Concerts, interviews and ‘Jack Chrome’

To paraphrase The Red Locusts, our life has been turned upside down and it looks like our world is askew. What else can we do but try to make sense of it?

Here we are about 18 months from when the world as we knew it changed and although COVID-19 is still very much affecting things, it is comforting to see some aspects of pre-COVID life returning – like concerts. I haven’t personally been to any yet but have enjoyed seeing pictures and watching videos of recent RS concerts in other cities.

In an attempt to keep people safe, many venues have new guidelines in place, such as requiring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. Some may also require masks (although that doesn’t seem to be the case in any concert footage I’ve seen). RS fans, who are prone to traveling long distances to see their favorite rocker in concert, have been turned away at the venue for not having the proper paperwork so consider this a public service announcement to check venue requirements before heading to a show.

With touring comes the occasional pre-show interview including this one in Florida Today: “Q&A with singer/songwriter Rick Springfield: ‘I love what I do.’ No “Was there really a’ Jessie’s Girl’?” in this article – thank goodness. Instead it covers the music business, songwriting technique and a look at what’s next.

Here’s a recent review as well: “Buck Hill Concert Series heats up the slopes in Burnsville, Minnesota, September 21, 2021,” in All Music Magazine.

I don’t think Buck Hill and its patrons were truly ready for the headliner of the night, Australian-born singer, songwriter, author, and actor Rick Springfield. Looking suave and dressed in all black he commanded the stage when the lights came on. Just one month younger than my own mother, at age 72, Rick Springfield is still rocking like he’s 22.

Cat Parker, All Music Magazine

The review also mentions members of the band, which is nice, as it’s also been great seeing them all back on stage as well. The writer also spoke to a few fans. Plus there are a lot of great concert pics!

Thanks to all the fans who have shared concert pics and videos on social media!

Can you believe it’s already almost October? It seems like we were just celebrating the arrival of 2021 and the end of 2020 (little did we know that 2021 wouldn’t look much different then its predecessor.) The arrival of October means that it’s almost the arrival of “Jack Chrome and the Darkness Waltz,” a collaboration between RS and Russell Morris, an Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist. The new album is centered around “Day of the Dead” and is scheduled to be released on Oct. 15.

From jbhifi.com: “This is Russell Morris and Rick Springfield like you’ve never heard them before. They have come together to create Jack Chrome & The Darkness Waltz, an album that celebrates Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) with the narrator, Jack Chrome, leading the listener through a compelling song cycle about life and death.”

“After losing parents and grandparents, I’ve always loved the concept of day of the dead,” Russell explains. “It’s all about celebrating life and bringing those spirits back.”

“Russ is the happy one,” Rick smiles. “He brought a lot of the positive songs to the project, whereas mine get pretty dark.”

jbhifi.com

Also from the article: “Russell and Rick first recorded together 50 years ago, when Rick played on Russell’s debut album, Bloodstone. Rick later appeared on Van Diemen’s Land, but this is the first time the good friends have made an entire album together. Ultimately, this album is a celebration of life.”

Sounds intriguing, I look forward to hearing it! Here’s a little teaser:

Back on stage after 16 months

Last night was the first full-band concert in 16 months and it was incredible!

Well, I wasn’t actually there – Rick Springfield was the featured guest for the free 12th annual Lights on the Lake event in Sherman, Texas – but thanks to the generosity of RS fans who posted videos on RS fan Facebook pages, other fans got to experience parts of it, from the attempt to put on a hazmat suit before going out into the audience for “Human Touch” to the rose explosions and him filming the audience as he came out on stage.

(He shared the video on his social media pages today.)

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I’m guessing that it was a thrill for them all to be back on stage for a live show after such a long stretch of time, especially that at this time last year we weren’t sure if things would ever get back to “normal.” It’s so nice to see everyone – both band and fans – being together again. It’s almost like the pandemic was just a bad dream and now we can we just can go back to getting together to celebrate happy moments together.

