High school fantasies and beyond

Do the students at Santa Monica High School realize how awesome it is that they will be performing in a concert at their school tonight with Rick Springfield? I bet some of their mothers do.

Tonight is the Greg Coote Concert For The Arts, a fundraiser for the Santa Monica – Malibu Education Foundation that helps support arts programs throughout the district.

According to a recent article in the Santa Monica Daily Press,  the event has a 13-year history working with professional artists. (The event was recently renamed to honor the memory of Greg Coote, a strong supporter of the arts.)

“Students are involved in nearly every aspect of this show. On stage, student choir, orchestra, and band members play and sing with the artists,” said SMMEF Executive Director Linda Greenberg. “Backstage, student technicians assist the professionals with AV and lighting. In the audience, student ushers assist the attendees. A student also designs the concert poster. Hunter Pearson from Malibu High School designed this year’s poster.”

How incredible is that?! Tonight RS will be one of the performers, along with Terri Nunn from the band Berlin (who will also be joining RS on The ’80s Cruise next week.)

The concert will be held in Barnum Hall, a 1,200-seat theater that was built in 1937 and renovated in 2004. Many die-hard Rick Springfield fans likely attended school events in that building back in the 1980s and would have been shocked that their favorite rock star would someday be performing with the school’s students.

Apprenticeships and mentors

I’ve recently been listening to the audiobook version of “Real Artists Don’t Starve” by Jeff Goins on the solo rides of my daily commute for school drop-off and pick-up. One chapter talks about Michelangelo’s apprenticeship under his mentor Domenico Ghirlandalo and about the idea of learning from a master in whatever field you’re interested in going into.

Naturally, listening to this story led to a daydream about studying songwriting from someone I consider a songwriting master – RS. How cool would it be to spend some time in The Black Lagoon (RS’s home studio) to watch the birth of a song? He says he wrote “The Snake King” in one weekend so maybe he could offer songwriting sessions that could culminate in recording a new song. I’ll just send that request out into the universe in the hopes of it materializing someday.

Hey, it could happen. After all, there was probably at least one student sitting in the ’80s Santa Monica High School Barnum Hall wishing she was watching her favorite rock star play on that stage.

Note from the next day: I just found out that Terri Nunn, the lead singer of Berlin who performed at the concert, is an alumna of Santa Monica High School. How cool is that?!

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The aftermath of ‘The Snake King’

Rick Springfield has been busy since the release of “The Snake King” two weeks ago today. He continues his tour tonight after a few weeks of heavy-duty CD promotion. Here are some recent interviews:

On the “Steve Harvey” show:

Here’s a rather intense, in-depth, almost-an-hour-long interview with Rock Cellar TV . This great interview is by author Ken Sharp, a singer-songwriter whose most recent CD features RS on a couple of songs:

And, here he is surprising elevator riders playing in an elevator with Harry Connick, Jr.:

Wouldn’t that be a nice surprise to experience this type of elevator music as you’re headed to work? Once my husband and I rode in an elevator with Siggy (bassist in RS’s band), but that’s really the only cool elevator story I have.

RS visited the Jimmy Kimmel Show to sit in with the band. This didn’t air, but audience members got this treat and now we can see it, too, thanks to YouTube. The band members look like they’re having fun.

There were also some more great reviews, such as this one on maximumvolumemusic.com:

That all might give you the clue that this isn’t the record you might be expecting from a singer at this stage of his career. Expectations be damned it seems to say. This is very clearly a record that Springfield needed to make. And, if like me, you were only aware of Rick Springfield in the very broadest of terms before now, start here. Get yourself in the snake pit, because there is a very real possibility that “The Snake King” is the album of the year so far. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a back catalogue to check out.

A review from hardrockhaven.net says “The Snake King” is “Rick Springfield peeling back the flesh to lay bare his bones and it’s already making its claim as 2018’s best album” and is “going to surprise fans, the critics, pretty much everyone.”

How’s everybody else enjoying “The Snake King”?

