A recent interview with Noise11.com revealed more information about another new project Rick Springfield has been working on during the pandemic. As he announced on social media earlier this month, RS recorded songs for “Jack Chrome and the Darkness Waltz,” the darker than ‘Snake King’ album about Day of the Dead that he mentioned in interviews a few weeks back, with Russell Morris, a musician in Australia.
My Aussie pal Russel Morris and I wrote and recorded these songs over lockdown and we are proud to release this albeit “very different” album. It’s dark and moody as hell. Coming to you in October and it’s available now for preorder: https://t.co/m6zrVzsZtW Enjoy! Love Rick pic.twitter.com/jU9MaBoaka
I’m not up on my Australian music scene but Russell Morris and RS go way back – this new interview mentions that RS played guitar on RM’s first album back in 1971 – and RM is the one who is scheduled to tour with Zoot next year (in the 2020 tour that was postponed to 2021 and then 2022.) (Russell Morris is doing the vocals for Zoot, filling in for lead singer Darryl Cotton, who sadly died in 2012 – nine years ago on July 27.)
In the interview, Russell Morris said he was inspired for the album after reading the book “The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto” by Mitch Albom (a really good book by the way…). Albom is also the author of “Tuesdays with Morrie,” “Five People You Meet in Heaven” and several others. One of my favorite authors!
Way back before “Jessie’s Girl,” “General Hospital” and even “Speak to the Sky,” there was Zoot.
As the Noise 11 site says, “As the 60s turned into the 70s, Zoot was one of Australia’s most popular Pop Rock bands.” After the band disbanded in 1971, each of its members went on to find more great success. If you read this blog, you likely know a great deal of what the band’s guitarist has been up to.
Other members were Beeb Birtles, who formed Mississippi then the Little River Band; Rick Brewer joined The Ferrets: and Darryl Cotton had several hits then hosted a TV show. The band reunited in 2011 on one of the Rick Springfield fan cruises, resulting in a live album and DVD. They hoped to continue performing together but sadly Darryl Cotton died the following year from liver cancer.
Now, for the first time in nearly 50 years, the band will perform a handful of gigs in Australia. Musician Russell Morris will fill in for Darryl Cotton. The show will not only include Zoot songs, but also songs that each of the individual members did after leaving the band (so Australian fans will be able to hear “Jessie’s Girl” live).
According to the Noise 11 article, the show will have three parts – “Zoot bubblegum” songs, an acoustic set and then heavier Zoot songs. (Check out the article for a lot of great videos and more information.)
The shows are Nov. 12-13 and Nov. 20-21, 2020.
Here’s a little message from RS about the tour (with an Australian accent…)
“Not as precious as the animals. They are favorites and I have quite a bit of history with some of them. I have used them in recordings, in performances.I have written countless songs on some of them. And I’ve never met a guitar I didn’t like. Wildlife Warriors are hands on and treating burned, orphaned and homeless animals that are all victims of the fires. I hope the guitars find good homes and raise some useful money for the Aussie animals.”
– Rick Springfield, Forbes
More on wildfire fundraisers
I wore my koala bear “Souls to Save” shirt for the first time the other day and my 9-year-old son, who has never commented on my clothing before as far as I can remember, took a look at it and said “I love that shirt!” I told him the story behind it and he said he loved it even more (plus he loved how soft it is). Just thought I’d share that. (Note: The shirt is now sold out and, according to the merch site, they will not be getting any more in at this time.)
An animated plumber?
Voicing an animated character is nothing new for RS. He appeared in “Family Guy” and all the the way back to the 1970s, there was “Mission: Magic!” According to a recent social media post, he also lent his voice to an Australian plumber on an episode of “Duncanville.”
Hmmm. Weird. Someone said tonight’s episode of “Duncanville” on Fox might feature an Australian plumber who sounds just like me. Guess I’ll have to watch and find out. 😉
I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, but it looks like you can watch it here.
There’s another addition to RS’s lengthy IMBD profile: “The Pitch,” a short listed as being in post-production. RS is listed as playing the character of “Barley” (he could have played the character listed as “Handsome Guy,” too.) The director of the short is Jackson White, the son of actress Katey Sagal and musician Jack White (RS’s drummer during the early 80s, among other times).
