A devastating time for California

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The news coming out of California has been so devastating these past few days. First the Nov. 7 shootings at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, where a gunman killed 12 people, mainly college-age students.

Then the VERY NEXT DAY (Thursday), the Northern California town of Paradise was almost completely consumed in a wildfire that is now considered the state’s most destructive fire on record. At least 29 people have died so far, 110 people are still missing and 6,700 buildings, mainly homes, were destroyed, according to CNN. It has burned 111,000 acres across Northern California.

Then the NEXT DAY (Friday), only a few miles away from the site of the Nov. 7 shooting , two more wildfires started – the Hill Fire and the Woolsey Fire. As of tonight, Sunday, they are both still burning and more than 250,000 people have been ordered to evacuate from their homes. The Woolsey fire has spread to 83,275 acres and the Hill Fire covered 4,531 acres, according to CNN. Together, they are responsible for the destruction of 179 structures, but another 57,000 are threatened, according to fire officials.

I have several relatives in Los Angeles and nearby areas so I have been paying very close attention to these Southern California fires. Fortunately, thank G-d, at this time none of their homes are in danger.

However, I’m still watching the fire’s devastation closely because I know the areas fairly well having lived in L.A. for several years and am shocked about how much damage these fires are inflicting to people’s lives, animals’ lives and the landscape.

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A surreal scene on Zuma Beach

Although I don’t know anyone personally who has been evacuated, I’m very concerned for those affected and cannot even imagine what they are going through as they wait to learn the fate of their house.

As you may know, Rick Springfield lives in Malibu and his house is in the fire zone.

When the fire started, RS was on tour in Florida and then El Paso, and according to FB reports by others, his wife and dog safely evacuated. That’s good news that everyone is safe. And now his fans all are waiting – and praying – that they will all get to go home. Because RS has been so open with his fans in the past, we know about his collections, his parents’ piano that he shipped from Australia and his home studio, the Black Lagoon, where he has created so much incredible music. To many fans, he almost seems like family, even to those of us he doesn’t actually know. And we hope that these fires stay the #$@* away from his house.

We are waiting and praying that the fires will soon be extinguished and that everyone will be able to safely return home and that there won’t be any more casualties or destruction. Thank goodness for all those dedicated and brave firefighters, police officers and other first responders who have been working so hard to protect people and save their animals and their homes. Wishing them much strength and success in their work.

UPDATE ON THE AFTERNOON OF NOV. 12:

Their house is OK (besides a burnt fence)! Relief!! (So sorry to hear about the neighbors though, and all others who weren’t as lucky.) As of today, the Woolsey fire has burnt 91,952 acres and is only 20 percent contained, according to CBS. Plus there’s lots of wind – more prayers are needed!

UPDATE ON THE AFTERNOON OF NOV. 13:

See his Instagram post to see what happened to his neighbor’s house, two doors down. So devastating. Sadly there are hundreds of similar scenes in both Southern and Northern California this week. So many lives affected.

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Before ‘Jessie’s Girl,’ there was Zoot

Years before many of us ’80s kids started plastering Rick Springfield posters all over our walls, Mr. Springfield was already a star back in Australia. You may not have been familiar with his band Zoot because, if you’re around my age, you were just being introduced to solid foods around that time and weren’t following the Australian music scene.

But he was the guitarist in the popular Australian band from 1969 to 1971. (According to his autobiography, “Late, Late at Night,” this was when he bought his Gibson SG guitar, which he wrote “Jessie’s Girl” on and later played in the “Ricki & The Flash” movie with Meryl Streep.)

Why am I writing about Zoot today? Because this tweet popped up in my news feed today:

Although I’m not very familiar with Zoot, I have watched some videos of them in the past, such as their version of The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby.”

And “Hey, Pinky,” which was written by RS:

When the band broke up in 1971, everyone went on to successful careers: Beeb Birtles was a founding member of Little River Band, Darryl Cotton was a successful Australian entertainer for many years (both in music and acting, as well as a TV host) and Rick Brewer was a drummer for many bands. Oh, and that guitarist Rick Springfield, well, you may be familiar with some of his work over the past 50 years.

