Rick Springfield’s family home part of Australian public art tour

Rick Springfield’s family home in Australia was one of the six stops of a “Six Moments in Kingston,” a public art bus tour in Parkdale, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia.

The tour took place over the past two weekends (May 18-19 and May 25-26) and included community bands and choirs singing “Jessie’s Girl.” In pictures posted on Facebook, one group of singers wore oversized white dress shirts with black ties with RS’s black & white pic clipped over the pocket (as in the cover of “Working Class Dog.”) Plus there were lots of bull terriers present in honor of RS’s love for dogs.

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The tour celebrated Kingston’s history and featured performances, music, street parades, broadcasts, sculptures and videos and a bus tour of  the locations where each story occured, according to the website, smik.melbourne. The other five stories included on the tour were:

  • Julie Cooper, who was elected in 1976 as the first female councillor of Moorabbin (a suburb in Melbourne), and the city’s first female mayor. A stadium bears her name and marks her role in creating opportunities for women in local politics.
  • The Grange, a prominent redevelopment site
  • Fred Valentich, a pilot who was 19 when his plane disappeared shortly after taking off in 1978
  • Sites of protests about the movement for equal pay at an old Phillip Morris cigarette factory and a protest against homelessness
  • Phil Carmon, a former Australian rules footballer who played in the VFL (Victorian Football league)

Here’s what it says on RS’s bio page:

Kingston has produced many famous sons and daughters but none quite like Rick Springfield who, in a little known fact, spent his teenage years in Parkdale. First a heart-throb and actor in American soap General Hospital, Springfield became internationally famous for his world-wide smash hit single, Jessie’s Girl, released in 1981. The song climbed to no.1 and went platinum in the USA and Australia. Artist Shane McGrath and local musicians honour Springfield’s place in the rock pantheon, creating their own renditions of Jessie’s Girl in the streets of Parkdale, headed up by a phalanx of bull terriers, after Rick Springfield’s love for the breed.

On the artist’s website, the public art exhibit is called “Jessie’s Girl – Last Home.”

Did you know Rick Springfield was a local boy?
That he spent 10 years trying to break into the USA music scene? That he released a Grammy award winning, #1 HIT the same time he became an overnight soap-opera sex symbol?

It all began in one quiet street in Parkdale, Victoria and we want to invite you down to celebrate a unique moment in 1981 in a very unique fashion.

According to an article in a local publication, The Age, artist Shane McGrath’s exhibit included “members of Parkdale Secondary College, singers from the Unified Filipino Elderly Association, the Bull Terrier Club of Victoria and Lukes, the  Voices Pop Choir of Moorabbin and the Longbeach Ukulele Club.”

On the Kingston Arts Facebook page, a video shows the Moorabbin chapter of Pop Choir’s first attempt at singing “Jessie’s Girl” and notes that artist Shane McGrath “orchestrated an extravagant musical parade down Springfield’s old street in Parkdale.”

The Springthorpe family home, where his lovely mom, Eileen Springthorpe, lived until her death in December 2016, was sold in February 2017.

Here was RS’s response to news of this tour:

My guess is that she would have felt very proud! I wonder what teenage Ricky would have thought about it?

(The top pic is from Shane McGrath’s Instagram page, mcgrathstudio.)

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World on Fire & imagined Easter eggs

A recent article disclosed the name of Rick Springfield’s new novel: “World on Fire.” Apparently it’s the sequel to “Magnificent Vibration.” Since his first novel had so many references to his real life (such as character names), I wonder if last year’s fires had any impact on this one and whether real-life references will be embedded into the storyline.

The article also says he’s working on a third book and working on songs for a new album. Amazing.

In addition to my favorite rock star, there’s one other musician that I find myself intrigued with lately. Not enough to start another blog, but I just think she’s super talented and find her career so fascinating – Taylor Swift. I won’t go into details here, but before her “Reputation” album was released, she got everyone’s attention online and publicized her album solely to her fans on social media.

Her “Reputation” tour was record-breaking (she puts on a great show – I didn’t see it live, but watched it on Netflix on New Year’s Day and really enjoyed it). She recently debuted a new song, “ME!” dropping hints on social media and apparently the video was filled with Easter eggs (hidden messages) that contain things like clues to the album title or song titles or references to past videos. I’m not familiar enough with her work to catch many of them nor do I have time to explore much further, but I just think it’s really interesting.

