‘Working Class Dog’ in Phoenix

Last night I attended my first Rick Springfield concert since the pandemic began, at Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix.

It was a little bit surreal, like the past 2 1/2 years was a bad dream because how could it be that this type of communal gathering ceased to exist for so long? RS was in full rock-star mode and it was a celebration from the moment the first note played, as RS and the band rocked that revolving stage like no other.

I hadn’t splurged on tickets in the first few rows this time because just days before the show was announced, I had splurged on last-minute Billie Eilish tickets at a local stadium. That particular splurge meant two tickets (one for me and one for my oldest son) way up in the nosebleed section and since each far-away ticket was about the cost of one front-row ticket for RS, I wasn’t able to do that again a few days later. But, I thought, that was OK, it would be enough just being at the concert since it had been so long since I saw him in concert (June 2019). (In case you were wondering, the Billie Eilish show was amazing, even so far from the stage.)

Of course, once I got to Celebrity Theatre last night, I wished I had splurged because although our seats were fine (it’s a fairly small venue), it was a whole different experience from the previous shows when I was near the stage.

It was my husband’s first RS show in awhile – he was at a show years ago with two of our sons (when they sang “Don’t Talk to Strangers” with him), a Stripped Down show in Tucson (when we briefly met RS after the show) and on an overnight in Sahuarita, Ariz., when I kind of left him back in our seats when I found an unoccupied spot by the stage (and we stayed at the same hotel as RS and the band). So he was a good sport to go with me again and he had a great time and was so impressed by how RS and the band rocked from the second the show started.

Display in the Celebrity Theatre’s downstairs lounge

Although it felt more like I was watching the show from afar this time around, I was overwhelmed by a strong sense of gratitude to even be there at all and appreciated all the aspects, from the rose explosions to the lighting and sound. During the pandemic, I wondered if the opportunity would ever return. And yet there they were, RS and all of the band members, surrounded by other fans as excited to be there as I was.

A couple of my favorite moments were hearing “World Start Turning” and being able to sing “Happy Birthday” to him again. In 2018, I was in the very same theater two days before his real birthday (Aug. 23) and it struck me how much the world has changed since we were “together” in that space last. He mentioned how he just finished filming “Gonzo Girl,” a movie with Patricia Arquette and William Dafoe. (During the 2018 concert, he told us that he was going to film an episode of “The Goldbergs” TV show the next day, if that puts things in perspective for anyone.)

RS played third, after John Waite and Men at Work, so the encore came after 11 p.m. I probably shouldn’t confess this here, but since it was a school night/work night, I decided last minute that we should leave during “Jessie’s Girl” because I’ve heard it a gazillion times, saw him perform it live lots of times and remembered that getting out of the parking lot after the Billie Eilish concert took nearly an hour. Plus I knew there was no chance of possibly “running into” RS after the show (although I did briefly run into drummer Jorge in the audience before the Men at Work set) because it was so late. So, ignoring the impulse to stick around for a slim possibility to meet him again (like I did back in 2016 when I was able to get selfie with him before he climbed onto the bus and rode off into the night), we headed out the no-re-entry doors to the parking lot across the street as the pre-Jessie’s Girl video began and were home about 20 minutes later.

Of course it was my loss because, as I learned this morning after the fabulous Rick and the News Flash Facebook fan page posted a beautiful video of that very performance, he returned to the stage shirtless. So even though I missed seeing it live, I was relieved I still got to experience the full concert (and had a better view of the encore then I would have if I stayed in my seat).

When I woke up this morning, I felt a sense of calm. Although last night was another missed opportunity of meeting RS and possibly putting the words together to tell him the impact he’s made on my life, I thought about the dream I had before waking up.

In the dream, I was in a dining room of a house with RS and my husband and a few other people. RS mentioned to the people in the room that I was married to both him and my husband. Even in the dream I felt a little unsure how this would work (both logistically and morally), but was thrilled that he would even say this. I offered to make him tea and he chose a pack of tea leaves from a big colorful box with a brown kangaroo on it. I wasn’t sure how to use his fancy tea infuser so he showed me and I made a cup of tea for both him and my (real-life) husband.

Weird, I know, and I have no idea what that could mean, but as I said, being able to have that encounter with him even only in my dream made me feel peaceful.

Anyway, RS and the band are off for a few more shows of this Working Class Dog tour and then once that’s over, perhaps we’ll hear more about the album he’s been working on!! To all the RS fans headed to upcoming shows – have fun!

Update on Aug. 31
I thought I’d share a video from the Aug. 29 show that I found on YouTube since I initially posted this. Thank you for sharing, you had a much better view than I had!

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.

20160708_224321

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.

Dreams can be so weird

I assume there hasn’t been any official study on the number of times Rick Springfield appears in dreams each week, but I’ll bet he makes several appearances.