(However, I still felt a bit of the teenybopper/mother hen syndrome, with a mix of “Yay, he’s still going out into the audience for ‘Human Touch’!” and “I hope they all stay healthy, there’s still that Delta Variant of COVID-19 and will that mask and gloves protect him enough?” Shut up, mother hen, and just enjoy the concert, sheesh.)

Seriously though, I hope everyone stays healthy.

I’m especially grateful to those fans who shared their view from the spots close to the stage. Sometimes he seems to be looking directly into the camera, which makes it even more fun watching from home because of that whole “Oh my gosh, he’s looking right at me!” feeling I remember feeling at 13 (when I was watching through binoculars from many rows away from the stage).

Other RS notes

I recently re-listened to the audiobook of “Late, Late at Night” (since I had subscribed to Audible to listen to “World on Fire,” I thought I might as well get his autobiography, too, since I had borrowed it from the library from when I read it back in 2014.) After listening to him talking about his life again, it was even cooler to see him back in action on stage. I wonder if there will be a sequel to the autobiography at some point so we can learn more about what went on behind-the-scenes this past decade (or longer, depending on when he would write it.)

Beach Bar Rum biz

It’s not like RS has been staying at home throughout this whole pandemic. After he received his vaccination, he’s made appearances at different places, like last weekend in Las Vegas, where he spent an evening at Cabo Wabo and attended a Nightclub and Bar Convention with Sammy Hagar for Beach Bar Rum.

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Review of The Red Locusts album

I also received my Red Locusts CD. I have been listening to the album via streaming, but wanted to hear the additional song and hoped for lyrics. No lyrics though. Has anyone gone put together the lyrics that they’d like me to post? So far I haven’t found them anywhere online.

Why would I write about some random band called The Red Locusts on a Rick Springfield blog? Well despite the secrecy behind it, the word seems to be out, judging by this review of the album. Not that anyone who listens to it would be surprised. Even my 12-year-old who heard it for the first time in the car when I picked him up from camp said, “Is this Rick Springfield?” during the song that was playing.

Working Class DJ

RS has also continued with his Working Class DJ show on SiriusXM (another subscription I’ve acquired due to a RS offering), which debuted in January. It’s a lot of fun listening to his little stories and funny bits on a weekly basis and the music is great. This past one had a Fourth of July theme where he actually played a Bruce Springsteen song (which he introduced as Bruce Springfield and then explained the confusion people have had through the years between the two. (A clip from his song “Bruce” is below.)

Here’s a Medley, from rsandus:

And here’s a great fan video from Travels from Nick.

Check out future concerts on the official RS page. Thanks again to the fans who shared their videos of last night’s show!

Concerts on the calendar

Is it possible that we’re ready to emerge from our pandemic hibernation and start attending concerts again?!

It appears so, as this recently appeared on my news feed:

Pretty amazing, right?

So nice to see the announcement of a concert instead of a cancellation!

On the Macon City Auditorium website, it currently says it’s a “normal capacity” event and that “protocols for cleanliness and guidance from local and national officials will be followed at the time of the event.” Does that mean it will look like the photo in the ad or that “Human Touch” will involve RS going back into the audience? Not sure if we’re quite at that point yet, but September is still a few months away and more and more people are getting vaccines, so I suppose that’s possible. It looks like there’s also a show scheduled for June 12 in Ashland, Kentucky.

Additionally, it seems RS may be heading to Australia in the fall as well, as the Zoot reunion tour has been rescheduled from November 2020 to October 2021 and tickets are on sale for that.

Party at the Beach Bar

In other RS news, he and Sammy Hagar have been busy promoting Beach Bar Rum and have shared some other exciting concert news in a Forbes magazine article: “Sunday Conversation: Sammy Hagar and Rick Springfield on their rum business, wanting to tour together and taking over Catalina.”

