Suited for the symphony

I know what I’m about to say is going to sound ridiculous, but after watching some of the videos people posted tonight from Rick Springfield performing with the Oregon Symphony, I feel like I am about to burst with pride.

I’m writing this with tears streaming down my face, especially after watching the video of “My Father’s Chair.” Watching RS perform that with a symphony orchestra and then seeing him turn around and face the photo of his father showing on the screen on the back of the stage…. wow.

After hearing about what he went through last year and all the dark emotions and feelings that came out in “The Snake King,” it was incredible to see him performing all of those songs with his band and the symphony and looking like he was enjoying himself so much. I couldn’t help but think that if he had succumbed to his darkness last year that none of this would have happened or the cruise or… anything else.

So although I’m just one of thousands of RS fans sitting on the sidelines and observing the past four years of his life through my smartphone and computer screen, I just want to shout out “I’m so proud of you, RS! Way to go!”

He also performed one of my favorite RS songs from the 1980s: “Souls” (thanks to rsandus for posting these videos!)

Another classic:

From the newest CD, “The Snake King”:

And also this Beatles song:

Karma release: 19 years ago today

Since it’s now after midnight, it’s now April 13, which means its been 19 years since the “Karma” release date (which means that 19 years ago today I met RS for the first time).

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This is what I wrote in my journal that day:

When it was my turn, I told him how it was great to meet him. I’ve been a fan for a long time. He said he could tell (I brought “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet” to sign). I said I’ve been a fan for 25 years. Then I said, I mean 18 and he said, “It’ll be 25 before you know it.”

Well, he was right and now it’s been 37 years. So maybe that’s why I was a little emotional tonight – he’s been a huge part of my life for so many years (although there were gaps of time I lost track of his career) and tonight’s performance felt like another important milestone for him. Plus he was wearing a suit, like he used to in the 1980s, so it may have also been a weird, subconscious reaction to that.

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Going through concert withdrawals

It’s been about 14 months since I was at a Rick Springfield concert and I think I’m going through some withdrawal symptoms because I had a dream about him last night.

I was at some kind of event and he was at the other end of a really long table playing a song. When he got up to leave, I got up to follow him to see if I could say hello but he was walking away really quickly. When he was playing, he was his current self, but when he was rushing out of the room, he looked like his 1980s self.

I’m not sure how to interpret that, but it did make me realize how long it’s been since I’ve had any interaction with my favorite rock star. Just two days ago it was the three-year anniversary of when I met him outside the Fox Theatre venue in Tucson after a Stripped Down show. (I wrote about that here and here.)

At the last show I was at – in July 2016 – I took a selfie with him after the show, but it happened so quickly that it almost seems like it didn’t happen at all.

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View from the end of the stage in July 2016.

However, although it’s been so long since I was at a show, he’s often on my mind. I’m at a current point in my life right now where the life experiences he’s shared are a huge source of inspiration. Maybe it’s my own version of a mid-life crisis, but I feel like I’ve reached a point where I need to make a big change, but I’m not sure yet what it is. Last year I made some big decisions in my professional life that I’m still adjusting to, and in the overall scheme of things, things are good, but there’s something eating away at me. Like there’s a choice I should have made or something I should be doing, but I’m not sure what.

Meanwhile I’m just writing and writing (not as much for this blog, but for my own blog and articles and songs) and making progress, but not sure where it’s all going. RS’s advice he’s shared in interviews to “never give up, never give up, never give up” keeps echoing in my mind.

There was recently an announcement that RS will be honored this month by Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services for his candidness in talking about depression. He will receive the 2018 Beatrice Stern Media Award on April 26 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. (An article was in the Morning Sun earlier this week.) Congratulations on this well-deserved honor, RS, thanks for sharing so much with your fans.

As usual, RS is keeping busy. According to his tour schedule, he’s had some time off since the 1980s cruise, except for one show in Florida right after the cruise, so hopefully he’s enjoying some down time with his family and friends. He was quoted in The Epoch Times after seeing a “Shun Yen” performance in Thousand Oaks last night ( those who were concerned with his spiritual side after listening to “The Snake King” might be interested in reading this article.) And tomorrow night he’ll be in Portland performing with the Oregon Symphony. Other April shows will be in Florida then California. (Check out his upcoming shows on rickspringfield.com.)

Since I don’t have any shows on the horizon, I recently amused myself with a page from the Rick Springfield and Us website: Concert Cliff Notes, which goes into great detail (with photos) of the different elements of a Rick Springfield concert, from rose explosions and signature moves to signs fans bring to the show and categories such as “shirtless” “memory lane” and “guitar throws.” Not quite the same as a show, but fun nonetheless.

