A Stripped Down virtual concert

Due to the positive response of the previous virtual concert, I thought I’d do one for the Stripped Down acoustic show, too. I think everyone can use more joy in their life, right?

This set list is from the April 4, 2019 concert in Albany, Georgia and the videos are from whatever Stripped Down videos I could find on YouTube for those songs. Thanks once again to all those who posted these videos! (The featured pic at the top is from the one Stripped Down I got to attend, in Tucson back in 2015: “What an amazing show (and another brief meeting).”)

Enjoy the show!

I Get Excited

Affair of the Heart

Me & Johnny

Oh Well and Love is Alright Tonite

T-Shirt Song

Mash-up of 867-5309, Jessie’s Girl and Stacy’s Mom

Inside Sylvia

Voodoo House

Human Touch and Don’t Talk to Strangers

Baby Blue

4 Billion Heartbeats/My Father’s Chair

I’ve Done Everything For You

If Wishes Were Fishes

Love Somebody

Jessie’s Girl

This was so much fun – I love his sense of humor and hearing the stories behind his songs. I’m so glad he doesn’t mind people videotaping at his shows, which allowed us to have this great footage! Thanks again to all the fans who posted their videos!

Bonus videos!

There are so many great videos from his Stripped Down shows, that I just wanted to share a few more, although they weren’t in this particular setlist.

Ordinary Girl

Walking In

What Kind of Fool Am I?

Time for a virtual concert

Since it’s uncertain when it will be safe for concert tours to continue – and because of all the Rick Springfield music that was supposed to be happening this weekend in Cancun as part of the postponed fan trip – I thought I’d put together a little concert here for anyone who might need one.

This is based on a set list from a concert on Feb. 15 2019, courtesy of the Rick Springfield & Us fan site, although the videos of the songs are from whatever recent footage I could find from YouTube. (Thank you to all who posted the videos! Some of you had such awesome seats, which makes it extra fun to watch! )

Light This Party Up

I’ve Done Everything For You

I Get Excited

Little Demon

Jailhouse Rock

(At Graceland)

Down

Affair of the Heart

Our Ship’s Sinking

Souls

Medley & Love Is Alright Tonight

Bop ‘Til You Drop, Bruce, 867-5309 snippet, Jessie’s Girl snippet, Don’t Walk Away, Rock of Life, What Kind of Fool Am I

Voodoo House

Don’t Talk to Strangers

Human Touch

Love Somebody

Jessie’s Girl

OK, although I loved watching these, it also made me a little sad, realizing that these concerts are indefinitely on hold and some elements, like RS walking through the audience during “Human Touch” or passing the microphone through the crowd during “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” may be a thing of the past. But hopefully this hiatus is a brief one and RS and the band (and all other musicians) will be able to safely continue touring soon and share their music with fans in person.

‘The Wall Will Fall,’ ‘World on Fire’ and ‘Comic Book Heroes’

Although Rick Springfield fans are no longer getting their RS fixes in the pre-pandemic way (aka lots of concerts and videos posted by fans who attend those concerts), RS is providing plenty of entertainment in other ways.

In addition to the “No Human Touch” parody mentioned in the last post, there’s also the new “Glove Somebody” featuring a mix of old and current band members and two dogs.

There has also been seven versions of the instructional videos on how to play “Jessie’s Girl” in 60 seconds but despite his best efforts, we still don’t know. (So far his efforts have been sidelined by an “earthquake,” a “fire” and “technical difficulties.”)

The songwriting with a partner mini-series with Vance DeGeneres is having a bit more success though, as the song is really coming along nicely. Plus the videos are hilarious. The nice part is about being at home all the time is that I can stop everything to watch them as soon as I notice that they’re posted and they always make me laugh.

The videos have featured several guests and according to a new article on the Rock Cellar magazine website, the plan is to eventually release the song, currently called “The Wall Will Fall,” and donate any funds raised to a COVID-19 charity.

Can we spend a few minutes unpacking that new article? There’s so much good stuff in there!

