Rick Springfield birthday season

August is a big birthday month for our family – first mine, then my dad’s then two of my kids and then a nephew’s. But although we have our share of celebrations this month, none comes close to Rick Springfield’s.

Throughout the month of August (and sometimes earlier and after), thousands of people sing “Happy Birthday” to him at his shows. Since 2007, his fans also raise thousands of dollars for charity in honor of his birthday each year. As of 2016, these efforts have raised more than $90,000 for multiple charities. This year’s campaign, which is initiated and run by fans, is in memory of his mother, Eileen Springthorpe, who died on Dec. 21, 2016. As of today, more than $6,000 has been raised. The “Celebrate Life Birthday Campaign” continues through Sept. 15 and this year the proceeds will go to the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation, which helps rescued dogs.

The campaign’s nice-looking website, happybirthdayrick.com has all the details about how to donate, as well as how to purchase T-shirts designed specially for his birthday campaign. Donations of at least $5 include an entry to the prize drawings. This year’s grand prize is a guitar and a Meet & Greet.  Those who donate $68 or more (he’s turning 68 this year) will receive a 4×6 photo of RS and a custom guitar pick, while supplies last. All donors will also receive a Celebrate Life magnet, while supplies last.

Happy birthday month, RS! (And many moooooore…) ❤️🎂🎈🎉🎸🎶

This is from Rick and the NEWSflash!:

DJ Rowdy Ron, along with The Rick Springfield Birthday Charity Campaign presents the Annual Saturday Night Springfield Special featuring the music of Rick Springfield!  Join the party on August 26th – 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST.  

Special prizes will be given away to participating radio listeners and campaign donors of the The Linda Blair WorldHeart Foundation, this year’s beneficiary of the Annual Rick Springfield Birthday Charity campaign.   For additional information about the campaign, check out http://www.happybirthdayrick.com

Join Carry On Wayward Chat for live radio group chat: https://m.facebook.com/groups/136990139723066Listen to the radio show every Saturday night at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST. 

http://rowdyradio.listen2myshow.com/

Lastly, here are some of concert birthday songs from previous years. (His actual birthday is Aug. 23.)

Last year:

2015:

2014:

2013:

2012:

2010:

2008:

‘The Snake King’

Rick Springfield’s upcoming CD “The Snake King” is starting to get some press – with an article that came out yesterday on Bristol Herald Courier in advance of a concert this weekend.

The article had this quote: “I have a new CD coming out called ‘The Snake King’ that has the potential to put the final nail in the old teenybopper coffin,” said Springfield.

Unfortunately the article cut off in the middle of a sentence, so there wasn’t any clear explanation of why this might be (Update: The missing text is added, but no more info on the new CD) . For RS fans who have listened to “Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance” or read “Late, Late at Night,” that shiny, happy teenybopper image dissolved long ago. (For me it was in 2014 when I “rediscovered” Rick Springfield although SDAA came out in 2004 and his autobiography in 2010.)

He’s also alluded to the idea that even his current fans might not like it because it’s so drastically different than what he’s done in the past. But last year’s “Rocket Science,” had a country feel and now it’s one of my favorite CDs, although country is a genre I was never particularly fond of. (Lately I have been binge-watching “Nashville,” a show I watched a few episodes of a couple years ago in preparation for the release of “Rocket Science.” RS connection: Rascal Flatt’s Jay DeMarcus – who co-wrote “Down” with RS – was on an episode I recently watched, writing a song with one of the characters.)

Back in 2015, RS was already performing some of his “Rocket Science” songs in concert before the 2016 release of the CD (“Light this Party Up” and “Down”), so maybe we’ll hear a song or two at an upcoming concert (and hopefully somebody will share the video online). He usually includes at least one blues song in his set list at concerts, which showcases his awesome guitar skills so I’m looking forward to hearing his original blues songs.

I’m not sure how accurately “Nashville” depicts the music business scene, but one clear message I’ve gotten is that the artists don’t always get to record the songs they want to perform because once they sign with a label, they often have to do what their record label dictates and not what they want to do.  (It’s made me appreciate that I have full creative control of my own songs, even though nobody besides my immediate family actually hears them.)

So as a longtime RS fan, I’m thrilled that he’s making new music and that his repertoire of songs covers so many different styles.

