Yes, that was Rick Springfield on ‘American Horror Story: Cult’

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I don’t talk about Rick Springfield’s Dr. Noah Drake character very often because it was a long time ago and he moved away from that character a long time ago. But I did miss Dr. Noah Drake tonight…

Instead RS was Pastor Charles on “American Horror Story: Cult,” which is a horror anthology TV show and not something I’d usually watch. But I thought I’d give it a try tonight to see what RS’s character was like. IMG_20171024_222549

The episode, “Winter of our Discontent,” was creepy, as I had expected. I didn’t take a photo of the last scene – too gruesome – but it did remind me of RS’s injured rib.  He may not remember how he hurt his rib, but now we know. (Just kidding.)

He sure likes to play  creepy roles (think the freaky Dr. Irving Pitlor on “True Detective” in 2015 and Lucifer on “Supernatural” last year) and he’s disturbingly good at it. (Could this be a hint of what his upcoming new CD “The Snake King” is going to represent, some kind of creepy character?)

 

Fortunately there was a good character in the mix these past few years (Greg from “Ricki and the Flash.”)

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Ricki and the Flash

Now I need to erase the image of Pastor Charles from my head and think of RS in my favorite role.

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OK, that’s better. Now I can sleep tonight.

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Introducing Dr. Noah Drake… 36 years ago today

Thirty-six years ago today, Dr. Noah Drake walked into General Hospital in Port Charles and the wonderful RS fan(s) that post on the rsandus YouTube page (and put together the Rick Springfield and US fan site), have worked to present those days of “General Hospital” in real time (only 36 years later). The clips only include the RS scenes.

He’s so cute. I was 11 when this first aired. He was 31. Sixteen years younger than I am today. That’s so weird, can’t think about that too much so I’ll just watch and enjoy.

RS on Supernatural

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Just finished watching “Supernatural” “Mamma Mia” episode with Rick Springfield. Wow.

Since it was my first time watching the show, I didn’t know what was going on with the brothers/mom storyline, but I thought Rick Springfield did an amazing job in switching between the characters of distraught rock star Vince Vicente and Lucifer.

Although I’ve spent much of the past couple of years catching up on RS’s music, I haven’t done the same with his acting career, although I did watch the “Californication,” “Drop Dead Diva” and “Hawaii Five-O” episodes on Netflix, as well as the “True Detective” scenes and of course “Ricki and the Flash.” My favorite character is Greg on “Ricki and the Flash,” but I have to say that he does a great job of creepy (“True Detective”), narcissistic (“Californication”) and scary/evil (“Supernatural”).

For anyone who missed it, The CW now has the whole episode online. Click here to watch.

(Oh and a quick #FlashbackFriday – one year ago tonight, RS was at the Arizona State Fair and two of my sons sang “Don’t Talk to Strangers” with him. And four nights from now one year ago, I was at the RS concert in Vegas. Aw, good memories.)

 

Supernatural hotness

There’s so much going on in my mind right now that I can’t sleep. Images of shirtless Rick Springfield from his concert at the Arkansas State Fair this past week are mixed with images of him playing the devil in tonight’s “Supernatural” episode.

The part of my brain that deals with everyday life – work, carpools, homework, parent-teacher conferences, housekeeping, grocery shopping, scheduling dentist appointments, bedtime routines, etc. – has short-circuited due to an overload issue so all I have left is the brain power to contemplate the awesomeness that is Rick Springfield.

Maybe it is a long-term effect of having my bedroom walls plastered with posters like this one:

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I wonder if there have been any studies done on the effects of poster-covered walls on brain development during one’s formative years.

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My actual bedroom wall, circa the early ’80s. The photo is so old that it has faded.

It’s quite possible that having someone’s face greet you every morning when you wake up and stare at you as you fall asleep permanently alters your subconscious mind. Especially when it’s supplemented with listening to that person’s music over and over again during those formative years.

That would actually explain a lot.

Music, TV, movies and more

Rick Springfield in “The Incredible Hulk”

What do the following shows have in common? “Six Million Dollar Man,” “Wonder Woman,” “Rockford Files,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Suddenly Susan,” “Drop Dead Diva,” “Californication,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “Hot in Cleveland,” “True Detective” and “Supernatural.”

