A spritz of happiness at Wild Horse Pass

I wish I could bottle up that feeling I have when I’m sitting in the audience a few minutes before my favorite rock star comes on stage. I could spritz a few sprays on my soul whenever life feels too overwhelming or mundane.

As I sat there in the second row last Sunday night at the Wild Horse Pass Casino in Chandler, Arizona, it didn’t matter that this was the 14th time I’ve seen him in concert or that I had a long “to-do” list waiting for me on my Google Tasks app. I just felt so happy to be at another Rick Springfield concert.

I was originally supposed to be there with my husband but he ended up having to go out of town over the weekend so the day before the concert, I asked a friend to go with me. She’s not really a Rick Springfield fan, but it’s not that she didn’t like him, she was just indifferent. But she’s one of the few people in my real life who know that I write this blog and knows how much of a fan I am and wanted to experience his concert with me. What a good friend, right?

In addition to enjoying the concert for the music and the performance of both RS and his band, she also enjoyed the people-watching. It was her first encounter with such dedicated fans of any musician and was intrigued by how women in the audience responded to him, even after he mentioned his wife of nearly 34 years and sang one of his many songs inspired by her.

For example, she found it interesting how many women were willing to reach out and touch his hand even after he blew his nose and mentioned that he had been sick with the flu. (Did he use the hand sanitizer that was up on stage afterward? I don’t remember.)

Fortunately he only teased tossing his used tissue into the audience and didn’t actually do it because who knows what might have happened. When he came around during “Human Touch,” two of my fingertips touched his, but she wasn’t interested in his human touch at all. (Fortunately I didn’t get sick, although I did end up taking a two-hour nap the next day after work because I was so wiped out, which is unusual.)

She also commented on how amazing RS’s energy on stage was considering he’s almost 70 and he was so sick earlier in the week and still not feeling well and she enjoyed Siggy’s energy and performance.

Highlights for me included the songs “Souls,” which is one of my favorite RS songs and I hadn’t seen that performed live in recent years, and “World Start Turning.” The young girl on stage for “Don’t Talk to Strangers” was also adorable. Plus the fact that my favorite rock star – the one whose face covered my bedroom walls as a teen – was right there only a few feet away putting on such an energetic and fun show.

I only recorded one full song during this show: “Souls.”

I started taping “World Start Turning” but he was way on the other side of the stage often with his back to me so I stopped recording. Fortunately somebody else filmed it on the other side of the stage:

Video courtesy of donna2kayak on YouTube:

During the concert, there were two possible instances of split-second eye contact and the aforementioned split-second two-fingertip human touch. (Do you think this is what my friend meant when she said that some of the fans seem a little fanatical?)

Our seats were way on the end of the second row, on Tim’s side of the stage. Here was my view:

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RS didn’t come over to our side of the stage very often for this show so I didn’t get many good non-zoomed pictures, although he did sign an “Orchestrating My Life” CD for a guy in front of me, which gave me the chance to take this photo:

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Last time I was this close to the stage but on the Nastos side of the stage, RS also seemed to favor the opposite side of the stage from where I was standing. I would take it personally if I actually thought he was aware of my existence. (Or maybe he is aware of this blog and purposely avoids me? Ha.)

Anyway, after the crowd cleared after the show, we returned to the stage and I collected a few rose petals and took these pictures:

Although I typically try to hang out after the show for a little while because of the possibility of meeting RS, I didn’t this time because I knew he was sick and wouldn’t likely be hanging out in the casino afterward, but we did see Siggy on the way out and got a chance to compliment him on the show and get a picture. As he was the last time I met him, he was really nice.

And that was that. Later that evening I was already craving another spritz of that pre-RS concert feeling.

Here are a few more pictures:

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World on Fire & imagined Easter eggs

A recent article disclosed the name of Rick Springfield’s new novel: “World on Fire.” Apparently it’s the sequel to “Magnificent Vibration.” Since his first novel had so many references to his real life (such as character names), I wonder if last year’s fires had any impact on this one and whether real-life references will be embedded into the storyline.

The article also says he’s working on a third book and working on songs for a new album. Amazing.