On the ’80s cruise

What an incredible ’80s cruise! Rick Springfield as the host and a long list of performers, such as Thomas Dolby, Loverboy, Mike+ The Mechanics, Lou Gramm from Foreigner, Terri Nunn from Berlin, Billy Ocean and Tommy Tutone.

I wasn’t actually on the cruise, but I enjoyed it vicariously through videos of those who were there. Many RS fans were on the cruise and shared videos in Facebook fan groups and the fabulous Shantelle Bisson her husband Yannik (former co-star of “High Tide” with RS and star of Canada’s “Murdoch Mysteries”) both shared some great behind-the-scenes videos on Instagram (along with some beside-the-scene views, such as clips of RS concerts from the side of the stage.)

The fact that I was able to watch videos taken by people I don’t know who were in the middle of the ocean is pretty incredible. It’s another one of those things that my 13-year-old self would have been thrilled about back in the 1980s. Back then being a RS fan meant taking babysitting gigs so I could watch MTV and possibly see a RS video or interview (we didn’t have cable at home.) Or I’d walk to the neighborhood Revco drug store to see if the latest issue of Teen Beat, Tiger Beat or 16 magazine was out. (For other examples, see “Rick Springfield fandom in the 1980s vs. today.“)

But sitting home watching a video of my favorite rock star performing on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean the same night it was happening? No way, not in my wildest dreams.

Some of the highlights of the cruise (from my limited view 2,400 miles away) were:

  • The piano bar when RS and Thomas Dolby were playing The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.”
  • The Mark Goodman and RS Q&A session
  • Videos of the band hanging out singing in one of the cabins
  • RS singing “Waiting for a Girl Like You” (watching that brought out my inner teen giddiness, for sure)
  • Watching RS perform so many great songs with all those other talented performers and seeing him have such a great time

I’m sure there were many more highlights from people who were actually there so check out the Facebook fan pages. If I can find any videos to share from YouTube, I’ll post at a later date.

Next year’s lineup looks fun, too, especially the English Beat. I was a big fan in high school and I saw them once in this little bar in Tempe where I danced on the same dance floor as Dave Wakeling. But this year’s cruise, with Rick Springfield as host, would be hard to beat.

I love the 80s

Back to the ’80s

Oh, how I wish I was in Florida preparing to embark on a trip back to that totally tubular time of the 1980s. Yes, the ’80s cruise that we heard about last year starts this weekend, with none other than Rick Springfield as its captain. Or host. Let’s go with captain, he seems to like that:

Human Touch

I never started playing the lottery so I never won and therefore am not going on the cruise, but hopefully some of the lucky fans who are will share some videos.

Tonight RS is performing in Florida and then the ship sets sail on Saturday. Sometimes I feel like I know WAY too much about RS’s life. My brain can only hold so much information and I wonder sometimes if I didn’t know so much RS trivia maybe I’d remember more of my passwords and not have to reset them so often.

There weren’t as many passwords to remember back in the 1980s. In fact, so many things have changed since then. My childhood mall is being redeveloped into an office complex. Toys R Us is closing all its stores. I feel like I’ve reached that age where I spend too much time explaining to my kids how things used to be and talking about things that no longer exist. Although the details are different, it’s a reiteration of my dad’s story about being one of the first families on his block to get a color TV.

Today as we prepared to set out for school drop-off, my car didn’t start. The AAA guy checked the battery, but that was fine, it’s likely my starter. (’80s note: My very first 45 record was “Start Me Up!” by the Rolling Stones). I ended up having to drive my husband to work and passed the Arizona State Fairgrounds where two of my kids sang “Don’t Talk to Strangers” with RS a couple of years ago. (Another ’80s reference, in case you didn’t get it.)

For some reason, today when people call me on my cell phone, I can’t hear them and they can’t hear me. To paraphrase Blondie, “Call me, call me any, anytime” but I won’t be able to hear you.

Despite all these ’80s references, the song that kept going through my head today was “It’s Always Something.”

For that reason, it sounds so fun to get way from all of this and go out on a big boat dedicated to the 1980s and all that great music.

To everyone who is going – have an awesome time. Totally. For sure.

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My bedroom wall in the 1980s.

High school fantasies and beyond

Do the students at Santa Monica High School realize how awesome it is that they will be performing in a concert at their school tonight with Rick Springfield? I bet some of their mothers do.

