40 years ago this month

As we await the release of the 40th anniversary special live edition of “Working Class Dog” (on June 17) and the summer tour that starts Aug. 5, I was pondering the fact that it’s been 40 years since I first heard the album.

And then it struck me – my youngest son, who turned 12 earlier this month, is the same age I was when I first became a Rick Springfield fan. What the *#@!&?

None of my sons are obsessed with anyone as I was at that age. Did my parents think it was weird that my walls were plastered with posters of somebody who was 20 years older than me?

My oldest son is a big fan of hip hop and my younger sons have a playlist of music from video games, but there’s nothing that compares to my teenage obsession of my favorite rock star. My kids are much more obsessed with playing online video games with their friends than they are following any particular artist fandom.

I remember waiting for the monthly teenybopper magazines to come out (Tiger Beat, 16, Teen Beat, Bop, etc.) so I could learn more about RS and add a new poster to my wall. I’d sit listening to Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 radio show with a handheld tape recorder so I could record my favorite songs. My kids can pretty much listen to whatever song they want at any time and, if they had a favorite rock star, could follow them on Facebook or TikTok or whatever else and learn about what they were doing as it happened. Yes, being a fan was very different in the ’80s.

Although I’m feeling a bit old thinking about this, I also realize how lucky RS fans are that their favorite rock star is still putting out new music and performing all these years later. It’s pretty cool to be able to relive the excitement even after 40 years and 14 shows (See “A spritz of happiness at Wild Horse Pass” to relive that vicariously.)

OK, I’m going to do a little more math here.

I became a Rick Springfield fan in 1982, which was 40 years ago, with the first mention of him on May 15 in my 1982 diary. (So that’s actually 40 years ago this month, wow. ) I was 12 at that time, then turned 13 that summer. My two younger sons are currently 12 and 13.

My first RS concert was in September 1983, 39 years ago, when I was 14. RS was 34. I have tickets for my 15th show this August and my oldest son is 15. My second show was in October 1984, when I was 15.

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this, but thanks for bearing with me as I go through the shock of this.

Hangin’ out with Rick Springfield

Rick Springfield fans got a chance to hang out live with him in his home studio yesterday, as part of the promotion for the the 40th anniversary of his Working Class Dog album.

That would have been totally unimaginable 40 years ago. The very thought of doing that would have blown my teenage mind. Just him and about 2,000 fans who had a chance to ask him questions live. Pretty cool.

If you missed it, it’s still available here at talkshop.live- at least on the day I’m writing this. Quick, stop reading this now and go watch it!

He’s very entertaining. He talked about the upcoming summer tour and the next (and last) fan trip (in development, probably 2023 though no date or other details set yet), shared stories from his career and sang a song (“Jessie’s Girl”).

Topics included how he recorded ‘Working Class Dog’ in the wee hours of the night between paying customers; his vocal warmup technique (which includes a PSA about tea tree oil dissolving Styrofoam); Keeper of the Purple Twilight from “The Outer Limits,” “2001: A Space Odyssey”; the sequel of ‘Jessie’s Girl” (yes, ‘Tonight’ on “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet” is a sequel and has a different outcome than in Coheed and Cambria’s version); drummer Jack White; the cancellation of the Zoot tour; and whether any acting or writing projects are in progress. And of course because this was a live Q&A, it was required that someone ask him if he planned to ever return to “General Hospital.”

He also described the stickers he has on an Australian guitar that he decorated to look like a suitcase, noting that they represent things that he likes: Tutankhamun, Australia, hot girls, Ganesh, Apollo and a magpie.

And of course a fun shoutout to my 13-year-old self, he even said my name! (He was talking to someone else with the same name, but that’s not relevant in this case.)

He also shared his feeling about recreating the photo on the back of “Working Class Dog.”

Also this week was the release of the video of “Jessie’s Girl” that was filmed with the band in his living room for this 40th anniversary celebration. Hi there, band members!

Speaking of RS band members, there was also a fun interview with bassist Siggy Sjursen on “PS After Dark with Tristan Rogers,” which also features keyboardist Tim Gross.

New ‘Working Class Dog’ CD/DVD

In case you missed the latest Rick Springfield news, here’s an update: Presales are happening now for the “Working Class Dog 40th Anniversary Special Live Edition CD/DVD” and RS will be on talkshoplive this Friday, May 6 at 7 p.m. Eastern to talk about it.

Here’s the description of the CD/DVD, which features Ron on the cover like the original album, but with an updated picture of RS in the pocket (like as in 40 years later, as in last year.)

 In April of 2021, 13 months into quarantine, Rick Springfield and his band performed his most iconic album, “Working Class Dog, ” from start to finish live at Rick’s home in Malibu in celebration of it’s 40th Anniversary. The resulting work is a renewed interpretation of a classic. The DVD features behind-the-scenes footage, all the joyful live performances, plus 4 bonus Rick Springfield hits: “Love Somebody, ” “Don’t Talk to Strangers, ” “State of the Heart, ” and “Affair of the Heart.”

Learn more about this here.

I’m excited about this because it’ll be fun to hear the new, live versions in order as they appear on the album, as originally heard 40 years ago: 1. Love Is Alright Tonite, 2. Jessie’s Girl, 3. Hole in My Heart, 4. Carry Me Away, 5. I’ve Done Everything for You, 6. The Light of Love, 7. Everybody’s Girl, 8. Daddy’s Pearl, 9. Red Hot & Blue Love and 10. Inside Sylvia.

But I’m also eager to hear more about the new album he’s been working on, too!