The article mentions the “Party at the Beach Bar” song RS wrote (heard in this promotional video featuring fans here):

The article also talks about how they’ve been discussing residences in Las Vegas and on Catalina Island where they would perform and through big parties with a Beach Bar theme.

We’re planning a little residency in Vegas and a residency on Catalina, a place where you can set the party down and do it every weekend. Let the people come from out of town, experience a cool place like Catalina, a cool place like Vegas. Everybody knows how much fun you can have in Vegas when it opens back up.

Sammy Hagar on forbes.com

That sounds fun!

From Zoot to Zoom

Coming up this weekend is a special Zoom event for those who purchased the new Red Locusts album. (Unfortunately I won’t be there since I didn’t purchase the album since I don’t have a turntable.) It’ll feature The Red Locusts, featuring those talented blokes Paul Ramone, Scotty Skuffleton and Skippy Skuffleton, who are seen rehearsing in a recent tweet:

Still hoping that the album will be available in other formats at some point because it would be great to hear it! Here’s what the Forbes article says about the project and others, including the dark one he mentioned in a previous interview that is scheduled to come out in November.

I’ve recorded two anonymous albums. One with a band I put together with Gregg Bissonette and Matt Bissonette. It’s very Beatle-driven, very pop, ’60s British Invasion. And I did another one, very dark, dark, dark album with a friend of mine in Australia about Day Of The Dead and then I’m writing my own stuff. 

Rick Springfield, forbes.com

So there are a few things to look forward, too, in addition to his weekly stint as the Working Class DJ on SiriusXM, which are fun to listen to.

To anyone going to the Zoom event – have fun! I’ve received my two vaccine doses so I’ll be here waiting for an announcement of a local concert!

Thinking back to October 2015

Five years ago today I was in Las Vegas getting ready to see Rick Springfield and Loverboy perform at The Joint in Hard Rock Hotel. It was an extra special RS week, as I had seen him earlier that week in Phoenix at the Arizona State Fair. (I had purchased the Vegas concert tickets and plane tickets before the Arizona show, a few minutes from my house, was announced.)

My two older sons, who were 7 and 9 at the time, got to sing “Don’t Talk to Strangers” with him at the fair, which was a huge thrill!

Can you imagine? Two Rick Springfield concerts in one week?! (And I’d seen him twice earlier that year – a full-band show and a Stripped Down show – and got to briefly meet him afterward both times.)

As painful as it is to fans that there are no RS concerts on the horizon to look forward to, it must be even more difficult for RS to not have any planned. He looked so happy to be up on stage for the recent Sammy Hagar birthday bash on Catalina Island. After touring pretty much nonstop for 20 years, I imagine that this eight-month hiatus from performing has been difficult. Hopefully he’s taking solace in the knowledge that all the fans who attended those concerts are missing him and his shows. (This past week I had a medical procedure where I was knocked out for a little awhile and my last thought before falling asleep was wondering how he was doing. Is that normal?)

Hopefully this is a temporary phase that we are all going through and at some point it will be safe to start having concerts again. This can’t last forever, right?

Meanwhile, our concert memories will have to suffice and maybe RS will be up to sharing some more new music soon because thank goodness we have the technology that allows for him to share when he wants to. (Thinking back to the 1980s when the anticipation was the teen magazines and what new posters and information would be in the next issue and maybe there would be a new video on MTV. We’ve been really lucky these last few years when there’s been so much content to help feed the cravings.)

I thought I’d revisit that happy time of October 2015.

  1. That anticipation before a show: “Two weeks from tonight!”
  2. The gratitude that the favorite rock star of my youth still performs decades later.: ‘Back to the future is now the present.”
  3. The ability to enjoy concerts from afar, in this case shows at Walt Disney World: “Happiest Place on Earth
  4. An appreciation of sharing RS songs with my kids in advance of their first concert: ‘Greatest Hits’
  5. The night before the concert
  6. “My sons got to sing with Rick Springfield!”
  7. More about the concert: “Concert afterglow”
  8. A report on the Vegas show: ‘What happened in Vegas’

And that’s that, a really good RS month. Hope this post brought more joy than sadness, we need to hold on to all the joy we can!

