So much can happen in five years!

Five years ago today, I posted the first post on this blog. I had just “rediscovered” Rick Springfield after more than a decade of not following his career and after catching up on some of his music and reading his autobiography, I was so excited about all that I learned. However, nobody around me seemed that interested and I felt like I was becoming annoying with all my RS excitement.

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So instead I decided to start a blog to have a place to express all my thoughts about it and maybe someone else might be interested. And even if nobody actually read it, at least I could get everything out of my head, much like I did in my journals when I was younger.

I never thought I’d still be writing the blog five years later, but RS has been amazingly busy over the past few years and provided so much content to write about.

For instance, when I wrote that first post, none of this existed yet:

I’m sure I’m missing several other things as well, but you get the idea.

According to the blog stats, up until today, there have been 394 posts and 45,211 views by nearly 26,992 visitors.

So to everyone who has read the RS Crush blog, thank you! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it!

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Win a dinner with Rick Springfield

The fan-based Rick Springfield Birthday Campaign is now under way, raising more than $3,000 in the first five days. That’s pretty awesome, considering that surpasses both the entire 2008 and 2009 campaigns.

Perhaps in those days they weren’t offering DINNER WITH RICK SPRINGFIELD as the grand prize.

Yes, you read that correctly – the grand prize is DINNER WITH RICK SPRINGFIELD! (I felt compelled to use all caps since why not yell out that exciting news?)

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There are some other cool prizes, too, such as original drawings by RS himself. (You may have heard that he’s a musician, songwriter, singer, author and actor – did you know he’s an artist, too?)

Here he is at work, sketching one of the prizes, Grand Prize #3:

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Grand Prize #2 is a sketch of his cute dog Bindi:

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It’s kind of like getting a signed photograph from the RS fan club back in the ’80s, but this time they are original drawings.

Check out happybirthdayrick.com to find out how to enter to receive these prizes. All donations go toward the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation, which helps rescue dogs.

(When my 9-year-old overheard the video of RS announcing the campaign, he recognized his voice: “Is that Rick Springfield?” he asked. When I told him that RS fans were raising money for a charity for his birthday, I asked him what charity he thought it would be. “An animal shelter?” he asked. Yes, I told him, it’s for dogs. What made him guess that? “Because, dogs,” he said. “Dogs may drool, but they also rule.”)

Did you ever wonder what it would be like to have dinner with Rick Springfield? I can only imagine what it would be like – probably me just sitting there smiling and staring, unable to say a word. I’d have to bring a talkative friend with me so it wouldn’t be too awkward.

Although, I also suspect it would be really cool, like it was for this lucky fan on this “prom date” back in 2004 (video courtesy of rsandus):

Rick Springfield’s official 70th birthday celebration begins!

The first response people have when learning Rick Springfield is turning 70 this year is “WHAT?!”

Not only is it because he looks about 20 years younger, especially when performing – running around the audience, jumping unbelievably high on stage, etc. – but also because if he’s 70, then his fans who were in their early teens when they started being fans are now either approaching 50 or in their 50s. WHAT?!

Yes, it’s true.

I don’t know how common it is for fans to run birthday campaigns for their favorite rock star, but Rick Springfield fans have run incredible campaigns in honor of RS since 2007 and have so far raised over $122,000 for different charities.

Today is the kick-off of this year’s fan-based campaign, “Orchestrating a Dog’s Life” and all funds raised will go to Linda Blair’s Worldheart Foundation, which helps dogs. As you may know, Rick Springfield loves dogs.

(See the Facebook post when he recently stopped at an animal shelter in Minnesota to visit the dogs while he was in town for a concert and he and some fans donated money to the shelter, too.)

So far on the first day, more than $700 in donations have come in and the campaign runs through Sept. 27 with a goal of raising $20,000 for the dogs. (Last year’s campaign raised more than $15,000.) In case this information hasn’t been imprinted on your brain for the past three decades or so, his actual birthday is Aug. 23.

For more history about the campaign, click here.

In addition to raising money for charities, the campaign also has a fun prize component, where people fans donate Rick Springfield movies, CDs, merchandise, as well as gift cards and other items and every $5 donation gets a entry ticket and then there’s a big prize drawing at the end. (One year the grand prize was having dinner with RS himself!) Thank you to all the fans who work on this campaign each year and those who donate the prizes!

Learn all about the campaign at happybirthdayrick.com.

A rock star that inspires so many fans

With so many of today’s “leaders” being such poor examples of being a good human being, thank goodness for all the artists, musicians and other creatives out there who follow their passion to be a positive force in the world.

