The first episode of “Rick Springfield & Vince DeGeneres Present the Mini Series: The 60-Second Guide to Songwriting with a Partner” was posted April 1 and now, after about five weeks of entertaining videos, the new song and video will make it’s way out into the world this Friday, May 8.
Here’s a look at the development of “The Wall Will Fall.” To watch the videos on Instagram, click on each episode number. The descriptions are provided to help navigate the episodes if you’re looking to watch a specific one, but I tried not to give any spoilers away (or comment on any misinformation that may be contained within that was provided in the name of comedic relief.)
The concept of this mini-series, later called the “World’s Most Ultimate Greatest-Ever Not-so-Mini-Miniseries,” was that Vance DeGeneres and Rick Springfield would each get 30 seconds per video to work on the collaborative song. In this world premiere, Vance starts playing a few notes and then his timer rings. RS gets a little distracted with his guitar pics and shows us a guitar with his dog Bindi on it. Once he repeats what Vance played, his timer rings.
Not only does the series kick off on this day, but RS also announces that he will be holding Zoom happy hours every Sunday during the quarantine and fans are invited to send an email with their questions for a chance to be selected for the happy hour each week.
It’s a good day, especially in the midst of a pandemic.
Episode Two: The Red Scarf
The episode starts again with Vance and his dog. He plays a few more notes then runs out of time again. RS, wearing a long, red scarf, points out Vance’s guitar and feels like he he needs to step it up a bit by selecting a sparkly red guitar to play with.
Episode Three: The Drum Machine
The boys start to get a little competitive and Vance moves from in front of his bar to in front of some tall sparkly amps. RS has written the pre-chorus and makes some changes to the chords. Already at this point the song is getting catchy. RS pulls out his signed Les Paul guitar, tunes it, demonstrates his drum machine. On April 4, RS releases “No Human Touch.”
Episode Four: Signature Notes
The musical instrument competition continues and RS shows off his signed Paul McCartney bass and Vance tries to compete with some special “signed” pieces from his instrument collection, too.
Episode Five: A New Vision
RS tries to refocus on the song and moves to his Karma keyboard to take the song in a different direction. He introduces the “sing-along” idea for the end of the song, conveying a message that in the light of the coronavirus scenario that we’re all currently facing, we all have to take care of each other.
Vance introduces the lyrics for the first verse. Richard Marx offers to help with the bridge. RS plays the pre-chorus. The boys reconcile their tiff and agree to focus on the song but each add subliminal messages in the video.
Vance shares lyrics for the chorus. The first special guest is announced – Vance’s sister Ellen asks whether RS is writing on a boat because of the nautical theme of the studio. We get a little tour of his Black Lagoon home studio and learn about his passion for “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” and for submarines. RS makes some changes to the chorus and it’s the first time we hear the words “The Wall Will Fall.”
Episode Eight: Sammy Hagar and HG Wells
Vance shares the lyrics for the second verse and admits to Sammy Hagar that his guitar signed by “John, Paul, Ringo and Greg” was forged. RS repeatedly listens to the confession and then points out that the HG Wells cut-out behind him was not fake, that it is actually the cut-out from the cover of The Beatles “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” album. Then he admits that he’s gotten away from the vibe of the song and redirects himself to playing the whole song up to this point. It’s sounding great!
Episode Nine: Rock On
This episode of the “songwriting extravaganza” starts with Vance sitting behind a drum kit and the talk focuses on drums, including RS sharing his findings after conducting historical and musical research. Features Paul Stanley of KISS.
Episode 10: The Bridge
Richard Marx saves the day with providing lyrics for the bridge as RS is recovering from a virtual happy hour.
Episode 11: A Masked Vistor from Planet Claire
Vance plays a short holiday song at the request of Fred Schneider from the B-52s. (Presumably – he’s wearing a mask so it’s hard to tell for sure.) RS shares a Father’s Day song and starts talking about the recording process.
Episode 12: Full Version of ”The Wall Will Fall’
Creed from “The Office” and The Grass Roots drops in to offer some advice. RS confesses that he’s run out of clean clothes. He shows a video of himself playing the finished song (with clothes on). SO good! Whoo-hoo! On April 18, RS releases “Glove Somebody.”
