February milestones

rick-springfield-1

February seems to be a big month for Rick Springfield milestones.

One day in particular stands out:
Feb. 24, 1981: “Working Class Dog” is released
Feb. 24, 1982: RS wins a Grammy for “Jessie’s Girl”
Feb. 24, 2004: “Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance” is released
Feb. 24, 2015: “Stripped Down” is released

Last night Rowdy Ron had an online radio show where he played the full albums of WCD and SDAA, including bonus tracks, in celebration of the milestone. Unfortunately I only caught a few minutes of it, but I’m sure it was a great show!

Other notable dates (courtesy of rickspringfield.us):

Feb. 14, 1945: RS’s parents are married
Feb. 19, 2016: “Rocket Science” is released
Feb. 20, 2016: “iHeart80s Party” at the Forum, which gave him great exposure
Feb. 23, 1981: “Jessie’s Girl” is released as a single

This year also marked the 10th anniversary of his Valentine’s Day weekend show at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, which was covered this month in a great interview in Center Stage Magazine and this nice review in National Rock Review. In the Center Stage interview, he talks about his desire to do more acting and mentions his upcoming tour in Germany with Rock Meets Classic and the review mentions some highlights from the Nashville show:

“Since this is live music, anything can and usually happens. Tonight, mid-way through the opening song, the music suddenly stops, and the faint ring of the fire alarm is heard. Not to be outdone, Rick is out among the fans, shaking hands and fist bumping those around him while the guys break into a jig on stage entertaining fans while the power and fire alarm issues are sorted out.”

After a brief delay, Rick and the guys launching into “Light this Party Up” for the second time and the crowd jumps in on the fun, raising their glasses, dancing, and singing along.”

And this is sweet:

“Slowing down the pace, Rick takes center stage with his green dobro guitar on his knee. He takes a moment to tell a quick story about long-time guitar tech, Ruben Velasco, who died last year. Velasco, who’s birthday was this day, had repeatedly said that Rick needed a light-up guitar. Springfield now plays a light-up guitar on tour which he appropriately named “Ruben.” It was a touching moment and a class move by Rick Springfield.”

Liked this line, too:

“Springfield exudes energy and positive vibes.”

Speaking of articles – and energy- there was some interesting information in a recent one in the Orlando Sentinel in advance of Sunday’s night’s show in Orlando.

“He is working on another novel to follow “Magnificent Vibration,” a 2014 bestseller, but laughs when asked when it will come out.

“It’s like a song. When it’s done, it’s done. You can’t really push it,” he said. “There’s been a lot of stuff that’s come up and gets in the way of it, but I like to do it all.” 

And this is a cool possibility:

He is writing a new record and screenplays. Another possibility is a memoir to follow 2010’s “Late, Late at Night.” “Certainly enough has happened. I was actually thinking about that —  the stuff I didn’t tell you,” he said.

Advertisements

Bye, 2016

12219633_10153459169577326_6020387591552106660_n

Because the year ended on such a sad note, I wasn’t going to do a 2016 recap, but since RS ended the year with a live performance (at a private party at a Hard Rock in Florida), and because it really was a productive RS year, I thought I’d go ahead and do one anyway.

So here’s a recap on the year of the “Human Touch“:

Touring: RS continued to have a busy touring schedule for both live shows and Stripped Down acoustic shows and, at the end of the year, introduced a Stripped Down show with Richard Marx, where they each played their own set and then shared a few songs as well.

Live-stream concerts: Streamed a live Yahoo video of a concert in Nashville and there were lots of live streams and videos on his Facebook page and from many fans on Periscope, Facebook and YouTube throughout the year.

New music: Released “Rocket Science,” his 18th studio album, on Feb. 19. Some of the versions had bonus songs. The CD got really great reviews and made it on a few different Billboard charts.

New videos: Released two videos of songs from “Rocket Science.” The first one, “Light This Party Up,” used existing footage and some animation, while “Down” was filmed using a drone at Sunset Cliffs near San Diego.