Tonight is the Greg Coote Concert For The Arts, a fundraiser for the Santa Monica – Malibu Education Foundation that helps support arts programs throughout the district.

According to a recent article in the Santa Monica Daily Press,  the event has a 13-year history working with professional artists. (The event was recently renamed to honor the memory of Greg Coote, a strong supporter of the arts.)

“Students are involved in nearly every aspect of this show. On stage, student choir, orchestra, and band members play and sing with the artists,” said SMMEF Executive Director Linda Greenberg. “Backstage, student technicians assist the professionals with AV and lighting. In the audience, student ushers assist the attendees. A student also designs the concert poster. Hunter Pearson from Malibu High School designed this year’s poster.”

How incredible is that?! Tonight RS will be one of the performers, along with Terri Nunn from the band Berlin (who will also be joining RS on The ’80s Cruise next week.)

The concert will be held in Barnum Hall, a 1,200-seat theater that was built in 1937 and renovated in 2004. Many die-hard Rick Springfield fans likely attended school events in that building back in the 1980s and would have been shocked that their favorite rock star would someday be performing with the school’s students.

Apprenticeships and mentors

I’ve recently been listening to the audiobook version of “Real Artists Don’t Starve” by Jeff Goins on the solo rides of my daily commute for school drop-off and pick-up. One chapter talks about Michelangelo’s apprenticeship under his mentor Domenico Ghirlandalo and about the idea of learning from a master in whatever field you’re interested in going into.

Naturally, listening to this story led to a daydream about studying songwriting from someone I consider a songwriting master – RS. How cool would it be to spend some time in The Black Lagoon (RS’s home studio) to watch the birth of a song? He says he wrote “The Snake King” in one weekend so maybe he could offer songwriting sessions that could culminate in recording a new song. I’ll just send that request out into the universe in the hopes of it materializing someday.

Hey, it could happen. After all, there was probably at least one student sitting in the ’80s Santa Monica High School Barnum Hall wishing she was watching her favorite rock star play on that stage.

Note from the next day: I just found out that Terri Nunn, the lead singer of Berlin who performed at the concert, is an alumna of Santa Monica High School. How cool is that?!

Aloha, let’s talk about dogs

Let’s take a break from the depressing lyrics and negative world view of “The Snake King” (as close to reality as it may be) for a moment to talk about dogs.

Rick Springfield Hallmark dog show

On Feb. 19, The Hallmark Channel will debut its first American Rescue Dog Show. And the ultimate dog lover Rick Springfield will be a judge. (Although he admits if it was really up to him, every dog will win simply because they’re dogs.) Check out the full interview here. I love how all the women on the show are gushing over him. Generations of women have a Rick Springfield crush. It’s also so cool to see the family photos.

This weekend RS is performing three shows in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ah, the life of a rock star. Hopefully he’ll find some time to relax on the island.

Speaking of Hawaii, RS was on “Hawaii Five-O” in 2011, playing a photographer, another role where his character met an untimely death – what’s up with that?

In other RS news, RS is in this week’s People magazine, “How Rick Springfield reconciles depression & suicidal thoughts with his love for his family.”

Also, Feb. 16 marks the Chinese New Year and this year is the Year of the Dog so it seems like it should be a good year for Rick Springfield.

Looking forward to 2018

Besides next month’s release of Rick Springfield’s new CD “The Snake King,” it sounds like there might be some other cool RS offerings in 2018, too.

In an article on oaklandpress.com, “Rick Springfield at Sound Board: 5 Things to Know,”  RS mentions that his upcoming projects could include a prequel to “Magnificent Vibrations,” which started as a sequel, and a follow-up to his autobiography, “Late, Late at Night,” which came out in 2010. After learning so much about his life in LLAN, I think it would be so interesting to hear his perspective on the past seven years, too, especially after following his career so closely the past three years. It would be like those books where the narrator switches between characters so the reader learns what’s going on in everyone’s heads. I’m familiar with the fan view, now it would be interesting to hear the rock star’s point of view.

He also talked about the inspiration for “Little Demon” in “Rick Springfield channels ‘The Snake King,’ “ an article on cantonrep.com.

“It was just a riff I came up with, actually while I was touring in Germany last year.* I always loved the tracks from the ’70s where there would be several parts to the song — before punk told us that was (BS) — and I set out to write something like that with two totally different moods. Lyrically, its probably the most normal song on the album. Again, unrequited lust.”