In addition to my favorite rock star, there’s one other musician that I find myself intrigued with lately. Not enough to start another blog, but I just think she’s super talented and find her career so fascinating – Taylor Swift. I won’t go into details here, but before her “Reputation” album was released, she got everyone’s attention online and publicized her album solely to her fans on social media.

Her “Reputation” tour was record-breaking (she puts on a great show – I didn’t see it live, but watched it on Netflix on New Year’s Day and really enjoyed it). She recently debuted a new song, “ME!” dropping hints on social media and apparently the video was filled with Easter eggs (hidden messages) that contain things like clues to the album title or song titles or references to past videos. I’m not familiar enough with her work to catch many of them nor do I have time to explore much further, but I just think it’s really interesting.

Why am I writing about this here? Because I just saw pictures from tonight’s RS concert and noticed that “The Snake King” logo is no longer on Jorge’s drum set. Instead it’s Ron, RS’s dog from the 1980’s, wearing the shirt with the RS picture in the pocket, aka the cover of “Working Class Dog.” After I noticed this, I looked back at pictures and videos from recent concerts. May 11: The Snake King. May 17: Ron. Did this come up at the concert? Is this is a sign of something to come? Does it have any particular meaning? Am I reading too much into it? Why do I care?

In case you missed ‘The Talk’

In case you missed Rick Springfield’s appearance on “The Talk” yesterday, CBS now has the episode online (around the 26.42 mark although it includes commercials).  He said he has the flu, poor thing. The normal person is home in bed under the covers when they have the flu and he appears live on national television in Studio City, California, and then heads to his next concert in Detroit. And still looks and sounds good doing both. I think he has some kind of rock star superpower.

RS The Talk

UPDATE on May 24

OK, it looks like he’s human after all, as he needed to cancel the next two shows in Ontario, Canada due to illness. Sorry for the fans, but very necessary for his health to get rest when he needs it and to get better. Hope you feel better soon, RS!

Here’s a review from last night’s show: “Rick Springfield rocks Sound Board into the Wayback Machine.”

Maybe it was the cough syrup. Maybe it was the Aqua Net fumes wafting from the crowd. Either way, it’s clear Detroit still has an affair of the heart with Springfield.

UPDATE on June 13

File this under things I find amusing: Three weeks after I wrote this post, Taylor Swift announced that her new album “Lover” will be released on Aug. 23 (aka Rick Springfield’s birthday.)

Show #14 coming soon!

Usually when a new Rick Springfield show is announced, it’s in a different state and I don’t think twice about going (unless it’s in Vegas or L.A. then I consider it.)

I was eyeing the symphony show in Costa Mesa this summer because there’s a chance I’ll be in Southern California that week, but a few things have to happen first to get that in place. Not only do I want to see a symphony show, but I also wanted to get in at least one RS show in my milestone birthday year since I’m not able to go on the big fan trip in November.

Imagine my surprise when a couple of weeks ago, I received a notification that he will be in Chandler, AZ (about 15 minutes from where I work) at the beginning of June! Tickets went on sale May 3 so there’s not even much time to wait. I considered it my early Mother’s Day present. I missed the presale unfortunately because the timing didn’t work out, but I still got second row, albeit way at the end of the stage. This will be my first time on this side of the stage – over in Tim’s territory. Maybe I’ll even get in Tim’s photo of the audience if he takes one!

My husband will be joining me for this show, as it’s been a couple years since he went with me and we even have a babysitter already lined up! Just for the fun of it, here’s a recap of the past 13 shows:

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  • Sept. 28, 1983: ASU Activity Center in Tempe, AZ.
  • Oct. 4, 1984: ASU Activity Center in Tempe, AZ (Ticket pictures courtesy of my 14-year-old and 15-year-old selves respectively, as preserved for decades in the scrapbook I found in my parents’ shed in April 2016. See “Where it all began.”) For one of those two shows, me and a few friends camped out overnight at Fiesta Mall for tickets, along with a long line of other RS fans (and their mothers).
  • Dec. 5, 1998: Sunset Station in Henderson, NV: My aunt and uncle lived in Henderson so I stayed with them and saw the show with a friend who also traveled to Vegas to see the show.
  • April 13, 1999: Met RS for the first time at a Los Angeles Wherehouse on the day “Karma” was released. Not a show, but noteworthy.
  • Aug. 28, 1999: Sunset Station in Henderson, NV: Went with one of my friends who I saw him in concert with in high school. Met some of the band members in the bar after the show and even got the guitarist’s phone number (because we had a mutual friend and he wanted me to give his number to her). Also got to say hi to Tim Pierce, RS’s guitarist from the ’80s who made a special appearance that night. (See “Flashback to 1999 concert” for more on this show.)
  • Sept. 24, 1999: Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. Again went with my friend from high school.
  • May 5, 2000: Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. Again with my friend from high school, along with her sister-in-law and niece (whose daughter’s name is Christina – the sister-in-law was also a huge RS fan and she screamed out to RS that her daughter’s name is Christina when he started playing “Kristina.”)
  • March 7, 2015: Soon after I “rediscovered” RS in 2014 and started writing this blog, he came to San Tan Valley on what would have been my mom’s 70th birthday. I also got to meet him that night after the concert and give him a piece of paper with this blog address on it. (Has he read this blog yet?!?!?! Maybe someday I will find out?) Read about that evening here: “A brief crossing of paths” and “Almost a week after the concert” and “My Meet and Greet.” (Obviously I had a lot to say about it.) And a little video too: “Nine minutes from the 17th Row.” For this show, George Bernhardt was still the lead guitarist and George Nastos played bass (after George B. left, George N. moved to guitar.)
  • April 9, 2015: My husband and I traveled to Tucson for the night to watch a Stripped Down show. Read about that one here: “What an amazing show (and another brief meeting).” Because the guy who handled the slideshow was stuck on the East Coast due to storms, there weren’t any visuals for the show – it was just RS on the stage, which was really the only necessary visual (although I would like to see the show with the photographs, too.)
  • Oct. 21, 2015: Arizona State Fair in Phoenix: Since tickets were much more affordable than at a regular show, my husband and I brought our two older sons, who got to sing “Don’t Talk to Strangers” with RS when he came out into the audience. We captured it on video! (See “My sons got to sing with Rick Springfield!“) It was so surreal to have my favorite rock star/teen crush interacting with my kids and I was thrilled to hear “Down” live for the first time (from “Rocket Science,” which was released on Feb. 19, 2016.)
  • Oct. 25, 2015: Back to Las Vegas, stayed with my cousin and went to the show with her. It was her first RS show and we met some of the “Rick Chicks” in a casino bar before the show. Read about this show, when “Human Touch” was stopped short because of an audience injury so he never made it to my row: “What happened in Vegas.” (I saw two shows in one week because the fair show a few miles from home was announced after I already bought my concert ticket and plane ticket for the Vegas show.)
  • March 26, 2016: My husband and I did another road trip to Southern Arizona for a full-band show at the Desert Diamond Casino in Sahuarita. This time we stayed in the same hotel as RS and the band and even saw RS in the lobby. (I didn’t approach him, but I did write a song of regret about that afterward.) We did, however, get to chat with Siggy and say hello to the other band members and scored some “Rocket Science” guitar pics. (See “Sahuarita show.”) This show included the debut of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” in the set list.
  • July 8, 2016: Comerica Theatre in Phoenix. Brought my friend from high school again, but this time I bought the tickets and surprised her that they were in the second row. She’s quite familiar with my longtime RS infatuation and expected to hang out after the show where I was fortunate to get a quick selfie with RS. (“Summer tour rolls on.”)
  • Sadly, I wasn’t able to go to the 2017 show in Phoenix or see any shows at all that year.
  • Aug. 21, 2018: Back to Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. I went by myself for the first time, as the tickets were a little pricey and I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to go with me. (See “Concert in the round“). Still enjoyed the show, of course, and now I think of it as his last show of his 68th year and the night before he filmed “The Goldbergs” TV show. It was the first time hearing “The Snake King” songs live: “Voodoo House” and “Little Demon.”

So here we are in 2019 and three weeks from tonight, I’ll be there in the second row at the Wild Horse Pass Casino, squeezing one more RS concert into my first five decades here on Earth (or maybe there will be two more shows, if I work in the symphony show in July).

