Rick Springfield with the Nashville symphony

This past summer, Rick Springfield toured Europe with the Rock Meets Classic tour – an annual European tour featuring classic rock artists backed up by a symphony orchestra – and I guess he enjoyed it because now tickets are on sale for a June 29, 2018 show with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes totally unrelated parts of your life have mysterious connections that you can’t really explain and it just seems so funny although if you actually tell somebody about it, you feel a little silly? Well, this blog seems like a good place to share this, so here’s an example:

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been binge-watching the television show “Nashville” (I just started Season 4) so the news of RS playing in Nashville fits right into that particular track of my life. AND in the episode that I just started watching, rock star Markus Keen just arrived in Nashville after being signed to Rayna James’ label.

That’s it. Nothing too monumental and I’m not expecting Luke Wheeler to be a special guest at next year’s show or anything, but I just thought that was kind of funny.

(And I think it’s cool that RS is doing this. Rock, country, blues, symphony orchestra, fiction, nonfiction, movies, Broadway, TV shows, the list of his accomplishments keeps getting longer…)

Update on Aug. 12, the day after I wrote this post: Guess who was on the episode of “Nashville” I watched tonight?

Jack White, Rick Springfield’s drummer in the 1980s! Ha, life is so funny sometimes.

It looks like there might be some live videos for tonight’s show in Vegas so I’m off to see.  Thanks, Rick and the NEWSflash!

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This is the week

Here we are – “Rocket Science” week. The time RS fans have been waiting for since last January when there was a shot of him and the band in the studio announcing that they were working on it. 12219633_10153459169577326_6020387591552106660_n

Some lucky fans have already gotten copies of the CD, some from Japan, where there was an earlier release date, and some as a reward for coming out in single-digit temperatures for CD signings at music stores. So far I’ve only heard five of the songs, but the weather is sunny in the low 80s here so maybe it all equals out?

Even though some fans are luckier with regard to RS – CD signings, intimate concerts in music stores followed by a CD signing, full-band shows (two nights in a row in Nashville), sound checks, meet-and-greets, a Stripped Down Valentine’s Day show – it is OK, because they are so darn generous, sharing their photos and videos so you almost feel like you were there. Although my weekend was dominated by laundry and a four-hour Valentine’s Day visit to the ER with my 9-year-old (he is OK, thank G-d), I still feel like I had some RS fun, too. “Wasted” and “Speak to the Sky” at Grimey’s, the live debut of “That One” on Friday night and the live debut of “Miss Mayhem” on Saturday night. Also a  fun Stripped Down Q&A tonight with an impromptu acoustic performance of “Light This Party Up” and oh yeah, the live stream of the full Friday night concert on Yahoo Music.

Last year I went to three full-band shows (and one Stripped Down show) so between those and watching lots of other RS clips from shows this past year, it’s kind of funny that “Light This Party Up” and “Down” are already so familiar that they don’t even seem like new songs anymore although the CD isn’t out yet. Of course the CD versions with the country influence may have a different sound, but I’m already getting used to those, too. And although I’ve always expressed a dislike for country music, maybe I am a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll, because I really like them. (Yes, I used to watch “The Donny and Marie Show,” if you caught that reference.)

RS is looking happy and healthy and hopefully his busy schedule and cold weather doesn’t get him sick again like last year, when he was chugging cold syrup on the stage each night while performing one great show after another. But next weekend he’ll be in sunny southern California where he’ll be doing one CD signing in Long Beach about five minutes from where I used to work in college and another in Los Angeles about 10 minutes from where I used to live in my 20s. For some reason the song “Born Out of Time” plays in my head whenever I think about this, even though it’s a different context and it doesn’t directly apply.

There were several videos of this weekend’s performances, but the ones on Periscope may disappear soon unless the Periscopers end up saving on YouTube. Here’s a sample:

 

RS: Let Me In

First thing this morning there was a notification from Spotify in my inbox letting me know that “Let Me In” was now available. Waiting for the launch of “Rocket Science” has been much easier than I anticipated because every few days there seems to be another treat available to help pass the time until its debut on Feb. 19.

Of course I had to listen to it right away and noticed the strong Country vibe. As I’ve mentioned in the past, Country is, um, not my favorite kind of music so at first I was worried I wouldn’t like it. But once I got past the intro, I LOVED it and think it’s my favorite song so far on “Rocket Science.”

Toward the end of the song, my second thought was that RS must be in a happier state of mind these days than when he originally did the song because the repeating lines at the end are different than the original one. “I don’t think the girl’s in love” is now “I sure hope this girl’s in love.” (The We Love Rick Springfield fan site has posted the new lyrics here and the lyrics for the older version, the demo that was one of the bonus tracks of “Songs for the End of the World,” are here.)

Sure enough, later in the day, Billboard tweeted an article that starts out, “Rick Springfield calls his upcoming disc, Rocket Science, “probably the most positive album I’ve ever written.”

“I was just wanting to change my attitude,” Springfield tells Billboard. “Pissing and moaning about something and dooms-daying is not gonna help anything. I’ve always been a big one to do that, pissing and moaning. So I wanted to have some solutions for once rather than just moaning. I’ve been having a better mindset lately and focused on different things. I’m always fighting the depression — that’s taught for me — but the way I deal with that mainly is just to write, and feeling that I’m doing something creative really helps my mood.”

That said, “Let Me In” — the first song Springfield wrote for Rocket Science, which comes out Feb. 19 — was drawn from darker circumstances in his life. “I was having issues with my primary relationship, and it came out of that,” explains Springfield, who’s been married to wife Barbara since 1984. “The best songs come from a moment of truth for me, and that was an issue I was having a really tough time with, so it came from that. I’m very guilty of creating conflict to get the emotions stirred up and be able to write. There’s deeper stuff in conflict; That’s the only time you stop and think is when things aren’t going well. When things are going well you’re kind of full steam ahead, and I don’t really write much when I’m happy.”

I think this is why I like this song so much – the honesty behind it and how it illustrates the ups and downs of a long-term relationship. The Billboard article also mentions his upcoming film, “Traces” and that he’s still working on the sequel to “Magnificent Vibration.” And that he’s working on ideas for a TV series as well. So many good things to look forward to!

And here are the new “Let Me In” videos: the official audio from “Rocket Science,” an acoustic version (filmed in his home studio) and a video about the making of “Let Me In.”

Play it again: CMT Music Awards show

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OK, fine. Jessie’s Girl it is. Although there are hours and hours of other songs by Rick Springfield over the past 40 years, if that’s the one that will make people take notice of him again, fine, play it again.

If Jessie’s Girl is the song that keeps getting mentioned over and over again in tweets and what draws people to his concerts, fine, play it again.

For those of you who missed it, he was on for a few seconds in a pre-taped segment on tonight’s CMT Music Awards Show, busking on a Nashville sidewalk. Arnold Schwarzenegger is driving by as a Uber-spoof chauffer (Tom Arnold is one of his passengers) and a woman in the backseat (one of the show’s hosts) points out RS on the sidewalk. Arnold abruptly stops the car as RS finishes singing Jessie’s Girl and Arnold asks him to play it again. “Come on dude, I already played it like 10 times,” RS replies. Then Arnold gives him that “don’t mess with me” look and responds in a Terminator-ish voice, “Play it again.”

So if a few lines of Jessie’s Girl on a national country music awards show that attracts a large audience (about 3 million viewers tuned into last year’s show) is what’s necessary for RS to get the exposure he deserves, then fine, play it again.

To see the video, see this article here.