Just like all of his fans, he has aged. Shocker. (Not.) Although he has aged considerably better than most people do, he is turning 70 this year. How incredibly lucky are his fans that they still get to see their teenage crush perform regularly and that he still looks so good doing so? Really lucky. And that he’s still writing new great music? Wow, we hit the jackpot!
He’s had many different looks throughout the years. If you search “Rick Springfield” on Google Images and scroll down the pages, you can see all his different looks through the decades. Some I like, some I don’t and everybody probably has different opinions on what look they like best. But really it’s about the music and the person making it, right?
I know this sounds a little bit crazy, but I got a kick out of it and thought maybe other RS fans would as well. Here goes:
This past weekend, my sister and I spent the weekend together on a sisters’ trip as an early celebration of my milestone birthday. We left for Southern Arizona on Jan. 26 and that afternoon we went ziplining. In our group, there were eight women and one man. The man’s name? Rick.
That evening, we went to Tucson to see The Fab Four, a Beatles tribute band at the Fox Theatre. The only other time I’d ever been there was to see RS’s Stripped Down show back in April 2015 (and I briefly met him afterward).
The next morning, we had breakfast at the B&B we were staying at and were chatting with the manager. My sister asked him where he was from. He said he grew up in St. Charles, Missouri. It so happens that the night we were staying at the B&B and saw The Fab Four show in Tucson (Jan. 26), Rick Springfield was performing in concert in St. Charles, Missouri.
During our conversation, the discussion drifted to traveling and my sister asked our host what his three favorite places were to travel. His #1 choice? Australia; he especially loved Melbourne.
C’mon, it is a little weird, don’t you think? Do things like this happen to you, too? I find it so fascinating!
(Jan. 26 is also the one-year anniversary of the release of “The Snake King.”)
P.S. This is a combination of this post and the last: My third-grade son’s teacher picks a “Song of the Week” each week that she plays for her students. Oftentimes, my son likes it and requests it at home. The song she chose the week of Jan. 7-11, which was the week he was requesting the song at home, was “Jailhouse Rock.” On Jan. 18, the night before RS performed at Graceland, there he was performing “Jailhouse Rock” in a video on my Facebook feed.
Although my last post was about how I’m reaching a milestone age this year – as is my favorite rock star – I was reminded today that age is only a number and it often doesn’t affect our thinking or actions (or even our reasoning, in some cases).
For instance, RS has said in interviews that he loves toys and although he’s said that lately he’s been selling some of his Star Wars toys, he probably has some items in his toy collection that he still treasures. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but when I was younger, I would have never imagined that somebody in their 60s would still enjoy toys.
But now I know that there are some things that you still like because you like them and it doesn’t matter what you age you are. For instance, how I can still have a crush on a rock star in my 40s.
So with that in mind, it may explain my reaction to seeing today’s picture of RS in front of Graceland.
Why was I so excited to see this photo? Because not only was it cool to see RS so happy, but I stood in that same exact spot before! Yes, about one year, nine months, two weeks and two days earlier, I stood in that same spot when I visited Graceland. I don’t have a picture of me in that spot because I was just in line behind other people, but I just looked at my photos from that visit and I do have a picture of the spot where RS would once stand (and where Elvis once walked many years ago):
It’s kind of like that time he stood in the same spot in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia three years, two months, one week and six days after I did. It’s just a little reminder that although I only get to see him in concert once every year or so, we are still inhabiting the same earth.
Not only that, but when I visited Graceland, I was inspired to stand in a similar pose at the entrance:
Should random things like this still bring joy to my world? Shouldn’t I be more mature than this by now and not be imagining connections that don’t exist? Possibly. But it sure is more fun to allow these little bursts of joy to exist when the opportunities arise!
So far I’ve only found one video of RS at Graceland to share so I’ll post it here to mark the occasion. (I’ll add more later if I see other videos posted.)
Update on Jan. 22.
Here’s a video of RS covering “Jailhouse Rock” the night before the Graceland show. So nice that fans share these great videos!