RV Catification

It’s been a little over a year since Rick Springfield’s guitar tech Ruben Velasco died of cancer at age 41 and a project in honor of his love for cats is under way in his memory: The R.V. RV Cat Mobile.

This RV – a play on his initials and actually an RV – will  be used to transport cats (and dogs) during emergencies, for adoptions and to schools for educational programs. According to the Indigogo site describing the project, the RV was purchased through Rick Springfield’s Ruben Velasco Legacy Fund – the one created last year that offered a backstage experience that included being an honorary guitar tech backstage at RS shows last summer.  According to rickspringfield.com, the fund collected $47,000 in donations from RS fans and minus the cost of marketing and the cost of the guitars and other goods provided to those that purchased the backstage experience, a total of  $35,576 was donated to the Fur & Feather Animal Sanctuary, the organization that purchased the RV and plans to modify it for this special use.

Because the Sanctuary is in a level-4 Fire Zone, the modified RV will be able to be used as part of an evacuation plan – providing a safe rescue vehicle for the cats, a refrigerator for their medications and even separate quarters for cats with leukemia (The Sanctuary houses many special needs cats.)

The campaign goal is $25,000 and when people contribute to the fund, they qualify for special gifts. The Rick Springfield-related ones are signed Rick Springfield photos and “Still Rockin for Ruben” T-shirts. For the full list of prizes and more information about the RV and the Sanctuary, visit the Indigogo site: The Sanctuary Cats R.V.- RV Needs CATification!

 

5 reasons I ❤ Rick Springfield 

You may know by now that I’m a big fan of Rick Springfield. I think I’ve covered the reasons why in my past 200-plus posts, but I thought I would summarize it here in case anyone is discovering him for the first time after his appearance on “Supernatural” this month.

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So here are the five of the reasons why I ❤ Rick Springfield:

1. His music: I will start here because this is where it started for me. (OK, if I am totally honest, it may have started before I heard his music. I can’t remember if his posters torn from teen magazines were plastered on my wall before I had any of his record albums, but I think hearing his songs on the radio and admiring his cuteness happened at the same time.)

Anyway, really it was his music that ignited my crush in 1982 and I quickly bought all his albums and played them over and over and over again.

Even today his large catalog of music, spanning five decades and covering many different styles of music, still amazes me. I still don’t know if I’ve heard them all.  (For more on this, read “Five decades of Rick Springfield” or check out the detailed list on the fan site Rick Springfield and US.)

2. His writing: I love a catchy tune as much as the next person, but the lyrics in the song are what connects me to songs and RS writes great lyrics. Sometimes even after hearing a song multiple times, I still catch something new that I hadn’t noticed before. For instance, I recently listened to “The Man That Never Was” off the “Sound City” CD and was curious about the “Major Martin” line. I Googled it and discovered the historical reference behind it.

Then there’s his prose. His best-selling memoir “Late Late at Night” was hilarious, touching, interesting and I really enjoyed it – both reading it and listening to him read the audiobook. His best-selling “Magnificent Vibration” was quite a story, too, and I am eagerly awaiting the sequel. (For more on his books, see these posts: “My evenings with Rick Springfield” and “Magnificent Vibration from a fan’s point of view.”)

3. His passion: His passion for music, acting and his family and friends is so inspiring to me. To be able to spend your life doing something you love is a huge blessing and I admire people who are able to do that. While other longtime celebrities seek the spotlight by appearing on reality shows, RS has stayed away from that and instead continues to pursue his passion of music and acting (and guest starring on popular shows like “Californication,” “True Detective” and “Supernatural” is a great way of reaching a new audience  while still keeping your personal life private – something that’s more difficult to do on a reality show). Because his focus is on creating music, writing, touring and acting – and less on the self-promotion so prevalent in today’s social media society – he doesn’t always get the recognition he deserves, unfortunately.

Plus, passion is contagious and learning about his life and the ups and downs of his career has also been very inspiring to me. (See “Blogging to inspiration.”) Plus he has such a great sense of humor and seems really down to earth.