By sharing their truths with the world, they often forge a connection with their fans and give them strength. As this is a blog about Rick Springfield, naturally I will use him as an example.

Although he has made some not-so-stellar choices during his lifetime, which he seems to often beat himself up over, he has, through sharing and baring his soul, brought strength to so many. Through his songs, his autobiography and in interviews, he divulges more than the average human being would about his negative actions and by doing so, brings solace to others who may have found themselves in similar situations.

Not only that, but he also seems to inspire creativity in others.

For instance, he recently posted a video based on “My Father’s Chair” created by a film student.

Oftentimes, fans will post artwork they painted or drew of RS and one artist wrote a post about a chalk drawing she drew in tribute to RS’s birthday: “My many muses: Rick Springfield 2016” and a follow-up post: Back to the drawing board: Rick Springfield.

Then of course on YouTube there are several covers of his songs – mainly “Jessie’s Girl,” but here are some others that seem to exist not because the musicians are in an ’80s cover band, but because they’re RS fans :

From lespaulfanofsparta on YouTube:

And this cool father-daughter “Jessie’s Girl” cover, courtesy of Krizten Centino’s YouTube channel:

“Love is Alright Tonight” from posturex1:

There are several others if you’re interested in searching “Rick Springfield covers on YouTube.”

Obviously, he’s been a big inspiration to me, which I explained in a 2015 post about a year after I started writing this blog “Blogging to inspiration.” Can you believe that it’s almost the five-year anniversary of this blog?! Since then, I’ve been on my own little songwriting journey, definitely inspired by RS.

Some people don’t get any opportunities to inspire others and others inspire others simply by doing what they love and being kind to others. So once, again, thank you RS for being a source of inspiration!

Question for RS fans: How has he inspired you?

Fan trip postponed, moved from Dominican Republic to Mexico

Perhaps you already read the news today, as it was reported on Billboard, Breitbart, CNN, Daily Mail, Fox News, People.com, Page Six, PopCulture.com and a radio station website.

The Rick Springfield & Friends fan trip that was scheduled to take place this November at the Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana has been rescheduled to the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun in 2020.

In some of these articles, RS was referred to as “the ‘Jessie’s Girl’ Singer” and a “1980s hitmaker” and the fan getaway was called “an upcoming show,” “an upcoming performance,” a “gig” and a “music festival.”

But to devoted Rick Springfield fans who know he is much more than “the ‘Jessie’s Girl’ singer” and “1980s hitmaker,” the fan getaway is the ultimate RS trip because it’s a multi-day RS extravaganza filled with concerts (from acoustic poolside singalongs to piano bar singalongs with special guests to full-band rockin’ concerts), meet-and-greets, fun activities and a whole resort (or cruise ship, depending on the type of getaway) filled with people who feel the same way you do about your favorite rock star.

Disclaimer: I’ve never actually been on one of these trips, but this is my impression of it based on social media posts and videos I’ve watched.

Here’s the full statement, as found on RS’s official website:

Dear Friends,

We have been closely monitoring the situation in the Dominican Republic. In an abundance of caution and for the peace of mind and well-being of my fans, band and crew, the ‘Rick Springfield & Friends’ event in Punta Cana is being rescheduled to take place at Hard Rock Hotel Cancun in 2020. New dates will be determined as soon as possible. We hope to have this announcement within the next two weeks.

As you can imagine, organizing this type of event requires extensive planning and logistics. Unfortunately, we are unable to move the trip to the new location during the November 7-11, 2019 period.

We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding. Once the new dates are formally announced, any guest who wishes to cancel will have an option for a full refund through Rose Tours.

While this decision has not been easy, the safety and well-being of our amazing fans, band and crew will always be the most important consideration in any situation. Sending our love and best wishes to all of our friends in the Dominican Republic.

Thank you for your patience while we work out the new details.

Look forward to seeing you soon in Mexico!
Rick

Although I hadn’t planned on going to Punta Cana and sympathize with those who rearranged their schedules, purchased tickets, etc., I’m relieved because the recent news from the Dominican Republic is worrisome. Is there something sinister happening there or is the media sensationalizing it? I don’t know, but the multiple deaths of American tourists reported does seem to require an investigation and hopefully the families of the victims will get some answers.

As the statement mentioned, the new dates will be announced soon and with the trip relocating a little closer to my part of the world, there’s also renewed hope that I can go…

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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:

The hottest hair color of the moment

At the most recent concert (not counting the one that was cancelled due to travel delays), the cowboy hat was gone and we finally got a peek of what was under all the hats these past few weeks.