Update on Jan. 27:
Awesome video of RS playing “Jailhouse Rock” at Graceland. So cool!
This year my favorite rock star reaches a milestone age: the big 7-0. You’d never guess it by looking at his lifestyle – last year he performed more than 85 shows, guest-starred in a couple of shows and hosted an ’80s cruise. Although he’s said in recent interviews that he hopes to cut back the touring a bit and get an acting gig closer to home so he doesn’t have to travel as much, he doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all as he continues to write, act and perform.
As I’m reaching a milestone age this year, too, I decided that I’m going to embrace it. My mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at 51 and died a few weeks later at 52 so in the past I always looked at the big 5-0 with a sense of trepidation. But now I just feel a sense of urgency to try things I’ve always wanted to try and if I’m fortunate enough to make it to the big 7-0, I hope I’m still going strong, too.
Yesterday I decided to check out the AARP website to see what that was about (don’t laugh, they have good articles).
AARP Table of Contents: Aug-Sept. 2015 issue
Plus, if I’ll be eligible for some discounts soon, I want to learn more.
Anyway, there was an article about celebrities who are turning 50, 60 and 70 in 2019.
I scroll down the 50 list
Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez – 50 looks pretty good! Dave Grohl – hey, a RS connection (“Sound City”)
On the 60 list
Another RS connection – Martha Quinn (flashback to that MTV interview with the striped shirt): Look how cute they both look!
Also on the 60 list: Marie Osmond. Yet another RS connection!
Linda Blair is also turning 60 this year – she and RS have a long history together that continues today – her foundation for rescue dogs is usually one of the charities that RS recommends when fans want to donate money in honor of his birthday.
And then there’s the 70 list.
Steve Perry (“Don’t Stop Believing” starts playing in my head)
Billy Joel (“Sing me a song, you’re the piano man,” one of my favorite sing-along songs)
Meryl Streep (Obvious RS connection – “Ricki and the Flash”)
And then there he was:
I KNEW he’d be on the list, but it still made my heart skip a beat when I saw it. Imagine that, me almost 50 and him almost 70 and all these years later and I still have that reaction. That’s something that would have shocked me back in 1982.
(Note, Bruce Springsteen is on the list too, which is kind of a connection, as people often get the two mixed up, which RS wrote about in his song “Bruce.”)
Let’s go back 20 years
As I’ve mentioned before, probably a few times, RS has been a huge source of inspiration to me these past few years. Primarily with my songwriting. (Two notes here: First, I’ve started a songwriting blog so I have another place to ramble about my songwriting rather than cluttering up this blog with it and second, I’m going to be performing a few of my songs at a local songwriting event this month – on the same day RS is performing at Graceland. Absolutely no connection there, but it’s still cool to me.)
Anyway, let’s go back 20 years to when RS was about to turn 50. It’s 1999 and RS is planning on releasing “Karma,” his first album since “Rock of Life” in 1988. In 1998, he had started touring again after many years (and I was there at a show in Henderson, Nevada). When Karma was released in April (I was there!) he was still 49.
Here’s 49-year-old RS on the day Karma was released. When I first met him, he was the age I am now. I just need a moment for that to sink in.
OK, I’m ready to continue.
(OK, after I wrote that and posted this pic I noticed that it says “now” in the background. Weird. I have had this picture framed in my home for almost 20 years and never noticed that before.)
Anyway, sure he had a HUGE successful career already by then, but let’s look at all his songwriting AFTER he turned 50:
2004: Shock/Denial/Anger Acceptance
2008: Venus in Overdrive
2009: Precious Little Ones (lullabies he wrote when his sons were young)
2012: Songs for the End of the World
2016: Rocket Science
2018: The Snake King
Also a best-selling autobiography and a best-selling novel. Plus lots of acting.
So the moral of the story is, even though reaching a milestone age might feel unsettling because of all it represents, you should still embrace it because not everybody gets that opportunity to be that age and as long as you’re here, there is still plenty you can do.
And now I’m going to sleep because it’s almost midnight and at my age…