Pinterest stalking

I was checking out Pinterest the other day so I thought I’d do a search on Rick Springfield just for the fun of it. Holy cow, there are a lot of pictures of Rick Springfield there.

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Photographs from the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and 2010s.  Five decades of Rick Springfield, screens of more and more photos continuing as I scrolled down, down, down and down some more.

Concert pics, candid shots, photos from the Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony, photos that were posters on my teenage bedroom walls. Magazine covers, album covers, CD covers, paparazzi pics, pics with dogs. Photos taken on the stage, at the airport, on a plane, in a bookstore, on a baseball field. Dr. Noah Drake, Greg, Lucifer, Rick F’king Springfield. Photos of him with his family, with his band, with other celebrities. Long-haired ’70s-style, short-haired, mulleted, long-haired 2010s-style, bearded, goateed, clean-shaven, scruffy, tattooed, suited, shirtless. Lots of pictures.

Some of my favorites are those teenage memories – the photos from the posters – just because of the nostalgia factor. My favorite more recent pics are the photo shoots from the “Late, Late at Night” cover and last year’s IHeart80s Radio concert. I even saw a photo taken on the day I met him for the first time – at The Wherehouse in Los Angeles in 1999!

After a few minutes of this, I started feeling like a stalker. It reminded me of those scenes in movies where investigators break into a locked room and find the walls covered with photographs of whoever the perp is obsessed with. That’s what my computer screen looked like. So I had to stop. (Plus, I think my husband was getting a little annoyed.)

But it’s not all superficial. It goes much deeper than that. (Ha, get the reference?) One post that caught my eye didn’t even have a picture. It was a link to an interview with the title, “Rick Springfield: The Journey is Never Over” a Huffpost article – originally from June 2014 – that focuses on his lifetime spiritual exploration. It’s really this type of thing – in addition to his music – that makes me such a big fan.

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In the fifth row – or not

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View from the fifth row in Sahuarita, Arizona.

I’ve been working on a little song in anticipation for the upcoming Rick Springfield concert at the Arizona State Fair this month.

In a sense, it’s a follow-up to “One in a Million,” a song I wrote back in January 2015 about the difference between how a fan views a rock star and how a rock star views fans. That was before my first RS concert in 15 years.

This one, “In the Fifth Row,” is about the feeling a longtime RS fan has at a show. (It could apply to a longtime fan of any musician, really.) Although I’ve now seen him six times since March 2015, I’ve felt this way each time.

In the past, my seats have ranged from 30th row (but moved to 17th row when I found empty seats after the opening act), to right at the stage (because there was some empty space there) so I’ve been really fortunate to have some nice views.

For this next show, which is the only scheduled full-band show from now until December, I have tickets in the, as you may have guessed, fifth row. Here’s the song, which is only one minute long:

Here are the lyrics:

In the Fifth Row

I’m in the fifth row, you don’t know me
I’m one of the faces in the crowd
I’ve been listening to your songs for decades
Tonight I’m gonna sing them out loud

Hello from the fifth row, sorry to stare
I can’t believe it’s really you up there
So long ago and so many years
And right here in front of me

I’m in the fifth row, can you see me?
I may look older, but I’m young inside
All of my worries wash away with your music
A refuge from the storm of life

After the last note fades
Reality invades
We go our separate ways.

Unfortunately, in my zest to purchase the tickets to the show as soon as they went on sale, I didn’t confirm the date and now it appears that I have a family conflict and I won’t be able to go to the concert. I’m so, so, so, so, SO sad about that, but I know family has to come first. If it was one night earlier or one night later I could do it, but not that night. I so wish he could just switch nights with Marilyn Manson or Old School Jam, but that’s not likely.

I feel silly feeling so sad about it because there are so many other people dealing with all kinds of horrible things like the aftermath of hurricanes and earthquakes and fires and floods and the massacre in Las Vegas and  I’m sitting here bummed out because I can’t go see my favorite rock star in concert for the seventh time in three  years. Pretty pathetic, I know, and I need to get over it.

The year I started this blog, he was in Phoenix twice – once in May 2014 to sign copies of “Magnificent Vibration” (it was an interview video I saw from this visit that ended up being the spark that started this blog) and in July 2014, a few days after I saw that interview.

So hopefully it won’t be too long until he is back in town again. Is the “Magnificent Vibration” sequel coming out anytime soon? Maybe I’ll just go hang out at the fair during the day of the show in case RS wanders through the fairgrounds in search of funnel cake.