The band reunited for a Rick Springfield fan cruise in 2011, which I bet was amazing for everyone who was a part of it. Sadly, Darryl Cotton died the following year from liver cancer.

So the fact that this new CD, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the band, is being released on Nov. 23 is a super cool thing. It’s a great name, too: “ZOOT Archaeology.”

An article on rockclub40.com explains a little more about the 24-song retrospective.

The ZOOT members have dug deeply into their archives for ARCHAEOLOGY, which features the first song the band recorded, a cover of The Move’s ‘I Can Hear The Grass Grow’, as well as the band’s EMI debut, ‘You’d Better Get Goin’’. The album also includes the hits ‘Monty and Me’ (produced by Molly and featuring a whistling Johnny Farnham), ‘One Times, Two Times, Three Times, Four’, plus their classic hard rock cover of The Beatles’ ‘Eleanor Rigby’, a Top 5 hit and Go-Set’s Best Australian Single of 1971. …

ZOOT ARCHAEOLOGY also features live covers of The Beatles’ ‘I’m Only Sleeping’ and Neil Diamond’s ‘Shilo’, plus rare photos of the band, and liner notes written by Beeb and Rick.

EMI will also reissue ZOOT LIVE – THE REUNION, the CD and DVD documenting what was the band’s last performance, 40 years after they initially broke up.

ZOOT LIVE was recorded in 2011, on the Rick Springfield and Friends Cruise in the Caribbean. The re-formation was so successful that the band started planning an Australian tour; what would have been their first Australian shows in 40 years. But soon after, singer Darryl Cotton was diagnosed with liver cancer. He died in 2012.

ZOOT ARCHAEOLOGY is dedicated to Darryl.

After Darryl died, Rick discovered that both he and Darryl had recorded separate versions of ‘Life In A Northern Town’. “Sitting in the studio listening to Darryl’s solo vocal gave us all goosebumps,” Rick says. Combining the two versions, he then asked Beeb to sing the third verse. “Fifty-four years after I met Darryl, we have a new ZOOT song,” Beeb smiles. “Thanks to Rick, I got to sing one more time with my best friend.”

Isn’t that beautiful? And so is the song:

 

I can’t wait to hear more!

Zoot

“Zoot Archaeology”

1. One Times, Two Times, Three Times, Four
2. Monty And Me
3. Flying
4. Hey, Mr. Songwriter
5. You’d Better Get Goin’
6. Sailing
7. Yes, I’m Glad
8. About Time
9. Sha La La
10. She’s Alright
11. Feelings
12. Little Roland Lost
13. Shake Your Feathers
14. Hey Pinky
15. Strange Things
16. Eleanor Rigby
17. Turn Your Head
18. The Freak
19. Evil Child
20. I’m Only Sleeping Recorded Live 1970
21. Shilo Recorded Live 1970
22. Life In A Northern Town
23. I Can Hear The Grass Grow
24. Eleanor Rigby Live

Another new album on the way!

There was an exciting announcement this week:

Another new album! I’m so incredibly astonished about the amount of music that my favorite rock star puts out! Since this is a “symphonic album of hits & new songs,” there will be some familiar tunes on this new album (hopefully “Souls” will be one of them – it sounded so beautiful in the clips I saw from his recent symphony concerts). But also some new songs! Whoo-hoo!

If any reporters come across this blog when preparing for an interview to run before the next Rick Springfield show in your town, please ask him about this!

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He explained in one fascinating interview how the process worked with the symphony. Unfortunately, I can’t find where that interview was. If I remember correctly, somebody annotated the music for his songs (is that the right word?) then the talented symphony musicians were able to play it with very little rehearsal. But what about the new songs? Did he still write them the same way he usually does, going  through the same process with the annotator (is that the right word?) or did he have the symphony instrumentation in mind when he wrote it? What are the new songs about? Are they more “Rocket Science” (which he has called his happiest album ever) or “The Snake King” (the opposite of “Rocket Science”)? We’d like some details, please.

