Close to the one-year mark

In the last few days, I’ve received several notifications of upcoming Rick Springfield shows. There are full-band shows, Stripped Down shows, co-headlined acoustic shows with Richard Marx and co-headlined shows with Pat Benetar and Neil Giraldo. One thing they have in common is that none are in Arizona.

Sure, I’m happy for fans in all those cities and am grateful for all the photos and videos they will hopefully share, but it’s getting very close to the year-mark of being at a RS show so I’m starting to feel the withdrawal. In fact, a year ago one month from tonight, was the last time he was town.

I already feel the virtual glare of fans in Australia or other places that may not have had a RS show in years or decades, and I know I’ve been spoiled (a total of five Arizona concerts in 2015 and 2016) but, c’mon, we’re neighbors (state neighbors). It’s just a one-hour flight for most of the band. You don’t even have to bring any equipment, we have some guitars and a keyboard you can use. Sorry, Siggy, you’d have to bring your own bass and Jorge, you may have to use the ottoman (think retro-style, like the demo of “Jessie’s Girl”). It can be a casual get-together with your Arizona fans (and if you want to make a road trip of it, there are probably some California fans who would charter a bus). Doesn’t that sound fun?

Anyway, fortunately shows seem to be added on a regular basis (like that time in 2015 when I broke down and bought tickets for a Vegas show only to find out a few days later that tickets were going to go on sale for a concert that same week only a few miles away.) So there’s still hope that there will be a nearby show in 2017.

Meanwhile, there has been news that RS and the band have been in the studio to work on the next album, which RS has said will be blues-y. So there’s a chance that he’ll play one of the new songs at one of these upcoming shows, which would be pretty cool, too, and if people share it online, that will help withdrawals – so thanks in advance.

Two lines

Two days and 17 years ago I was at a Rick Springfield concert but until today I hadn’t found my journal from that year so I had no memory of it; it wasn’t until I noticed the anniversary date on somebody’s Facebook post that I realized I had been at that particular concert.

Today I realized that my notebook from that year wasn’t with my earlier ones because I had recently moved so it was part of my current life (current at the time) rather than my past and was in a different place.

I found the notebook and since past RS shows had resulted in at least a page of details about the show (or long blog posts, after 2014), I couldn’t wait to see what I had written about it.

I quickly turned through the pages to find the date: 5/5. There were only two lines: a mention of the concert, who I went with and where it was. Two lines, no details.

The pages before and after were filled with heartbreak and dating drama, which reminded me of that relationship from so long ago that so consumed me. It also appears that I was recording my dreams that year, as many entries are fragments of dreams, probably written right after I woke up.

There were also lots of entries of  lyrics – some of them with melodies I remembered; the lyrics remind me how I was feeling at that time.

For instance, this one:
You climb into his car, you fly to the moon
You think it’s a brand new melody, but it’s just the same old tune
You smile at his stumbling, you’re touched by his thoughtful gaze
You think it’s a once-in-a-lifetime, but it’s just one of those days…

After that 5/5 concert in 2000 (my sixth RS show)  I wouldn’t see RS in concert again until 15 years later. And by the time that concert occurred, I had been writing this blog for eight months, after coming across a TV interview after his novel was released.

Why is it that back in 2000, a RS mention was two lines in a journal and now, in my 40s, I’ve written over 260 posts on a blog about him, a process that provided inspiration to start writing songs again? In this early months of this journey, my goal was to record some of my old songs so they’d exist outside of my head and I’ve only recorded a couple of them so far because I’ve been so busy writing new ones instead. If I would have been so inspired 17 years ago, who knows how many songs I’d have by now or what I would have done with them.

Maybe because sometimes when your head gets clouded with negative things, it’s more difficult to recognize hints of inspiration. Or maybe things are happening the way they are – when they are – for a reason and you can’t look backward, only forward.

Stripped Down two years tonight

Two years ago tonight, I was hanging out with Rick Springfield.

OK, maybe “hanging out” is an exaggeration, but I did spend the evening in his presence. First during his “Stripped Down” show in Tucson and then during my longest interaction ever with him (I’ve “met” him four times – once in 1999 for an autograph at a music store, once in 2015 for a pic at a meet and greet, two years ago tonight and once last summer for a two-second selfie.)