Why am I writing about this here? Because I just saw pictures from tonight’s RS concert and noticed that “The Snake King” logo is no longer on Jorge’s drum set. Instead it’s Ron, RS’s dog from the 1980’s, wearing the shirt with the RS picture in the pocket, aka the cover of “Working Class Dog.” After I noticed this, I looked back at pictures and videos from recent concerts. May 11: The Snake King. May 17: Ron. Did this come up at the concert? Is this is a sign of something to come? Does it have any particular meaning? Am I reading too much into it? Why do I care?

In case you missed ‘The Talk’

In case you missed Rick Springfield’s appearance on “The Talk” yesterday, CBS now has the episode online (around the 26.42 mark although it includes commercials).  He said he has the flu, poor thing. The normal person is home in bed under the covers when they have the flu and he appears live on national television in Studio City, California, and then heads to his next concert in Detroit. And still looks and sounds good doing both. I think he has some kind of rock star superpower.

RS The Talk

UPDATE on May 24

OK, it looks like he’s human after all, as he needed to cancel the next two shows in Ontario, Canada due to illness. Sorry for the fans, but very necessary for his health to get rest when he needs it and to get better. Hope you feel better soon, RS!

Here’s a review from last night’s show: “Rick Springfield rocks Sound Board into the Wayback Machine.”

Maybe it was the cough syrup. Maybe it was the Aqua Net fumes wafting from the crowd. Either way, it’s clear Detroit still has an affair of the heart with Springfield.

UPDATE on June 13

File this under things I find amusing: Three weeks after I wrote this post, Taylor Swift announced that her new album “Lover” will be released on Aug. 23 (aka Rick Springfield’s birthday.)

This week’s special guest: Sammy Hagar

This week, the world of Rick Springfield featured special guest Sammy Hagar.

First, on May 15 RS performed at Acoustic 4 a Cure, a concert organized by “The Red Rocker” Sammy Hagar that benefitted the pediatric cancer program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. The sixth annual concert, held at the Fillmore in San Francisco, also included Nancy Wilson of Heart, Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Chad Kroeger of Nickelback, Joe Satriani, Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers, Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham and Vic Johnson. There are some great pics from that evening on Sammy Hagar’s Facebook page.

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Sammy Hagar’s first appearance in the Rick Springfield story was a few decades ago. He wrote the song “I’ve Done Everything for You” in 1978, which he released as a single that didn’t make the charts.

Then a few years later, Keith Olsen, who produced RS’s “Working Class Dog,” suggested that RS cover it. It was released in 1981 as a single after “Jessie’s Girl” and became a hit. From what I can tell, this year, 38 years later, marked the first time they played it together – first during the taping of Hagar’s “Rock & Roll Road Trip,” which aired on AXS-TV on Sunday – and then at this benefit concert. (Update on June 5: I just learned that the filming of Hagar’s show was filmed in June 2018 so it was actually 37 years later.)

The “Rick & Roll Road Trip” (as the episode was called) was so great! It was a fun interview that took place at the Springthorpe home in Malibu and included RS & SH playing IDEFY together for the first time in RS’s Black Lagoon home studio. What didn’t air was any mention of the tequila story mentioned in the Stripped Down shows. (SH once gave RS a bottle of tequila as a thank you for IDEFY and one day RS came home to discover that his sons drank it – in the very same house that SH visited for the interview. He may have even walked on the same floor where the bottle sat all those years ago.)

I don’t seen the interview online, but here’s a deleted scene from the interview:

One thing I learned in the interview was that they didn’t really know each other all that well before the interview so it was cool to watch them enjoy each other’s company since they’ve had this shared IDEFY connection all these years. RS has played SH’s song hundreds if not thousands of times over the past few decades so it was to fun to watch them play it together.

When SH asked RS what he’d like to do next, RS said he’s interested in doing more work for charities that benefit animals and children, which I thought was really beautiful. Perhaps his answer to this question was what led to him performing at SH’s Acoustic 4 A Cure last week? Everything is connected somehow it seems, although sometimes we don’t discover it until later.

(To clarify: Yes, I know that Acoustic 4 a Cure was SH’s benefit (he does lots of charity work and seems like a great guy) and that RS was a guest and RS was also a guest on SH’s show, but because this is a RS blog, SH is the special guest here.)