  • The final edit of “World on Fire,” the sequel to “Magnificent Vibration,” is in progress and it’s “about a plague and how the Earth brings it to the people to try and save herself.” (He’s been working on it for three years and it’s going through its final edit when there’s an actual global plague. Pretty weird, especially when there are stories about how Los Angeles now has blue skies because there’s less pollution now that there’s not so much traffic and Venice canals are the cleanest they ever were, etc., which probably makes the Earth happy.)
  • More details on the HG Wells cutout from the Beatles Sgt. Pepper cover. (Which answers my question from a past blog post.)
  • He’s been working on acoustic guitar versions of “Comic Book Heroes” songs. He’s played a few on his fan club site, but I didn’t realize he was planning on playing all of them and will eventually do something more with them. Yay! “Comic Book Heroes” is my favorite of his older albums and I can’t wait to hear “Born Out of Time.” (My favorite on the album is “Believe in Me” and “Born Out of Time” is my second favorite and I remember my 12-year-old self feeling that way about RS because of our 20-year age difference. 😁)
  • The fact that he’s been playing a lot more piano these days. (For some pre-quarantine videos of this, see this post, “Sing us a song, piano man.”) Right after he mentions in the article that he’s been playing the piano a lot more these days, he mentions that his next album “is going to be quite different from the others.” Hmmm… He’s done rock, country-twinged, blues and symphony orchestra albums, will the next one be piano ballads?
  • On Saturday, April 25, he will perform in #AllTogetherNowLA, an online concert by Rock Cellar Productions, in association with @get2gethernow. The concert will be a relief effort to benefit L.A. residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. (Visit alltogethernowla.org for details.)

(He also performed last weekend at the Human to Human event.)

He sure knows how to brighten someone’s day!

Quarantine entertainment

Well, lots has changed since my last post on this blog. The world is completely different than it was a month ago. Any optimism and promise present at the beginning of 2020 has pretty much disappeared. As one Facebook post said, “Can we uninstall 2020 and install it again? This version has a virus.”

All that’s left to do at this point is deal with this new reality and adjust to it. Hope you all are in a safe place where you can stay home with loved ones and stay healthy.

Although the situation feels bleak, there are fortunately many people who are still committed to spreading love and joy. There are many stories of generosity and heroism and many examples of people continuing to share their light with the world. All of this is so appreciated and so needed right now.

If you follow Rick Springfield on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, you may have seen what he’s been up to since so many of his shows have been cancelled. Fortunately he must be getting a little bored because he’s posted several humorous videos, including a remake of his hit song “Human Touch.”

He has also posted a series of videos that have a premise that he’s going to teach viewers how to play “Jessie’s Girl” but he gets a little distracted in each one.

These have been welcome breaks of joy in days of working at home while trying to monitor three kids who are in the midst of remote learning and I’m sure they bring joy to many others who are in much worse situations. (Plus it’s fun to see different rooms in his house.)

(Funny side note: There was a Facebook post on my newsfeed today that said that the song that was #1 on your 12th birthday is your quarantine song. “Jessie’s Girl” was the #1 song on my 12th birthday.)

He also had a Zoom chat with his buddy Richard Marx , who is hosting an online interview show, #socialdistancing, from his house.

But wait, there’s even more (and this is all in the past five days). There’s also a mini songwriting series with actor and comedian Vance DeGeneres. So far one has been posted, but it looks like there will be more.

Plus, a very exciting announcement was made today (and hopefully it’s not an April Fool’s joke): a Zoom Happy Half-Hour with Rick Springfield on Sunday! (Do you think it will involve some Beach Bar Rum?)

Tired of being stuck inside? Drinking alone or only with your significant other? Still talking with your significant other? Well, starting this Sunday you can have a drink and intimate chat with me and seven other RS-BFF’s. If you want to join in, just send your “I want in on this” email now to: RSHappyHour@gmail.com

Oh, and post your best questions in the comments here that you’d ask me at a happy hour and I might answer your question even if you don’t get in on this private chat! We will randomly select and invite seven fans who email to join me on a private Zoom chat this Sunday (and hopefully every Sunday until we’re out of quarantine). As soon as we’re done, we’ll post it online for everyone to view. Sound good? I’ll bring Bindi and you bring your special animal or your significant other!