A brief recap of the last few albums – all since I started this blog in August 2014:   acoustic (“Stripped Down”), country-influenced (“Rocket Science”) and blues-influenced (“The Snake King.”) And now one with a symphony orchestra. See why I’m so impressed (and why Rick Springfield fans are so incredibly lucky)?

 

Returning to 1980-something in a much different role

Most Rick Springfield fans have probably already seen his guest appearance as the owner of “Gary-okes” on “The Goldbergs,” which aired on Oct. 10 on ABC. (If not, it’s on Hulu.)

In the show, he played Erica’s new boss and sang “Jessie’s Girl” with Beverly Goldberg.

Here are a few photos I took while watching the show on the night it aired.

The image showing “Gary” talking to “Erica” reminded me of the photo below from “Ricki and the Flash,” although in RATF, he was a boyfriend talking to his girlfriend about their children and during “The Goldbergs,” he was a boss talking to his employee about her mom.

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I liked his Gary character and it would be nice if it was a recurring role. I wonder if the name was intentional or a coincidence. (The real name of “Jessie” in “Jessie’s Girl” was a guy named Gary, in case you weren’t aware.)

Besides the duet of “Jessie’s Girl” between Gary and Beverly, the majority of the song played in the background during part of the show, which is probably a nice royalty hit for RS.

In the future, when I think of Rick Springfield’s appearance on “The Goldbergs,” I’m pretty sure I’ll remember that I saw him in concert the night before he filmed it.

Here’s the real songwriter of “Jessie’s Girl” playing his song at a real concert the night before he played the owner of a karaoke bar singing a karaoke version of the song at a karaoke bar on a TV show.

I prefer the real thing rather than the ’80s TV version (although I loved the authentic ’80s version when it was the ’80s), but it was a fun show to watch and my kids have gotten hooked on “The Goldbergs” so we’ve been catching up on the past three seasons.

According to an Instagram post,the jacket RS wore during part of the show was a replica of the jacket he wore in the “Jessie’s Girl” video back in 1981.

Rachel J Leathers said in her post:

The highlight of my week is to finally show the jacket I made for Rick Springfield for “The Goldbergs”. It was a replication of a jacket he wore in his video, “Jessie’s Girl” (remember that?). I used to drool over Rick in the 70’s, so this was a fun one! The snaps had to be done at the studio as my tools failed me. (Time for a kick press!) Thank you @jennifmarl and the crew!

Pretty cool, eh? In interviews about the JG video, RS has said that they filmed it quickly without a permit and weren’t even sure why they were filming it (it was before MTV). Fun fact: “Jessie’s Girl” was the #1 song when MTV started. So it’s pretty funny that 30-something years later somebody is recreating the jacket he wore.

It’s also cool to think that the guy in the “Jessie’s Girl” video who was feeling a bit discouraged that he hadn’t hit it big yet would have his jacket recreated 30-something years later by a designer for a TV show where he would be playing a character named after the guy who became a character in his #1 hit song that he didn’t know would be a hit song when he recorded the demo in his living room using his ottoman as a drum. I know that’s a really long sentence, bur hopefully you get my point. #followyourdreams

Rick Springfield on The Goldbergs

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After I heard that Rick Springfield was going to guest star on “The Goldbergs” this season, I thought it would be a good excuse to familiarize myself with the show.

I don’t usually watch much TV except when I fold laundry so I tend to work my way through one show at a time. I’m all caught up with “This is Us” and am excited for the new season. Other shows I watched my way through include “Nashville,” “Parenthood,” “Parks and Recreation” and “The Office.” (We go through lots of laundry.) I’d never watched “The Goldbergs” before, but it was on my radar as one to check out.