4. His compassion: Although I don’t know RS personally, he just seems like a really good guy. He’s so good to his fans and really seems to appreciate them. Although he has that cool rock star persona, he also has shown his sensitive side many times (in interviews) and well, I’m just a sucker for that I guess (and he is cute and funny). Plus he seems to do a lot of benefit concerts, cares a great deal about dogs and other animals, brings kids on stage and sings with them (including two of my sons, an experience I’ll always treasure)  and is very concerned about the future of the earth and it’s nice when people care about things other than themselves.

5. His candidness: In his memoir, and in interviews since the book’s release, he’s shared his struggles with depression and by doing so, has given so many people hope in their own lives. And yes, he’s made a lot of mistakes in his life – haven’t we all – and the fact that he publicized them in his book and strives to improve himself and do the right thing now, makes me respect him a great deal.

To me personally, after I’ve learned about his experiences as a child and his struggles in school and with depression, it has given me insight into my own child’s struggles with ADHD and has helped me become a more understanding parent. (My son recently started writing songs that help him deal with things – one is an instrumental on keyboard called “The Sad Song” and the other one is “I Hate Homework.” He also wants to be an actor. Hmmm…)

(To read stories from fans about the impact RS has made on their life, check out the fan site We Love Rick Springfield.)

Anyway, these are five of the reasons why I ❤ Rick Springfield. What about you?

Birthday season

Similar to the idea that Christmas decorations start making an appearance in stores around Halloween, Rick Springfield’s birthday season has begun, although his birthday is more than a month away (Aug. 23).

At a concert last week, a round of “Happy Birthday” was an unofficial part of the set list and dedicated fans have kicked off The 2016 Rick Springfield Birthday Charity Campaign.

His fans started raising money for charity back in 2007 – generated by his return to “General Hospital” that year that had a fundraising component  tied to the show. Over the years, it has morphed into an annual birthday campaign – since 2007, the effort has raised over $80,000 for charity.

Last year’s campaign raised $18,666.

The fans raise money for a charity of RS’s choice – he has requested that people donate to charity rather than spend money on gifts for him. This year’s charity is the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation, which provides a safe haven for the animals it rescues. And as any RS fan knows, he loves dogs. So, in a sense, this fundraiser helps him carry out his early aspirations of being a veterinarian because money given in his honor is helping so many dogs.

The fan-driven campaign officially began on July 15 and continues through Sept. 3 (although if I recall correctly, there were still rounds of “Happy Birthday” sang at October shows last year.)

All donations will receive raffle tickets and this year’s grand prize is “Rockin’ with Rick,” a soundcheck for two. There are other prizes, too, donated by fans. For entry rules and prize information, visit happybirthdayrick.com.

And what is the birthday boy up to as he reaches retirement-age-plus 2? He seems to be making up for the time he took off back in the 1980s/1990s and doesn’t appear to be slowing down at all. He’s currently on a summer tour and doing some filming for an acting gig. (Update on July 24: It was confirmed today that RS will appear as rock star Vince Vincente/Lucifer on the “Supernatural” TV series.) Probably doing some writing during his travel time, too.

He’s received some nice press on his current tour, a nice change from the “‘Jessie’s Girl’ singer is coming to town” headlines that seemed much more prevalent two years ago when I started this blog. Check out this beautiful blog post on The Huffington Post written by a mom/longtime fan: Celebrating Youth: 9 Year Old Boy With Autism Rocks Out on Drums, While Rick Springfield Leads the Crowd in Singing Happy Birthday to His 7 Year Old Sister. The blog post includes a video of this sweet encounter.

He also received some press about his appearance in Cleveland earlier this week, a charity concert held at the same time as the Republican National Convention. Rather than spew any political opinions, he simply performed a hit-filled, high-energy concert and wore a T-shirt that said, “Not an endorsement.” A wise move, I thought.

Since I don’t have any concerts lined up for the RS birthday season, I’ll just extend my birthday greetings here (yes, my 13-year-old self that generates this blog sometimes pretends that RS actually reads it): Happy birthday! Your fans are glad you’re alive and we appreciate all the joy you bring to the world!

 

 

Summer tour rolls on

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RS and team are off on their summer tour and I was fortunate to see one of their first shows on the tour – at Comerica Theatre in Phoenix this past weekend.

I had plans with my family for earlier in the evening so when my friend and I got inside, The Romantics were finishing their last song. Part of the delay had to do with all the roads closed off downtown for a civil rights protest and the parking garage being on the other side of the closed roads. At one point, the protesters were facing us as we turned down one street. Fortunately the demonstration was still peaceful at that time.

