Introducing ‘Jack Chrome and the Darkness Waltz’

A recent interview with Noise11.com revealed more information about another new project Rick Springfield has been working on during the pandemic. As he announced on social media earlier this month, RS recorded songs for “Jack Chrome and the Darkness Waltz,” the darker than ‘Snake King’ album about Day of the Dead that he mentioned in interviews a few weeks back, with Russel Morris, a musician in Australia.

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I’m not up on my Australian music scene but Russell Morris and RS go way back – this new interview mentions that RS played guitar on RM’s first album back in 1971 – and RM is the one who is scheduled to tour with Zoot next year (in the 2020 tour that was postponed to 2021 and then 2022.) (Russell Morris is doing the vocals for Zoot, filling in for lead singer Darryl Cotton, who sadly died in 2012 – nine years ago on July 27.)

In the interview, Russell Morris said he was inspired for the album after reading the book “The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto” by Mitch Albom (a really good book by the way…). Albom is also the author of “Tuesdays with Morrie,” “Five People You Meet in Heaven” and several others. One of my favorite authors!

The article is here. The interview also covers more about The Red Locusts, including some background on RS’s friendships with the Bissonette brothers.

Here’s a video of the interview:

“Jack Chrome and the Darkness Waltz” is scheduled to come out Oct. 15, 2021.

Back on stage after 16 months

Last night was the first full-band concert in 16 months and it was incredible!

Well, I wasn’t actually there – Rick Springfield was the featured guest for the free 12th annual Lights on the Lake event in Sherman, Texas – but thanks to the generosity of RS fans who posted videos on RS fan Facebook pages, other fans got to experience parts of it, from the attempt to put on a hazmat suit before going out into the audience for “Human Touch” to the rose explosions and him filming the audience as he came out on stage.

(He shared the video on his social media pages today.)

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I’m guessing that it was a thrill for them all to be back on stage for a live show after such a long stretch of time, especially that at this time last year we weren’t sure if things would ever get back to “normal.” It’s so nice to see everyone – both band and fans – being together again. It’s almost like the pandemic was just a bad dream and now we can we just can go back to getting together to celebrate happy moments together.

(However, I still felt a bit of the teenybopper/mother hen syndrome, with a mix of “Yay, he’s still going out into the audience for ‘Human Touch’!” and “I hope they all stay healthy, there’s still that Delta Variant of COVID-19 and will that mask and gloves protect him enough?” Shut up, mother hen, and just enjoy the concert, sheesh.)

Seriously though, I hope everyone stays healthy.

I’m especially grateful to those fans who shared their view from the spots close to the stage. Sometimes he seems to be looking directly into the camera, which makes it even more fun watching from home because of that whole “Oh my gosh, he’s looking right at me!” feeling I remember feeling at 13 (when I was watching through binoculars from many rows away from the stage).

Other RS notes

I recently re-listened to the audiobook of “Late, Late at Night” (since I had subscribed to Audible to listen to “World on Fire,” I thought I might as well get his autobiography, too, since I had borrowed it from the library from when I read it back in 2014.) After listening to him talking about his life again, it was even cooler to see him back in action on stage. I wonder if there will be a sequel to the autobiography at some point so we can learn more about what went on behind-the-scenes this past decade (or longer, depending on when he would write it.)

Beach Bar Rum biz

It’s not like RS has been staying at home throughout this whole pandemic. After he received his vaccination, he’s made appearances at different places, like last weekend in Las Vegas, where he spent an evening at Cabo Wabo and attended a Nightclub and Bar Convention with Sammy Hagar for Beach Bar Rum.

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Review of The Red Locusts album

I also received my Red Locusts CD. I have been listening to the album via streaming, but wanted to hear the additional song and hoped for lyrics. No lyrics though. Has anyone gone put together the lyrics that they’d like me to post? So far I haven’t found them anywhere online.

Why would I write about some random band called The Red Locusts on a Rick Springfield blog? Well despite the secrecy behind it, the word seems to be out, judging by this review of the album. Not that anyone who listens to it would be surprised. Even my 12-year-old who heard it for the first time in the car when I picked him up from camp said, “Is this Rick Springfield?” during the song that was playing.

Working Class DJ

RS has also continued with his Working Class DJ show on SiriusXM (another subscription I’ve acquired due to a RS offering), which debuted in January. It’s a lot of fun listening to his little stories and funny bits on a weekly basis and the music is great. This past one had a Fourth of July theme where he actually played a Bruce Springsteen song (which he introduced as Bruce Springfield and then explained the confusion people have had through the years between the two. (A clip from his song “Bruce” is below.)