So far I’m a few shows into the first season and it’s such a fun show, like “Wonder Years” for my generation. An entertaining ’80s nostalgia experience filled with so many references from my childhood. My sons have gotten into it, too, which gives me a chance to relive certain memories and pause to note subjects like records, VCRs and video stores and what rewinding a video means.

Tonight we took a moment to watch the Life Cereal commercial with Mikey while watching an episode that covered the rumor about him dying after a combination of Pop Rocks and soda made his stomach explode. It’s fun to be reliving these snippets of my childhood memories with them. When I was the age that my oldest son is now, my Tuesday nights were filled with “Happy Days,” “Laverne & Shirley” and “Three’s Company” – and watching this show reminds me of that, although we stream it through Hulu whenever we want.

One of my favorite parts of the show is at the end, when they show the clips of videos that the show’s creator, Adam Goldberg, filmed when he was a kid. They feature his real-life family members and friends and often relate to the theme of the episode.

I’ve spotted the Rick Springfield poster on the wall of Erica’s bedroom and the episode I watched last night showed a newspaper article announcing a Rick Springfield concert.

RS on the Goldbergs

RS is scheduled be in the Oct. 10 episode, playing a character named Gary, who is the owner of a karaoke bar and Erica’s new boss. Since I’m still watching the first season, it will be interesting to see the cast five years later.

I wonder if there’s a reason his character’s name is “Gary.” Will there be a reference to “Gary’s Girl”? (aka the original subject of “Jessie’s Girl”). Will somebody be singing “Jessie’s Girl” at the karaoke bar? (It’s thought to be one of the “ultimate” karaoke songs.) Will the karaoke bar have stained glass? (RS wrote “Jessie’s Girl” after being infatuated with a girl in his stained glass class who was originally “Gary’s Girl.”)

I guess we’ll find out on Oct. 10!

Comic Book Heroes-45 years ago

After I learned that today is the 45th anniversary of the release of Rick Springfield’s “Comic Book Heroes,” I grabbed my CBH CD as I headed out the door to listen to it on the way to work.

It’s been awhile since I listened to it and I belted out the “Na, na, na, na na”s as I sped down the freeway.

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Check out this cool video of the promo for this album, a cute 24-year-old Rick Springfield with his Australian accent:

The song he’s singing in this video is my favorite from the album. I’ve always especially loved the line “And if I get to be a star, or maybe nowhere near that far…” because by the time I heard it (I was 4 when it came out, so it was several years later), he was already a star and I loved that he got to be where he wanted to be.

Now I kind of see that song as a love song to his wife, although he didn’t know her at the time (she was about 12 at the time – he wouldn’t initially meet her until a few years later – although he did say once – maybe in “Late, Late at Night”? – that she did have a small poster of him on her wall when she was younger, which is so adorable). But she has stuck by him through all his ups and downs and obviously believes in him.

I wonder what RS would say about this video – would he still have decided to wear that shirt if he knew it would live on forever on YouTube?

Seriously though, what a great album. So fun to sing along to and I even remembered most of the words. And that accent…

The party ended when I picked the kids up from school though. “What are you listening to, Mom?!” They’ve developed their own musical tastes by now (not like a few years ago when they would just listen to whatever I put on). Their tone changed when I told them who it was and listened a little more intently, but only to one more song before requesting something else.

After knowing who it was, my 10-year-old said he could sometimes tell it is RS’s voice, although he noted that the music sounds so different from other RS songs.

The other songs that move me from this CD are:

“The Photograph” – such a sad song, even today it made me a little teary-eyed – and “Born Out of Time” – because in my young teenage mind, that’s how I felt about RS because of the 20-year age difference. If only…

So weird that in this video he’s 25 years younger than I am now.

A good mail day

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I received a nice little present in the mail today – this cool little sticker from the organizers of the Rick Springfield Birthday Campaign. Each year this group of fans raises money for RS’s charity of choice and fans also donate prizes. This is such a cool project, which has raised more than $100,000 since 2007.

So far this year, since Aug. 15, the campaign has raised, as of today, $12,321.69, plus RS’s Facebook page campaign has raised $3,020. All funds go to help dogs through the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation.

