Going through concert withdrawals

It’s been about 14 months since I was at a Rick Springfield concert and I think I’m going through some withdrawal symptoms because I had a dream about him last night.

I was at some kind of event and he was at the other end of a really long table playing a song. When he got up to leave, I got up to follow him to see if I could say hello but he was walking away really quickly. When he was playing, he was his current self, but when he was rushing out of the room, he looked like his 1980s self.

I’m not sure how to interpret that, but it did make me realize how long it’s been since I’ve had any interaction with my favorite rock star. Just two days ago it was the three-year anniversary of when I met him outside the Fox Theatre venue in Tucson after a Stripped Down show. (I wrote about that here and here.)

At the last show I was at – in July 2016 – I took a selfie with him after the show, but it happened so quickly that it almost seems like it didn’t happen at all.


View from the end of the stage in July 2016.

However, although it’s been so long since I was at a show, he’s often on my mind. I’m at a current point in my life right now where the life experiences he’s shared are a huge source of inspiration. Maybe it’s my own version of a mid-life crisis, but I feel like I’ve reached a point where I need to make a big change, but I’m not sure yet what it is. Last year I made some big decisions in my professional life that I’m still adjusting to, and in the overall scheme of things, things are good, but there’s something eating away at me. Like there’s a choice I should have made or something I should be doing, but I’m not sure what.

Meanwhile I’m just writing and writing (not as much for this blog, but for my own blog and articles and songs) and making progress, but not sure where it’s all going. RS’s advice he’s shared in interviews to “never give up, never give up, never give up” keeps echoing in my mind.

There was recently an announcement that RS will be honored this month by Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services for his candidness in talking about depression. He will receive the 2018 Beatrice Stern Media Award on April 26 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. (An article was in the Morning Sun earlier this week.) Congratulations on this well-deserved honor, RS, thanks for sharing so much with your fans.

As usual, RS is keeping busy. According to his tour schedule, he’s had some time off since the 1980s cruise, except for one show in Florida right after the cruise, so hopefully he’s enjoying some down time with his family and friends. He was quoted in The Epoch Times after seeing a “Shun Yen” performance in Thousand Oaks last night ( those who were concerned with his spiritual side after listening to “The Snake King” might be interested in reading this article.) And tomorrow night he’ll be in Portland performing with the Oregon Symphony. Other April shows will be in Florida then California. (Check out his upcoming shows on rickspringfield.com.)

Since I don’t have any shows on the horizon, I recently amused myself with a page from the Rick Springfield and Us website: Concert Cliff Notes, which goes into great detail (with photos) of the different elements of a Rick Springfield concert, from rose explosions and signature moves to signs fans bring to the show and categories such as “shirtless” “memory lane” and “guitar throws.” Not quite the same as a show, but fun nonetheless.


Under a magnifying glass

There’s been a lot of Rick Springfield headlines this past week as we get closer to the Jan. 26 release date of “The Snake King.”

Unfortunately the headlines are not about how this underrated talented musician often pegged as “an ’80s icon” is releasing a new CD – his 19th studio album, with eight of them after the ’80s –  in a different style (blues) and totally rocked it. Besides those written by actual music reviewers, who all have given “The Snake King” wonderful reviews thus far, all the other articles have focused on his recent interview with SirusXM, in which he revealed that he came close to committing suicide last year. Basically many different websites published the same article over and over and over again with different headlines, but all saying the same exact thing.

That was definitely the most shocking part of the interview, especially to fans who have followed his career closely and have recently seen him in concert. It was heartbreaking to hear that his struggles with depression are not just something that he talked about in his 2010 autobiography but something that he is still dealing with today, among his touring (about 100 concerts each year), filming TV shows and interactions with adoring fans.

I think he is brave to talk about it and am impressed that he has such strength to share something so vulnerable and then that weekend was able to return to the stage to give entertaining, rockin’ performances. I hope him sharing his experience will serve as an inspiration to many people who are dealing with depression and that his performances continue to raise his own spirits.


Celebrities are often under a magnifying glass, with the media often focusing on one specific element, which sometimes can be a good thing and other times not, depending on the situation. In this case, the good thing is that acknowledging the impact of depression on his life will increase awareness about the severity of the disease and help those who also suffer it not feel alone. Additionally, it may help others better understand the disease and how it may affect their loved ones.

These past couple of days I’ve been reading articles about Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington, who RS referred to in the SirusXM interview. Both of them were such talented singer-songwriters who fought their own battles with depression, often depicted in their song lyrics. So far, we’ve heard a few of the songs of “The Snake King”: “Little Demon,” “Land of the Blind,” “Santa is an Anagram” and “Jesus is an Atheist.” One song title in particular, “Suicide Manifesto,” is what prompted the interviewer of the SiriusXM interview to express concern and led to his revelation about what he was feeling last year when he wrote it – admitting that he was in a dark place.

As I mentioned in the past post, it’s amazing how someone who feels such darkness can bring so much light into the world. Chris Cornell’s children and a variety of musicians and actors recently released a public service announcement about “The Promise” campaign. Cornell wrote and recorded “The Promise” for a film of the same name that addresses Armenian genocide. He donated all the proceeds from the song to the International Rescue Committee, a charity that responds to humanitarian crises by helping to restore health, education and economic well-being to people stricken by conflict. Sadly, he’s not here to see the good work he generated.

Bennington’s band, Linkin Park, did a lot of charity work, raising money for hurricane victims and tsunami victims, as well as for the MusiCares MAP Fund, which helps recovering addicts. Bennington committed suicide on what would have been Cornell’s 53rd birthday.  Bennington would have turned 42 this year, on March 20; his widow is planning a birthday tribute for him.

Both of these musicians turned to songwriting to get them through difficult times and those songs helped countless others get through difficult times of their own. Their music will live on.

Although I wish RS didn’t have to deal with “Mr. D” (his depression) at all, I pray that he finds the strength to get through the difficulties that comes along with it. Sure, I hope to hear new music from him and see him in concert again and maybe even have a conversation with him someday, but above all, I just want him to be OK for his own sake and for his family’s sake.

(At least we know he’s happy tonight, as he’s judging a dog show for rescue dogs so he’s getting some dog therapy. The 2018 American Rescue Dog Show will air on the Hallmark channel on Feb. 12.)


dog show



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


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


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.


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!


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


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.