See you then.

XOXO Rick

Definitely a bright spot in this quarantine! Stay healthy!

A rock star that inspires so many fans

With so many of today’s “leaders” being such poor examples of being a good human being, thank goodness for all the artists, musicians and other creatives out there who follow their passion to be a positive force in the world.

By sharing their truths with the world, they often forge a connection with their fans and give them strength. As this is a blog about Rick Springfield, naturally I will use him as an example.

Although he has made some not-so-stellar choices during his lifetime, which he seems to often beat himself up over, he has, through sharing and baring his soul, brought strength to so many. Through his songs, his autobiography and in interviews, he divulges more than the average human being would about his negative actions and by doing so, brings solace to others who may have found themselves in similar situations.

Not only that, but he also seems to inspire creativity in others.

For instance, he recently posted a video based on “My Father’s Chair” created by a film student.

Oftentimes, fans will post artwork they painted or drew of RS and one artist wrote a post about a chalk drawing she drew in tribute to RS’s birthday: “My many muses: Rick Springfield 2016” and a follow-up post: Back to the drawing board: Rick Springfield.

Then of course on YouTube there are several covers of his songs – mainly “Jessie’s Girl,” but here are some others that seem to exist not because the musicians are in an ’80s cover band, but because they’re RS fans :

From lespaulfanofsparta on YouTube:

And this cool father-daughter “Jessie’s Girl” cover, courtesy of Krizten Centino’s YouTube channel:

“Love is Alright Tonight” from posturex1:

There are several others if you’re interested in searching “Rick Springfield covers on YouTube.”

Obviously, he’s been a big inspiration to me, which I explained in a 2015 post about a year after I started writing this blog “Blogging to inspiration.” Can you believe that it’s almost the five-year anniversary of this blog?! Since then, I’ve been on my own little songwriting journey, definitely inspired by RS.

Some people don’t get any opportunities to inspire others and others inspire others simply by doing what they love and being kind to others. So once, again, thank you RS for being a source of inspiration!

Question for RS fans: How has he inspired you?

A spritz of happiness at Wild Horse Pass

I wish I could bottle up that feeling I have when I’m sitting in the audience a few minutes before my favorite rock star comes on stage. I could spritz a few sprays on my soul whenever life feels too overwhelming or mundane.

As I sat there in the second row last Sunday night at the Wild Horse Pass Casino in Chandler, Arizona, it didn’t matter that this was the 14th time I’ve seen him in concert or that I had a long “to-do” list waiting for me on my Google Tasks app. I just felt so happy to be at another Rick Springfield concert.

I was originally supposed to be there with my husband but he ended up having to go out of town over the weekend so the day before the concert, I asked a friend to go with me. She’s not really a Rick Springfield fan, but it’s not that she didn’t like him, she was just indifferent. But she’s one of the few people in my real life who know that I write this blog and knows how much of a fan I am and wanted to experience his concert with me. What a good friend, right?

In addition to enjoying the concert for the music and the performance of both RS and his band, she also enjoyed the people-watching. It was her first encounter with such dedicated fans of any musician and was intrigued by how women in the audience responded to him, even after he mentioned his wife of nearly 34 years and sang one of his many songs inspired by her.

For example, she found it interesting how many women were willing to reach out and touch his hand even after he blew his nose and mentioned that he had been sick with the flu. (Did he use the hand sanitizer that was up on stage afterward? I don’t remember.)

Fortunately he only teased tossing his used tissue into the audience and didn’t actually do it because who knows what might have happened. When he came around during “Human Touch,” two of my fingertips touched his, but she wasn’t interested in his human touch at all. (Fortunately I didn’t get sick, although I did end up taking a two-hour nap the next day after work because I was so wiped out, which is unusual.)

