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:

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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!

More subtle than posters on the wall

If anyone peeked into my teenage bedroom, they would know beyond a doubt that I was a Rick Springfield fan. His face was plastered all over my walls and his music was likely playing from my stereo speakers (my stereo had a record player AND a cassette player, which I guess would now be considered vintage).

But although my walls are no longer covered with pictures of Rick Springfield (my husband wouldn’t appreciate that), I realized this morning that there are still signs around the house that show I’m a fan.

On the top off a bookshelf in our office is the original location of RS memories, with the signed “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet” album and a framed pic of RS from the first time I met him (on the day of the release of “Karma” in 1999.) It’s a little dusty up there (sorry RS), so I guess I’ll call that my dusty Springfield shelf. (Ha ha.) Tucked into the frame of the picture are two guitar pics that I got at concerts in October 2015 and March 2016. These items sit on the shelf with a menorah my husband’s grandfather made, a vase from my wedding reception, a cuckoo clock from my parent’s house and a glass lamp shade my husband’s aunt made. And a little violin sculpture, not sure where that came from.

Rick Springfield on top of shelf

Another shelf in the office contains my RS items from the past few years since I started this blog (except for the “Tao” cassette, which is another “vintage” item from my high school days and the signed “Karma” CD, which I got on the day I met RS in the picture above.)

This collection includes CDs, a CD stand (which was my “Santa’s gift” from Rick Springfield Official Merchandise last year), a copy of handwritten lyrics of “Carry Me Away” and “Everybody’s Girl” (my extremely treasured “Santa’s gift” from the previous year), a signed RS pic from one of the fan giveaways and my treasured “Rick Fit” winnings, which includes a signed “Speak to the Sky” record and a signed “medal.”

Rick Springfield on book shelf

(Full disclosure: I moved the “Late, Late at Night” book from a different bookshelf for the sake of this picture.) On the shelf underneath is the manila envelope with those mysterious photos I found last year and an envelope with the lyric booklet from “The Snake King.” I have a few DVDs somewhere, too.

Downstairs there are only a couple of clues, the “Working Class Dog” tumbler currently sitting on the counter (my Mother’s Day gift to myself last year, on the 35th anniversary of WCD) and a magnet on the fridge from last year’s RS birthday campaign.

Rick Springfield magnet

My RS treasures from high school, which includes all my posters and my RS scrapbook, are all at my dad’s house, but you can see them in this post: “Where it all began.” They are no longer on the walls of my former bedroom (my former bedroom is now my dad’s office) but are in a desk drawer in the guest room, the same desk I had in high school, which would also probably considered vintage by now, too.

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?!

‘The Snake King’ tour – and a new video

Rick Springfield’s “Snake King” tour is now under way – last weekend, the drum skin with the cute chimpanzee from “Rocket Science” came off Jorge’s drum set and was replaced by the cool logo from the cover of “The Snake King.”

And now some songs from “The Snake King” are part of the set list. Here are two videos I found on YouTube from last weekend:

“The Devil That You Know”

“Little Demon”

Recent interviews about ‘The Snake King’

There have also been several interviews lately that divulge more about “The Snake King.”

Guitar World

Rick Springfield on Covering Katy Perry, the “Jessie’s Girl” Strat and His Bluesy New Album, ‘The Snake King’

This one reminded me that I was at the show where he first introduced Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” to the set list. (I’m pretty sure it was the first time because I remember being surprised about it and it seemed others were, too.) The article also mentions again that he wrote “The Snake King” in four or five days and he’s currently working on the sequel to “Magnificent Vibration.” He answers several questions from fans.

Salon

Rick Springfield: From “Jessie’s Girl” to “God, the devil and sexThe pop idol on why hitting it big at 30 was better, learning humility and, of course, “Gary’s Girl.”

This is a great article that focuses on RS’s many accomplishments. (And what a lucky guy this author is – this interview was over “soba noodles and green tea” – aka “in person” rather than over the phone or via email. On second thought, I don’t think I could sit there in front of Rick Springfield and eat noodles, it would be a little awkward. The green tea would probably be OK, though.)

Anyway, there are a lot of interesting details in this article.

Melodicrock.com

Rick Springfield Talks Influences Behind ‘The Snake King‘: Here’s another great RS interview by Melodic Rock. Here we learn more about the influences behind the new CD, as well as learn that he was drunk when he wrote much of it and that the overall theme is “WTF is going on???” (Note: If you are wondering what that means, take a look at today’s news. And by “today” I mean that there’s probably something in the news on any day that will make you say “WTF is going on???”). We also learn about what he would ideally like to do next: “I want to be in a great and creative night time TV series so that touring can be a seasonal thing.”

He is also on the cover of the Melodic Rock Fanzine.