I hadn’t told my friend – who I went to a RS concert with last year, as well as a few times in high school and during the Karma tour – where our tickets were so it was fun to surprise her as we got directed to the second row. It was also fun to meet a fellow fan that I had chatted with on Facebook before – coincidentally our seats were right next to each other.

It was a great show with a wonderful view – toward the end we made our way to an empty spot directly in front of the stage – and I even got two seconds of the human touch, a quick tap on my fingers as he walked by. I forgot to reset the settings on my phone for concert conditions and most of my photos and videos are blurry so I won’t bother posting them here.

Afterward, my friend and I hung out outside for awhile catching up. We’ve known each other more than 30 years and although our schedules don’t allow us to get together much, we always have a great time together. It was very quiet outside the theater with no sign of the earlier protests, but with a quick check on our phones, we saw that about a mile or so away, the demonstration was no longer peaceful. Police were in riot gear and there were reports of tear gas being used on the demonstrators who were trying to close down the freeway. It was sad to hear that as we were enjoying our concert inside, anger and  hatred was manifesting into violence not too far away. I had hoped that it would remain a peaceful demonstration and am grateful to those officers who prevented it from getting any worse.

In fact, with all the anger and hate manifesting in violence all around the world these days, music is such a refuge from it all, as are movies, TV shows and other forms of entertainment. I’m grateful to all of those performers who add love and laughter to the world or else it would be too overwhelming.

That being said, I sometimes feel a bit shallow spending so much time writing a fan blog, when there are so many other things going on in the world, but I guess this is my little refuge for now.

Anyway, back to the evening of the show. Despite believing I can just leave one of his concerts without at least trying to run into RS afterward, I failed again. My friend and I ended up hanging out awhile and once he came out, I – along with about 20 or so other people – approached him and I was able to get a quick selfie with him. There was no time to say anything besides, “Can I have a picture?” and I ended up feeling a little guilty because it was late and he probably just wanted to get inside his bus, have a glass of red wine and go to sleep.

It occurred to me afterward that RS gets his picture taken with so many people during his tours and he has no idea what is going on in the person’s head. Whether it’s “Oh cool, I’m getting my picture taken with Dr. Noah Drake,” “Wow, I can’t believe this is the guy who sings ‘Jessie’s Girl,'” “Wow, I had posters of this guy all over my walls in high school and now I’m meeting him!” “This is the person whose music got me through so many difficult times in my life” or people who have read every line of his autobiography, watched/heard numerous interviews with him and know more about him than they probably know about anybody else in their own life. (Or whether they’ve spent the past two years blogging about him – ha ha.)

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There are probably some ways he can determine the different levels of fan-ness, such as those who bring album covers to sign or other artifacts from his career. Or when he casually mentions during a show that peanut butter stops his hiccups and somebody in the front row hands him a little package of peanut butter (yes, that happened at the Phoenix show.)

Fortunately he seems to recognize that his fans may not be able to express their feelings and appreciation for him when they’re standing right in front of him and he’s still gracious to them.

Wishing RS and his band and crew a wonderful – and safe – tour!

 

Where it all began

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I’ve been wondering lately how to conclude this blog. After all, I can’t go on writing about my Rick Springfield crush forever, right? Today I think I found a good way to do this.

I was at my dad’s house today – the house where I grew up – and I decided to check in his backyard shed to see if there was any Rick Springfield memorabilia from my childhood there. And there was! I don’t know why I didn’t think of checking there earlier, I guess I just assumed it got thrown out at some point.

Let’s just say that I understand now why one of my aunts once expressed concern to my mom about my Rick Springfield obsession. I guess I was a little obsessed. Not only did I find a big pile of the posters that covered my walls throughout my junior high and high school years, but I found scrapbooks filled with articles and pictures that I clipped from teen magazines, fan club letters (I had forgotten that “Hard to Hold” was originally called “Forever One,” which I remembered after finding a letter showing that I joined the “Forever One” fan club, too), concert ticket stubs and even a “How Well Do You Know Rick Springfield?” quiz that I wrote for a  high school assignment, which involved working in small groups to create a newspaper. I also found a dusty copy of a book titled “Rick Springfield.”

