2018 recap: Snake King, back to the 80s (twice) & a close call

This time last year, Rick Springfield fans were anxiously awaiting the release of “The Snake King” and had only heard “Little Demon” and “Santa is an Anagram.” At that point, we were oblivious to the darkness that filled the songs on the album or the darkness that had returned to his life during that past year.

It was heartbreaking to hear that he had experienced such intense depression so recently but he openly talked about it in interviews, which most likely helped others who experience similar feelings. He even received an award from Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services for talking about his depression and how he deals with it.

Between this revelation and the darkness expressed in “The Snake King,” the RS year started off pretty intense, but here is a look at the whole year.

Here’s a RS recap of 2018:

Music: “The Snake King” took a much darker turn from the upbeat country-twinged  “Rocket Science” and the blues-rock tone fit the new CD’s content perfectly. I think it is a brilliant CD, although there are a couple of songs I still skip over because they are just too dark for me. I’m also still super impressed that he wrote the majority of the album in only a few days. The music and the lyrics are so good and cemented my belief about how talented he is. This year, his Australian band Zoot also released a retrospective album titled “Archaeology,” which marks the band’s 50th anniversary.

 

Touring: I guess RS enjoyed the experience of the Rock Meets Classic shows in Europe last year, where he performed his songs with a symphony orchestra, because he’s added a few symphony shows to his touring schedule, which include full-band shows and Stripped Down solo acoustic shows. In fact, he’s even working on a CD of his hits performed with a symphony orchestra that’s supposed to be out in March 2019. I’ve watched some videos from the symphony shows and the songs sounded beautiful. His performance of the songs about his parents accompanied by a full orchestra was extremely powerful and I also really enjoyed the symphony version of the song “Souls.”

A symphony concert marking the debut of the new CD is scheduled for March 30 in Beverly Hills. I’m hoping there will be a live stream of that, as there was with “The Snake King” release party at The Grammy Museum earlier this year.

Videos: Two “Snake King” videos were released this past year: “Land of the Blind” and “The Voodoo House,” the latter that was fittingly filmed in New Orleans.

Back to the ’80s: RS was the captain of the 2018 ’80s cruise and many people posted videos throughout the cruise, which were really fun to watch. RS also traveled back to 80-something when he did a guest appearance on “The Goldbergs.”

 

Acting roles: In addition to his appearance on “The Goldbergs,” (which he filmed the day after I saw him in concert, a fact I’ll likely always remember), he played an “aging rock star” in the YouTube Originals show “Sideswiped.” The latest news is that he’s growing his gray hair out for a movie role (leading him to wear a cowboy hat during recent shows), but so far there’s not any other information about what this movie is. There also hasn’t been any update on the film “Traces” that he filmed in 2015. Although this isn’t really an acting role, he was also a judge on The Hallmark Channel’s first American Rescue Dog Show.

A close call: “The Snake King” would have fit the mood to serve as a soundtrack to what happened in California at the end of this year – massive fires that killed people and destroyed thousands of homes. Soon after the fires were extinguished, the same areas were threatened by mudslides after heavy rains. One of the fires in Southern California came frighteningly close to RS’s home and his home survived due to the kindness and bravery of his neighbors. A house two doors down was completely destroyed.

My RS year: I’m happy to say that I did make it to a RS show this year (my 13th) and although I ended up going myself this time, I still totally enjoyed the show, especially since I didn’t make it to any shows last year. It was cool to hear two “The Snake King” songs live – “Little Demon” and “The Voodoo House.”

As for this blog, there were 11,809 views by 7,561 visitors in 2018 and 56 posts (including this one) as of the afternoon of Dec. 31, 2018. I appreciate that those at the comprehensive RS fan site Rick Springfield and US added a link to this blog on its site and I hope people have enjoyed my RS ramblings. As of this afternoon (to be precise, at 3 p.m.), the blog has had 38,122 views by 22,464 visitors since its inception in August 2014 and this is the 369th post. (Since WordPress stats provide this information, I’ll also mention that up until this post, this blog has had 134,942 words. Why would someone need to know that? I don’t know.)

The most viewed post in 2018 was “Yes, that was Rick Springfield on ‘American Horror Story: Cult’,” which was actually a post from October 2017. The 2018 post that had the most views was “A devastating time for California.”

Looking forward to 2019: From recent interviews, we’ve learned about the symphony CD and RS has hinted that he’s working on some new songs as well. Plus, there’s that movie that he may soon be filming and possibly another novel on the way. Also, some lucky fans will also be joining him on his next fan trip in November.

Onward to 2019! Happy New Year!

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Cowboy up, there’s a new fan trip coming!

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The announcement came today that a new Rick Springfield & Friends fan getaway is scheduled for next year! Nov. 7-11, 2019.

More details to come Monday.

Sounds like a fun getaway for a 50th-birthday year, don’t you think? I sure do! Now I just need to figure out a way to make it happen… I am putting that request out into the universe right now.

Introducing a cowboy hat

I don’t know if RS realizes how much speculation happens when he introduces a new object of clothing to his wardrobe. At the One Love Malibu benefit concert (which reportedly raised nearly $1 million for victims of the Woolsey Fire) on Dec. 2, he surprised fans by donning a cowboy hat.

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It was a new look for him and although he wore it well, it did make me (and others) wonder what the story was behind it. Even when “Rocket Science” was released in 2016 – which had a country vibe – he didn’t start wearing cowboy hats on that tour (as far as I remember). But whatever, maybe he was having a bad hair day.

But then the cowboy hat was back a few days later at a Stripped Down show. And at the next show, which led fans to wonder – is this cowboy hat now a thing?

Well, apparently he announced at one of the shows that he’s wearing the hat because he’s preparing for a movie role, where he needs to grow out his gray hair. Kinda like when he stopped shaving for “Ricki and the Flash.” So our rock star is going to have another new look for another movie. That’s exciting news! (Hopefully the role isn’t too creepy, such as on “True Detective,” “Supernatural” and “American Horror Story Cult.”)

Speaking of announcements, a recent article on thereporteronline.com had some more exciting news:

Q: You’ve published your memoirs and wrote a novel. Are there any other future writing projects?

A: I am working on the sequel to “Magnificent Vibration” and also a third novel. I am looking to write a new album soon and I am finishing up an orchestral greatest hits (release) soon.

Sounds like lots of good stuff to come!

(Here’s a past post about a fan getaway, in case you need a distraction until Monday’s announcement: “Passport through technology.”)

Update on Dec. 10

As promised, the announcement about the next Rick Springfield & Friends fan getaway happened today: Nov. 7-11, 2019 at the Hard Rock in Punta Cana. All the details are at rickspringfield.rosetours.com.

Hard Rock