Rick Springfield with the Nashville symphony

This past summer, Rick Springfield toured Europe with the Rock Meets Classic tour – an annual European tour featuring classic rock artists backed up by a symphony orchestra – and I guess he enjoyed it because now tickets are on sale for a June 29, 2018 show with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes totally unrelated parts of your life have mysterious connections that you can’t really explain and it just seems so funny although if you actually tell somebody about it, you feel a little silly? Well, this blog seems like a good place to share this, so here’s an example:

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been binge-watching the television show “Nashville” (I just started Season 4) so the news of RS playing in Nashville fits right into that particular track of my life. AND in the episode that I just started watching, rock star Markus Keen just arrived in Nashville after being signed to Rayna James’ label.

That’s it. Nothing too monumental and I’m not expecting Luke Wheeler to be a special guest at next year’s show or anything, but I just thought that was kind of funny.

(And I think it’s cool that RS is doing this. Rock, country, blues, symphony orchestra, fiction, nonfiction, movies, Broadway, TV shows, the list of his accomplishments keeps getting longer…)

Update on Aug. 12, the day after I wrote this post: Guess who was on the episode of “Nashville” I watched tonight?

Jack White, Rick Springfield’s drummer in the 1980s! Ha, life is so funny sometimes.

It looks like there might be some live videos for tonight’s show in Vegas so I’m off to see.  Thanks, Rick and the NEWSflash!

Get Rick Fit prizes

When I returned home from Los Angeles, I had a wonderful surprise waiting for me!

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The #getrickfit Facebook group had a team competition, matching up teams of two to compete against each other to see who could get the most steps in two weeks. I was lucky to get Jenni on my team and she is a super stepper and I didn’t want to let her down so I walked way more than I would have if it wasn’t for this competition. Usually in triple-digit temperatures, you try to find nearby parking spots, but I went for spots on the other end of the parking lot so I could get more steps in. And on some nights I’d run up and down the stairs before bed just to get some more steps in before midnight. Fortunately, part of this competition occurred during vacation and museum visits can can help with this, too, especially if you take the stairs instead of the elevator.

Anyway, I came home to this wonderful package sent by Tracey Stein, who started the Get Rick Fit group. (Check out the #getrickfit Facebook page here.)

Here’s what was inside:

A Get Rick Fit T-shirt, sticker and postcards

A certificate of achievement

A great RS photo

An award signed by RS (Tracey said that she brought a pack of awards to a meet & greet to let him know about the competition and ask him to sign a few. He offered to sign them all. Awww…)

And, the coolest part of all: A signed “Speak to the Sky” 45 record from Tracey’s personal RS collection. Thank you, Tracey!!

 

And thanks, RS, for inspiring so many people in so many ways!

California dreamin’

I’ve spent the last few days in Los Angeles about an hour or so away from RS. But despite what some of my post-concert blog posts may have indicated, I am not a stalker at heart and I haven’t spent any time in Malibu or Beverly Hills on the lookout for him (those tend to be the places he shows up in photos on social media when he’s not touring). But I’ll probably be keeping an eye out for him at LAX, just in case.

My kids and I are visiting relatives and as it has often happened in the nearly three years that I started this blog, RS seems to make an appearance in my mind during the ins and outs of daily life. For instance, when we were on the beach in Santa Monica, my mother-in-law pointed out the mountain in the distance to my kids and told them that behind that mountain is a place called Malibu. Of course I blurted out, “That’s where Rick Springfield lives,” then she gave me that look she gives me when I mention him. Another time she was telling the kids about low tide and high tide and  I wanted to say that RS was in a show called “High Tide,” but I kept my mouth shut that time.

I have a memory of visiting my cousins in Culver City back in the 1980s, when I tried to talk one of my cousins into driving me to Glendale because I had heard that’s where RS lived. She refused, telling me it was too far. I got really annoyed with her and threatened to walk there. (I had no idea where it was. It would have been a long walk.)

RS mentioned (in  a recent concert video posted on FB) that he’s finishing up the recording of his next CD, “The Snake King,” with plans to have it out later this year. Since he’s had a lull in his touring this week (which is why I’m assuming that he’s home nearly an hour away), that likely means that I’m about an hour (or so, it depends on traffic) away from where he’s recording the new CD. I thought that was pretty exciting. And – with my overactive imagination – I half-expected him to announce an impromptu appearance at a local blues bar where he’d be playing his new stuff. I’ve been on the lookout for it, but haven’t seen anything about it. But it would be cool though, right? Do you think if he just showed up at a blues bar jam night that he could play and be unrecognizable because nobody would be expecting him to be there playing the blues? If he  stayed away from singing “Jessie’s Girl,” maybe that would work.

OK, it’s after midnight so these are just late-night ramblings. Maybe I’ve had too much of the California sun – we had a beach day today. BUT – one other cool RS thing that happened this week – FINALLY news that he’s coming to Phoenix this year – and I got tickets!