Side note:

I know most of you are reading this blog for Rick Springfield content, but on the off chance that anybody is following the songwriting storyline, here is some additional information about the song:

I recorded vocals and guitar at the same time using Audacity and a Focusrite Scarlett Solo (2nd Generation) USB Audio Interface. It took about 50 tries to get this version and it still didn’t come out exactly the way I had hoped, but I pretty much hit all the notes in this version and it was the best of all of them so I decided to go with it.

I also revised the song quite a bit throughout the process because some of the verses ended up sounding a little stalkerish, which was not my intention, and hopefully I’ve gotten rid of anything that could be construed that way. Hope you enjoy it!

Another legend gone: Tom Petty

There’s such collective sadness in our world today. Not only is there still the aftermath of earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and fires, there’s the horrifying news out of Las Vegas of the mass shooting at an outdoor concert, with 58 confirmed dead and more than 500 injured. Then on top of that, news that legendary rocker Tom Petty died at age 66.

Although I don’t know much about his personal life or never saw him perform live, he’s another one of those singers whose music I’ve always enjoyed and who has been part of the musical backdrop of my life. Thank you, Tom Petty, for the four decades of music. The song I found myself singing the most through the years was “Free Fallin’,” especially each time I passed a sign for Ventura Boulevard. Then there were those MTV videos that come to mind: “Don’t Come Around Here No More” and “You got Lucky.” But there were so many other songs: “I Won’t Back Down,” “Learning to Fly,” “American Girl,” “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” “Into the Great Open” and “Runnin’ Down a Dream” are only a few I enjoyed through the years. Then there were also the Traveling Wilburys songs.

Hard to believe this video was from just last week, a week ago today.

Between this and the deaths of the attendees of last night’s concert in Las Vegas, it’s another reminder how precious life is and how none of us know how much time we have left. So let’s just be kind to each other and help one another when we can, OK?

Over 100K raised through Rick Springfield birthday campaigns

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The totals are in for this year’s fan-run Rick Springfield birthday campaign.

This year’s campaign was in memory of his mom, Eileen Springthorpe, who died on Dec. 21, 2016, and raised $17,068.68 to benefit Linda Blair’s Worldheart Foundation, an organization that helps rescue dogs. (Notice the double 68s? That’s relevant since this campaign celebrates RS’s 68th birthday.) The campaign ran Aug. 1-Sept. 15.

Although the campaign is completely run by fans – who design the website, coordinate the donations and donate prizes – RS chose the foundation as the beneficiary. As his fans know, he is an avid dog lover, as was his mom. Helping so many dogs is such a nice tribute to her and I’m sure she would have been so proud to know all the good work being done in her son’s name.

According to the campaign website, happybirthdayrick.com, the birthday campaign started in 2007 and with the addition of this year’s funds, the total raised through all the campaigns is $107,290.83. This year’s total is the second largest amount raised. In 2015, the campaign raised $18,666.  Last year’s campaign was $8,767.

Past charities have included American Gold Star Mothers, a  veterans service organization for mothers who have lost sons or daughters who died while serving in the military; Hoops for Life, a research program for pediatric brain tumors; and charities helping with Haiti earthquake relief efforts. In past campaigns, some funds have also gone to helping individuals with terminal illnesses, such as Ruben, who worked as RS’s guitar tech.

Way to go, RS fans!

18 years ago tonight

“Somebody call security, Rick Springfield is coming back.”

That was the opening line of an item in the paper announcing Rick Springfield’s concert at Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix 18 years ago tonight. That was my second RS concert that year – I saw him in Vegas that summer and met him for the first time at a “Karma” CD signing in Los Angeles that April. (Thanks, rickspringfield.us site for posting the notice.)

Here’s an interview from earlier that year on the “Donny & Marie” show. It includes a look at his bare right bicep, on which he recently had surgery (the cause of his recent guitar-less shows).

He doesn’t have a show scheduled for tonight (if there was, I was thinking of posting a video from that year and this year, but I couldn’t find one from 1999), but here’s a fun video of “Don’t Talk to Strangers” from last night’s show. It especially cracks me up because my kids often point out RS’s bad language.

 

There were also some great videos of this weekend’s shows posted live on Facebook, both on RS’s Facebook page and other places. Despite not being able to play guitar for now, he still ROCKS and entertains (and now his doctor has proof that RS is listening to his instructions…)

If the boy wants to play the guitar…

Despite doctor’s orders regarding his torn tendon, apparently RS played guitar at his last show.