In other recent RS news:

A wonderful review of “Orchestrating My Life” in the Herald-Standard:

As a whole, “Orchestrating My Life” showcases Springfield’s talent for crafting and delivering songs that make us laugh, cry, dance and sing out loud like nobody’s watching.

And RS is scheduled to perform on The Talk this Wednesday.

Rick Springfield The Talk

Show #14 coming soon!

Usually when a new Rick Springfield show is announced, it’s in a different state and I don’t think twice about going (unless it’s in Vegas or L.A. then I consider it.)

I was eyeing the symphony show in Costa Mesa this summer because there’s a chance I’ll be in Southern California that week, but a few things have to happen first to get that in place. Not only do I want to see a symphony show, but I also wanted to get in at least one RS show in my milestone birthday year since I’m not able to go on the big fan trip in November.

Imagine my surprise when a couple of weeks ago, I received a notification that he will be in Chandler, AZ (about 15 minutes from where I work) at the beginning of June! Tickets went on sale May 3 so there’s not even much time to wait. I considered it my early Mother’s Day present. I missed the presale unfortunately because the timing didn’t work out, but I still got second row, albeit way at the end of the stage. This will be my first time on this side of the stage – over in Tim’s territory. Maybe I’ll even get in Tim’s photo of the audience if he takes one!

My husband will be joining me for this show, as it’s been a couple years since he went with me and we even have a babysitter already lined up! Just for the fun of it, here’s a recap of the past 13 shows:

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  • Sept. 28, 1983: ASU Activity Center in Tempe, AZ.
  • Oct. 4, 1984: ASU Activity Center in Tempe, AZ (Ticket pictures courtesy of my 14-year-old and 15-year-old selves respectively, as preserved for decades in the scrapbook I found in my parents’ shed in April 2016. See “Where it all began.”) For one of those two shows, me and a few friends camped out overnight at Fiesta Mall for tickets, along with a long line of other RS fans (and their mothers).
  • Dec. 5, 1998: Sunset Station in Henderson, NV: My aunt and uncle lived in Henderson so I stayed with them and saw the show with a friend who also traveled to Vegas to see the show.
  • April 13, 1999: Met RS for the first time at a Los Angeles Wherehouse on the day “Karma” was released. Not a show, but noteworthy.
  • Aug. 28, 1999: Sunset Station in Henderson, NV: Went with one of my friends who I saw him in concert with in high school. Met some of the band members in the bar after the show and even got the guitarist’s phone number (because we had a mutual friend and he wanted me to give his number to her). Also got to say hi to Tim Pierce, RS’s guitarist from the ’80s who made a special appearance that night. (See “Flashback to 1999 concert” for more on this show.)
  • Sept. 24, 1999: Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. Again went with my friend from high school.
  • May 5, 2000: Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. Again with my friend from high school, along with her sister-in-law and niece (whose daughter’s name is Christina – the sister-in-law was also a huge RS fan and she screamed out to RS that her daughter’s name is Christina when he started playing “Kristina.”)
  • March 7, 2015: Soon after I “rediscovered” RS in 2014 and started writing this blog, he came to San Tan Valley on what would have been my mom’s 70th birthday. I also got to meet him that night after the concert and give him a piece of paper with this blog address on it. (Has he read this blog yet?!?!?! Maybe someday I will find out?) Read about that evening here: “A brief crossing of paths” and “Almost a week after the concert” and “My Meet and Greet.” (Obviously I had a lot to say about it.) And a little video too: “Nine minutes from the 17th Row.” For this show, George Bernhardt was still the lead guitarist and George Nastos played bass (after George B. left, George N. moved to guitar.)
  • April 9, 2015: My husband and I traveled to Tucson for the night to watch a Stripped Down show. Read about that one here: “What an amazing show (and another brief meeting).” Because the guy who handled the slideshow was stuck on the East Coast due to storms, there weren’t any visuals for the show – it was just RS on the stage, which was really the only necessary visual (although I would like to see the show with the photographs, too.)
  • Oct. 21, 2015: Arizona State Fair in Phoenix: Since tickets were much more affordable than at a regular show, my husband and I brought our two older sons, who got to sing “Don’t Talk to Strangers” with RS when he came out into the audience. We captured it on video! (See “My sons got to sing with Rick Springfield!“) It was so surreal to have my favorite rock star/teen crush interacting with my kids and I was thrilled to hear “Down” live for the first time (from “Rocket Science,” which was released on Feb. 19, 2016.)
  • Oct. 25, 2015: Back to Las Vegas, stayed with my cousin and went to the show with her. It was her first RS show and we met some of the “Rick Chicks” in a casino bar before the show. Read about this show, when “Human Touch” was stopped short because of an audience injury so he never made it to my row: “What happened in Vegas.” (I saw two shows in one week because the fair show a few miles from home was announced after I already bought my concert ticket and plane ticket for the Vegas show.)
  • March 26, 2016: My husband and I did another road trip to Southern Arizona for a full-band show at the Desert Diamond Casino in Sahuarita. This time we stayed in the same hotel as RS and the band and even saw RS in the lobby. (I didn’t approach him, but I did write a song of regret about that afterward.) We did, however, get to chat with Siggy and say hello to the other band members and scored some “Rocket Science” guitar pics. (See “Sahuarita show.”) This show included the debut of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” in the set list.
  • July 8, 2016: Comerica Theatre in Phoenix. Brought my friend from high school again, but this time I bought the tickets and surprised her that they were in the second row. She’s quite familiar with my longtime RS infatuation and expected to hang out after the show where I was fortunate to get a quick selfie with RS. (“Summer tour rolls on.”)
  • Sadly, I wasn’t able to go to the 2017 show in Phoenix or see any shows at all that year.
  • Aug. 21, 2018: Back to Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. I went by myself for the first time, as the tickets were a little pricey and I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to go with me. (See “Concert in the round“). Still enjoyed the show, of course, and now I think of it as his last show of his 68th year and the night before he filmed “The Goldbergs” TV show. It was the first time hearing “The Snake King” songs live: “Voodoo House” and “Little Demon.”