Learn all about the campaign at happybirthdayrick.com (plus you can see a cute video of his birthday song at a recent concert on the site’s home page). The campaign runs through Sept. 23. There are lots of great prizes, with the grandest of all being a backstage pass at a future show. Other prizes include original RS drawings, CDs, signed photos and lots of RS-related merchandise and memorabilia.

It was a nice surprise to get this today of all days because I checked the mail after I got home from the monthly songwriting workshop I attend and the song I brought today received the best feedback from all the songs I’ve brought so far. Not that there’s necessarily any connection between the two (outside of in my own head), but it was icing on the cake.

I also have something to add to my last post- besides the songs, books, movies, TV shows, rock concerts, solo storytelling acoustic shows and symphony shows, recent interviews have also disclosed the potential for MORE:

From telegram.com in Worcester, MA:

Besides touring and performing live, Springfield, who just turned 69, has plenty of other things going on. A second novel is in the works, for example. A new album is “starting to come together.” A Broadway musical could be said to be just waiting to happen.

In an interview in The Daily Times in Blount County, he mentions that he plans to re-record his older hits with a symphony orchestra and then write his next record. Plus there was an article in Guitar Player that gave a great review of “The Snake King” – and of his guitar playing.

In other news, RS shows what a great friend he is to his BFF Doug Davidson:

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Many RS fans have a personal connection with Doug Davidson since he’s been on the RS fan trips (for me it was because he replied to my fan letters to him when I was in high school). It saddens me to hear how he’s been treated and wish him only the best. I can’t even comprehend of Y&R existing without DD – he was always my association with the show.

I hope this freeing up of his schedule opens him up to an INCREDIBLE opportunity. Maybe RS can write a new show or movie they can work on together – judging from videos I’ve seen from fan trips, it looks like they would have a blast (and they could probably sell tickets to the filming since they are so hilarious together). Since they met in an acting class all those years ago, wouldn’t it be so cool if they could team up for some sort of acting project all these decades later?

An impressive catalog of songs (and more)

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After listening to some of the special Labor Day Rick Springfield radio show put together by the Facebook Group Rick and the News Flash, I’m once again blown away by all that is Rick Springfield.

Obviously I’m a fan of his work, but I think even if I wasn’t I’d still be impressed with all he has done in his life.

Even if you just look at the number of songs he has written, co-written, collaborated on, recorded and performed  (see this list of songs on the Rick Springfield and Us site), it’s impressive.  Five decades of songs! One of the fun things about these kind of all-day musical RS shows is listening to all the variety of songs he’s done through the decades. From the seventies ballads to the power pop of the 1980s to “Rocket Science” country to “The Snake King” blues. So many great songs. I could sing along to many of them, and there were even a couple that I hadn’t heard before.  (Those I wasn’t as fond of were the remixes, such as the reggae version of “Celebrate Youth” or some dance mix versions of songs I usually really enjoy.)

Then of course there are all the acting roles, the next being a guest spot on ABC’s “The Goldbergs.” When I first heard that he was going to be on that show, I wondered how that was going to work, as the 80’s version of him is on a poster in the teenage girl’s room. Would it be a look into the future of Erica being a grown-up mom at a Rick Springfield concert in 2018?

I didn’t have to ponder the possibilities very long as he announced his guest star role at his Aug. 21 concert in Phoenix and by Aug. 23 the official announcement was made by Entertainment Weekly.

Springfield, whose recent television credits include Supernatural and American Horror Story, will play Erica’s new boss, the owner of a karaoke bar called Gary-oke’s. “At last I get to play a guy from the 80s,” Springfield says. “I’m excited to guest star on The Goldbergs and return back to 1980-something!”

The episode he is on is supposed to air on Oct. 10, according to an Instagram post by Wendi McLendon-Covey, who plays Beverly Goldberg on the show. There’s also a picture on his own Instagram page of him from the day he filmed the show (on his birthday) – they got him a birthday cake, which I thought was so sweet.