Cue that teenybopper/mother hen syndrome I mentioned in a previous post: Yay, he’s playing guitar again, he looks so cool with that guitar, I’m so glad to see he’s playing it again. Wait, what about the doctor’s orders not to play? He better be careful. (And then there’s that self-centered teen-like response – he has to heal so he can play guitar at MY show in October…)

As if it’s even my business AT ALL what he does. But still.

Anyway, from the videos I saw of him NOT playing guitar – when his arm was in a sling – it looked like it was very difficult for him to perform without it. He sure played a mean tambourine though, smacking it to the beat against the mic stand. I also saw a clip from a song where he played tambourine AND harmonica – so both hands were busy.

But fortunately, RS is not one to give up. He may have made a great chicken farmer (circa 1979 when he lived in “the Burbs: Glendale, California” with chickens in his backyard, according to his autobiography) or a fabulous stained glass artist (aka the story behind his song “Jessie’s Girl”), but he refused to give up his dream to be a successful musician.

So here he is, at age 68, still making music (what lucky fans we are) and despite the periods of time his dream got diverted, he’s still going strong. Doctor’s orders or not (but, please be careful)! So inspiring to those of us who may be going through challenging times of our own.

(Oh, and a shout-out to his band for carrying him through this time, especially George who is playing the guitar during the acoustic shows. You guys are great!)

Dreams can be so weird

I assume there hasn’t been any official study on the number of times Rick Springfield appears in dreams each week, but I’ll bet he makes several appearances.

Last night, I got to spend a few minutes with him in my dream. We spoke for a few minutes, although I don’t remember the details, and he drew me a picture and wrote me a little note. I also got the scoop on a new upcoming role. According to my dream, his next role will be as the Cheetos cheetah (I looked it up after I woke up and the name of the Cheetos mascot is Chester Cheetah, in case you were wondering.).

Besides the fact that they both wear high-top tennis shoes and sunglasses, I’m not really sure where that came from, but sometimes you just can’t explain dreams.

NOTE: The material in this blog post came from a dream and is NOT based in reality. There has been NO indication at all that RS will indeed be reprising the role of Chester Cheetah and it is highly unlikely.

Magicians, turkeys, dragons and a Rick Springfield concert

The family and I went to a children’s festival this afternoon and the Arizona State Fair had an exhibit with some carnival-type games for the kiddos. 

There were also stacks of the flyers shown below. Can you tell what caught my eye?

No, it wasn’t the racing turkeys or the dragons, although I am curious about those.

Can you guess what day I plan to go to the fair?

The teenybopper/mother hen syndrome

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I’m not sure if this is something that happens to longtime fans of other rock stars, but I’ve noticed that I’ve been experiencing what I’ll call the teenybopper/mother hen syndrome.

I’ve noticed it emerging in the past, such as when RS continues his shows when he has the flu or when he sits on stage chugging cough syrup to get through the evening. But it was evident again this past week after he performed right after his surgery for a torn tendon.

Here’s an example of the internal dialogue:

Yay, people are live streaming videos from tonight’s concert! Those fans are lucky and I feel bad for the fans of the two Canadian shows that got cancelled, but it’s good that he took time to heal. Ooh, he’s wearing a red shirt, he looks so good in red. Poor thing, with his arm in his sling and not being able to play guitar. But it’s good that he’s following his doctor’s orders and not playing guitar while his arm heals. He’s so cute, but he really shouldn’t be holding his microphone in that hand or swinging his arm around that hard, it’s probably going to cause more pain later. Why is he jumping up and down, what about his twisted ankle? Is he really going into the crowd for “Human Touch?” Those fans better be careful not to hurt his cracked rib. I wish I was there to get a human touch. 

Etc., etc.

I think this syndrome may be deeply rooted in a longtime fan’s psyche and is caused by the initial stage of fandom when a teenager, combined with now being a mother. (It wasn’t until recently that I realized that he’s only a few years younger than my parents – in those years decades ago when his posters filled my teenage bedroom walls, I don’t think that occurred to me at all.) It’s pretty cool when you think about it, how he was the first crush of so many of the women who are in today’s audiences. And although we look much different than we did at those shows in the 1980s, that part of us inside still shines through at RS shows in 2017.

But enough of that, here are some of the red shirt videos from the Sept. 1 Vancouver show (The words on his sling say “I know what you want,” a phrase that has also been on guitar pics at recent shows so likely a song off the upcoming “The Snake King.”) Wishing RS a speedy recovery! (Be careful out there, RS. Get some rest and listen to your doctor.)