Two lines

Two days and 17 years ago I was at a Rick Springfield concert but until today I hadn’t found my journal from that year so I had no memory of it; it wasn’t until I noticed the anniversary date on somebody’s Facebook post that I realized I had been at that particular concert.

Today I realized that my notebook from that year wasn’t with my earlier ones because I had recently moved so it was part of my current life (current at the time) rather than my past and was in a different place.

I found the notebook and since past RS shows had resulted in at least a page of details about the show (or long blog posts, after 2014), I couldn’t wait to see what I had written about it.

I quickly turned through the pages to find the date: 5/5. There were only two lines: a mention of the concert, who I went with and where it was. Two lines, no details.

The pages before and after were filled with heartbreak and dating drama, which reminded me of that relationship from so long ago that so consumed me. It also appears that I was recording my dreams that year, as many entries are fragments of dreams, probably written right after I woke up.

There were also lots of entries of  lyrics – some of them with melodies I remembered; the lyrics remind me how I was feeling at that time.

For instance, this one:
You climb into his car, you fly to the moon
You think it’s a brand new melody, but it’s just the same old tune
You smile at his stumbling, you’re touched by his thoughtful gaze
You think it’s a once-in-a-lifetime, but it’s just one of those days…

After that 5/5 concert in 2000 (my sixth RS show)  I wouldn’t see RS in concert again until 15 years later. And by the time that concert occurred, I had been writing this blog for eight months, after coming across a TV interview after his novel was released.

Why is it that back in 2000, a RS mention was two lines in a journal and now, in my 40s, I’ve written over 260 posts on a blog about him, a process that provided inspiration to start writing songs again? In this early months of this journey, my goal was to record some of my old songs so they’d exist outside of my head and I’ve only recorded a couple of them so far because I’ve been so busy writing new ones instead. If I would have been so inspired 17 years ago, who knows how many songs I’d have by now or what I would have done with them.

Maybe because sometimes when your head gets clouded with negative things, it’s more difficult to recognize hints of inspiration. Or maybe things are happening the way they are – when they are – for a reason and you can’t look backward, only forward.

Aerobic inspiration

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I wonder if Rick Springfield knows how much he inspires people. He probably knows to some extent, as people bring him paintings, drawings, crafts or poems at the meet and greets. (I’m pretty sure I sent him a poem or two back in the day, either handwritten or typed out on a typewriter, pouring out my teenage heart.)

It’s no secret that RS’s healthy lifestyle has allowed him to continue doing what he has been doing for so long. I think we’d all like to have that much energy at age 67. Even a dose of that at 20 years younger would be nice, too. A glass of red wine every night may be a good start, but I realize that healthy eating and exercise are important components, too.

Last month, a fan inspired by RS’s healthy lifestyle started a friendly fitness competition for fellow fans. Participants sign up for the competition and download the appropriate app then their steps are tracked during the week on a Fitbit or similar device and the winner gets a prize.

I recently participated in one of the challenges and it was great! My Fitbit was sending me all kinds of laudatory messages throughout the week and I was breaking all kinds of records (clarification: my own records). My kids got in on the action, encouraging me throughout the week to take more and more steps. (Disclaimer: I finally gave in to their requests to install Pokemon Go on my phone so they would eagerly accompany me on after-school walks.) I parked on top floors of parking garages so I could take the stairs and danced around in the kitchen as I cooked dinner to get more steps in (“Rocket Science” provides great exercise music, in case you were curious.)

Sadly, I didn’t win the competition, but it was still a winning week for me because I realized I could fit in more exercise into my busy week.

Unfortunately, this week wasn’t a repeat of last week. We had two days of heavy rain so no walks in the park. Then I had work-related events nearly every night. This week I only reached the 10,000-step goal once and that’s only because I  wandered around on a community college campus for 20 minutes trying to find my car, visiting several parking lots in the process.

But there’s always next week. Perseverance is the key to success, right?

The Australian interview

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Perseverance or predestined?

I went to an open mic earlier this week, one of the most popular ones in town where many talented musicians perform. It was my first time there and besides the local legend running the open mic, I hadn’t heard of any of the performers. As I watched them, I couldn’t help but think of all the talented musicians out there in the world and the disparities between how this talent plays out.

Why is one musician performing at a local open mic while others are selling out stadiums on a world tour? Is it luck? Is it perseverance? Is it fate?