‘World Start Turning’

The song list for Rick Springfield’s upcoming “Orchestrating My Life” CD includes many songs that you would expect:

  • Don’t Talk to Strangers
  • Love Somebody
  • I’ve Done Everything for You
  • Affair of the Heart
  • Human Touch
  • Celebrate Youth
  • State of the Heart
  • Jessie’s Girl (of course)

Then there’s a concert favorite (especially for fans with variations of that name, I’m sure): Kristina

Then there’s the two dedicated to his parents: “My Father’s Chair” and the new “Irreplaceable.”

One song that I was surprised didn’t make the cut – simply because it’s one of my favorites and he’s played it before at symphony shows (which sounded beautiful) was “Souls,” off of “Living in Oz.”

The one song that I wasn’t expecting was “World Start Turning.”

Up until summer 1987 – when I graduated high school, moved out of my parents’ home and moved to California – my bedroom walls were covered with Rick Springfield posters. My Rick Springfield obsession started at age 12 and from junior high through high school, I went through a Duran Duran stage, a Beatles stage and a ska stage, but the RS posters remained through all those stages. After moving out, the posters came down and I didn’t see them again until about three years ago. (See the posters in the “Where it all began” post.)

Rock of Life

When the RS album “Rock of Life” came out in 1988, I was living in Southern California, taking some college classes and working. RS was no longer on my radar and to this day I haven’t owned this album (probably something I should remedy at some point, I know.)

Although I knew the song “Rock of Life” because I picked up a Greatest Hits CD after CDs were introduced, I didn’t hear any of the other songs until recently so they are not in my nostalgic memory bank.

Those past few paragraphs are a long way of saying that I wasn’t that familiar with the “Rock of Life” album or “World Start Turning.” (Or “Hold on to your Dream,” which I wrote a “Totally random post” about.)

Anyway, a recent, really awesome, concert review, “Rick Springfield reminds us he’s a rock star,” mentions that the March 19 concert in Airway Heights, Wash., included the “first-ever live performance of “World Start Turning.”

The review said:

Not only did the song kill, but Springfield appeared to break down in tears at the end, saying “That song brought up a lot of shit for me,” before taking a slug from a glass of wine.

So of course I had to check out the lyrics.

Like many of his songs, it’s autobiographical and the lyrics are pretty heavy. (In fact, the current Wikipedia entry for “Rock of Life” says it’s “considered to be the darkest Springfield album of his career.” Obviously that became outdated once “SDAA” then “The Snake King” was released.)

We were taught if man believes in
What he wants in America
It’s only a matter of time, just a matter of seasons
But I walk through the houses of dreams that died
I see the ones still trapped there the ones that tried
But spent the rest of their lives wondering why
And searching for reasons (and they never wake up)

-World Start Turning lyrics

After reading his autobiography and learning about the depression he experienced at that time (and still today), fans will notice how autobiographical this is as we now have some insight on what he was experiencing in his life at the time the record came out.

“Rocket Science” fans might find this line from “World Start Turning” familiar:

“I’ve been standing on the beach crying to the raging sea.”

From “The Best Damn Thing”:

I was crying on the beach by the raging sea
Just a small town broken-down refugee
Holier than thou, I caused the damage done
You’re the best damn thing and I’m the lucky one

His sharing so much of himself in his songs is one reason why so many of his fans feel a personal connection with him. I’m pretty sure I know more about his life than I do about 99 percent of the people I know in real life. (I may even know more details about his life than I remember about mine.)

In other RS, news we got to hear a little sample of the new album on social media:

Whoo-hoo! Can’t wait to hear the symphony version of all these songs!

The general release date of “Orchestrating My Life” is April 26, but visit the official RS site for details on how to get it earlier.)

RS rock review

(Read the full review here.)

Update on April 4: rickspringfield.us site posted this video on YouTube from the dress rehearsal. Yay!! Such a great video!

Visiting Graceland

Although my last post was about how I’m reaching a milestone age this year – as is my favorite rock star – I was reminded today that age is only a number and it often doesn’t affect our thinking or actions (or even our reasoning, in some cases).

For instance, RS has said in interviews that he loves toys and although he’s said that lately he’s been selling some of his Star Wars toys, he probably has some items in his toy collection that he still treasures. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but when I was younger, I would have never imagined that somebody in their 60s would still enjoy toys.

