California dreamin’

I’ve spent the last few days in Los Angeles about an hour or so away from RS. But despite what some of my post-concert blog posts may have indicated, I am not a stalker at heart and I haven’t spent any time in Malibu or Beverly Hills on the lookout for him (those tend to be the places he shows up in photos on social media when he’s not touring). But I’ll probably be keeping an eye out for him at LAX, just in case.

My kids and I are visiting relatives and as it has often happened in the nearly three years that I started this blog, RS seems to make an appearance in my mind during the ins and outs of daily life. For instance, when we were on the beach in Santa Monica, my mother-in-law pointed out the mountain in the distance to my kids and told them that behind that mountain is a place called Malibu. Of course I blurted out, “That’s where Rick Springfield lives,” then she gave me that look she gives me when I mention him. Another time she was telling the kids about low tide and high tide and  I wanted to say that RS was in a show called “High Tide,” but I kept my mouth shut that time.

I have a memory of visiting my cousins in Culver City back in the 1980s, when I tried to talk one of my cousins into driving me to Glendale because I had heard that’s where RS lived. She refused, telling me it was too far. I got really annoyed with her and threatened to walk there. (I had no idea where it was. It would have been a long walk.)

RS mentioned (in  a recent concert video posted on FB) that he’s finishing up the recording of his next CD, “The Snake King,” with plans to have it out later this year. Since he’s had a lull in his touring this week (which is why I’m assuming that he’s home nearly an hour away), that likely means that I’m about an hour (or so, it depends on traffic) away from where he’s recording the new CD. I thought that was pretty exciting. And – with my overactive imagination – I half-expected him to announce an impromptu appearance at a local blues bar where he’d be playing his new stuff. I’ve been on the lookout for it, but haven’t seen anything about it. But it would be cool though, right? Do you think if he just showed up at a blues bar jam night that he could play and be unrecognizable because nobody would be expecting him to be there playing the blues? If he  stayed away from singing “Jessie’s Girl,” maybe that would work.

OK, it’s after midnight so these are just late-night ramblings. Maybe I’ve had too much of the California sun – we had a beach day today. BUT – one other cool RS thing that happened this week – FINALLY news that he’s coming to Phoenix this year – and I got tickets!

‘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.

What we know so far about the new CD

I wanted to start this post out by first clarifying that not all of its content is verified and is solely what exists in my head based on bits and pieces of information found online. That being said, here we go…

  1. Genre: In interviews, RS has said that he is making a blues album, so that’s pretty much confirmed.
  2. The name: There have been a couple references to the new CD’s title as “The Snake King.” “Rocket Science” was originally supposed to be called “Mayhem,” so we won’t really know until its closer to being released.
  3. Theme: Judging from the blues genre and the working title “The Snake King,” I have a feeling that it won’t have the same positive vibes as “Rocket Science.” A snake just doesn’t conjure up the same emotion as the dressed-up chimpanzee on the cover of “Rocket Science.” Starting back with the original book – the Bible – snakes don’t have a great reputation so a reference to a “snake king” sounds somewhat sinister.
  4. Contributors: References to the recording session have included his current band, the wonderful producer Jeff Silverman ( a member of his band back in the 70s, as well as someone who has produced much of RS’s work), singer-songwriter Windy Wagner (who is credited as doing background vocals on “Light This Party Up“) and guitarist Tim Pierce (a member of RS’s ’80s band The Fabulous Eels.) (July 3 update: a blog post by Jimmy Z Zavala, who played harp (harmonica) on “Bop ‘Til You Drop” records for the new album at RS’s home studio.)
  5. Songs so far: We were treated to a snippet of one of the songs this week on social media, with a line that sounds like “I aspired for something greater, what I expected I don’t know.”

As the 2017 touring continues this weekend and beyond, hopefully we’ll be learning a little more about it soon!

Close to the one-year mark

In the last few days, I’ve received several notifications of upcoming Rick Springfield shows. There are full-band shows, Stripped Down shows, co-headlined acoustic shows with Richard Marx and co-headlined shows with Pat Benetar and Neil Giraldo. One thing they have in common is that none are in Arizona.