Here’s a Medley, from rsandus:

And here’s a great fan video from Travels from Nick.

Check out future concerts on the official RS page. Thanks again to the fans who shared their videos of last night’s show!

New Zoot song: That Was Then

I just heard the new Zoot song, “That was Then” and wow, such an incredibly powerful song. It’s like a soundtrack for the last post about Rick Springfield’s fame in the 1980s, “40th anniversary of ‘fan army’ mall shutdown.”

But that was then, and this is now, I know we were breaking hearts back when we were blessed somehow
If I could hear them call my name again, young hearts beat loud and strong but this is now and that was then

For those who are not familiar with Zoot, it’s the Australian band where Rick Springfield was a guitarist in Australia before he came to the U.S. (Read more here.) and they were supposed to go on a reunion tour – their first time performing in Australia in 50 years – in fall 2020, which got postponed to 2021 and now 2022. Sadly, the band’s lead singer, Darryl Cotton died in 2012, shortly after the band performed together for the first time since the ’70s (the performance was on a Rick Springfield and Friends cruise). His voice is featured in the intro of this new song.

Here’s a press release about the new song (and the postponement of the tour) on a Zoot Facebook page:

“That Was Then” was written by Beeb Birtles, Rick Springfield and Russell Morris and features all three, plus ZOOT drummer Rick Brewer. Even the sadly departed Darryl Cotton makes a posthumous appearance in the intro to the song.

Beeb Birtles gives us some insight into the genesis of the song:

“That Was Then” is a song that takes us back to the heydays of ZOOT, as well as Russell Morris’s solo career. When the idea for writing a new ZOOT song was presented to Rick Springfield, Russell Morris and myself, I sent a chord progression that I’d been playing to Rick in Los Angeles. Rick ran with it and came up with a fantastic melody and chorus. Then it was sent to Russell in Australia who wrote the bridge for the song. So, it is truly a collaboration between all of us, and it turned out to be a really great new ZOOT song! Check it out!”

Insight from Rick Springfield:

Beeb’s acoustic track started me just vocally riffing around it and I realized after I’d come up with some lyrics and the chorus that this song was about Darryl and our (relatively) carefree days as young Zooties touring with Russell. Everyone knew each other and we were all friends. We had our disagreements but when we got on stage we were united. I’d look over at Dazza and Beeb and Malc and feel like it was us against them. I miss being young Ricky Springthorpe living at my parent’s house in Melbourne and thinking I had all the time in the world. Life moves on and we are here 50 years later with a song to celebrate Zoot and Russ’s early days when we were young and fearless.

Rick Springfield music 24/7

Rick Springfield fans can now listen to music from his decades-long career anytime they want!

The Rick and the NEWSflash fan group has created a free new commercial-free radio station that always plays his music, a wonderful treat for both his longtime and new fans.

Check it out here. The group is also on Facebook and Twitter.

People who only know him for “Jessie’s Girl” will be surprised to learn how much music he’s made since the 1960s. Even after being immersed in his music for awhile now, there are still several songs and different versions of songs that I haven’t heard yet. The songs include songs from his many studio albums, acoustic versions, live versions from concerts and songs from his different bands (Zoot, The Red Locusts, Sahara Snow). Earlier today was a performance with RS and Richard Marx from one of the fan cruises. At this very moment, he is singing “Painted Girl,” the very first song he remembers writing at age 15, which he performed at an acoustic Stripped Down tour.

This is for diehard RS fans for sure, but also for those who are fans that are only familiar with his hits because there are SO MANY GREAT SONGS that you’ll want to hear.

And if you’re not a fan of Rick Springfield, then you don’t have to listen and why are you even reading this blog? (But since you’re here, you may as well check out his songs and you may become a fan.)

By the way, those who listened to his recent Working Class DJ show on SIRIUSXm with the theme of “Hopeless Romantics” (which was actually a set of cynical love songs that included “Love Stinks,” “Tainted Love” and “King of Pain) would have heard him mention a photo session where he was wearing a pink shirt and a leather jacket holding a black guitar. This is the one I think he was talking about (which I of course had on my bedroom wall during my teenage years…)

Another one from this session (that was also on my wall):

Just for fun, here’s a really bad pic of the actual wall from my teenage bedroom (with those two posters):

Thank you to RS for all the decades of great music and to the Rick and the NEWSflash fan group for sharing all this music!