But now I know that there are some things that you still like because you like them and it doesn’t matter what you age you are. For instance, how I can still have a crush on a rock star in my 40s.

So with that in mind, it may explain my reaction to seeing today’s picture of RS in front of Graceland.

Why was I so excited to see this photo? Because not only was it cool to see RS so happy, but I stood in that same exact spot before! Yes, about one year, nine months, two weeks and two days earlier, I stood in that same spot when I visited Graceland. I don’t have a picture of me in that spot because I was just in line behind other people, but I just looked at my photos from that visit and I do have a picture of the spot where RS would once stand (and where Elvis once walked many years ago):

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It’s kind of like that time he stood in the same spot in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia three years, two months, one week and six days after I did. It’s just a little reminder that although I only get to see him in concert once every year or so, we are still inhabiting the same earth.

Not only that, but when I visited Graceland, I was inspired to stand in a similar pose at the entrance:

graceland sign

Should random things like this still bring joy to my world? Shouldn’t I be more mature than this by now and not be imagining connections that don’t exist? Possibly. But it sure is more fun to allow these little bursts of joy to exist when the opportunities arise!

So far I’ve only found one video of RS at Graceland to share so I’ll post it here to mark the occasion. (I’ll add more later if I see other videos posted.)

Update on Jan. 22.

Here’s a video of RS covering “Jailhouse Rock” the night before the Graceland show. So nice that fans share these great videos!

Update on Jan. 27:

Awesome video of RS playing “Jailhouse Rock” at Graceland. So cool!

2018 recap: Snake King, back to the 80s (twice) & a close call

This time last year, Rick Springfield fans were anxiously awaiting the release of “The Snake King” and had only heard “Little Demon” and “Santa is an Anagram.” At that point, we were oblivious to the darkness that filled the songs on the album or the darkness that had returned to his life during that past year.

It was heartbreaking to hear that he had experienced such intense depression so recently but he openly talked about it in interviews, which most likely helped others who experience similar feelings. He even received an award from Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services for talking about his depression and how he deals with it.

Between this revelation and the darkness expressed in “The Snake King,” the RS year started off pretty intense, but here is a look at the whole year.

Here’s a RS recap of 2018:

Music: “The Snake King” took a much darker turn from the upbeat country-twinged  “Rocket Science” and the blues-rock tone fit the new CD’s content perfectly. I think it is a brilliant CD, although there are a couple of songs I still skip over because they are just too dark for me. I’m also still super impressed that he wrote the majority of the album in only a few days. The music and the lyrics are so good and cemented my belief about how talented he is. This year, his Australian band Zoot also released a retrospective album titled “Archaeology,” which marks the band’s 50th anniversary.

 

Touring: I guess RS enjoyed the experience of the Rock Meets Classic shows in Europe last year, where he performed his songs with a symphony orchestra, because he’s added a few symphony shows to his touring schedule, which include full-band shows and Stripped Down solo acoustic shows. In fact, he’s even working on a CD of his hits performed with a symphony orchestra that’s supposed to be out in March 2019. I’ve watched some videos from the symphony shows and the songs sounded beautiful. His performance of the songs about his parents accompanied by a full orchestra was extremely powerful and I also really enjoyed the symphony version of the song “Souls.”

A symphony concert marking the debut of the new CD is scheduled for March 30 in Beverly Hills. I’m hoping there will be a live stream of that, as there was with “The Snake King” release party at The Grammy Museum earlier this year.

Videos: Two “Snake King” videos were released this past year: “Land of the Blind” and “The Voodoo House,” the latter that was fittingly filmed in New Orleans.

Back to the ’80s: RS was the captain of the 2018 ’80s cruise and many people posted videos throughout the cruise, which were really fun to watch. RS also traveled back to 80-something when he did a guest appearance on “The Goldbergs.”

 

Acting roles: In addition to his appearance on “The Goldbergs,” (which he filmed the day after I saw him in concert, a fact I’ll likely always remember), he played an “aging rock star” in the YouTube Originals show “Sideswiped.” The latest news is that he’s growing his gray hair out for a movie role (leading him to wear a cowboy hat during recent shows), but so far there’s not any other information about what this movie is. There also hasn’t been any update on the film “Traces” that he filmed in 2015. Although this isn’t really an acting role, he was also a judge on The Hallmark Channel’s first American Rescue Dog Show.