Sure, I’m happy for fans in all those cities and am grateful for all the photos and videos they will hopefully share, but it’s getting very close to the year-mark of being at a RS show so I’m starting to feel the withdrawal. In fact, a year ago one month from tonight, was the last time he was town.

I already feel the virtual glare of fans in Australia or other places that may not have had a RS show in years or decades, and I know I’ve been spoiled (a total of five Arizona concerts in 2015 and 2016) but, c’mon, we’re neighbors (state neighbors). It’s just a one-hour flight for most of the band. You don’t even have to bring any equipment, we have some guitars and a keyboard you can use. Sorry, Siggy, you’d have to bring your own bass and Jorge, you may have to use the ottoman (think retro-style, like the demo of “Jessie’s Girl”). It can be a casual get-together with your Arizona fans (and if you want to make a road trip of it, there are probably some California fans who would charter a bus). Doesn’t that sound fun?

Anyway, fortunately shows seem to be added on a regular basis (like that time in 2015 when I broke down and bought tickets for a Vegas show only to find out a few days later that tickets were going to go on sale for a concert that same week only a few miles away.) So there’s still hope that there will be a nearby show in 2017.

Meanwhile, there has been news that RS and the band have been in the studio to work on the next album, which RS has said will be blues-y. So there’s a chance that he’ll play one of the new songs at one of these upcoming shows, which would be pretty cool, too, and if people share it online, that will help withdrawals – so thanks in advance.

Internal musical journey

My morning commute was physically the same as it usually is, but this morning, my mind took me on a completely different journey based on what played on the radio.

It started with “Don’t You Want Me” by the Human League, which was my favorite song in eighth grade and reminded me of the crush I had on a classmate’s older brother.

The reception on that station was a little fuzzy so I changed the channel and the next station was playing “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran, which made me think of that time in high school when me and three of my close friends sat around in a circle singing “Hungry Like the Wolf” as part of a rehearsal of a band that we wanted to form but never did. We were HUGE Duran Duran fans in those days.

Then it was “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins – a song my kids like. My husband recently watched “Top Gun” with them so that scene recently played on the TV in our living room.

Next was “Jessie’s Girl” and you can probably tell that the musician who sings that is often on my mind.

Following that was “Rocket Man” by Elton John, which reminded me of all of RS’s connections to Elton John through the years, as mentioned in “Late, Late at Night.”

And right before I got to the office was “When Doves Cry” by Prince, which is one of my favorite Prince songs and of course it reminded me that he is no longer alive. : (

Then my internal musical journey ended because I got to the office.

Speaking of music, there’s another weekend of Rick and the NEWSflash Radio being planned for Memorial Day Weekend. Here’s the info:

This Memorial Weekend, Rick and the NEWSflash Radio is broadcasting non-stop the tunes of Rick Springfield & Friends starting this Friday 1200AM PST 5/26/17 to 9PM PST Sunday 5/29/17.

We will also feature the music of Jeff Silverman, Joe Taylor, Erick Baker, Jennifer Lynn Simpson, Drew Six, Dauzat St. Marie, Ken Sharp, Kenny Charles, Debra Lyn, Niclas Lundin, Shewolf, Michael Springthorpe and more!

SAVE the below link to enjoy online.
LISTEN: at http://bit.ly/2nlWcJ3

 

 

 

Rock Nation

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I came across this today: “Rock Nation” from Rick Springfield and Friends – released April 1, 2017.

What?!  The digital download is a compilation of songs, but there’s only one written by RS: “Starlight, Starbright,” which was on “Mission Magic” (1974).

Here’s the list of songs:

01 – The Grass Roots – The River Is Wide
02 – Donovan – For Every Boy There Is a Girl
03 – Larry Hoppen – Still the One (Live)
04 – Jimi Jamison – Eye of the Tiger (Live)
05 – Mickey Thomas – We Built This City (Live)
06 – Rick Springfield – Starlight, Starbright
07 – Starbuck – Benny Bought the Big One
08 – Sneaux – Shakin Party
09 – Will Fletcher – Soft Blue Eyes
10 – Emergency Blanket – Careless Kenny

Not sure what the story behind this is or what the connection is between these songs – or if it’s even officially sanctioned by RS. The cover looks a little creepy and doesn’t really seem to fit the musical style of the songs (judging from the samples). 

Karma release: 18 years ago – and I was there!