In addition to his long list of songwriting credits and acting roles, he also has two New York Times bestseller books – his autobiography (“Late, Late at Night”) and his first novel (“Magnificent Vibration”).  (The sequel is in the editing process, according to recent interviews.)

But that’s not all. He still, at age 69, tours regularly, with about 100 rockin’ shows each year. Full-band shows with his awesome band, solo acoustic storytelling shows (although there seems to be less of those this year) and shows with symphony orchestras.

AND – and this is an important factor – he seems to be a really good guy. There are often pictures that he takes with people who run into him at airports, hotel lobbies, restaurants (but if you see him in a restaurant, don’t interrupt his meal, that’s just common courtesy) and this past weekend in a Kroger’s grocery store. When people meet him, part of the post usually includes a note about how nice he was.

A recent article in the Indy Star was about items that performers request before a show at the Indiana State Fair. RS’s request? According to the article, his request included “three microwavable organic brown rice bowls, one small bag of peanut M&Ms and two dozen ‘inexpensive, supermarket-quality red roses.’ ” So thoughtful – if fans forget to bring red roses – or are not allowed to bring them to the venue – they still get to witness a rose explosion. BYOR.

Hope everyone enjoyed the nice long weekend – yay for those who got to go to the RS shows in Vermont, Indiana and Ohio over the three-day weekend (apparently one of shows took RS and the boys 11 hours to get to because of a cancelled flight!) Now they get to go home to their families and have a little rest before the next weekend of shows. Such dedication!

Here’s a nice review – and lots of pics – from one of these recent shows, from bigshotconcerts.com.

His catalog of songs stand the test of time and still sound great played live. Tunes from the earlier part of his career are upbeat and anthemic. The newer tunes have a bit of a dark edge to them, showing that he continues to evolve as a musician. From working class dog to the snake king, Rick Springfield still has plenty of bite in his music.

Concert in the Round: Phoenix 8-21-18

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Something about last night’s Rick Springfield concert at the Celebrity Theatre was really special. Although I’ve seen RS live more than a dozen times (yesterday was #13), last night’s show had an incredible energy.

Maybe it was just me, after all it has been more than two years since I’ve seen a show in person, or maybe it was the venue, where the stage rotates in the middle of the audience, making it feel like a big party.

I feel like we saw a different side of RS and the band (literally, as there are times when the front of the stage set is facing the opposite direction and you get the rear view. One woman behind me commented on how shiny Jorge’s hair is. “I’d like to know what kind of hair products he uses,” she said. That likely never would have come up during a show on a typical stage.)

RS’s band performed with Tommy Tutone, the opening act, and Greg Kihn, who seemed so excited to be there. It was cool to hear his songs live, songs that I remember from MTV days in the 1980s, but I also liked his song, “The Life I Got,” which is from his new album, “Rekihndled,” his first album in 21 years.) Loverboy was the third set of this “Best in Show” lineup.

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A “backstage” view during the rotating stage show (during the Tommy Tutone set).

The RS band did a great job backing up Tommy Tutone and Greg Kihn. I’ve always appreciated how talented they all are, but this time I noticed them even more because during the times RS was facing the other side of the room, it was fun watching the other band members – guitarist George and drummer Jorge tossing drumsticks to each other and bassist Siggy jumping around the stage in his “Devil” hat (in the school colors of Arizona State University, whose mascot is the Sun Devil). I saw keyboardist (and guitarist) Tim give a high-five in the audience, too.

RS and Siggy really played the whole round stage thing so well, running around and climbing on amps. It looked like they were having so much fun.

This show was also the first time I heard any of “The Snake King” songs live – he played “Little Demon” and “Voodoo House.” I got a great video of the “Hey-ya Hey-ya yo”s, complete with the kicking of the stool (I’d be careful with that move, RS, it got a little too close to the edge of the stage and the woman in the front row did NOT look happy – she was directly in front of me, across the stage, and I saw the look on her face.) But I cut that part from my posted video because it also had some fan climbing on the stage appearing to collect rose petals and she ended up getting escorted out so I don’t want to embarrass her.