One more thing
RS had to miss the Eddie Money memorial celebration because he was sick and had to cancel a couple of shows. Hope he is feeling better now!
Rick Springfield and Sammy Hagar have announced their next collaboration: Beach Bar Rum. People magazine announced the business venture last week (see article here.)
I don’t know why, but whenever I think of this new partnership, the song “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)” starts playing in my head (from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland). (Though I guess the first song to come to mind SHOULD be “I’ve Done Everything for You.” Oh well.)
“Sammy has had such amazing success in the spirit business and I’ve wanted to get into it for a while now. When this opportunity came along I thought it was a brilliant idea. … And I am an Ernest Hemingway fan so of course I drink rum. I’ve tried a bunch of them and the Beach Bar brand is a cut above all the ones I tried — smoother and sweeter.”
The rockers are selling three kinds of rums: a classic white rum, a Kola Spiced rum and the Red Head Macadamia Nut rum. (That last one sounds especially good.)
They launched the collaboration on Jan. 23 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony recognizing the renovation and renaming of the Stratosphere hotel in Vegas – it’s now called the Strat (it’s fitting for a couple of rock guitarists to be present for launching that new name, right?) Star chef Guy Fieri, who was also there celebrating his birthday, collaborates with Hagar on Tequila brands so everyone was in good spirits.
RS’s month hasn’t been all rock n’ roll and rum. In addition to the screening of the new documentary “Orchestrating my Life” and performance/fundraiser with the Santa Monica High School Orchestra on Jan. 25, and four shows (including one at Graceland), he and Richard Marx did a live-stream fundraiser in his home studio to benefit Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors.
(Background thought on watching these videos – Is that the actual H.G, Wells cardboard cutout from the cover of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club album?! Knowing he collects Beatles memorabilia, it could be possible.)
He mentioned in the interview that the Souls to Save T-shirt Fundraising Drive for Australia, available on his merch site, has already raised $30,000! And he’s also selling some of his personal guitar collection to raise funds for Australia.
To tie this post all together, here is Rick Springfield wearing his Souls to Save T-shirt and singing Sammy Hagar’s song at Graceland.
The recent news in Australia is so horrifying, it’s incomprehensible that a country is experiencing so much devastation.
According to recent reports, since September 2019, this season’s fire season have burned 24 million acres, killed at least 28 people, destroyed about 2,000 homes and may have killed half a billion animals. An estimated 8,000 koala bears have died from the fires, which is almost one-third of all koalas in New South Wales alone, which is their main habitat.
This is so heartbreaking.
As Rick Springfield is both a huge advocate for animals and from Australia, he is the perfect spokesperson to spread awareness of the fires. Today, he shared the following video with this message:
The images in this video may be disturbing to some, but this is our reality. It is our responsibility to heal the planet and help all its inhabitants, big and small. The damage these fires have caused will be felt long after the flames are gone. Native animals that are found nowhere else on the planet are now in great danger of disappearing forever. The Veterinarians and services treating all the burned animals need money to operate. Please help and give what you can. Love & Healing, Rick Donate: https://www.wires.org.au/donate/emerg…
Additionally, the Rick Springfield Merch site has announced a T-Shirt Fundraising Drive for Australia. The vintage jersey shirt is adorable, with a picture of a koala bear in Ron’s “Working Class Dog” attire. The text says “Souls to Save: Heal Australia.” The cost is $50. Here’s the text on the site:
Devastating wildfires in Rick’s native homeland of Australia have shaken the world, and what seems like an impossible number to conceive, over half a billion of the country’s animals are dead. While we try to wrap our heads around this incredible tragedy, Australia needs our help for the survivors. 100% of the proceeds of this shirt sale will be donated to WIRES Emergency Fund.
As I was writing this, I remembered the announced title of RS’s next novel, which now sounds so ironic: “World on Fire.” I wish what is happening in Australia was just a plot in a fictional novel rather than reality.