since 2007.

So far this year, since Aug. 15, the campaign has raised, as of today, $12,321.69, plus RS’s Facebook page campaign has raised $3,020. All funds go to help dogs through the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation.

Learn all about the campaign at happybirthdayrick.com (plus you can see a cute video of his birthday song at a recent concert on the site’s home page). The campaign runs through Sept. 23. There are lots of great prizes, with the grandest of all being a backstage pass at a future show. Other prizes include original RS drawings, CDs, signed photos and lots of RS-related merchandise and memorabilia.

It was a nice surprise to get this today of all days because I checked the mail after I got home from the monthly songwriting workshop I attend and the song I brought today received the best feedback from all the songs I’ve brought so far. Not that there’s necessarily any connection between the two (outside of in my own head), but it was icing on the cake.

I also have something to add to my last post- besides the songs, books, movies, TV shows, rock concerts, solo storytelling acoustic shows and symphony shows, recent interviews have also disclosed the potential for MORE:

From telegram.com in Worcester, MA:

Besides touring and performing live, Springfield, who just turned 69, has plenty of other things going on. A second novel is in the works, for example. A new album is “starting to come together.” A Broadway musical could be said to be just waiting to happen.

In an interview in The Daily Times in Blount County, he mentions that he plans to re-record his older hits with a symphony orchestra and then write his next record. Plus there was an article in Guitar Player that gave a great review of “The Snake King” – and of his guitar playing.

In other news, RS shows what a great friend he is to his BFF Doug Davidson:

DD

Many RS fans have a personal connection with Doug Davidson since he’s been on the RS fan trips (for me it was because he replied to my fan letters to him when I was in high school). It saddens me to hear how he’s been treated and wish him only the best. I can’t even comprehend of Y&R existing without DD – he was always my association with the show.

I hope this freeing up of his schedule opens him up to an INCREDIBLE opportunity. Maybe RS can write a new show or movie they can work on together – judging from videos I’ve seen from fan trips, it looks like they would have a blast (and they could probably sell tickets to the filming since they are so hilarious together). Since they met in an acting class all those years ago, wouldn’t it be so cool if they could team up for some sort of acting project all these decades later?

An impressive catalog of songs (and more)

RS google search

After listening to some of the special Labor Day Rick Springfield radio show put together by the Facebook Group Rick and the News Flash, I’m once again blown away by all that is Rick Springfield.

Obviously I’m a fan of his work, but I think even if I wasn’t I’d still be impressed with all he has done in his life.

Even if you just look at the number of songs he has written, co-written, collaborated on, recorded and performed  (see this list of songs on the Rick Springfield and Us site), it’s impressive.  Five decades of songs! One of the fun things about these kind of all-day musical RS shows is listening to all the variety of songs he’s done through the decades. From the seventies ballads to the power pop of the 1980s to “Rocket Science” country to “The Snake King” blues. So many great songs. I could sing along to many of them, and there were even a couple that I hadn’t heard before.  (Those I wasn’t as fond of were the remixes, such as the reggae version of “Celebrate Youth” or some dance mix versions of songs I usually really enjoy.)

Then of course there are all the acting roles, the next being a guest spot on ABC’s “The Goldbergs.” When I first heard that he was going to be on that show, I wondered how that was going to work, as the 80’s version of him is on a poster in the teenage girl’s room. Would it be a look into the future of Erica being a grown-up mom at a Rick Springfield concert in 2018?

I didn’t have to ponder the possibilities very long as he announced his guest star role at his Aug. 21 concert in Phoenix and by Aug. 23 the official announcement was made by Entertainment Weekly.

Springfield, whose recent television credits include Supernatural and American Horror Story, will play Erica’s new boss, the owner of a karaoke bar called Gary-oke’s. “At last I get to play a guy from the 80s,” Springfield says. “I’m excited to guest star on The Goldbergs and return back to 1980-something!”

The episode he is on is supposed to air on Oct. 10, according to an Instagram post by Wendi McLendon-Covey, who plays Beverly Goldberg on the show. There’s also a picture on his own Instagram page of him from the day he filmed the show (on his birthday) – they got him a birthday cake, which I thought was so sweet.

In addition to his long list of songwriting credits and acting roles, he also has two New York Times bestseller books – his autobiography (“Late, Late at Night”) and his first novel (“Magnificent Vibration”).  (The sequel is in the editing process, according to recent interviews.)

But that’s not all. He still, at age 69, tours regularly, with about 100 rockin’ shows each year. Full-band shows with his awesome band, solo acoustic storytelling shows (although there seems to be less of those this year) and shows with symphony orchestras.

AND – and this is an important factor – he seems to be a really good guy. There are often pictures that he takes with people who run into him at airports, hotel lobbies, restaurants (but if you see him in a restaurant, don’t interrupt his meal, that’s just common courtesy) and this past weekend in a Kroger’s grocery store. When people meet him, part of the post usually includes a note about how nice he was.

A recent article in the Indy Star was about items that performers request before a show at the Indiana State Fair. RS’s request? According to the article, his request included “three microwavable organic brown rice bowls, one small bag of peanut M&Ms and two dozen ‘inexpensive, supermarket-quality red roses.’ ” So thoughtful – if fans forget to bring red roses – or are not allowed to bring them to the venue – they still get to witness a rose explosion. BYOR.

Hope everyone enjoyed the nice long weekend – yay for those who got to go to the RS shows in Vermont, Indiana and Ohio over the three-day weekend (apparently one of shows took RS and the boys 11 hours to get to because of a cancelled flight!) Now they get to go home to their families and have a little rest before the next weekend of shows. Such dedication!

Here’s a nice review – and lots of pics – from one of these recent shows, from bigshotconcerts.com.

His catalog of songs stand the test of time and still sound great played live. Tunes from the earlier part of his career are upbeat and anthemic. The newer tunes have a bit of a dark edge to them, showing that he continues to evolve as a musician. From working class dog to the snake king, Rick Springfield still has plenty of bite in his music.