Rick Springfield, General Hospital & Elvis

Throughout his career, Rick Springfield has attracted fans at multiple times. His earliest fans came at the beginning of his career back in Australia (those fans are probably thrilled about the new Zoot album “Archaeology” that was released yesterday – check out zootband.com.au for all the details, including notes by RS about the different songs, videos of band performances and the details about how this all came together. The story behind “Life in a Northern Town” is especially cool).

Then there were those fans who fell in love with the long-haired RS after he moved to the U.S., after “Beginnings” and “Comic Book Heroes,” and those who regularly tuned into the “Mission Magic!” cartoon.

Next was all those fans that came along in the ’80s (including me, at age 12) with “Working Class Dog” and “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet” and those who also fell in love with Dr. Noah Drake at the same time.

(There were more fans in later years, those recaptured in ’99 with “Karma” and continuing with all those albums that have come out since then, most recently this past January with “The Snake King.”)

Getting to know RS in the ’80s

I would guess that the ’80s presented the strongest force of the melding of the rock star/fan connection. After all, his songs were playing on the radio, his videos were on MTV, he was touring in concert, we received new pictures to pin on our walls each month (Teen Beat, 16, Bop! magazines, etc.) And we could watch him on TV on a regular basis on “General Hospital.” He was a part of our life and even if he didn’t know us, we sure knew a lot about him (thanks to the fan club and “How well do you know Rick Springfield?” quizzes in the teen magazines).

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Rick Springfield & ‘General Hospital’

A few years ago, RS once said in an interview that he was asked almost daily whether or not he would consider ever returning to “General Hospital” again. He did return as Dr. Noah Drake for many episodes between December 2005-September 2008. (The Rick Springfield & Us site has lots more details, it’s a great resource!) He also returned in March 2012 and April 2013.

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Although there’s no indication that he’s planning on returning to the show, there will be a reunion of sorts, as RS will be performing at the upcoming General Hospital Fan Celebration Weekend, to be held at Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis in January.

The Elvis connection

Since I haven’t watched “General Hospital” in a few decades, I’m more excited about RS playing at Graceland then there being a connection with GH. RS playing at Graceland, the home of THE KING! How cool is that?

RS told Harry Connick, Jr. earlier this year about meeting Elvis Presley back in 1972:

He also talked about it in an 2016 AV Club interview:

RS: Yeah, I met Elvis on a plane, in 1972. My manager, actually, at the time, was Steve Binder, who directed the Elvis comeback special for NBC. So I was going back and forth from Australia because I didn’t have a permanent visa, so I had to fly back and get another visitor’s visa and fly back to America. I was doing that for a while. I got on the plane one time and I was in the back of the bus but I walked past the first-class section—it was stopping in Hawaii because he was going to Hawaii—and there was Elvis, and he looked amazing. You know, jet black hair, and he was thin and had this powder-blue leisure suit on, and he came back [to coach] before the plane landed and went up and down the aisle signing autographs. I wasn’t a big fan at the time then—I am now but I wasn’t much then, I was more a fan of The Beatles—but I had a girlfriend named Allison and I said, “Hey, would you sign this for my girlfriend Allison?” And I said, “You know, Steve Binder manages me,” and he said, “Oh, I love Steve, Steve’s great,” and had a little conversation with him. It was pretty cool.

According to an article on the Memphis Commercial Appeal website, the Jan. 19 concert at Graceland will be the first-ever non-Elvis-related concert at the venue, which opened in 2017. Pretty cool, RS making his own history at Graceland.

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