Last night, I got to spend a few minutes with him in my dream. We spoke for a few minutes, although I don’t remember the details, and he drew me a picture and wrote me a little note. I also got the scoop on a new upcoming role. According to my dream, his next role will be as the Cheetos cheetah (I looked it up after I woke up and the name of the Cheetos mascot is Chester Cheetah, in case you were wondering.).

Besides the fact that they both wear high-top tennis shoes and sunglasses, I’m not really sure where that came from, but sometimes you just can’t explain dreams.

NOTE: The material in this blog post came from a dream and is NOT based in reality. There has been NO indication at all that RS will indeed be reprising the role of Chester Cheetah and it is highly unlikely.

The Australian interview

You may have heard about the recent Rick Springfield interview on Australia’s “Sunday Night” program, where an Australian reporter got the incredible assignment to fly to Los Angeles to interview RS.

(Are there any positions available for reporters to travel to the Bahamas in November to cover the fan trip? If so, where do I apply?)

The interview appeared to be a big deal for Australia because he left about 45 years ago to achieve musical fame on the foreign shores of America and so this interview seemed to be sort of a “Where are they now?” kind of thing. It was a very heartfelt interview and it always amazes me that RS speaks with such candor about personal matters. Perhaps it’s because he already revealed so much in his memoir and he figures the information is out there anyway.

But if one hasn’t read every line of his memoir or listened to countless interviews, parts of the interview could come as a surprise. Hence, the headlines from those interviews.

Rick Springfield: ‘I’d recognize Jessie’s Girl if I saw her’

Yes, another “Jessie’s Girl” headline. No surprise.

‘I was going to shoot myself’: Rick Springfield opens up about his battle with depression while admitting he attempted to commit suicide twice

He wrote about his teenage suicide attempt in his book and so although it came as a surprise when reading his autobiography, it didn’t have the same effect when watching the interview (although it’s still just as sad to think about now). But is counting change from your piggy bank to see if you have enough money to buy a gun really considered a suicide attempt? (Not to downplay the emotions behind doing that, though. So glad he didn’t have enough change.)

As one who has heard/watched many RS interviews over the past couple of years, my fan thoughts after watching the interview were a little different and – not surprisingly – didn’t appear in the any of the articles:

It was interesting to see all the coverage of Zoot, which was a big part of his Australian musical career, and to hear him talking about his early days in America.

Oh, the red shirt in the concert footage shown in the interview – he wore that at the New Orleans show this past summer. Why do I remember that? Because it was the first time I remembered seeing that shirt and I mentioned it in a previous post because he was wearing it in a dream I had. Since he cancelled the show that was scheduled right after the New Orleans show because he was so sick and the doctor ordered him to, that means he was likely pretty sick at the time of the interview.

The interview was yet another reminder that he’s had such an amazing career – finding musical success in one country and then starting from scratch in a second country and finding success there, as well. And all the ups and downs and twists and turns along the way and then being willing to talk so candidly about it all. Such an inspiration.

What I did learn from the interview was the origin of Bindi’s name and that RS sometimes dreams in an Australian accent. Although I don’t remember if he spoke with his accent in my dream when he wore his red shirt.

In case you missed it, here’s the interview:

 

 

 

Funny coincidences and a nice dream

Have you ever had something on your mind and then you start noticing all these “coincidences” related to it? That’s what happened to me this weekend.

On Friday, as I was cleaning the kitchen, I was listening to a Rick Springfield playlist on Spotify. Then I had to run to Party City to get some “Star Wars” party goods for my youngest son’s birthday party. It’s only about a 10-minute drive and in the middle of the drive, “Jessie’s Girl” came on the radio.

Then yesterday, I saw photos on a RS Facebook page that somebody posted from the RS concert Meet and Greet and RS was wearing a “Star Wars” T-shirt. Because of the time difference between where the concert was and where I was, the photo may have been taken around the same time I was looking for the “Star Wars” party goods.

Then today at the birthday party, which was at a nearby park, one of the kids pulled a shoe out of the lake – it was a red Converse shoe (Converse is RS’s shoe of choice).

And now on to my dream last night.

I was at some kind of party and was leaving in a white car with other people. As we neared the parking lot exit, there was a crowd of people standing around some tables and I noticed Rick Springfield was there. With a quick word of explanation to the person driving the car, I jumped out and walked over to the crowd. RS was sitting in a chair and there were people around him but he looked at me and mouthed, “I saw the blog.” I smiled but didn’t really know what to say. Then as he moved his way through the crowd, he gave me a big hug and then continued on his way.

That made my night! Then I left to find my ride home.

Of course I have no proof of this because, one, since I jumped out of the car, I didn’t have my phone or a camera with me. And two, because it was a dream. Still nice, though!