As of today, this blog’s 189 posts (this is #190) have had about 12,500 views since I started it 21 months ago. I know the majority of the hits were from random “Rick Springfield” searches, but for those of you who followed the blog, thank you for reading it and I thought I’d share these super cool findings with you.

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A 1985 newsletter from the RS fan club – announcing the birth of Rick and Barbara’s oldest son, Liam. Also a mention of RS’s nomination for a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He finally got his star on May 9, 2014.

Scrapbook covers

I made two scrapbooks, made from  pieces of construction paper taped together and filled with clippings of articles and photos.

 

 

I thought it would be fun to unfold all the posters and spread them out on the floor of my dad’s living room to see them once again. There were quite a few!

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From this angle, you can kind of imagine how my bedroom walls looked with the posters:

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Then I folded all the posters away and stuck them, along with the rest of the discovered treasures, safely in a drawer in my childhood desk at my dad’s house to look at again another time.

Thank you so much for reading this blog – and thank you to Rick Springfield for all the years of joy and inspiration (hopefully you won’t think I’m too much of a nut after seeing all this). I’ve had so much fun writing it and reconnecting with my inner teen – and this journey to the past has had a significant impact on several aspects of my life.

Thank you also to all the generous RS fans out there for sharing videos and other information. (To new RS fans, check out the “Rick Springfield sites” page on this blog to find sites where you can find nearly everything you’d want to know about Rick Springfield – there are also Facebook fan pages and Twitter accounts that will keep you posted on his latest work.)

Maybe I’ll see you at a future Rick Springfield concert!

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Now this looks fun

Five days of Rick Springfield in the Bahamas?! How great is that? And a Beatles tribute band, and Doug Davidson and Terri Nunn (my husband is a fan, so something for him).

Sounds so fun!

Unless a miracle happens, like I sell the screenplay or novel I haven’t written yet or something else wonderful (I wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to be able to afford it), I will have to enjoy it vicariously, like the last one. 

(Funny side note noticed by the hopeful part of me that tries to find signs in things – my 7-year-old son, who sang with RS at a concert last fall, had to give a report today on a song from a movie. He chose “Star Wars,” which is used in this Bahamas trip video that was released today. That has to mean something,  right? Right? Hello? OK, never mind.)

A Rick raffle

Although I haven’t met many of the “Rick Chicks,” it’s evident on the Facebook fan pages that there is a lot of camaraderie there among some of the women who have attended Rick Springfield shows (and trips) together for many years.

Throughout this month, there is a raffle going on to help pay mounting medical bills for a RS fan – a mother of three daughters –  who is battling stage 4 breast cancer.

Somebody donated 16 Rick Springfield items, 14 that are autographed, and the winners of these 16 items will be put into a winner’s circle raffle with a chance to win a Meet and Greet with RS.

Raffle tickets are $25 each and the drawing is on April 1, 2016.

For details on the items, and how to donate through PayPal, visit facebook.com/RockinPinkForKim.

Here is the video that tells Kim’s story. Sending prayers for Kim and her family…

The next show is a month from today

The next RS show I have tickets to is a month from tonight. It will be my 11th RS concert (my fifth since March 2015, there was a 15-year hiatus before that). I rarely watch movies more than once (“The Wizard of Oz” and “Grease” being among the exceptions) or read books more than once, but when it comes to RS, I just can’t seem to resist attempting to get there if it’s somewhat financially in reach. I’ve gone to Vegas for shows, but beyond that I’ve stayed within state lines.

Anyway, I’m sure I’m not alone in my countdown-to-a-show mentality. But thinking about that got me to thinking about how different it must be for the person on the other end – in this case, RS. Since he does so many shows a year, is each one just another “day at the office” for him?

Does it become routine to wake up, go the airport, hope to avoid the TMZ crew, go through the TSA checkpoint, perhaps sign a few autographs or snap a couple pictures with those who recognize him/are brave enough to approach him, fly across the country, do a radio interview, do the soundcheck, sign autographs/take photos, hear words of adoration from women unable to speak in complete sentences around him (or was that just me?), do the show, do the meet and greet, sign more autographs/take more photos, hear more words of adoration from incoherent fans (I think I mumbled something, but not sure what) have a drink/late-night dinner, go to sleep, and the next day do it all again?