A close call: “The Snake King” would have fit the mood to serve as a soundtrack to what happened in California at the end of this year – massive fires that killed people and destroyed thousands of homes. Soon after the fires were extinguished, the same areas were threatened by mudslides after heavy rains. One of the fires in Southern California came frighteningly close to RS’s home and his home survived due to the kindness and bravery of his neighbors. A house two doors down was completely destroyed.

My RS year: I’m happy to say that I did make it to a RS show this year (my 13th) and although I ended up going myself this time, I still totally enjoyed the show, especially since I didn’t make it to any shows last year. It was cool to hear two “The Snake King” songs live – “Little Demon” and “The Voodoo House.”

As for this blog, there were 11,809 views by 7,561 visitors in 2018 and 56 posts (including this one) as of the afternoon of Dec. 31, 2018. I appreciate that those at the comprehensive RS fan site Rick Springfield and US added a link to this blog on its site and I hope people have enjoyed my RS ramblings. As of this afternoon (to be precise, at 3 p.m.), the blog has had 38,122 views by 22,464 visitors since its inception in August 2014 and this is the 369th post. (Since WordPress stats provide this information, I’ll also mention that up until this post, this blog has had 134,942 words. Why would someone need to know that? I don’t know.)

The most viewed post in 2018 was “Yes, that was Rick Springfield on ‘American Horror Story: Cult’,” which was actually a post from October 2017. The 2018 post that had the most views was “A devastating time for California.”

Looking forward to 2019: From recent interviews, we’ve learned about the symphony CD and RS has hinted that he’s working on some new songs as well. Plus, there’s that movie that he may soon be filming and possibly another novel on the way. Also, some lucky fans will also be joining him on his next fan trip in November.

Onward to 2019! Happy New Year!

Cowboy up, there’s a new fan trip coming!

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The announcement came today that a new Rick Springfield & Friends fan getaway is scheduled for next year! Nov. 7-11, 2019.

More details to come Monday.

Sounds like a fun getaway for a 50th-birthday year, don’t you think? I sure do! Now I just need to figure out a way to make it happen… I am putting that request out into the universe right now.

Introducing a cowboy hat

I don’t know if RS realizes how much speculation happens when he introduces a new object of clothing to his wardrobe. At the One Love Malibu benefit concert (which reportedly raised nearly $1 million for victims of the Woolsey Fire) on Dec. 2, he surprised fans by donning a cowboy hat.

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It was a new look for him and although he wore it well, it did make me (and others) wonder what the story was behind it. Even when “Rocket Science” was released in 2016 – which had a country vibe – he didn’t start wearing cowboy hats on that tour (as far as I remember). But whatever, maybe he was having a bad hair day.

But then the cowboy hat was back a few days later at a Stripped Down show. And at the next show, which led fans to wonder – is this cowboy hat now a thing?

Well, apparently he announced at one of the shows that he’s wearing the hat because he’s preparing for a movie role, where he needs to grow out his gray hair. Kinda like when he stopped shaving for “Ricki and the Flash.” So our rock star is going to have another new look for another movie. That’s exciting news! (Hopefully the role isn’t too creepy, such as on “True Detective,” “Supernatural” and “American Horror Story Cult.”)

Speaking of announcements, a recent article on thereporteronline.com had some more exciting news:

Q: You’ve published your memoirs and wrote a novel. Are there any other future writing projects?

A: I am working on the sequel to “Magnificent Vibration” and also a third novel. I am looking to write a new album soon and I am finishing up an orchestral greatest hits (release) soon.

Sounds like lots of good stuff to come!

(Here’s a past post about a fan getaway, in case you need a distraction until Monday’s announcement: “Passport through technology.”)

Update on Dec. 10

As promised, the announcement about the next Rick Springfield & Friends fan getaway happened today: Nov. 7-11, 2019 at the Hard Rock in Punta Cana. All the details are at rickspringfield.rosetours.com.