The Red Locusts now available on CD, streaming services and cassette

I’ve had a great morning listening to the new Red Locusts album! Such fun, upbeat, energetic songs, I can’t help dancing at my stand-up desk as I’m working today.

It totally has a Beatles vibe, which is great because they are one of my favorite bands.

On first listen, my favorite songs are “Glow Worm” and “Insert Your Name Here.” (The latter gives all fans an opportunity to pretend RS wrote a love song about them, which is really exciting for your inner-13-year-old self.) “Miss Daisy Hawkins” is a fun song, with lots of Beatles references. (For context, Daisy Hawkins was the original name of the character of Eleanor Rigby.) Also really like “Honestly.” Because I watched the video for “Another Bad Day for Cupid,” that’s what I pictured when listening to the song.

The album is available on streaming services, as well as on CD and cassette at lolipoprecordsstore.com. The band also now has a Facebook page.

The limited edition red vinyl looks like it’s still available on the Rick Springfield merch site and it has an extra song on it (“Love is Gonna Save the Day”) – that’s not on streaming version (and “Deep Blue Sea” is listed as “Deep Blue Skies” on the streaming version, which I assume is a mistake as the lyric is “Deep Blue Sea.”)

By the way, the secret is out that this is Rick Springfield’s new project (in case you couldn’t tell before), as he officially announced it on the last episode of the Working Class DJ show on SiriusXM. Plus the songs are listed as being written by him and Matt Bissonette (the former guitarist in his band who he also co-wrote songs with on “Rocket Science,” “Venus in Overdrive” and “Songs for the End of the World.” Before the pandemic, he toured with Elton John). Other band members are drummer Gregg Bissonette, (Matt’s brother and a drummer for Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band). Still not sure who “keyboardist Duncan Sweets and guitarist Beau Weevil” are.

What do you think? I’m happy to bask in the light of this new CD for a few months until he releases his next album (which he has called very dark, darker than “The Snake King”), which he has said should be out around November of this year.

He’s been really busy this past year! He talks about it in this recent interview and there are even some concerts on the calendar, including meet & greets.

Guess I better get back to work now…

‘Another Bad Day for Cupid’

Finally! Those who no longer have a record player can finally hear a song from the new band The Red Locusts!

The band released their red vinyl album back in March, which is still listed on the the Rick Springfield Merch site {despite the fact that Rick Springfield’s not in the band, according to Rick Springfield, although the singer sounds suspiciously like him, don’t you think?)

According to an article on buzzbands.la that announces the video premiere of The Red Locusts song “Another Bad Day for Cupid,” a press release from Lolipop Records lists the band’s members as singer-guitarist Paul Ramone, bassist Scotty Skuffleton, drummer Skippy Skuffleton, keyboardist Duncan Sweets and guitarist Beau Weevil. (For more speculation on the band members, read “The Red Locusts on vinyl.”)

The single “Another Bad Day for Cupid,” whose video animated by Joe Garber premieres here, is exemplary of their sublime ’60s guitar pop, for fans of the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Jellyfish, Fountains Of Wayne, ELO, Big Star, the Move, the Raspberries, etc.

buzzbands.la, “Video premiere: The Red Locusts, ‘Another Bad Day for Cupid’”

The video for “Another Bad Day for Cupid” is reminiscent of “Mission Magic,” the animated Saturday morning series from 1973 featuring Rick Springfield and his songs, and starts off with animated versions of the band members riding on red locusts.

Cupid is indeed having a bad day, as his arrows keep on missing the mark and wreaking havoc in this animated version of Seattle (a guess based on what looks like Space Needle, along with the mountains and the rain), beginning with a frog and spinning fan blades (the result wouldn’t have been appropriate for “Mission Magic.”) Other unfortunate matches include a car and a bus, a wrecking ball and a car with a guy inside listening to “Another Bad Day for Cupid” on his phone, and a fly and a female reporter’s uvula (that dangly thing in the back of a person’s throat).

The singer (who sounds like the singer Rick Springfield of “Working Class Dog” fame) tells Cupid that he ought to get a “working class” career. At the end, the animated singer directs the arrows’ paths and causes a love explosion in the city.

A very entertaining song – and you can really hear the Beatles influences. Enjoy the video and the song and share your thoughts if you’d like!