International exposure: Performed at the iHeart80s concert in Los Angeles along with other ’80s icons: Culture Club, Tears for Fears, Billy Idol and Loverboy. The show was shown/heard live online. One of the songs off of “Rocket Science,” “Light This Party Up,” was used in a TV show promo. Another song, “Down,” becomes a theme song for a home shopping network show. In addition to all the interviews he does to promote “Rocket Science” and concerts, an  in-depth interview he did in Australia is shown. He also performs on a new TV show, “Greatest Hits,” and appears as Lucifer on the TV show “Supernatural.”

Losses: Besides the loss of his mom in December, the RS community lost its guitar tech in 2016, Ruben Velasco. During the summer 2016 tour, the band held a “Rick Springfield Honorary Guitar Tech For A Day” fundraiser, with proceeds of $35,576 “being dispersed to the Fur & Feather Animal Sanctuary in accordance with Ruben’s love for his animals. According to rickspringfield.com: “The funds have been applied to assist the Los Angeles-based animal sanctuary (which resides in a Level-4 fire zone) in the purchase a renovated 27 ft. mobile RV to empower the staff in their care for the animals. The “RV-RV” will be used for the sanctuary’s adoption, emergency evacuation and education programs as well as a spay/neuter program in Ruben’s name. The “RV-RV” will be custom wrapped with the artwork created by Britney Farina and will include images of Ruben’s beloved cats (Goo, Boo & Mew) and will include the messaging “In Celebration Of The Real Cat Guy: Ruben Velasco” on the back of the vehicle.”

My RS year: On a personal note, I got to see him live twice, before one show I saw him in the hotel lobby and after the other show I got to get a selfie with him. I also found my scrapbook and posters from my high school days, which were fun to look through. I also had the opportunity to visit his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

As far as this blog, here’s a recap of that, as well. As of Dec. 31, 2016, there were 17,418 views on the blog since its inception in August 2014 and this is the 238th post. In 2016, there were 5,472 visitors and 10,361 views. Hopefully that number will increase even more in 2017 so many more people will learn that there’s so much more to RS than “Jessie’s Girl”/”General Hospital.”

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m never sure how much longer I’ll write this blog, but there does seem to be quite a few things on the schedule for 2017, so you never know. What’s next in 2017?

Not sure when the movie “Traces” is supposed to be released. It was supposed to be 2016, but there hasn’t been any trace of it yet (ha ha, sorry, couldn’t resist) so that could be out in 2017. Then there’s that Rock Meets Classic tour in Germany in the spring (Hey, future interviewers and Stripped Down Q&A askers – that would be a good topic to ask RS about), as well as numerous live and Stripped Down concerts (including some with Richard Marx). And maybe it’s also the year for the sequel for “Magnificent Vibration.” Plus he probably has some other surprises that we have yet to learn about.

Meanwhile, I wanted to wish RS and family, crew and fans a happy, healthy and meaningful New Year.

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.

20160430_151237-copy-2

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?

‘Magnificent Vibration’ from a fan’s point of view

“Magnificent Vibration’ is a fun read and the premise is an interesting one – what if you had a direct line to G-d? The story line certainly went into many different directions and since I recently read his memoir, “Late, Late at Night,” I wondered if perhaps some of those scenes were autobiographical.

Also, learning about his soul-searching quest in his memoir added another dimension to his novel, as if he were examining his personal beliefs as he was writing and taking the reader along on the journey. There were also some cool elements – such as switching to different fonts for the different story lines – and some laugh-out-loud moments. I especially like the inner dialogue of the main character – describing what he would have liked to say, as opposed to what he actually did say.

mvthumb

Many fans, I’m sure, will recognize certain aspects of the book that relate to Rick Springfield’s real life – such as the main character’s best friend being named Doug and his other best friend being a dog. (And who knew that he could draw? Yep, he did the book’s illustrations, too).

But then there are some other aspects that only true fans can relate to, some they probably won’t even admit to, such as unexplained reactions to certain things, like the one I had when the main character expressed his obsession with a Kia: “It’s a Kia!! Yes! I think this is a very good sign.”

My reaction? “Wow! This must mean something! Me and Rick are so on the same wavelength because I drive a Kia!”

(I didn’t say it was a logical reaction – it was just one of those illogical reactions that still occasionally surface from my adolescent years).