Episode 13: Bring Us all Together in the Face of the Plague
Vance dresses up and RS finds some clothes. Gregg Bissonette gets clarity about the vibe of the song so he can find the right drum beat.
Episode 14: Time to Record
It’s time to start recording the song! Matty Spindel, RS’s sound engineer, comes to the Black Lagoon to record RS playing guitar and keyboard and singing, doing what he does so well. Andy Cohen makes a video guest appearance.
Episode 15 Drum Day
Gregg Bissonette, who performs with Ringo Starr, tracks his drums via a Zoom session with RS and Matty and we get to hear some drum terminology. The song is really coming together!
Episode 16 All About the Bass (and dogs)
Each episode starts with Vance’s dog Taters, so this time RS brings Bindi to the session. Matt Bissonette, Gregg’s brother and Elton John’s bass player, also brings his dog, Buddy (whose bark was featured in the “Rocket Science” song “Miss Mayhem“), to the session.
This episode features the amazing guitarist Tim Pierce, who used to tour with RS back in the 1980s and plays on additional projects (such as on “The Snake King.”) Tim also featured a behind-the-scenes look at “The Wall Will Fall” on his YouTube channel. We learn what RS likes to wear when he goes to Disneyland so now we know to be on the lookout for tall, thin guys in Indiana Jones hats once Disneyland reopens.
Episode 18 Time for Keyboards
We catch RS in a meditation session before he introduces Tim Gross, his current keyboardist. So nice to see him! Since RS fans saw so much of his current band back in those times when they were touring, it’s like seeing an old friend (an old friend who has no idea who you are). Hope they are all doing well.
Episode 19 Puppet Show and More Keyboards
Nearly a month into the series, and after many weeks of staying at home, the boys bring in some joke-telling puppets. Brett Tuggle, who toured with RS in the 1980s and many others since, adds more keyboards.
Episode 20 Slide Guitar
RS shares some history – or alternative history – about a variety of things. There is some real history here as well though. Tim Pierce and RS each play some slide guitar.
Episode 21 Sneak Preview of Video
Vance shares some sketches of the video for “The Wall Will Fall.” RS is not impressed. The recording of the song is finished! We hear an extremely short snippet of the song and learn that all the proceeds will be donated to Feeding America.
Episode 22 The Masked Man
Vance challenges RS with a video of a man wearing a mask and RS has to figure out what the man is saying.
Episode 23 Taking Calls
Vance and RS open the phone lines to take quesitons from callers.
Episode 24 Bar Chords, Ray-guns and Tootsie Pops
We learn that the song and video will be released on Friday, May 8. Screenwriter Alan Zweibel has some questions. RS answers questions about his ray-guns (they are to be used only on aliens) and how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. We also learn a little more about the video.
Episode 25 Grumpy Guy and the Silent H
Vance offers to trade RS a bottle of his Vance Vodka for a bottle of Beach Bar Rum. Alan Zweibel is back again, this time with crossed arms.
Episode 26 A 14,000-foot Pasta Noodle
Vance answers more questions, including another one from Alan Zweibel. Guy Fieri drops in to inquire what type of food their song would be.
Episode 27: The Day Before the Big Day
And now here we are, the day before the day “The Wall will Fall” is released. We’ve watched these videos for more than a month and they’ve brought so much joy to so many people. Everyone in the middle of a pandemic should be so lucky to have such a fun distraction each day.
Thank you to RS and Vance for the “Ultimate Miniseries: The Guide to Songwriting With a Partner!” Looking forward to hearing the song and seeing the video. Hopefully it will help feed lots of people!
UPDATE THE NEXT DAY
To keep all the episodes in one place, here’s the last one, which includes the video:
Episode 28: The Wall Will Fall
The big day! Vance pours a celebratory glass of his Vance Vodka and RS wears his celebratory glasses and takes a sip of Rick’s Risky Rye Whiskey. (Sounds like he may have been better off celebrating with Beach Bar Rum.) The video is awesome and the song reached #1 on iTunes the same day. Noise11.com published an article on many of the people featured in the video so if you’re playing that game, here’s the article: “Rick Springfield and his famous friends give ‘The Wall Will Fall” for charity.“
UPDATE A FEW DAYS LATER
Episode 29: Epilogue
After RS and Vance take a little break, they may do another songwriting series!