Melodic Rock pic

The Herald Palladium 

Rick Springfield takes blues detour on new album: We’ve come a long way from those preview articles from four years ago that would say things like “80s icon ‘Jessie’s Girl’ soap star singer to play in town next week.” Thank goodness. This article touches upon many of RS’s accomplishments and contains some real substance like about RS’s writing process and details about the new songs.

Myglobalmind.com

This review of “The Snake King” is on an online magazine for hard rock and heavy metal. Do you hear that, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame judges? RS has fans from so many generations and in so many genres. Let’s plan for 2019, OK?

‘The Snake King’ slithers through your speakers like a honky-tonk cocktail consisting of good time boogie-woogie, with a heavy splash of heavenly blues ….. keep rocking n rolling buddy, we are right with ya!

Where to find everything before ‘The Snake King’

I just wanted to take a quick moment to thank the Rick Springfield and Us fan-based website for all things Rick Springfield for adding a link to this blog on the site. It is truly an honor to have a mention there on the comprehensive site of all things Rick Springfield. (Seriously, there is so much about RS on that site, it is so awesome. His music library, lyrics, tour datesTV and film roles, bio of his lifebooks, video footage,  lots and lots of pictures and so much more.) I wonder if RS used the site as a reference when he wrote his autobiography?

I suppose I should also mention the official RS page, too: rickspringfield.com, which has a list of all the upcoming full-band shows, Stripped Down acoustic shows and symphony shows (coming up in Portland and Nashville), as well as next month’s ’80s cruise.

And then there’s the latest news of the evening: Another new video – for “Voodoo House,” which is one of my favorite songs off “The Snake King.” It makes my heart go boom. (See the RS fan site for lyrics if you don’t have a copy of the CD.)

Hey ya, hey ya, ooh.

Cotton candy and other random pieces of information I have learned

On the way to pick up my kids from school, a promo came on the radio for this weekend’s Rick Springfield concert at the Arizona State Fair. It was advertising a contest for third-row tickets and the sound clip was RS saying, “I love cotton candy.”

So that’s something else that will involuntarily be filed in the Rick Springfield folder somewhere inside my brain. He likes cotton candy. (So which of you fans will be bringing state fair cotton candy to give him during the show?)

I’ve also noticed that in recent pictures he’s drinking beer instead of red wine. He likes dogs, all kinds of dogs. He loves the Beatles and wants to perform with Paul McCartney. The shoes he wears most often are Converse. His favorite movie was “A Clockwork Orange” (or at least it was at one time – I remember because I watched it years ago after reading that he liked it. Weird movie.)

So I have all these random little pieces of information about him stored in my brain. To some degree I blame it on all those teen magazines I used to read when I was a teen and from reading so much information about him in my formative years, such as this bio sheet from sometime in the 1980s. (Maybe from the fan club)?:

bio sheet

I can’t keep up with my email and often forget my passwords, but for some reason RS information, including lyrics, stays in my head. Even though there was a decade or so when I didn’t think about it, apparently my internal RS folder was never discarded.

Pinterest stalking

I was checking out Pinterest the other day so I thought I’d do a search on Rick Springfield just for the fun of it. Holy cow, there are a lot of pictures of Rick Springfield there.

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Photographs from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s.  Five decades of Rick Springfield, screens of more and more photos continuing as I scrolled down, down, down and down some more.

Concert pics, candid shots, photos from the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony, photos that were posters on my teenage bedroom walls. Magazine covers, album covers, CD covers, paparazzi pics, pics with dogs. Photos taken on the stage, at the airport, on a plane, in a bookstore, on a baseball field. Dr. Noah Drake, Greg, Lucifer, Rick F’king Springfield. Photos of him with his family, with his band, with other celebrities. Long-haired ’70s-style, short-haired, mulleted, long-haired 2010s-style, bearded, goateed, clean-shaven, scruffy, tattooed, suited, shirtless. Lots of pictures.

Some of my favorites are those teenage memories – the photos from the posters – just because of the nostalgia factor. My favorite more recent pics are the photo shoots from the “Late, Late at Night” cover and last year’s IHeart80s Radio concert. I even saw a photo taken on the day I met him for the first time – at The Wherehouse in Los Angeles in 1999!

After a few minutes of this, I started feeling like a stalker. It reminded me of those scenes in movies where investigators break into a locked room and find the walls covered with photographs of whoever the perp is obsessed with. That’s what my computer screen looked like. So I had to stop. (Plus, I think my husband was getting a little annoyed.)

But it’s not all superficial. It goes much deeper than that. (Ha, get the reference?) One post that caught my eye didn’t even have a picture. It was a link to an interview with the title, “Rick Springfield: The Journey is Never Over” a Huffpost article – originally from June 2014 – that focuses on his lifetime spiritual exploration. It’s really this type of thing – in addition to his music – that makes me such a big fan.