Hard Rock

First fires, then mudslides

You’d think that with all the technology out there these days, that we’d somehow have more control of the natural elements, but sadly, we humans are just as vulnerable as ever when it comes to Mother Nature.

I remember last year when Houston was flooding and Los Angeles was on fire, it seemed like some cosmic joke that one area needed rain so badly and the other had way too much. There’s a similar scenario happening in California now. Fires raged for two weeks, destroying thousands of homes, displacing thousands of people and killing nearly 90 people (and possibly more). Now that the fires are finally contained, the rain shows up. Not a refreshing rain that clears up the air, but A LOT of rain, causing people in certain areas (including Malibu, where Rick Springfield lives) to have to evacuate due to mudslides because so much vegetation was destroyed during the fires earlier in the month.

It’s such a mess. These flooding evacuations are in both places affected by the fires, in Northern California and Southern California. I can’t even imagine what all these people are going through. There was an article about the people who lost their homes in the Camp Fire who were living in a Walmart parking lot because they liked those conditions better than the shelters. And now they have to leave the parking lot because of the rain. How does one even recover from all of this?

Fortunately there are a lot of generous people out there and these tragedies have led to to good people helping others. (Unfortunately there are also scams out there, because there are not so good people taking advantage of tragedy.)

Check out this One Love Malibu Festival concert to raise funds, organized by the Malibu Foundation:

It’s great to see all these artists, including my favorite rock star before he goes out on tour for a few Stripped Down shows a few days later, come together to raise funds for those affected by the fires. According to an article about the show, “100 percent of the proceeds from the event will go to The Malibu Foundation and One Love Malibu relief efforts. The funds will go to those who are uninsured or living paycheck to paycheck with limited resources, to help with animal refuge and care, to rebuild and regenerate Malibu and support proper Wildfire Prevention and Land Stewardship initiatives.”

(Interesting note: According to the article, the venue where the festival will be held was called One Gun Ranch and the name was changed to One Love Ranch for the event.)

What a great lineup! (I wonder if Katy Perry knows that RS sometimes sings “Roar” at his concerts – would be fun to hear a duet of that!)

The tickets for the music festival are already sold out (even the $35,000 packages), which hopefully means that lots of people will receive the support they need. Hopefully those affected will get to attend the concert for free, too, and feel the healing power of music, if only to bring some light into their life for a few hours to help them deal with their new reality.

If you’re able to help, click here for the donation page for the Malibu Foundation.

Malibu One Love Festival.jpg

 

Concert in the Round: Phoenix 8-21-18

RS-Celebrity Theatre

Something about last night’s Rick Springfield concert at the Celebrity Theatre was really special. Although I’ve seen RS live more than a dozen times (yesterday was #13), last night’s show had an incredible energy.

Maybe it was just me, after all it has been more than two years since I’ve seen a show in person, or maybe it was the venue, where the stage rotates in the middle of the audience, making it feel like a big party.

I feel like we saw a different side of RS and the band (literally, as there are times when the front of the stage set is facing the opposite direction and you get the rear view. One woman behind me commented on how shiny Jorge’s hair is. “I’d like to know what kind of hair products he uses,” she said. That likely never would have come up during a show on a typical stage.)

RS’s band performed with Tommy Tutone, the opening act, and Greg Kihn, who seemed so excited to be there. It was cool to hear his songs live, songs that I remember from MTV days in the 1980s, but I also liked his song, “The Life I Got,” which is from his new album, “Rekihndled,” his first album in 21 years.) Loverboy was the third set of this “Best in Show” lineup.

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A “backstage” view during the rotating stage show (during the Tommy Tutone set).

The RS band did a great job backing up Tommy Tutone and Greg Kihn. I’ve always appreciated how talented they all are, but this time I noticed them even more because during the times RS was facing the other side of the room, it was fun watching the other band members – guitarist George and drummer Jorge tossing drumsticks to each other and bassist Siggy jumping around the stage in his “Devil” hat (in the school colors of Arizona State University, whose mascot is the Sun Devil). I saw keyboardist (and guitarist) Tim give a high-five in the audience, too.

RS and Siggy really played the whole round stage thing so well, running around and climbing on amps. It looked like they were having so much fun.