Today is the 18th anniversary of the release of Rick Springfield’s “Karma” CD, which is very significant in RS history because it marks the return to his touring after a hiatus of more than a decade.

What is especially cool about this (to me, anyway), is that I was there when it happened! Because I wasn’t up on my RS history at the time – or when I started writing this blog – I didn’t realize that the day I first met him was the exact day “Karma” was released (and the day he signed my copy of “Karma”).

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Here are two of my past blog posts about that day: “Rick’s Return” and “Meeting Rick Springfield.”

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Didn’t know it at the time, but here’s a pic from a significant day in RS history: The Wherehouse in Los Angeles, April 13, 1999

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I also learned this morning that this month is the fifth anniversary of the “Affair of the Heart” documentary.

Here’s a great anniversary video about the documentary:

Live from Germany

I just wanted to reflect for a moment on the coolness of what just happened.

I was folding laundry on a sunny Phoenix spring afternoon and took a break for a few minutes to watch my favorite rock star perform live with a symphony orchestra in Berlin, along with thousands of other RS fans from around the world.

Pretty amazing.

It sounded so great – and thanks to those who made it happen.

Now back to the laundry.

See it here. (The concert, not the laundry.)

‘Sonnyboy’ in Germany

Here’s a Google-translated Mittelbayerische review of RS’s performance at the Danube Arena show in “Rock Meets Classic” in Germany:

Sonnyboy with lots of power

With Rick Springfield , a real Sonnyboy comes on stage. Despite his age, the man has lost none of his power and charisma. He gives the ramp and starts with “I’ve Done Everything For You”. That rocks and Springfield also shows that he can play the guitar. He uses a bouquet of roses as a plectrum and thus ensures beautiful show effects. At “Celebrate Youth” he starts an intro. The guitar is out of tune, the musician laughs “fuck it” into the microphone, straps it off and pushes it across the stage to his roadie. It goes without. After the song is paused anyway.

In the second part, continue with Springfield. He masters all the rules of the entertainment, leaves the stage, goes into touch with the fans, rises above the chairs of the arena. The man is really having fun and the hall is not only playing “Jessie’s Girl.”

(Note: Here’s the Urban Dictionary’s top definition of Sonnyboy:

Very Rare; Secretly very talented person; Lovable; Someone who has very great personality.
Younger person with great admiration for;of Someone who makes your days brighter; brings life; Someone you have great love for.)

He also did an interview with Germany’s Frankenpost in advance of the concert that covers his teen idol period, acting and a mention of his upcoming album. This answer was particularly funny (translated via Google Translate):

So !: What songs will you present on the tour “Rock meets Classic” in Germany?

Springfield: That’s a very good question. I wish I knew the answer. I will leave it to my fantastic manager to pick the pieces. However, I certainly will not play “Born to Run.

And now for some “Rock Meets Classic” videos (thank you to those who shared these!):

Some thoughts about studio news

Exciting news about RS recording some new songs, posted on Facebook earlier today with a pic of the recording studio.

My first thought, of course, was – yay!

Then my second thought was, “Wait a minute, isn’t he supposed to be in Germany already? The first Rock Meets Classic show is March 30, which is this Thursday night. How is he going to get over to Europe in time for the show? It’s a pretty hectic schedule, with a concert nearly every night for three weeks in a row. Won’t he be exhausted by the time he gets there?”

Then my third thought was, “Hey, I’m flying tomorrow, maybe we’ll be on the same plane! Maybe I’ll see him in the airport! I’ll have to be sure to look for him!” (Note: I’m not going to Germany, but quite possibly headed in the same direction. And it is possible he snapped the picture earlier in the week and remembered to post it today, or had someone else post it, but whatever.)

And then once again, yay! I wonder what these new songs are about? Will they give us some deep insight into his soul? Will it reveal some new discovery about him? What will they sound like?!  (No pressure, RS….)

And one final thought: Before we move on to this next album, I think some follow up is needed from “Rocket Science.” In small print in the booklet, it says, “For the stories behind the bonus tracks “Mercy” and “Walkin’ In,” go to http://www.rickspringfield.com!” I’ve been to http://www.rickspringfield.com several times and have yet to find them. Has anybody else come across them?

And lastly, yay!