Answer: Rick Springfield was a guest star in all of them. (Thank you rickspringfield.us for the reference details.) I usually know when the repeats of these shows are shown because of all the tweets of exclamation in the Twittersphere: “Is that Rick Springfield on ‘The Incredible Hulk’?!!!!!”

From his first role in 1977 on “Six Million Dollar Man” (if you don’t count his animated character in “Mission Magic” from 1973-1974) to next month’s role as Lucifer in “Supernatural,” RS has been acting for nearly four decades. So although acting was initially more of a way to make money during slow times in his musical career – he has always said that music comes first for him – he still has quite an impressive IMDb profile.

He’s also acted in three films – “Hard to Hold” in 1984, last year’s “Ricki and the Flash” and the not-yet-released “Traces.”

Plus there’s TV movies, TV series, ( “Human Target” in 1992 and “High Tide” from 1994 to 1997), two years of a Las Vegas show (“EFX,” 2001-2002) and even a stint on Broadway (“Smokey Joe’s Cafe” in 1999). He’s also featured in two documentaries: “Affair of the Heart,” made by fans about his impact on his fans’ lives, and “Sound City,” produced and directed by Dave Grohl.

Whoops, I’m already on the sixth paragraph of this post and I haven’t even mentioned “General Hospital” yet. Can’t forget Dr. Noah Drake, his most popular character and the role that catapulted his career along with the release of “Working Class Dog” in 1981.

Then there’s those 18 studio albums, too, with one Grammy award and eight songs charting in the Top 20 on the Billboard charts. And a bestselling memoir and a bestselling novel. Plus he’s still touring and producing new music.

And yet in many people’s minds, he’s a one-hit wonder soap opera star.

I just don’t get it.

The devil is in the details

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The above article was posted yesterday about Rick Springfield’s upcoming role on “Supernatural.” The writing is fine, but there was one important thing missing: A caption to describe the photo. One line that says “Rick Springfield played a creepy doctor on ‘True Detective’ in 2015” or something to that effect. There is a photo credit at the end of the story that notes that the photo is courtesy of HBO, but I’m guessing few will make the connection that, “Wow, Rick Springfield looks horrible in this photo, what happened to him? Oh, the photo is courtesy of HBO so that must mean that he was in character in that photo.”

Sadly, people don’t often read the whole story, they just see the picture and make assumptions. And unfortunately, now that the Internet has made everyone a reporter, people assume those assumptions are true and over time they are transformed into “facts.” I’ve already seen some not very nice comments about the photo that shows that people assume that this is a current photo of RS rather than a look that took professional makeup artists a great amount of time to create.

I know this Rick Springfield advocacy may seem silly – because aren’t there more important things going on in the world? – but it’s really about the big picture (no pun intended). Misinformation is spread daily online and then people act upon this misinformation, and it often turns hateful and ugly.

There’s a saying that “the devil is in the details” and, in light of RS’s new role in “Supernatural,” it seems appropriate to include that message here.

Notes of nostalgia

Between adjusting to the back-to-school routine and some major changes at work, I totally missed the two-year anniversary of this blog.

Normally I would do recaps and reflections and yadda, yadda, yadda, but I’ve already done a few of those already (yes a few, even though it’s only been two years, since there’s the year-end recap and the anniversary recap).

So I’ll just type out a few notes of nostalgia and be done with it.

I remember so clearly that day at work two summers ago when I was checking the TV listings of our local PBS station to clarify information for our newspaper’s calendar. And then there at the bottom of the screen was a video promoting a recent interview with Rick Springfield. I knew I’d have to check that out, and did so a couple of evenings later. I was shocked to find out he had just released a novel and before that, an autobiography. Although I was a huge fan when I was younger and still cranked up “Jessie’s Girl” when it came on the radio, I hadn’t followed his career in years and had no idea what ever became of him.

I immediately put both books on hold at the local library and did some Googling to find out what he’d been up to. Watching YouTube interviews brought back so many memories that had long been buried, such as song lyrics and the way RS used to lick his lips during interviews.