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In the Voodoo House. Hey-ya, hey-ya yo!

That portion of the song also contains my perceived eye contact moment – when he reaches his arm out to the audience and sings “Hey-ya, Hey ya yo!” I think I instinctively waved back, but felt silly afterward.

The “Don’t Talk to Strangers” bit was adorable – he is so cute with the kids on the stage (and he noted the irony that the song is called “Don’t Talk to Strangers” as mothers hand off their 3-year-old to a stranger.) The front of the stage was facing the other direction during that whole bit so I didn’t get any photos of it, but it was so cute.

During the medley portion of the show, he sang part of “Bruce,” which was the first time I’d heard it live so that was a treat. He also threw in “867-5309” because “everyone thinks it’s my song.” That was especially funny, of course, because we had sung the song along with the original songwriter earlier in the evening.

We also got to sing “Happy Birthday” to him and since this show is the last one before his actual Aug. 23 birthday, that felt special, too.

The BIG omission of the show was that there was no “Human Touch” – no mention of the song at all and no journey out into the audience. I’m not sure if it was the venue or the timing (at one point he mentioned that he’d be heading straight to the airport after the show and had to get up at 4 a.m. to film an episode of “The Goldbergs” the next morning), but it was weird to not have that song part of the show.

Here’s a compilation of some of my videos from the show:

Alas, there was also no personal RS encounter for me this time around. I saw a group with Backstage Pass lanyards gathered by the downstairs bar and looked for an opening, but came up with nothing. I resorted to asking someone at the radio station display if they were giving out any meet & greets that evening and she kindly responded, “No, I think we’re all out,” but the look in her eyes was, “You’re kidding, right?”

I had parked in the back part of the parking lot and saw the band (with Jorge and his long, shiny ponytail) walking toward a white van as I walked to my white (mini)van, but my favorite rock star was nowhere in sight. I waited a few minutes longer just in case (there were a few people hanging around), but it soon cleared out so I headed home.

Here are more pics:

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Rick Springfield’s band backing up Tommy Tutone. “867-5309”

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Side view of the rotating stage

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The opposite side view of the rotating stage

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Facing the front of the stage, with a zoom from the ninth row.

 

 

Reflections on the morning of the show

This morning, during those precious moments between waking up and the alarm blaring – prompted by loud thunder and a burst of light flashing behind the sliver between the curtains – I reflected on how much has changed since last time I spent an evening with Rick Springfield at Phoenix’s Celebrity Theatre.

That evening was in 1999. I recently returned to Arizona after separating from my then-husband and I was at the concert with my best friend from high school, who has gone to several RS concerts with me, both before that night and afterward.

Between now and then, I’ve remarried and had three children so my life has changed dramatically.

But the change is not just on a personal level, of course, the world has changed tremendously, too. That was a time when you could meet loved ones at the airport gate, welcoming them the moment they disembarked the plane. A time when “You’ve Got Mail” was exciting instead of overwhelming. When you’d discuss news or TV shows with co-workers the next morning instead of attacking strangers on Facebook or Twitter if you don’t agree with them.

Back in 1999, before “Late, Late at Night” revealed Rick Springfield’s “darker side” and he was just our favorite crush from the ’80s, his shows were a nostalgic visit back to a simpler time. A fun evening out that transported us back to our pre-teen or teenage selves.

That experience is even more important today. As RS fans from the ’80s have evolved from prepubescent to premenopausal through the years, most have experienced darker times in their own lives, too, which strengthens their connection to their favorite rock star. It turns out that by sharing his own “darkness” with others, and sharing his own therapy (i.e. performing energetic concerts) with his fans, he both comforts them during their rough patches and transports them back to those fun times, away from adult responsibilities and worries, if only for a few hours.

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My last RS show before tonight: July 2016.