This show was also the first time I heard any of “The Snake King” songs live – he played “Little Demon” and “Voodoo House.” I got a great video of the “Hey-ya Hey-ya yo”s, complete with the kicking of the stool (I’d be careful with that move, RS, it got a little too close to the edge of the stage and the woman in the front row did NOT look happy – she was directly in front of me, across the stage, and I saw the look on her face.) But I cut that part from my posted video because it also had some fan climbing on the stage appearing to collect rose petals and she ended up getting escorted out so I don’t want to embarrass her.

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In the Voodoo House. Hey-ya, hey-ya yo!

That portion of the song also contains my perceived eye contact moment – when he reaches his arm out to the audience and sings “Hey-ya, Hey ya yo!” I think I instinctively waved back, but felt silly afterward.

The “Don’t Talk to Strangers” bit was adorable – he is so cute with the kids on the stage (and he noted the irony that the song is called “Don’t Talk to Strangers” as mothers hand off their 3-year-old to a stranger.) The front of the stage was facing the other direction during that whole bit so I didn’t get any photos of it, but it was so cute.

During the medley portion of the show, he sang part of “Bruce,” which was the first time I’d heard it live so that was a treat. He also threw in “867-5309” because “everyone thinks it’s my song.” That was especially funny, of course, because we had sung the song along with the original songwriter earlier in the evening.

We also got to sing “Happy Birthday” to him and since this show is the last one before his actual Aug. 23 birthday, that felt special, too.

The BIG omission of the show was that there was no “Human Touch” – no mention of the song at all and no journey out into the audience. I’m not sure if it was the venue or the timing (at one point he mentioned that he’d be heading straight to the airport after the show and had to get up at 4 a.m. to film an episode of “The Goldbergs” the next morning), but it was weird to not have that song part of the show.

Here’s a compilation of some of my videos from the show:

Alas, there was also no personal RS encounter for me this time around. I saw a group with Backstage Pass lanyards gathered by the downstairs bar and looked for an opening, but came up with nothing. I resorted to asking someone at the radio station display if they were giving out any meet & greets that evening and she kindly responded, “No, I think we’re all out,” but the look in her eyes was, “You’re kidding, right?”

I had parked in the back part of the parking lot and saw the band (with Jorge and his long, shiny ponytail) walking toward a white van as I walked to my white (mini)van, but my favorite rock star was nowhere in sight. I waited a few minutes longer just in case (there were a few people hanging around), but it soon cleared out so I headed home.

Here are more pics:

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Rick Springfield’s band backing up Tommy Tutone. “867-5309”

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Side view of the rotating stage

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The opposite side view of the rotating stage

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Facing the front of the stage, with a zoom from the ninth row.

 

 

Rick Springfield is in my state!

OK, I know this may sound a bit ridiculous coming from somebody who is nearly 50 years old, but RICK SPRINGFIELD IS IN MY STATE! WHOO-HOO!

Tonight he performs in Tucson and I’m in Phoenix, but we’re in the same state! He’s actually been here since yesterday, according to his Instagram post yesterday. In fact he’s posted a few pics these past couple of days. It’s fun to see the goofy, tourist side of him.

He’ll be in Phoenix on Tuesday night – that means FOUR days in my state. That’s a long time for someone who is always running around the country on tour. Will he be in Tucson Monday on his day off or in Phoenix? Should I be running around to visit all the Starbucks in the area on Monday and Tuesday hoping for a glimpse?

(I’m only joking, I hope you know. In reality I’ll be shlepping kids to and from school and going to work. But it’s still fun to think about.)

His Tuesday night show is at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, which is a cool intimate venue where the stage is in the middle and turns around during the show. The last time I saw him there was in 1999. Tommy Tutone will be opening (my 8-year-old was just singing 867-5309 this afternoon, coincidentally.) I remember Greg Kihn songs and videos from MTV and they were always a lot of fun to sing along with and Loverboy of course has some great tunes, too. Should be a fun evening!

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Here’s the inside of the Celebrity Theatre (Pic courtesy of Celebrity Theatre)

I’m not quite as close to the stage as I have been in the past, but my ticket is in the ninth row. Definitely a potential Human Touch Zone if he gets off the stage in the right place. I wonder if the spinning stage makes performers dizzy?