So here we are in 2019 and three weeks from tonight, I’ll be there in the second row at the Wild Horse Pass Casino, squeezing one more RS concert into my first five decades here on Earth (or maybe there will be two more shows, if I work in the symphony show in July).

Orchestrating My Life on the charts!

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Great news on the Billboard Charts today! Rick Springfield’s “Orchestrating My Life” debuted as #4 on the Classical Album Chart. Congratulations to everyone involved!

There’s also a lovely article on people.com about his song “Irreplaceable” off the new album, along with a new video from the symphony performance interspersed with family photos.

A beautiful tribute to his mom:

“My mum died at 96 sitting in her backyard in the morning sun facing the blue spruce tree we used to call ‘Dad’s tree,” Springfield says. “She walked the walk and was good to everyone (except to me when I was 16 years old because I was a jerk back then.) I never met anyone like her.”

It’s a fitting article to come out right before Mother’s Day and I’m sure the song will touch people this year and many more years to come.

Rick the Tour Guide

RS Italy

With approximately 100 shows per year – including full band shows, solo acoustic shows and now symphony shows – Rick Springfield fans are used to going on tour with him. Some lucky fans see his shows in person multiple times a year and some of us follow the tour via videos posted on social media.

But this week, there’s been a different tour. RS is in Italy, with his wife and the band, and is sharing his travels as a tour guide, mainly on Instagram (instagram.com/rickspringfield). For instance, RS was checking out his hotel’s archaeological museum, which contains Roman ruins discovered while owner J. Paul Getty was trying to build a pool, according to our tour guide.

(I’m glad he didn’t steal the slab of Roman marble because I was watching the video with my 10-year-old and stealing an ancient Roman ruin would have set a bad example.)

We also got to see a birds-eye view of Rome and some cute pics of him and his wife enjoying their trip. His wife doesn’t seem to have aged at all either. Is there something in that Malibu water?

I wonder if his wife finds his tour guide tendencies as entertaining as his fans do?

He also shared a Facebook post about finally getting a Roman gladiator’s outfit that he really wanted as a kid but had to use cardboard covered in silver foil. It looks a little small for him, but it sounds like he fulfilled a childhood dream, so that’s OK. I’m glad it didn’t fall out of his unzipped backpack while on the second highest hill in Rome.

It’s fun to see him so excited about sharing historical tidbits. Wouldn’t this make a great show? RS the tour guide traveling around the world teaching history. Then he can also perform some shows so fans in other countries can see him perform in person.

Hey, I’d watch it.