She also commented on how amazing RS’s energy on stage was considering he’s almost 70 and he was so sick earlier in the week and still not feeling well and she enjoyed Siggy’s energy and performance.

Highlights for me included the songs “Souls,” which is one of my favorite RS songs and I hadn’t seen that performed live in recent years, and “World Start Turning.” The young girl on stage for “Don’t Talk to Strangers” was also adorable. Plus the fact that my favorite rock star – the one whose face covered my bedroom walls as a teen – was right there only a few feet away putting on such an energetic and fun show.

I only recorded one full song during this show: “Souls.”

I started taping “World Start Turning” but he was way on the other side of the stage often with his back to me so I stopped recording. Fortunately somebody else filmed it on the other side of the stage:

Video courtesy of donna2kayak on YouTube:

During the concert, there were two possible instances of split-second eye contact and the aforementioned split-second two-fingertip human touch. (Do you think this is what my friend meant when she said that some of the fans seem a little fanatical?)

Our seats were way on the end of the second row, on Tim’s side of the stage. Here was my view:

IMG_20190602_200101

RS didn’t come over to our side of the stage very often for this show so I didn’t get many good non-zoomed pictures, although he did sign an “Orchestrating My Life” CD for a guy in front of me, which gave me the chance to take this photo:

IMG_20190602_201516

Last time I was this close to the stage but on the Nastos side of the stage, RS also seemed to favor the opposite side of the stage from where I was standing. I would take it personally if I actually thought he was aware of my existence. (Or maybe he is aware of this blog and purposely avoids me? Ha.)

Anyway, after the crowd cleared after the show, we returned to the stage and I collected a few rose petals and took these pictures:

Although I typically try to hang out after the show for a little while because of the possibility of meeting RS, I didn’t this time because I knew he was sick and wouldn’t likely be hanging out in the casino afterward, but we did see Siggy on the way out and got a chance to compliment him on the show and get a picture. As he was the last time I met him, he was really nice.

And that was that. Later that evening I was already craving another spritz of that pre-RS concert feeling.

Here are a few more pictures:

Orchestrating My Life on the charts!

OML Billboard - Copy

Great news on the Billboard Charts today! Rick Springfield’s “Orchestrating My Life” debuted as #4 on the Classical Album Chart. Congratulations to everyone involved!

There’s also a lovely article on people.com about his song “Irreplaceable” off the new album, along with a new video from the symphony performance interspersed with family photos.

A beautiful tribute to his mom:

“My mum died at 96 sitting in her backyard in the morning sun facing the blue spruce tree we used to call ‘Dad’s tree,” Springfield says. “She walked the walk and was good to everyone (except to me when I was 16 years old because I was a jerk back then.) I never met anyone like her.”

It’s a fitting article to come out right before Mother’s Day and I’m sure the song will touch people this year and many more years to come.

Listening to ‘Orchestrating My Life’

Although I thought it was so cool that “Orchestrating My Life” took Rick Springfield hits and recorded them with his band and a symphony, part of me wasn’t as driven to listen to it as I had been his previous new albums in the last few years (“Rocket Science” and “The Snake King”) primarily because I’ve heard his hits countless times.

So now it’s already TWO days after its release and I’m just now listening to it. True, I’ve already watched several videos filmed at his symphony shows the past year or so, including the beautiful new song “Irreplaceable” about his mom, but I hadn’t yet had a copy of the new CD until tonight.

So, in case anyone is interested, here’s the first impression.

Kristina: As I sit in anticipation of listening to the album, the first song has a different beginning than the original. Maybe it’s the album preview in the back of my mind – the one with the red curtains that was posted on social media not too long ago- but I feel like I’m sitting in a theater listening to the overture of a play, with the anticipation of waiting for the show to start. OK, now it’s starting to sound familiar. And here’s RS starting to sing. Whoo-hoo! He sounds so good, it’s amazing to think it’s 37 years after the original recording. Thirty-seven!!!!! Plus it’s super cool that his current band is playing on this one. They are such an important part of the whole RS live experience and they’ve played these songs so many times, it’s nice to have them forever immortalized on a version of these songs.