‘The Snake King’

Rick Springfield’s upcoming CD “The Snake King” is starting to get some press – with an article that came out yesterday on Bristol Herald Courier in advance of a concert this weekend.

The article had this quote: “I have a new CD coming out called ‘The Snake King’ that has the potential to put the final nail in the old teenybopper coffin,” said Springfield.

Unfortunately the article cut off in the middle of a sentence, so there wasn’t any clear explanation of why this might be (Update: The missing text is added, but no more info on the new CD) . For RS fans who have listened to “Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance” or read “Late, Late at Night,” that shiny, happy teenybopper image dissolved long ago. (For me it was in 2014 when I “rediscovered” Rick Springfield although SDAA came out in 2004 and his autobiography in 2010.)

He’s also alluded to the idea that even his current fans might not like it because it’s so drastically different than what he’s done in the past. But last year’s “Rocket Science,” had a country feel and now it’s one of my favorite CDs, although country is a genre I was never particularly fond of. (Lately I have been binge-watching “Nashville,” a show I watched a few episodes of a couple years ago in preparation for the release of “Rocket Science.” RS connection: Rascal Flatt’s Jay DeMarcus – who co-wrote “Down” with RS – was on an episode I recently watched, writing a song with one of the characters.)

Back in 2015, RS was already performing some of his “Rocket Science” songs in concert before the 2016 release of the CD (“Light this Party Up” and “Down”), so maybe we’ll hear a song or two at an upcoming concert (and hopefully somebody will share the video online). He usually includes at least one blues song in his set list at concerts, which showcases his awesome guitar skills so I’m looking forward to hearing his original blues songs.

I’m not sure how accurately “Nashville” depicts the music business scene, but one clear message I’ve gotten is that the artists don’t always get to record the songs they want to perform because once they sign with a label, they often have to do what their record label dictates and not what they want to do.  (It’s made me appreciate that I have full creative control of my own songs, even though nobody besides my immediate family actually hears them.)

So as a longtime RS fan, I’m thrilled that he’s making new music and that his repertoire of songs covers so many different styles.

RV Catification

It’s been a little over a year since Rick Springfield’s guitar tech Ruben Velasco died of cancer at age 41 and a project in honor of his love for cats is under way in his memory: The R.V. RV Cat Mobile.

This RV – a play on his initials and actually an RV – will  be used to transport cats (and dogs) during emergencies, for adoptions and to schools for educational programs. According to the Indigogo site describing the project, the RV was purchased through Rick Springfield’s Ruben Velasco Legacy Fund – the one created last year that offered a backstage experience that included being an honorary guitar tech backstage at RS shows last summer.  According to rickspringfield.com, the fund collected $47,000 in donations from RS fans and minus the cost of marketing and the cost of the guitars and other goods provided to those that purchased the backstage experience, a total of  $35,576 was donated to the Fur & Feather Animal Sanctuary, the organization that purchased the RV and plans to modify it for this special use.

Because the Sanctuary is in a level-4 Fire Zone, the modified RV will be able to be used as part of an evacuation plan – providing a safe rescue vehicle for the cats, a refrigerator for their medications and even separate quarters for cats with leukemia (The Sanctuary houses many special needs cats.)

The campaign goal is $25,000 and when people contribute to the fund, they qualify for special gifts. The Rick Springfield-related ones are signed Rick Springfield photos and “Still Rockin for Ruben” T-shirts. For the full list of prizes and more information about the RV and the Sanctuary, visit the Indigogo site: The Sanctuary Cats R.V.- RV Needs CATification!

 

What we know so far about the new CD

I wanted to start this post out by first clarifying that not all of its content is verified and is solely what exists in my head based on bits and pieces of information found online. That being said, here we go…

  1. Genre: In interviews, RS has said that he is making a blues album, so that’s pretty much confirmed.
  2. The name: There have been a couple references to the new CD’s title as “The Snake King.” “Rocket Science” was originally supposed to be called “Mayhem,” so we won’t really know until its closer to being released.
  3. Theme: Judging from the blues genre and the working title “The Snake King,” I have a feeling that it won’t have the same positive vibes as “Rocket Science.” A snake just doesn’t conjure up the same emotion as the dressed-up chimpanzee on the cover of “Rocket Science.” Starting back with the original book – the Bible – snakes don’t have a great reputation so a reference to a “snake king” sounds somewhat sinister.
  4. Contributors: References to the recording session have included his current band, the wonderful producer Jeff Silverman ( a member of his band back in the 70s, as well as someone who has produced much of RS’s work), singer-songwriter Windy Wagner (who is credited as doing background vocals on “Light This Party Up“) and guitarist Tim Pierce (a member of RS’s ’80s band The Fabulous Eels.) (July 3 update: a blog post by Jimmy Z Zavala, who played harp (harmonica) on “Bop ‘Til You Drop” records for the new album at RS’s home studio.)
  5. Songs so far: We were treated to a snippet of one of the songs this week on social media, with a line that sounds like “I aspired for something greater, what I expected I don’t know.”