RS had explained that he was wearing the hats because he was growing out his hair for a movie role.

Fans at the St. Charles, MO show on Jan. 26 got to see it first – the gray hair:

 

Is it a big deal? No.

Just like all of his fans, he has aged. Shocker. (Not.) Although he has aged considerably better than most people do, he is turning 70 this year. How incredibly lucky are his fans that they still get to see their teenage crush perform regularly and that he still looks so good doing so? Really lucky. And that he’s still writing new great music? Wow, we hit the jackpot!

He’s had many different looks throughout the years. If you search “Rick Springfield” on Google Images and scroll down the pages, you can see all his different looks through the decades. Some I like, some I don’t and everybody probably has different opinions on what look they like best. But really it’s about the music and the person making it, right?

Coincidentally, there was an article in The Wall Street Journal a couple of weeks ago, that has a headline that sums up RS’s current look: “The Hottest Hair Color of the Moment is … Gray.

Fun little coincidences

A couple of years ago around this time, I wrote a blog post about the observation of how my brain was being saturated with details about Rick Springfield’s life. This past weekend, it happened again.

I know this sounds a little bit crazy, but I got a kick out of it and thought maybe other RS fans would as well. Here goes:

This past weekend, my sister and I spent the weekend together on a sisters’ trip as an early celebration of my milestone birthday. We left for Southern Arizona on Jan. 26 and that afternoon we went ziplining. In our group, there were eight women and one man. The man’s name? Rick.

That evening, we went to Tucson to see The Fab Four, a Beatles tribute band at the Fox Theatre. The only other time I’d ever been there was to see RS’s Stripped Down show back in April 2015 (and I briefly met him afterward).

The next morning, we had breakfast at the B&B we were staying at and were chatting with the manager. My sister asked him where he was from. He said he grew up in St. Charles, Missouri. It so happens that the night we were staying at the B&B and saw The Fab Four show in Tucson (Jan. 26), Rick Springfield was performing in concert in St. Charles, Missouri.

During our conversation, the discussion drifted to traveling and my sister asked our host what his three favorite places were to travel. His #1 choice? Australia; he especially loved Melbourne.

C’mon, it is a little weird, don’t you think? Do things like this happen to you, too? I find it so fascinating!

(Jan. 26 is also the one-year anniversary of the release of “The Snake King.”)

P.S. This is a combination of this post and the last: My third-grade son’s teacher picks a “Song of the Week” each week that she plays for her students. Oftentimes, my son likes it and requests it at home. The song she chose the week of Jan. 7-11, which was the week he was requesting the song at home, was “Jailhouse Rock.” On Jan. 18, the night before RS performed at Graceland, there he was performing “Jailhouse Rock” in a video on my Facebook feed.

A devastating time for California

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The news coming out of California has been so devastating these past few days. First the Nov. 7 shootings at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, where a gunman killed 12 people, mainly college-age students.

Then the VERY NEXT DAY (Thursday), the Northern California town of Paradise was almost completely consumed in a wildfire that is now considered the state’s most destructive fire on record. At least 29 people have died so far, 110 people are still missing and 6,700 buildings, mainly homes, were destroyed, according to CNN. It has burned 111,000 acres across Northern California.

Then the NEXT DAY (Friday), only a few miles away from the site of the Nov. 7 shooting , two more wildfires started – the Hill Fire and the Woolsey Fire. As of tonight, Sunday, they are both still burning and more than 250,000 people have been ordered to evacuate from their homes. The Woolsey fire has spread to 83,275 acres and the Hill Fire covered 4,531 acres, according to CNN. Together, they are responsible for the destruction of 179 structures, but another 57,000 are threatened, according to fire officials.

I have several relatives in Los Angeles and nearby areas so I have been paying very close attention to these Southern California fires. Fortunately, thank G-d, at this time none of their homes are in danger.

However, I’m still watching the fire’s devastation closely because I know the areas fairly well having lived in L.A. for several years and am shocked about how much damage these fires are inflicting to people’s lives, animals’ lives and the landscape.

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A surreal scene on Zuma Beach

Although I don’t know anyone personally who has been evacuated, I’m very concerned for those affected and cannot even imagine what they are going through as they wait to learn the fate of their house.

As you may know, Rick Springfield lives in Malibu and his house is in the fire zone.