Here’s a video of the song that was recently released:

I’ve Done Everything For You: This one starts out right away the way you’d expect it to, but with a little extra from the orchestra. The mix of the orchestra and the electric guitars sounds so cool!

Don’t Talk to Strangers: Again, it sounds like you’d expect it to, but with extra depth from the symphony.

Jessie’s Girl: Although I’ve heard this song SO many times and it’s the only RS song I ever hear on the radio these days, I’m still singing along – this version rocks and he still sounds so good singing it.

Affair of the Heart: Such a cool opening. Familiar and yet different. Makes me start thinking of how long many of his fans have been fans. When this originally came out, RS was 33 years old and now it’s been 36 years since it was released. I was 13 then and now am hearing a new version of the same song sung by the same guy who is now almost 70 and he sounds just as good. My mind is blown. This time around, I can clearly hear the words he’s whispering…

Love Somebody: Rocks as usual.

Human Touch: This symphony adds some fun stuff here, not sure what instruments they are, but it sounds good. The only downside to listening to this with audio only is that RS doesn’t come out of my computer for some human touch (like he comes out in the audience during a concert). In fact, he skipped this song altogether at the last live show I was at. Maybe the next CD will include some virtual reality component to take care of this.

Celebrate Youth: My mind just flashed back to a 2015 Stripped Down Q&A where RS explained his inspiration for this song. (See the “Inspiration for Songs” post for a reference.) But then I returned back to the present to ponder on how great RS sounds today.

World Start Turning: As I mentioned in a previous post, this song isn’t imprinted on my brain like the others, but it fits so well on the CD and is such a beautiful song. I think it’s one of my favorites on this CD so far.

Souls: OK, this song isn’t actually on the CD, but I’m including it here because it’s one of my favorite RS songs and it sounds so beautiful with a symphony so I think it should have been included. Here’s a video posted on YouTube by rsandus from a symphony show about a year ago. See if you agree.

State of the Heart: OK, how does his voice sound the same more than 30 years later? I must say, I’m realizing my teen self had really, really good taste when it came to selecting a favorite rock star.

Irreplaceable: This one I listened to with my eyes closed to really focus on it, although in my mind I saw RS performing it live with such emotion. Such a beautiful, touching and meaningful song.

April 24, 1981/My Father’s Chair: “Orchestrating My Life” is dedicated to RS’s parents, Norman and Eileen Springthorpe, so it’s fitting that the CD concludes with the songs dedicated to them. The addition of the symphony to these two songs makes them even more powerful and provide a somber ending to the CD. I think this CD would have made both of his parents proud.

Bravo, bravo to the whole RS team behind the CD!

Now if only The Phoenix Symphony would bring this performance to Symphony Hall!

April 24, 1981: His Last Words

This month marked the 20th anniversary of Rick Springfield’s “Karma” CD so I revisited it a few days ago. I admit it’s been awhile since I’ve listened to it so when I saw the title “His Last Words,” it didn’t come to me right away what it was. Of course when I listened to it, I remembered it, but it’s not a song that you can sing to so the lyrics didn’t come to mind. Instead it is read to haunting sounds by RS, his sons and his brother.

When I read the lyrics, I found them so powerful and poignant, and was moved by the poetry of it. Especially the last few lines:

And so it went
There were no proud and profound last words
No bright ringing final moment of clarity
He just died

We kissed his still warm face
And strangers came and took him from us forever

The cold wind blew through the tree in my father’s yard
And I looked for meaning.

The words kind of took my breath away and made me feel like sobbing, although I didn’t. My mom died just over 20 years ago on April 20, so I suppose this time of year I’m already feeling melancholy when the date April 24 comes up.

RS’s new album, “Orchestrating My Life,” which officially is released in a few days – April 26 – is dedicated to his parents. Here is a recent video posted by rsandus of “April 24, 1981” and “My Father’s Chair” with the Portland Symphony.

So beautiful and the orchestra adds another depth to it. You may want to grab a tissue before you watch it.

