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 couple of 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.

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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.

In the fifth row – or not

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View from the fifth row in Sahuarita, Arizona.

I’ve been working on a little song in anticipation for the upcoming Rick Springfield concert at the Arizona State Fair this month.

In a sense, it’s a follow-up to “One in a Million,” a song I wrote back in January 2015 about the difference between how a fan views a rock star and how a rock star views fans. That was before my first RS concert in 15 years.

This one, “In the Fifth Row,” is about the feeling a longtime RS fan has at a show. (It could apply to a longtime fan of any musician, really.) Although I’ve now seen him six times since March 2015, I’ve felt this way each time.

In the past, my seats have ranged from 30th row (but moved to 17th row when I found empty seats after the opening act), to right at the stage (because there was some empty space there) so I’ve been really fortunate to have some nice views.

For this next show, which is the only scheduled full-band show from now until December, I have tickets in the, as you may have guessed, fifth row. Here’s the song, which is only one minute long:

Here are the lyrics:

In the Fifth Row

I’m in the fifth row, you don’t know me
I’m one of the faces in the crowd
I’ve been listening to your songs for decades
Tonight I’m gonna sing them out loud

Hello from the fifth row, sorry to stare
I can’t believe it’s really you up there
So long ago and so many years
And right here in front of me

I’m in the fifth row, can you see me?
I may look older, but I’m young inside
All of my worries wash away with your music
A refuge from the storm of life

After the last note fades
Reality invades
We go our separate ways.

Unfortunately, in my zest to purchase the tickets to the show as soon as they went on sale, I didn’t confirm the date and now it appears that I have a family conflict and I won’t be able to go to the concert. I’m so, so, so, so, SO sad about that, but I know family has to come first. If it was one night earlier or one night later I could do it, but not that night. I so wish he could just switch nights with Marilyn Manson or Old School Jam, but that’s not likely.

I feel silly feeling so sad about it because there are so many other people dealing with all kinds of horrible things like the aftermath of hurricanes and earthquakes and fires and floods and the massacre in Las Vegas and  I’m sitting here bummed out because I can’t go see my favorite rock star in concert for the seventh time in three  years. Pretty pathetic, I know, and I need to get over it.

The year I started this blog, he was in Phoenix twice – once in May 2014 to sign copies of “Magnificent Vibration” (it was an interview video I saw from this visit that ended up being the spark that started this blog) and in July 2014, a few days after I saw that interview.

So hopefully it won’t be too long until he is back in town again. Is the “Magnificent Vibration” sequel coming out anytime soon? Maybe I’ll just go hang out at the fair during the day of the show in case RS wanders through the fairgrounds in search of funnel cake.

Side note:

I know most of you are reading this blog for Rick Springfield content, but on the off chance that anybody is following the songwriting storyline, here is some additional information about the song:

I recorded vocals and guitar at the same time using Audacity and a Focusrite Scarlett Solo (2nd Generation) USB Audio Interface. It took about 50 tries to get this version and it still didn’t come out exactly the way I had hoped, but I pretty much hit all the notes in this version and it was the best of all of them so I decided to go with it.

I also revised the song quite a bit throughout the process because some of the verses ended up sounding a little stalkerish, which was not my intention, and hopefully I’ve gotten rid of anything that could be construed that way. Hope you enjoy it!

The teenybopper/mother hen syndrome

Embed from Getty Images

 

I’m not sure if this is something that happens to longtime fans of other rock stars, but I’ve noticed that I’ve been experiencing what I’ll call the teenybopper/mother hen syndrome.

I’ve noticed it emerging in the past, such as when RS continues his shows when he has the flu or when he sits on stage chugging cough syrup to get through the evening. But it was evident again this past week after he performed right after his surgery for a torn tendon.

Here’s an example of the internal dialogue:

Yay, people are live streaming videos from tonight’s concert! Those fans are lucky and I feel bad for the fans of the two Canadian shows that got cancelled, but it’s good that he took time to heal. Ooh, he’s wearing a red shirt, he looks so good in red. Poor thing, with his arm in his sling and not being able to play guitar. But it’s good that he’s following his doctor’s orders and not playing guitar while his arm heals. He’s so cute, but he really shouldn’t be holding his microphone in that hand or swinging his arm around that hard, it’s probably going to cause more pain later. Why is he jumping up and down, what about his twisted ankle? Is he really going into the crowd for “Human Touch?” Those fans better be careful not to hurt his cracked rib. I wish I was there to get a human touch. 

Etc., etc.

I think this syndrome may be deeply rooted in a longtime fan’s psyche and is caused by the initial stage of fandom when a teenager, combined with now being a mother. (It wasn’t until recently that I realized that he’s only a few years younger than my parents – in those years decades ago when his posters filled my teenage bedroom walls, I don’t think that occurred to me at all.) It’s pretty cool when you think about it, how he was the first crush of so many of the women who are in today’s audiences. And although we look much different than we did at those shows in the 1980s, that part of us inside still shines through at RS shows in 2017.

But enough of that, here are some of the red shirt videos from the Sept. 1 Vancouver show (The words on his sling say “I know what you want,” a phrase that has also been on guitar pics at recent shows so likely a song off the upcoming “The Snake King.”) Wishing RS a speedy recovery! (Be careful out there, RS. Get some rest and listen to your doctor.)

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…) ❤️🎂🎈🎉🎸🎶

Apparently there will also be another Saturday Night Springfield Special this year – a whole evening of Rick Springfield music presented by DJ Rowdy Ron and The Rick Springfield Birthday Charity Campaign. If you haven’t been following RS all these years, be sure to tune in because you have lots to catch up on – the show features decades of RS music, hours and hours of songs (yes he has enough songs through the years to cover hours and hours of music with no repeats). Read more about this show here and here.

The show is Aug. 26: 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST

Listen at rowdyradio.listen2myshow.com/ and join Carry On Wayward Chat for live radio group chat. Thank you, Rowdy Ron, for doing this again!

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!