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

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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!

Notes of nostalgia

Between adjusting to the back-to-school routine and some major changes at work, I totally missed the two-year anniversary of this blog.

Normally I would do recaps and reflections and yadda, yadda, yadda, but I’ve already done a few of those already (yes a few, even though it’s only been two years, since there’s the year-end recap and the anniversary recap).

So I’ll just type out a few notes of nostalgia and be done with it.

I remember so clearly that day at work two summers ago when I was checking the TV listings of our local PBS station to clarify information for our newspaper’s calendar. And then there at the bottom of the screen was a video promoting a recent interview with Rick Springfield. I knew I’d have to check that out, and did so a couple of evenings later. I was shocked to find out he had just released a novel and before that, an autobiography. Although I was a huge fan when I was younger and still cranked up “Jessie’s Girl” when it came on the radio, I hadn’t followed his career in years and had no idea what ever became of him.

I immediately put both books on hold at the local library and did some Googling to find out what he’d been up to. Watching YouTube interviews brought back so many memories that had long been buried, such as song lyrics and the way RS used to lick his lips during interviews.

After reading his documentary, “Late, Late at Night,” I recreated my reading experience by putting together a little blog with links to the videos illustrating some of the stories he told: Late, Late at Night Musical Journey. Next I started this blog, My Rick Springfield Crush, because I was so excited about rediscovering my favorite rock star, but nobody else in my real life was all that interested. I never imagined that two years later – and 212 posts later (this one is #213) I’d still be writing it. I had no idea there’d be so many new things to write about: two CDs (The “Stripped Down CD/DVD” and “Rocket Science”), two movies (“Ricki and the Flash” and “Traces”), TV shows (“True Detective” and “Supernatural”), as well as numerous interviews and concerts.  And even when I formally ended the blog about 20 posts ago, I still found myself coming back to write more.

The same week I saw that initial interview in July 2014, I learned that he would be in town for a concert a few days later, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to afford the tickets (and I also found out he’d been in town earlier in the year to promote “Magnificent Vibration” at a local bookstore. Obviously I was oblivious.) Nearly two years later, I was in the second row at the same venue and got a picture with him after the show. In between those two shows, I had seen him in concert five other times – briefly meeting him twice. I guess you might say I got a little hooked (Or you might say something else. Whatever).

Well, this post became a little more recap-y than I intended and I haven’t even written anything about RS has inspired me in other aspects of my life. Fortunately if anybody is interested, it’s already been covered in previous posts. You can even start back down in the August 2014 archives and read all the way back up to today if you want to. There are lots of good RS pictures and videos embedded along the way.

For anyone who is still reading (the current number of all-time views is 15,613, which means there are LOTS of people searching for information about Rick Springfield), thank you. 

Singin’ the blues

Although the title of this post would be fitting for how I feel about not having the means to go on the “Rick Springfield and Friends” fan getaway in the Bahamas this November, that’s not what this post is about.

No, it’s about an article that was on Billboard.com today that RS plans to work on a blues album next.

“I love slide guitar, and most people don’t know it because I don’t really play it onstage,” Springfield says. “I play [Hambone Willie Newbern’s] ‘Rollin’ and Tumblin” in my solo show, and I always get guys saying, ‘You should do a blues album.’ And I was thinking about writing something as opposed to just doing copies of blues songs that everybody’s done. I’m all for expanding people’s views, y’know?”


Here’s a video of “Rollin’ and Tumblin’ ” from the Stripped Down show I saw last year (it’s not my video – I found it on YouTube and the video it would be much blurrier if it was mine – but I was in the Fox Tucson Theatre  when it was being filmed and met him briefly after the show.)

When I first heard last year that he was working on a country album, I was a little wary, as I’ve never been a big fan of country music. But “Rocket Science” has become one of my favorite albums of all time.

Since I’m much more a fan of blues than I am country, today’s news is pretty exciting! I wouldn’t say I’m a blues aficionado, but I’ve been fortunate to see B.B. King, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Bo Diddley and Eric Clapton perform live. Plus, my husband is a big blues fan and RS playing the blues is his favorite part of the RS shows he’s seen so maybe he’ll be more eager to go to another one with me in the future.

The Billboard article also talks about the 35th anniversary of “Working Class Dog” (have you seen the collector’s-edition guitar that celebrates that anniversary? It’s really cool-looking and one lucky fan can get it at each show – along with a meet-and-greet – for a mere $2,500.) And of course the article also addresses his upcoming role as Lucifer on “Supernatural.”

And if a full-band tour, a solo tour, a new movie and a role on a popular TV show isn’t enough, apparently he’s headed to Germany next year with the Rock Meets Classic tour – where American rockers perform with a symphony orchestra. Also on the tour are members/former members of The Eagles, Toto, Uriah Heep and Magnum. The tour visits 15 German arenas from March 30 to April 18. RS is listed as a “very special guest.”