When the fire started, RS was on tour in Florida and then El Paso, and according to FB reports by others, his wife and dog safely evacuated. That’s good news that everyone is safe. And now his fans all are waiting – and praying – that they will all get to go home. Because RS has been so open with his fans in the past, we know about his collections, his parents’ piano that he shipped from Australia and his home studio, the Black Lagoon, where he has created so much incredible music. To many fans, he almost seems like family, even to those of us he doesn’t actually know. And we hope that these fires stay the #$@* away from his house.

We are waiting and praying that the fires will soon be extinguished and that everyone will be able to safely return home and that there won’t be any more casualties or destruction. Thank goodness for all those dedicated and brave firefighters, police officers and other first responders who have been working so hard to protect people and save their animals and their homes. Wishing them much strength and success in their work.

UPDATE ON THE AFTERNOON OF NOV. 12:

Their house is OK (besides a burnt fence)! Relief!! (So sorry to hear about the neighbors though, and all others who weren’t as lucky.) As of today, the Woolsey fire has burnt 91,952 acres and is only 20 percent contained, according to CBS. Plus there’s lots of wind – more prayers are needed!

UPDATE ON THE AFTERNOON OF NOV. 13:

See his Instagram post to see what happened to his neighbor’s house, two doors down. So devastating. Sadly there are hundreds of similar scenes in both Southern and Northern California this week. So many lives affected.

Farewell to soundcheck access

It used to be that Rick Springfield fans could purchase a soundcheck package where they could sit in during the band’s soundcheck session and then afterward they could briefly meet him for autographs, pictures and a chance to share any personal thoughts about the impact that he’s had on their life.

This past week, the Rick Springfield Official Merchandise site announced that effective immediately, that option was being changed to a VIP Backstage Experience, which is described on the site as:

About an hour before Rick hits the stage, you will be escorted backstage by our VIP Host to a private room where Rick will perform a song, and you’ll catch a rare and personal side of him as he engages the few fans in attendance. You will be able to meet Rick, get a few autographs and a photo taken during this time. You also have the option of adding a guitar to this package.

The cost of this experience is $349.99, $724.99 with the guitar. There’s also a VIP Collector’s Edition Guitar Package for $2,499.99, which is described as this:

This is your chance to take home the very guitar that Rick plays on stage during the iconic song, Jessie’s Girl. This limited edition guitar features the artwork from the album that started it all: Working Class Dog. Rick will sign, date and label the guitar by city, making this is truly a one of a kind collector’s piece. Oh yeah, and it may be a little sweaty.

After the show, you and two of your friends will have the opportunity to meet Rick in his backstage dressing room. He’ll personally present the guitar to you, and you’ll have the opportunity for a bit of a chat, and of course, photos and autographs. It’s going to be a night you’ll remember for a very long time.

Only one guitar is sold per show, and there’s only so many shows in a tour! Hurry to secure your collector’s edition Working Class Dog guitar.

Don’t get me wrong, these experiences sound great, too, although the idea of sitting in on a soundcheck sounded really cool because it’s a little glimpse into what musicians do to prepare for a show. (Many years ago I was able to listen to a soundcheck for Sting and although I was standing up in the stands at the empty amphitheater and not up close, it was still a cool experience. To be able to do that standing right there with my favorite rock star on stage would have been incredible.)

But alas, it looks like that opportunity is gone. I’m grateful to the fans who have shared videos of the soundcheck experience in the past so I have an idea of what it was like.

You know what would be really cool? How about some “exclusive contests” for meet & greet opportunities through the RS fan club? (Hint, hint to the powers that be.)

RS is very generous with his time for his fans so I’m glad that he’s continuing these meet & greet and opportunities, even with these changes and although they are still out of my budget. I’m hoping that he’ll be doing some book tours with his next book since I missed out on those. (When I “rediscovered” him back in 2014, it was three months after his visit to an Arizona bookstore after the release of “Magnificent Vibration.”)

In other Rick Springfield news, here’s a recent video from Vintage Guitar where RS talks about his guitars (and alien-fighting capabilities) inside his studio:

Here’s another recent interview:

A recent article on newscentermaine.com mentions the second novel and also that he’s working on an album of his songs played with a symphony. That sounds cool (and wouldn’t it be cool to see that on DVD, too, like the “Stripped Down” set?)

His summer tour will bring him about 15 minutes from my house in August so I hope to catch that show since I didn’t make it to any shows last year. He has more than 20 shows between now and then, including symphony shows in Columbus, Ohio; Nashville; San Diego; and Park City, Utah. Such a busy guy!