So for those fans who are concerned that RS has gone to the dark side, judging from the song titles of “The Snake King,” it’s OK, it’s just a bluesy rock version of unrequited lust, 35 years after “Jessie’s Girl.” Speaking of “Jessie’s Girl,” I just have to say that I really appreciate how both of these reporters handled these articles. So much better than article angles from three years ago. (See the  “Enough with the Jessie’s Girl references!” post from December 2014 for examples.)

Plus, learning more about the theme of the album (from the cantonrep.com story) explains more about those titles.

 “The Snake King is the character that tells most of these stories on this record, so I wrote this to define who or what that character was. He is a hedonist, a sex addict and a generally good-time dude. I wish I was more like him. The title track was the first song I wrote for the album, and the verse came in a dream, which doesn’t happen often but is awesome when it does. I woke up with the whole verse, and got up at three in the morning to record it. It really started the whole writing process again.”

Since it’s been over a year since I’ve been to a RS concert, which means no show in 2017, I also hope that there will soon be a 2018 RS concert that I can look forward to.

* “Last year” meaning the Rock Meets Classic tour March 30-April 18, 2017.

Rick Springfield exploring his blues at the Grammy Museum

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View from my hotel window last month

Last month I was in Los Angeles for a conference with a view of The Grammy Museum outside my hotel window and was able to find an hour to quickly walk through the museum before leaving for the airport. I kept my eye out for a mention of Rick Springfield since he is a Grammy winner (and I thought it would be nice to mention his presence there in this blog), but I found nothing. But now I can write about it because he will be performing in the museum’s theater on Jan. 24, right before the release of his new album, “The Snake King”!

Ahead of the release of his new album, The Snake King (Frontiers Music Srl), on Jan. 26, 2018, the GRAMMY Museum will welcome GRAMMY®-winning singer/songwriter Rick Springfield to the Clive Davis Theater for an intimate conversation and performance. His new album finds Springfield exploring the blues side of his rock & roll, and marks a definite departure from the power pop he has been known for. With 25 million records sold, Springfield has withstood the test of time far better than most critics would ever have imagined, performing nearly 100 concerts around the world every year.

I’m so excited for those fans in Los Angeles because that’s such an intimate venue and the tickets are affordable ($20). The album launch party of course sounded amazing, too, but that’s sold out (and was $325). Then there’s the three-night engagement in Honolulu, Hawaii in February and the ’80s cruise in March. Ah, the rock star life (and the rich rock star fan life).

But since I’m not a rock star or a rich rock star fan, I have to take what I can get and in this case, it was a quick tour of the Grammy Museum so here are some pictures, just because I have a good excuse to post them now.

 P.S. If anyone has been to the museum and found any RS mention besides this concert, please let me know.

Update as of Dec. 22: Apparently the 200-seat show is already sold out, before going on sale to the public as museum members got first dibs on the tickets and who could pass up that opportunity? What a bummer for the L.A. fans. How about a second engagement for Access members? 😃

The day after the AZ State Fair

He’s probably long gone by now, but RS was only a few miles away this weekend.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I wasn’t able to go to his concert at the fair last night, which I was really sad about, but I was there in spirit. Can’t get a guitar pic or human touch when you’re there in spirit, but some people shared videos that I watched afterward, so that helped. (Thank you to those who shared your videos and pictures!)

I ended up giving my tickets to a friend (it’s difficult to sell tickets to a free show) so she got to see him for the first time and in exchange,  she sent me a photo so I could see what the view would have been from my seat in the fifth row:

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As you can see, he is back to playing guitar in concert – the first time in several weeks after his surgery. Whoo-hoo! (Though sorry I missed the big comeback.)

It was also his and his wife’s 33rd wedding anniversary – so Happy Anniversary to the two of them.  And more family trivia – today is his oldest son’s birthday – so happy birthday to Liam.

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Birth announcement in a 1985 fan club newsletter.

And since we’re on the subject of trivia, here’s an interview with a local radio station before the AZ State Fair, where we learn a little more about RS besides that he loves cotton candy. I’ve never been to Australia, but I did watch “Jaws” at a young age so I feel exactly the same way about sharks.

 

So that’s that, nothing else to report. There are no RS concerts that I have tickets for, there’s no word on “Magnificent Vibration” or “Late, Late at Night” sequels, there’s no updates on a release date for “Traces” and “The Snake King” isn’t scheduled to come out until March 2018. Maybe we’ll get a sneak peek soon at a song from “The Snake King”? One of the pics say “I Know What You Want” so maybe that will be the first one we hear?

Oct. 29 update: 

Click here for a fan review from somebody who actually was at the concert.