Virtual symphony show

Until the pandemic struck the U.S., Rick Springfield has toured nonstop with about 100 shows a year for many years, most recently with three versions: a full-band show, an acoustic Stripped Down show and shows with full symphony orchestras. Unfortunately I never got to see the last one live and the chance of that number of people all being on a stage together anytime soon is pretty slim.

Fortunately, RS fans are generous with their concert experiences and posted videos of symphony performances, so here’s a virtual concert featuring RS symphony concerts. The setlist is from June 27, 2019 in Atlanta, Ga. though the videos are from whatever I could find on YouTube. Thank you to all the fans who shared these videos!

Affair of the Heart

I’ve Done Everything for You

Souls

Don’t Talk to Strangers

Love is Alright Tonite

I couldn’t find a video for this one, but if you find one, let me know and I’ll add it!

She’s Leaving Home

Irreplacable

April 24, 1981/My Father’s Chair

Intermission

Kristina

I Get Excited

World Start Turning

State of the Heart

Celebrate Youth

Love Somebody

Human Touch

Definitely won’t see anything like this anytime soon…

Jessie’s Girl

Bonus videos!

Here are the official RS videos for the “Orchestrating My Life” album, which show many different cool angles of the performance.

And that wraps up the 2020 virtual concert series! Of course these are nothing like actually seeing a live performance in person, but hopefully they will hold us over for now.

A Stripped Down virtual concert

Due to the positive response of the previous virtual concert, I thought I’d do one for the Stripped Down acoustic show, too. I think everyone can use more joy in their life, right?

This set list is from the April 4, 2019 concert in Albany, Georgia and the videos are from whatever Stripped Down videos I could find on YouTube for those songs. Thanks once again to all those who posted these videos! (The featured pic at the top is from the one Stripped Down I got to attend, in Tucson back in 2015: “What an amazing show (and another brief meeting).”)

Enjoy the show!

I Get Excited

Affair of the Heart

Me & Johnny

Oh Well and Love is Alright Tonite

T-Shirt Song

Mash-up of 867-5309, Jessie’s Girl and Stacy’s Mom

Inside Sylvia

Voodoo House

Human Touch and Don’t Talk to Strangers

Baby Blue

4 Billion Heartbeats/My Father’s Chair

I’ve Done Everything For You

If Wishes Were Fishes

Love Somebody

Jessie’s Girl

This was so much fun – I love his sense of humor and hearing the stories behind his songs. I’m so glad he doesn’t mind people videotaping at his shows, which allowed us to have this great footage! Thanks again to all the fans who posted their videos!

Bonus videos!

There are so many great videos from his Stripped Down shows, that I just wanted to share a few more, although they weren’t in this particular setlist.

Ordinary Girl

Walking In

What Kind of Fool Am I?

Time for a virtual concert

Since it’s uncertain when it will be safe for concert tours to continue – and because of all the Rick Springfield music that was supposed to be happening this weekend in Cancun as part of the postponed fan trip – I thought I’d put together a little concert here for anyone who might need one.

This is based on a set list from a concert on Feb. 15 2019, courtesy of the Rick Springfield & Us fan site, although the videos of the songs are from whatever recent footage I could find from YouTube. (Thank you to all who posted the videos! Some of you had such awesome seats, which makes it extra fun to watch! )

Light This Party Up

I’ve Done Everything For You

I Get Excited

Little Demon

Jailhouse Rock

(At Graceland)

Down

Affair of the Heart

Our Ship’s Sinking

Souls

Medley & Love Is Alright Tonight

Bop ‘Til You Drop, Bruce, 867-5309 snippet, Jessie’s Girl snippet, Don’t Walk Away, Rock of Life, What Kind of Fool Am I

Voodoo House

Don’t Talk to Strangers

Human Touch

Love Somebody

Jessie’s Girl

OK, although I loved watching these, it also made me a little sad, realizing that these concerts are indefinitely on hold and some elements, like RS walking through the audience during “Human Touch” or passing the microphone through the crowd during “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” may be a thing of the past. But hopefully this hiatus is a brief one and RS and the band (and all other musicians) will be able to safely continue touring soon and share their music with fans in person.