To many RS fans, April 24 is a very meaningful date as today we remember Norman Springthorpe. He continues to live on through his sons and the impact they make in the world.

‘World Start Turning’

The song list for Rick Springfield’s upcoming “Orchestrating My Life” CD includes many songs that you would expect:

  • Don’t Talk to Strangers
  • Love Somebody
  • I’ve Done Everything for You
  • Affair of the Heart
  • Human Touch
  • Celebrate Youth
  • State of the Heart
  • Jessie’s Girl (of course)

Then there’s a concert favorite (especially for fans with variations of that name, I’m sure): Kristina

Then there’s the two dedicated to his parents: “My Father’s Chair” and the new “Irreplaceable.”

One song that I was surprised didn’t make the cut – simply because it’s one of my favorites and he’s played it before at symphony shows (which sounded beautiful) was “Souls,” off of “Living in Oz.”

The one song that I wasn’t expecting was “World Start Turning.”

Up until summer 1987 – when I graduated high school, moved out of my parents’ home and moved to California – my bedroom walls were covered with Rick Springfield posters. My Rick Springfield obsession started at age 12 and from junior high through high school, I went through a Duran Duran stage, a Beatles stage and a ska stage, but the RS posters remained through all those stages. After moving out, the posters came down and I didn’t see them again until about three years ago. (See the posters in the “Where it all began” post.)

Rock of Life

When the RS album “Rock of Life” came out in 1988, I was living in Southern California, taking some college classes and working. RS was no longer on my radar and to this day I haven’t owned this album (probably something I should remedy at some point, I know.)

Although I knew the song “Rock of Life” because I picked up a Greatest Hits CD after CDs were introduced, I didn’t hear any of the other songs until recently so they are not in my nostalgic memory bank.

Those past few paragraphs are a long way of saying that I wasn’t that familiar with the “Rock of Life” album or “World Start Turning.” (Or “Hold on to your Dream,” which I wrote a “Totally random post” about.)

Anyway, a recent, really awesome, concert review, “Rick Springfield reminds us he’s a rock star,” mentions that the March 19 concert in Airway Heights, Wash., included the “first-ever live performance of “World Start Turning.”

The review said:

Not only did the song kill, but Springfield appeared to break down in tears at the end, saying “That song brought up a lot of shit for me,” before taking a slug from a glass of wine.

So of course I had to check out the lyrics.

Like many of his songs, it’s autobiographical and the lyrics are pretty heavy. (In fact, the current Wikipedia entry for “Rock of Life” says it’s “considered to be the darkest Springfield album of his career.” Obviously that became outdated once “SDAA” then “The Snake King” was released.)

We were taught if man believes in
What he wants in America
It’s only a matter of time, just a matter of seasons
But I walk through the houses of dreams that died
I see the ones still trapped there the ones that tried
But spent the rest of their lives wondering why
And searching for reasons (and they never wake up)

-World Start Turning lyrics

After reading his autobiography and learning about the depression he experienced at that time (and still today), fans will notice how autobiographical this is as we now have some insight on what he was experiencing in his life at the time the record came out.

“Rocket Science” fans might find this line from “World Start Turning” familiar:

“I’ve been standing on the beach crying to the raging sea.”

From “The Best Damn Thing”:

I was crying on the beach by the raging sea
Just a small town broken-down refugee
Holier than thou, I caused the damage done
You’re the best damn thing and I’m the lucky one

His sharing so much of himself in his songs is one reason why so many of his fans feel a personal connection with him. I’m pretty sure I know more about his life than I do about 99 percent of the people I know in real life. (I may even know more details about his life than I remember about mine.)

In other RS, news we got to hear a little sample of the new album on social media:

Whoo-hoo! Can’t wait to hear the symphony version of all these songs!

The general release date of “Orchestrating My Life” is April 26, but visit the official RS site for details on how to get it earlier.)

RS rock review

(Read the full review here.)

Update on April 4: rickspringfield.us site posted this video on YouTube from the dress rehearsal. Yay!! Such a great video!