I wrote about the actual encounter two years ago (click here  to see that post), but it was so close to not happening at all, so I treasure it even more.

My family and I were going through a difficult time financially – my husband was in the process of looking for a job and buying tickets to the show in Tucson (a two-hour drive) seemed irresponsible because we had so many other expenses. Then our fridge broke and tickets for a concert weren’t even a possibility.

Then on the afternoon of the show, my husband heard back from one of the jobs he had interviewed for and he called me to let me know he got the job. And my mother-in-law was in town staying at our house so she could be there with the kids. My dad lent us money for the tickets (he probably would have anyway, even without the job offer, but it didn’t seem right to ask before we knew funds would soon be coming in). My husband knew how badly I wanted to go to the concert so a few hours before it started, we bought tickets and headed to Tucson for the evening.

It was a wonderful show and although I don’t even remember exactly what I mumbled to RS after the show, he laughed and gave me a big hug so that was nice. I even remembered to introduce him to my husband and they shook hands.

It’s kind of funny that these few minutes left images imprinted in my mind (in addition to the photo that captured our brief encounter) and here I am recounting it two years later, yet to RS, it was just one more night of work and one more visit with devoted fans hanging around after the show. I hope he realizes how much these little encounters are treasured by his fans and how much they are appreciated.

RS Marquee-Tucson

Live from Germany

I just wanted to reflect for a moment on the coolness of what just happened.

I was folding laundry on a sunny Phoenix spring afternoon and took a break for a few minutes to watch my favorite rock star perform live with a symphony orchestra in Berlin, along with thousands of other RS fans from around the world.

Pretty amazing.

It sounded so great – and thanks to those who made it happen.

Now back to the laundry.

See it here. (The concert, not the laundry.)

A mysterious message from Germany

This mysterious message appeared across RS social media sites yesterday, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram:

This is a sweet distraction from real life, which is a bit crazy at the moment, so I embraced the distraction.

What could this be? Will he be performing one of his new songs live? Will he be performing a song in German? When he says “Saturday afternoon,” what does he mean by that? There’s a nine-hour difference between Phoenix and Berlin so afternoon in Berlin is  pretty early in the morning here. Hmmm… It’s about 1 a.m. in Berlin as I am writing this so we should probably get an update in a few hours…

OK, that sounded a little neurotic, I realize that. But RS crushes are apparently all the rage these days so it’s OK.

Actress Helen Hunt recently shared her attempt at dating RS back in the 1980s:

And apparently Kellyanne Conway, adviser to President Trump, also had a thing for RS, revealing in her high school yearbook that she was destined to kiss Rick Springfield at least once.

Anyway, it’s been fun following the “Rock Meets Classic” tour in Germany via social media. Some of the Google-translated stories are pretty amusing, too, such as this one, titled:

How the old sings… In the ‘Rock Meets Classic,’ well-dressed rock stars can once again celebrate some of their old hits. Not everyone has passed the past decades well.”

And how does RS hold up in that reporter’s eyes?

“But as Rick Springfield has managed to keep himself as slim, wiry and agile at the age of 67, his secret remains. In him the tooth of time has forgotten to gnaw….”

Oh, and one more thing before I sign off for now – there was an incredible flashback in time posted on the Rick and the NEWSflash Facebook page today: The audio of that little record that was included in the Fan Club package in 1982. I played it on the stereo of my car as I drove to pick up my kids from school and listening to it literally brought tears to my eyes. I most likely haven’t listened to it for more than 30 years and I was overwhelmed by the idea of listening to that message that I had received in the mail so long ago. When you think about it, it’s rather mind-blowing. He recorded a record in the Sound City Studios right before “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet” was released and at some point in the 80s I heard it for the last time. And then the next time I hear it, it’s coming out of my car radio on Bluetooth from my cell phone as I’m picking up my kids from school. Where did the time go?

Update: As I was writing this, this update was posted:

‘Sonnyboy’ in Germany

Here’s a Google-translated Mittelbayerische review of RS’s performance at the Danube Arena show in “Rock Meets Classic” in Germany:

Sonnyboy with lots of power

With Rick Springfield , a real Sonnyboy comes on stage. Despite his age, the man has lost none of his power and charisma. He gives the ramp and starts with “I’ve Done Everything For You”. That rocks and Springfield also shows that he can play the guitar. He uses a bouquet of roses as a plectrum and thus ensures beautiful show effects. At “Celebrate Youth” he starts an intro. The guitar is out of tune, the musician laughs “fuck it” into the microphone, straps it off and pushes it across the stage to his roadie. It goes without. After the song is paused anyway.