Of course, this train of thought led me right to the subject of this blog, who has said in several interviews that he attributes his success to perseverance (he said the advice he gives to his kids is “never give up, never give up, never give up.”). He says that he was a terrible student and he may have pursued becoming a veterinarian or an Egyptologist if he did better in school (I’m never sure if he’s joking about that, but we’ll go with that he’s not.) But instead he continued to pursue music (and acting) because he hadn’t prepared to do anything else.

But I think it’s more than that. I think every person is here to fulfill some kind of mission and apparently his is music. Even his initials spell it out. (RS = rock star). (A note to future parents: initials matter. For instance, the musician that everyone gets confused with RS isn’t as fortunate in the initials department.)

When you look at his career, it’s pretty apparent. He was successful in Australia, and then he comes to the United States and finds success again (not immediate, that’s where the perseverance plays a role, I suppose) and then walks away from it all. And then comes back and finds it AGAIN. It’s what he’s meant to do. I find it so inspiring. I love hearing stories about people following their passions – sometimes against all odds – and finding success.

And as for the veterinarian aspect, in a sense he is an honorary one because he helps organizations who help dogs and other animals through his charitable support. As for Egyptology, there’s still an opportunity for that, too. Maybe on a trip to the Middle East someday, he can take part in an archaeological dig and discover something among the ruins that will change history.

But for now, I’m glad (as are so many others) that he’s continuing to make music, tour, etc. (Did I mention yet that I have second-row seats to a show in July? Whoo-hoo!)

 

 

 

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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Fan club

I was a proud member of the Rick Springfield Fan Club when I was 13. I had the little record with the scratched in message on the center and whatever else I received as a member (unfortunately all of that is long gone).

But when I found out that there was still a RS fan club in 2014 – when I “rediscovered” Rick Springfield – I didn’t bother joining. After all, I’m friggin’ in my 40s now – who joins a fan club in their 40s? (No disrespect meant to those who are, it just wasn’t really my thing.) Plus from what I gathered, there wasn’t much happening except for pre-sale tickets to shows and I wasn’t financially in the position to do much traveling anyway (still not, but forever hopeful to be someday – but not with anything bad happening to allow me to do so, only good things). So I just followed RS on Facebook, Twitter and the fan pages to get my fill. (And caught up on music and interviews online and read his books and saw him in concert five times.)

But then late last month there was news on a RS Facebook fan page that RS posted a diary entry on the site. What?! What did he say?! I scanned the posts, but people were pretty tight-lipped about it. And then a couple days ago, it happened again.

Well, I couldn’t take it, I had to join. So now, $49.95 later, I just caught up on the past 10 years of entries. There’s so much that I would like to say, but I can’t because it’s supposed to be only for members and it wouldn’t be right to divulge it, but wow, so glad I signed up. I just joined last night, read until about 1 a.m. and finished up today even though I have so much to do in preparation for a Passover seder at our house tomorrow night. All I can say is that it’s like a prequel and sequel for “Late, Late at Night.” Thank you, RS, for sharing so much of yourself and for being so open with your fans.

I noticed that until last month, the last entry was in November 2014, a few months after I started this blog and about a week before I bought tickets to my first RS show in 15 years. There’s something cool about that timing, but I’m not sure exactly what. Hopefully he’ll continue to post diary entries there. It’s so cool that he has this connection with his fans. I really wish I could go to the fan event in November, especially about hearing about how great the past ones have been.

One last thing here – in the spirit of past blog posts, and with the loss of Prince yesterday (my little tribute is here) – I just wanted to get this out in case RS stumbles across this blog someday: Thank you, RS, for sharing so much of yourself with the world, for your great music, your honesty and for the inspiration. XO.

A light in the darkness

After celebrating eight days of lights (Hanukkah), I’ve had the concept of light on my mind. Each night we light a menorah – first starting with one candle – and the shamash, the one that lights the others each night – and by the last night, all nine candles burn so bright, you don’t even need a flash.

One of the deeper meanings of the holiday is the idea of bringing light to the world and the power of one small flame to create light in the darkness. Thinking of this while looking through the RS lens of this blog and reading some of the posts on the RS fan pages, it appears that RS brings light to so many people who experience darkness. He uses the term “the darkness” to refer to the depression that has haunted him through his life and he’s said that his songwriting is his outlet to working through this darkness. So from this darkness, he creates light for others to help them get through their dark times.

Although most of us don’t have the celebrity power to reach so many people, we do have the power to illuminate the lives of the people in our lives – our families and friends and our community. May we all shine our own light to help illuminate the world.