Video for The Red Locusts: Another Bad Day for Cupid, animated by Joe Garber

Concerts on the calendar

Is it possible that we’re ready to emerge from our pandemic hibernation and start attending concerts again?!

It appears so, as this recently appeared on my news feed:

Pretty amazing, right?

So nice to see the announcement of a concert instead of a cancellation!

On the Macon City Auditorium website, it currently says it’s a “normal capacity” event and that “protocols for cleanliness and guidance from local and national officials will be followed at the time of the event.” Does that mean it will look like the photo in the ad or that “Human Touch” will involve RS going back into the audience? Not sure if we’re quite at that point yet, but September is still a few months away and more and more people are getting vaccines, so I suppose that’s possible. It looks like there’s also a show scheduled for June 12 in Ashland, Kentucky.

Additionally, it seems RS may be heading to Australia in the fall as well, as the Zoot reunion tour has been rescheduled from November 2020 to October 2021 and tickets are on sale for that.

Party at the Beach Bar

In other RS news, he and Sammy Hagar have been busy promoting Beach Bar Rum and have shared some other exciting concert news in a Forbes magazine article: “Sunday Conversation: Sammy Hagar and Rick Springfield on their rum business, wanting to tour together and taking over Catalina.”

The article mentions the “Party at the Beach Bar” song RS wrote (heard in this promotional video featuring fans here):

The article also talks about how they’ve been discussing residences in Las Vegas and on Catalina Island where they would perform and through big parties with a Beach Bar theme.

We’re planning a little residency in Vegas and a residency on Catalina, a place where you can set the party down and do it every weekend. Let the people come from out of town, experience a cool place like Catalina, a cool place like Vegas. Everybody knows how much fun you can have in Vegas when it opens back up.

Sammy Hagar on forbes.com

That sounds fun!

From Zoot to Zoom

Coming up this weekend is a special Zoom event for those who purchased the new Red Locusts album. (Unfortunately I won’t be there since I didn’t purchase the album since I don’t have a turntable.) It’ll feature The Red Locusts, featuring those talented blokes Paul Ramone, Scotty Skuffleton and Skippy Skuffleton, who are seen rehearsing in a recent tweet:

Still hoping that the album will be available in other formats at some point because it would be great to hear it! Here’s what the Forbes article says about the project and others, including the dark one he mentioned in a previous interview that is scheduled to come out in November.

I’ve recorded two anonymous albums. One with a band I put together with Gregg Bissonette and Matt Bissonette. It’s very Beatle-driven, very pop, ’60s British Invasion. And I did another one, very dark, dark, dark album with a friend of mine in Australia about Day Of The Dead and then I’m writing my own stuff. 

Rick Springfield, forbes.com

So there are a few things to look forward, too, in addition to his weekly stint as the Working Class DJ on SiriusXM, which are fun to listen to.

To anyone going to the Zoom event – have fun! I’ve received my two vaccine doses so I’ll be here waiting for an announcement of a local concert!

Coming soon: The Red Locusts

A pending arrival of red locusts may not sound like a good thing if you’re referring to the large grasshopper species in Africa, but when you’re waiting to hear music from the new musical group The Red Locusts, the pending arrival is a very good thing.

Based on a recent post by Rick Springfield, it looks like we may be hearing music by The Red Locusts very soon.

Got it? A swarm of red locusts could mean a plague is upon us and that’s not good, but music from The Red Locusts in the middle of a pandemic is very good.

Now that that’s clear, I guess all there is left to do is wait to see how soon the “soon” is before we get to hear this new music.

‘The Year of the Dog’ is a busy one

Although it’s been nearly a year since Rick Springfield has been on tour, he’s been keeping busy in other ways. Like, lots of other ways. For instance, this week alone, there have been interviews about his new book “World on Fire,” the 40th anniversary of “Working Class Dog,” this weekend’s premiere of the “Orchestrating My Life” documentary, the filming of Jay Leno’s car show, a DJ gig, a special delivery of roses to a fan and an interview with an Australian station (which also featured his Australian accent…)

Through these interviews, we’ve learned about a new album by The Red Locusts, more stories about RS’s childhood and his desire to move back to Australia. He also talks about the importance of music in schools and how music saved him (and he often disses math, which my teenager 100% appreciates).