In the second part, continue with Springfield. He masters all the rules of the entertainment, leaves the stage, goes into touch with the fans, rises above the chairs of the arena. The man is really having fun and the hall is not only playing “Jessie’s Girl.”

(Note: Here’s the Urban Dictionary’s top definition of Sonnyboy:

Very Rare; Secretly very talented person; Lovable; Someone who has very great personality.
Younger person with great admiration for;of Someone who makes your days brighter; brings life; Someone you have great love for.)

He also did an interview with Germany’s Frankenpost in advance of the concert that covers his teen idol period, acting and a mention of his upcoming album. This answer was particularly funny (translated via Google Translate):

So !: What songs will you present on the tour “Rock meets Classic” in Germany?

Springfield: That’s a very good question. I wish I knew the answer. I will leave it to my fantastic manager to pick the pieces. However, I certainly will not play “Born to Run.

And now for some “Rock Meets Classic” videos (thank you to those who shared these!):

In the lobby a year ago tonight

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Close to the stage

A year ago tonight was the evening that I stayed at the same hotel as Rick Springfield.

I walked by him and the band in the lobby as they were checking into the hotel and because I was with my husband – who just isn’t into the “Hey, let’s hang out and see if we can meet Rick Springfield!” thing – we just walked by. I did, however, get a wave from drummer Jorge though, who was on the phone and caught me staring, and we rode in the elevator with bassist Siggy, who was very nice. (By the way, happy belated birthday, Jorge.)

We saw the show in Sahuarita that night, which was wonderful and although I talked my husband into hanging out in the casino and hotel for a bit just in case RS were to walk by, it never happened. But we did see keyboardist Tim walking around after the show and got to wish him a happy birthday (Happy birthday, Tim!)

It was a fun weekend trip with my husband. Much more fun than this weekend this year, as we are now going to empty the content of the downstairs cabinets so they and our floors can be ripped out this week because of water damage. Sometimes being a grown-up is just no fun – thank goodness for the moments in life when you can put that on hold for a couple of days to go see your teenage crush in concert!

 

 

 

Rock Meets Classic

At the end of next month, Rick Springfield is scheduled to be part of the Rock Meets Classic tour in Germany – March 30-April 18 (the last date is in Switzerland). I haven’t heard much about this yet, but it sounds pretty cool. Rock Meets Classic is an annual European tour featuring classic rock artists backed by The Mat Sinner Band and Bohemian Symphony Orchestra Prague.

RS is being featured as the “very special guest” in the lineup, which also is scheduled to include Don Felder from The Eagles, Steve Lukather of Toto, Mick Box and Bernie Shaw of Uriah Heep, and Bob Catley and Tony Clarkin of Magnum.

Here’s a trailer:

As I said, I haven’t found out that much about the show – but I did learn that Steve Lukather is in Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band along with Todd Rundgren so there’s that RS connection (Rundgren is the musician in the story with the wiener dog in the “Stripped Down” show).

I found this April 7, 2015 article on the Magnet Magazine website with Todd Rundgren about RS’s visit:

“I remember when I lived in Sausalito, Rick Springfield came to my house wanting to write songs together, and all I could do was sit and stare at him.”

Yes, I can understand how that would happen.

And another RS/Todd Rundgren connection:  At the Tucson “Stripped Down” show on April 9, 2015, this mysterious tweet appeared on RS’s Twitter feed as I was sitting in the audience of the Fox Tucson Theatre waiting for the show to start:

Normally that wouldn’t make any sense, but since I had a pamphlet listing the  upcoming shows at that theater, I saw there was a Sgt. Pepper tribute band coming up, as well as Todd Rundgren’s show, “A Wizard a True Star,” so I actually understood the obscure tweet. My 12-year-old self was pretty thrilled with that, let me tell you! (And even more thrilled with getting to meet RS after the show, even though I look like a dork in my photo with him.) (Oddly enough, the article I mentioned above was posted exactly two days before this concert. Weird, right? Two random RS/TR things in one blog post happening within two days of each other.)