After reading his documentary, “Late, Late at Night,” I recreated my reading experience by putting together a little blog with links to the videos illustrating some of the stories he told: Late, Late at Night Musical Journey. Next I started this blog, My Rick Springfield Crush, because I was so excited about rediscovering my favorite rock star, but nobody else in my real life was all that interested. I never imagined that two years later – and 212 posts later (this one is #213) I’d still be writing it. I had no idea there’d be so many new things to write about: two CDs (The “Stripped Down CD/DVD” and “Rocket Science”), two movies (“Ricki and the Flash” and “Traces”), TV shows (“True Detective” and “Supernatural”), as well as numerous interviews and concerts.  And even when I formally ended the blog about 20 posts ago, I still found myself coming back to write more.

The same week I saw that initial interview in July 2014, I learned that he would be in town for a concert a few days later, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to afford the tickets (and I also found out he’d been in town earlier in the year to promote “Magnificent Vibration” at a local bookstore. Obviously I was oblivious.) Nearly two years later, I was in the second row at the same venue and got a picture with him after the show. In between those two shows, I had seen him in concert five other times – briefly meeting him twice. I guess you might say I got a little hooked (Or you might say something else. Whatever).

Well, this post became a little more recap-y than I intended and I haven’t even written anything about RS has inspired me in other aspects of my life. Fortunately if anybody is interested, it’s already been covered in previous posts. You can even start back down in the August 2014 archives and read all the way back up to today if you want to. There are lots of good RS pictures and videos embedded along the way.

For anyone who is still reading (the current number of all-time views is 15,613, which means there are LOTS of people searching for information about Rick Springfield), thank you. 

Singin’ the blues

Although the title of this post would be fitting for how I feel about not having the means to go on the “Rick Springfield and Friends” fan getaway in the Bahamas this November, that’s not what this post is about.

No, it’s about an article that was on Billboard.com today that RS plans to work on a blues album next.

“I love slide guitar, and most people don’t know it because I don’t really play it onstage,” Springfield says. “I play [Hambone Willie Newbern’s] ‘Rollin’ and Tumblin” in my solo show, and I always get guys saying, ‘You should do a blues album.’ And I was thinking about writing something as opposed to just doing copies of blues songs that everybody’s done. I’m all for expanding people’s views, y’know?”


Here’s a video of “Rollin’ and Tumblin’ ” from the Stripped Down show I saw last year (it’s not my video – I found it on YouTube and the video it would be much blurrier if it was mine – but I was in the Fox Tucson Theatre  when it was being filmed and met him briefly after the show.)

When I first heard last year that he was working on a country album, I was a little wary, as I’ve never been a big fan of country music. But “Rocket Science” has become one of my favorite albums of all time.

Since I’m much more a fan of blues than I am country, today’s news is pretty exciting! I wouldn’t say I’m a blues aficionado, but I’ve been fortunate to see B.B. King, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley and Eric Clapton perform live. Plus, my husband is a big blues fan and RS playing the blues is his favorite part of the RS shows he’s seen so maybe he’ll be more eager to go to another one with me in the future.

The Billboard article also talks about the 35th anniversary of “Working Class Dog” (have you seen the collector’s-edition guitar that celebrates that anniversary? It’s really cool-looking and one lucky fan can get it at each show – along with a meet-and-greet – for a mere $2,500.) And of course the article also addresses his upcoming role as Lucifer on “Supernatural.”

And if a full-band tour, a solo tour, a new movie and a role on a popular TV show isn’t enough, apparently he’s headed to Germany next year with the Rock Meets Classic tour – where American rockers perform with a symphony orchestra. Also on the tour are members/former members of The Eagles, Toto, Uriah Heep and Magnum. The tour visits 15 German arenas from March 30 to April 18. RS is listed as a “very special guest.”

 

 

A devilish rock star role

About a year ago at this time, we were waiting for the premiere of “Ricki of the Flash,” in which Rick Springfield played Greg, a nice aging rocker who played in a bar band with his girlfriend (played by Meryl Streep). Yesterday, it was announced that RS is filming another aging rocker role – but one very different from Greg.

In the TV series “Supernatural,” he is going to be Vince Vincente, an aging rock star trying to make a comeback and whose body provides a vessel for Lucifer. I’ve never watched “Supernatural” and hadn’t even heard of it until last week, so I can’t explain what that means, but I’m sure RS will do a great job. He also played an out-of-control aging rock star in “Drop Dead Diva” in 2014;  in 2009, he played a narcissistic rock star version of himself on “Californication”; and in 2007 he played rock star Eli Love on “General Hospital.” And of course, his role of Jamie Roberts in his 1984 film debut, “Hard to Hold.” Sometime this year, the film “Traces” is supposed to come out, where he’ll play Carl, a record store owner. Not sure if Carl was a rock star before he opened the record store. (He also played a very creepy non-rock star, Dr. Irving Pitlor on “True Detective” in 2015.)