As the 2017 touring continues this weekend and beyond, hopefully we’ll be learning a little more about it soon!

#FlashbackFriday: Treasures from the 1980s, then and now

Our air conditioning went out last night and since the evening temperature is still about 102 degrees (down from the day’s 119 degrees) me and the family are across town staying at my dad’s house tonight. The house I grew up in, which means my teen RS collection is in my old desk drawer. 

So I thought I’d share a few treasures:

Tour merchandise order form from 1982, including an offer to join the new, innovative Rick Springfield Club, which included “a special record from Rick.” Cost: $8 for the year.

The fan club included an assortment of color pictures, which of course I put in a photo album (which is now falling apart from age):

Can anyone translate this?

Apparently I was doing some sort of research:

For more of these treasures, see this previous post, right after I rediscovered them in the 21st century: Where it all began.

And moving on to the future, today we got a listen of the first snippet of a song from RS’s new album, featuring none other than guitarist Tim Pierce from RS’s band back in the 1980s, The Fabulous Eels.

Feeling GIPHY

Rick Springfield now has his own GIPHY (Giphy is a database for GIF files. In case somebody reads this years from now when this terminology is outdated, an animated GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) file is a graphic image on a Web page that moves.)

Because RS demonstrated his artistic talent in his illustrations in “Magnificent Vibration,” I’m not sure if his tweeted announcement meant that it’s his first GIPHY that he created or if it’s the first official one of him: “Hey now! My first GIPHY.”

But regardless, since it is 119 degrees outside, I thought I’d find something to do inside, such as try to find the sources for RS’s different looks in his GIPHY. Not sure if I’ve got it right, but here are my best guesses. 

  1. Comic Book Heroes/Mission Magic

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2. Dr. Noah Drake on “General Hospital”

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3. Rolled-up sleeve look

No idea.

4. Human Touch

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5. Bop ’til you drop

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6. Rock star in the 2000s look, with long hair and tattoo on left arm

Because of the color of the shirt – and the long hair and scruffy face – it reminds me of this look, which is from one of my very favorite photo sessions.

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7. Souls

My first guess on this one is “Souls” even though he’s not actually wearing a tattered suit with a red tie in the video, but he does have a scruffy look.

8. Suited

He’s worn lots of suits during the course of his career, but can’t think of a specific one for this. Is it supposed to be “Jessie’s Girl”?

OK, that was fun.

A GIF from a show I was at. Awww, memories:

And my very favorite GIPHY:

Random connections from the photos in the envelope

After the last post about the Rick Springfield photographs I found in an envelope in a box in my garage, somebody noted that Joe Gottfried – co-founder of Sound City Studios – was one of the men in the photos.

So I did an image search for “Joe Gottfried Sound City” and found a similar photo on producer Jeff Silverman’s website for his Palette Music Studio Productions. On the page with the photo, Silverman describes his early days in the music business, including how he first met Rick Springfield and his connection with Sound City Studios. The page doesn’t say where the black and white photo was from, but the caption says the photograph is from the “Sound City” movie and it looks to be from the same event as the photos I found.

So that mystery is somewhat solved, but what I then realized was that this ended up being a reminder of how mysterious life can be and how interconnected we all are. I don’t know if I can articulate it clearly, but I’ll try.

The person who sent me the photos, who I lost touch with years ago, was somebody I didn’t know all that well – she was the girlfriend of my ex-husband’s guitar teacher and was in a band in Los Angeles that we saw a few times. Apparently she knew I was a big fan of Rick Springfield because she was the one who got me into the Wherehouse in the first group to meet RS in April 1999, the day “Karma” was released, and before I went to Las Vegas to see a RS show later that year, she told me she knew RS’s guitar player. When I saw his guitarist in the bar after the show, I mentioned her to him and he gave me his phone number to give to her.

So that’s the first part of this scenario. Then the second piece is that a similar photo to the one she mailed me is on Jeff Silverman’s website. What’s weird about that is that last year I contacted him to find out about how his online/virtual recording studio works after hearing him talk about it on a Rowdy Ron online radio show.

I will be forever grateful to Jeff Silverman for taking the time to listen to some of my songs and for his words of encouragement for my songwriting. He was so nice and gave me such invaluable advice about how to move forward with my efforts. (Ironically, the one song he expressed interest in was the one that stemmed from a conversation from my mother-in-law after watching “Ricki and the Flash.”)

Anyway, perhaps it’s just because it’s late at night as I’m writing this that all these connections related to RS seem so mind-blowing, but I’m just feeling super appreciative for all these small acts of kindness that people in my past have done for me and wanted to send out waves of thanks to them.