Anyway, where was I? Steve Lukather-Ringo Starr – years ago, I saw Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band in Los Angeles twice – great shows…

Oh, right – Rock Meets Classic. So I don’t really know anything else about the show. So if anybody’s interviewing RS soon, please share what you find out!

Speaking of interviews, here’s an excerpt from a great one from Center Stage Magazine, a Nashville-based magazine: Here’s his reply when the magazine asks about his upcoming plans:

Rick: There is an 80’s cruise in 2018 with Mike and the Mechanics, Loverboy, The Tubes and a host of 80’s bands that I will be playing on and hosting (whatever that means) but its 7 days at sea with us all so it should be pretty cool. I will have a new record/CD/free download out this year sometime that will be very different from anything I’ve done so far and will be doing a lot more TV and acting stuff. Also writing.

Is the new record/CD/free download out this year with a symphony orchestra – that is very different – or is it a blues album he’s mentioned that he’d like to do? And is the writing the sequel to “Magnificent Vibrations” or something else?

I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Stripped Down questions: Fall 2016

Because previous Stripped Down Q&A posts often receive hits on this blog, I thought I’d post more recent questions since those most of the questions on those previous posts have already been answered.

So with some upcoming Stripped Down shows coming up (with the Q&A sessions that follow), here’s what I want to know (in case you happen to be searching for some questions and then feel like posting a video of the Q&A session on YouTube…)

  1. When is “Traces” scheduled to be released?
  2. How close are we to the sequel to “Magnificent Vibration”?
  3. Any plans for a sequel to “Late, Late at Night” or any other kind of book?
  4. Have you been working on any new songs lately and if so, what kinds of songs?
  5. What was your mom’s response when you told her you’d be playing Lucifer?
  6. How did you get involved in the Rock Meets Classic tour in Germany and what do you need to do to prepare for that? Will you be performing your songs with a symphony?
  7. What are you looking forward to most about your upcoming fan getaway in the Bahamas?

There are several other questions I have for him, but most are really none of my business and I wouldn’t actually ask him those. Oh, and although there may be a slight possibility that he’s changed his mind about returning to “General Hospital,” his response to that often-asked question is usually, “No,” so maybe skip that question this time…

(I hope to someday attend another Stripped Down show one of these days if he comes back to town with one, but meanwhile I’ve enjoyed all the pics and videos people have posted – thank you to all those generous fans who share them!)

Live concert streams

Having all the live Rick Springfield concert streams available these past few days – both the Atlantic City show on his official Facebook page and others on fan pages – really helps with concert withdrawals.

Although I didn’t actually watch the videos live because I was out on a day trip with my family and watched them later that night, the whole concept still amazes me. To be able to sit at home and watch a live concert as it’s happening still blows my 13-year-old fangirl self’s mind. It makes it really clear how our lives have changed in the past few decades.

The live streams often offer a better view than you’d get if you had seats further back at the actual concert, which is fun, and you get to see little details that happen, such as a string breaking during “Jessie’s Girl” and RS improvising to get through the song. Seeing him perform live really emphasizes what an amazing performer he is.

On the live streams, you can also comment throughout and it’s fun to see where some people are watching it from – last night I saw comments from Singapore and Sydney among the posts.

The only downside watching from home is there’s no chance of getting any “Human Touch” or making eye contact or running into him after the show.

The idea of watching concerts live as they happen without being there is something that I would have never even dreamed about as a teen so who knows what technology will bring in the future. In case there are any techies reading this who know how to make things happen, here are some ideas:

1. Virtual concert – similar to virtual conference calls where you hold meetings with people anywhere in the world and it looks like you are sitting at the same table, how about virtual concerts? There’ll be a place you can log in and then there will be a big screen at the concert where you can see the performer and the performer can see you, just as he or she would see those in the room. This way people all over the world can see their favorite artist in person even if the tour doesn’t reach them. And then you can enjoy the real or imagined eye contact.

2. Virtual meet and greets – This technology already exists in some form, via Skype and Facetime-type programs, so why not extend it to Meet and Greets? Maybe a virtual hug, too?

Neither of these things can replace being at a live show of course, but it’s better than nothing. Thanks to RS Official and to other fans for sharing their concert experience!