It’s so funny that so many interviewers will say things like “If my 10-year-old self would have known that I would be interviewing Rick Springfield….” Yep, he has lots of longtime fans! Here’s a recap of this week (at least what I know about)…

This weekend is the big premiere of the “Orchestrating My Life” documentary (A pay-per-view Valentine’s Day concert) that he performs with his band and students from the Santa Monica High School Orchestra. Here’s a great interview with Jodi Swenson, the director of the orchestra, and one of the students who performed in the show.

  • RS also made a special delivery for a lucky fan, delivering “Rick’s Roses” before the Valentine’s Day pay-per-view concert.

Although RS fans are eager to return to concerts, all of this definitely helps get through this challenging time!

Week recap: World on Fire and lots of interviews

This has been quite a busy week and there’s lots to share so I thought I’d include them all in one post.

On the top of the list is the release of “World on Fire,” Rick Springfield’s sequel to “Magnificent Vibration.” He wrote his first published work of fiction over a four-month period (according to an article in my local paper back in 2014) and at that time already started the sequel. Now here we are six years later and the sequel is now here! In an alternate non-pandemic reality, we’d probably be waiting for the in-person book signings, but for now, we’ll have to make do with the Audible version. RS reading his book to us isn’t too bad though, right? (Although hopefully at some point there will be a print version and book signing meet and greets at local bookstores.)

Since it’s been awhile since I read “Magnificent Vibration,” I pulled it off the shelf for the purpose of this post and it’s pretty bizarre that the sequel is released during a pandemic because of the way the first book ends.

SPOILER ALERT RE: ‘MAGNIFICENT VIBRATION’

At the end of the book, one of the main characters announces that she received a message from an Earth spirit saying that in order to save the planet, she has been given a virus that “will kill half the world in six months.” I won’t go into too many details here, so I don’t create any spoilers for the new book, which I plan to listen to soon, but basically she is a carrier and the virus “will flow from me with every breath I exhale, and it will grow exponentially through airborne contagion.”

Weird huh?

RS has said in recent interviews that you don’t need to read the first book in order to understand the second one. In fact you don’t even have to read at all, he said in a recent interview, since it’s an audiobook and he reads it to you.

Get “World on Fire” here.

‘Orchestrating My Life’ documentary

This week there was a wonderful interview by SiriusXM’s Lori Majewski who spoke to Rick Springfield and director PJ Wolff about the making of the concert film “Orchestrating My Life,” which is being released as a pay-per-view screening on Feb. 14. It’s always so cool to see a fan interview RS because the questions are so good and you get to skip any obvious ones (like ‘Is there a real Jessie’s Girl’?). She’s been a RS fan for 40 years, she recently said on Twitter so she GETS it and asks questions that others wouldn’t know to ask. We so appreciate it, Lori!

Watch the interview here:

To learn more about the pay-per view packages, which include a dozen “Rick Roses” that you can smash against a guitar in your very own living room during the screening, visit rickspringfield.com. There are also some “Orchestrating My Life” DVD and CD packages at rickspringfield.org.

40th anniversary of ‘Working Class Dog’

RS also visited “Good Morning America” this week (and by “visited,” I mean virtually of course) to speak about the 40th anniversary of “Working Class Dog” and sang an acoustic version of “Jessie’s Girl.”

Another Sirius interview about a variety of things

There was also an awesome interview on SiriusXM Volume “Debateable” with Mark Goodman and Alan Light. Unfortunately I can’t share it here since it’s subscription access only (but they do have free trials…) They talked about the “Orchestrating My Life” film, “World on Fire,” Beach Bar Rum (a pineapple flavor is coming soon, as well as a “Jessie’s Girl” drink) and Bindi and joke about the amount of work he’s been doing in the midst of a lockdown. They also covered his commitment to music in school (The “Orchestrating My Life” film features the Santa Monica High School orchestra) and took questions from the audience that covered his album “Tao,” his dad’s influence on his life, his love of writing and reading, guitars, how great his band is and how much he misses performing live.

He also discussed his childhood dream of being a DJ (now realized on SiriusXM’s Working Class DJ show), a couple of anonymous projects that he couldn’t really talk about, but one is coming in November that is darker than “The Snake King” and he also advised a caller to keep his eyes and ears open for a “great new band called the Red Locusts” coming out on red vinyl and cassettes…

They are both great interviewers familiar with RS’s career so that was fun. (As you may know, Mark Goodman is one of the original MTV VJs and has been on RS fan trips so they go back a long way.)

Anyhow, I think that’s about it – at least for right now. Have a great weekend!