In the tweets following the announcement of this “Supernatural” role, some tweeters tweeted about whether RS would now sing “Jessie’s Girl” at future comic-cons.

There always seems to be a “Jessie’s Girl” comment no matter what RS does. But it did make me realize that RS would actually be a great guest at a comic-con because if that was something he’d be interested in, he certainly would be qualified. His 1970s credits include “Wonder Woman,” “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “The Incredible Hulk” and “Battlestar Galactica.” He was even a cartoon in “Mission Magic!” and “Family Guy.”

The list of his acting credits is long (check out his IMDb credits to see for yourself, if you’re not aware of all his acting work; there are many non-rocker roles and he has also done musical theater.)

So just as he’s much more than “Jessie’s Girl” in his musical career, he’s more than Dr. Noah Drake in his acting career. And in addition to his musical and acting accomplishments, there’s also his bestselling books – his memoir “Late, Late at Night” and his novel, “Magnificent Vibration.”

In real life, RS is more of an ageless rock star. With a new album that came out earlier this year (“Rocket Science”), the new film scheduled to come out sometime this year (“Traces”), a national tour (with both full-band shows and solo shows) and now this TV show (“Supernatural”), this rock star sure has a lot going on.

Here are other sources that highlight his acting roles:

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Birthday season

Similar to the idea that Christmas decorations start making an appearance in stores around Halloween, Rick Springfield’s birthday season has begun, although his birthday is more than a month away (Aug. 23).

At a concert last week, a round of “Happy Birthday” was an unofficial part of the set list and dedicated fans have kicked off The 2016 Rick Springfield Birthday Charity Campaign.

His fans started raising money for charity back in 2007 – generated by his return to “General Hospital” that year that had a fundraising component  tied to the show. Over the years, it has morphed into an annual birthday campaign – since 2007, the effort has raised over $80,000 for charity.

Last year’s campaign raised $18,666.

The fans raise money for a charity of RS’s choice – he has requested that people donate to charity rather than spend money on gifts for him. This year’s charity is the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation, which provides a safe haven for the animals it rescues. And as any RS fan knows, he loves dogs. So, in a sense, this fundraiser helps him carry out his early aspirations of being a veterinarian because money given in his honor is helping so many dogs.

The fan-driven campaign officially began on July 15 and continues through Sept. 3 (although if I recall correctly, there were still rounds of “Happy Birthday” sang at October shows last year.)

All donations will receive raffle tickets and this year’s grand prize is “Rockin’ with Rick,” a soundcheck for two. There are other prizes, too, donated by fans. For entry rules and prize information, visit happybirthdayrick.com.

And what is the birthday boy up to as he reaches retirement-age-plus 2? He seems to be making up for the time he took off back in the 1980s/1990s and doesn’t appear to be slowing down at all. He’s currently on a summer tour and doing some filming for an acting gig. (Update on July 24: It was confirmed today that RS will appear as rock star Vince Vincente/Lucifer on the “Supernatural” TV series.) Probably doing some writing during his travel time, too.

He’s received some nice press on his current tour, a nice change from the “‘Jessie’s Girl’ singer is coming to town” headlines that seemed much more prevalent two years ago when I started this blog. Check out this beautiful blog post on The Huffington Post written by a mom/longtime fan: Celebrating Youth: 9 Year Old Boy With Autism Rocks Out on Drums, While Rick Springfield Leads the Crowd in Singing Happy Birthday to His 7 Year Old Sister. The blog post includes a video of this sweet encounter.

He also received some press about his appearance in Cleveland earlier this week, a charity concert held at the same time as the Republican National Convention. Rather than spew any political opinions, he simply performed a hit-filled, high-energy concert and wore a T-shirt that said, “Not an endorsement.” A wise move, I thought.

Since I don’t have any concerts lined up for the RS birthday season, I’ll just extend my birthday greetings here (yes, my 13-year-old self that generates this blog sometimes pretends that RS actually reads it): Happy birthday! Your fans are glad you’re alive and we appreciate all the joy you bring to the world!