Zoot to reunite for Australia performances

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…)


Update on the guitar auction

The online auction of guitars from Rick Springfield’s private collection is currently under way and ends Friday. Forbes even reported on it: “Rock star legend auctions his guitars to aid Australian wildlife” Below is RS’s reply to the reporter’s question about how precious the guitars are to him:

“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. 😉

Rick

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!

A new documentary, a tribute concert and ‘The Song’

Out of nowhere last week came a surprise tweet with a poster about a movie premiere fundraiser. The movie? “Orchestrating My Life,” a documentary of Rick Springfield as he creates his rock-meets-orchestra album and tour featuring students from the Santa Monica High School Orchestra.

What?! How cool is that? Tickets start at $20 for general admission so all those Southern Cal fans have a great opportunity to see the film and the live performance by RS and the orchestra! Proceeds will benefit the school’s orchestras.

Other recent news is RS’s participation in a concert in tribute to Eddie Money on Feb. 20, a little over a year after Eddie Money’s death. Other artists will include Sammy Hagar, George Thorogood and John Waite. Proceeds will benefit MusiCares and the USC Eddie Money Cancer Research Fund. Another bonus for Southern Cal fans, as the concert will be in Beverly Hills.

As mentioned in the last post, he’s also been busy advocating for help in fighting the Australian fires, lending his voice to promoting awareness of how the fires are affecting the country’s wildlife.

The New Year also started with several shows – he’s already had two shows in Oklahoma and one in Louisiana, and tonight’s he’s rockin’ at Graceland in Memphis. There are a couple more later in the month, too, in Massachusetts and Connecticut. As usual, it looks like he has a full touring schedule this year, including Hawaii and Disney World Epcot, as well as his fan getaway in May in Cancun, Mexico. (Plus that whole summer tour with Chicago. Is he coming to your town? Check here. )

This weekend, he will also be on “The Song,” a new TV series that reveals stories behind hit songs. Can you guess what song will be featured?

Birthday campaign surpasses goal

Here we are two weeks after Rick Springfield’s birthday and three weeks before the fan-run birthday campaign officially ends and the campaign has already surpassed its $20,000 goal! As of today, $22,000 has been raised for the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation. It’s a “Holy Shit” campaign for his “70th Holy Shit Birthday”!

Before this  year, the birthday campaign that raised the most money was in 2015 for his 66th birthday, which raised $18,666.

That’s pretty awesome that  so many dogs will receive help from RS fans in honor of his birthday because as any fan knows, he loves dogs. (The idea of a dinner with Rick Springfield, the grand prize, is cool, too.) There’s still time to be eligible for this grand prize plus lots of other great prizes.  Visit happybirthdayrick.com.

In other recent news, RS rocked a teal guitar for ovarian cancer awareness at the New York State Fair for the nonprofit Hope for Heather. September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. (Teal stands for Tell Every Amazing Lady – learn about the symptoms here.)

Thank you to Rick Springfield for being an honorary Man of Teal rocking the H4H Teal Guitar during “Jessie’s Girl” at the NYS Fair tonight! His speech was so moving and it was simply incredible for him to share the message on stage during his packed concert. So grateful! Tell Every Amazing Lady about the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. 💙

According to one radio station, RS had a record-breaking audience of 14,000 for his show at the New York State Fair. Plus there was an awesome concert review of a different show on the Love is Pop blog. 

I think maybe the word is getting out how awesome he is.