I think it’s some of his best work ever and although I haven’t been listening to it on a loop as I did with “Rocket Science” because of its intensity (lately I’ve been in a mindset where I need positive, inspirational Napoleon Hill-esque input), the more I learn about the CD, the more fascinating it is, both lyrically and with his process. He has said in interviews that he basically wrote all the songs in one weekend and then spent time afterward developing them. That’s amazing talent. There are so many dynamics to it: a questioning of faith, the idea that the world has shifted into a primarily evil realm, where is G-d amidst all this evil, what are we doing to our planet, our country’s leadership, etc.

The idea that the songs seem to come from different viewpoints is an interesting one – some songs from the devil, some from a human (RS). The lyrics are incredible and although they are so intense and painful, the music is catchy and I find myself singing certain parts, primarily from “The Voodoo House” and “Blues for the Disillusioned.”

I feel like I’m using the word “intense” a lot in this post, but it’s the word that keeps coming to mind. For those fans who only connect RS to his 1970s or 1980s songs, it will be a shock to the system trying to reconcile their image of RS and what he divulges in this CD. (Though if they read “Late, Late at Night” and “Magnificent Vibration,” it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.)

Since the lyrics are so dark on “The Snake King,” that’s come up in conversation in many of these recent interviews, which has led to much discussion on depression. Specifically RS’s depression and how writing this album was a way to purge so many of those negative emotions that consume him.

It’s gotten me thinking about the flow of darkness and light in the world. There’s a lot of darkness happening with the way people treat each other and animals and the earth, yet there’s so much light, too. When the world gets darker, sometimes it propels people to be more determined to spread the light.

“The Snake King” deals with some difficult topics that may offend some fans, because religion is such a sensitive topic, but RS is an artist who deals with his troubles by writing. By sharing his depressing thoughts, he’s bringing comfort to those who may be experiencing similar feelings, thus spreading light that originated from darkness. And the album’s content is a keen observation, as there are many awful things happening right now. People attacking each other online and in person, crazy weather destroying people’s homes, wars, illness, terrorist attacks, etc. And our government keeps shutting down, that’s not a good sign.

RS could have written “The Snake King” songs then decided not to release them, but he chose to put them out there. As he says in the Ken Sharp interview, he would likely have still been writing music even if he didn’t do it as a career. Fortunately for RS fans, he still chooses to share his creations and the tour continues tonight.

When the game is done, the king and pawn go into the same wood box.

Stop everything, it’s a live feed from the Grammy Museum

What a great night!!! OK, so the kids fought a lot and the bedtime routine sucked but the evening ended with a live (Facebook livestream) Rick Springfield interview/concert at The Grammy Museum.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to whoever coordinated that live feed. It’s been about 18 months since I was at a RS concert and this was almost like being there. (I was inside the museum in November last year and looked at the door of the theater at the museum and wondered if RS would ever play there, so it’s a same place/wrong time situation).

So many thoughts rushing around in my head that I may not make any sense, but here goes:

I can’t wait to hear “The Snake King” in its entirety. Tonight he played “Little Demon,” which I’ve already listened to countless times; “Land of the Blind” which sounds great; and “The Voodoo House,” which is my favorite so far. It’s funny that he says he doesn’t really know what they’re about. Is that true? I know that when I write songs, they kind of develop as they go and there’s often not an intentional planning so I get what he’s saying about songs writing themselves, but does he really not know or does he just want people to interpret them on their own? (Or does he just not want to repeat the same story over and over again in future interviews like he does with “Jessie’s Girl”?) Here are my guesses: “Little Demon” – unrequited love (or lust). “The Voodoo House” – unrequited love (or lust) and attempting to fulfill it through use of a voodoo doll? Maybe? “Land of the Blind” – no clue, but there are some biblical references there to explore. I’m glad that there’s a lyric book available.

I love how candid he is in his interviews. Not planned and polished, just goes with it and doesn’t seem to care about what people may think about what he thinks of things. It was true in his autobiography and it continues today in interviews. In a world of Photoshop and filters, it’s refreshing to have someone be so real. And it’s not unfiltered in a mean way, like anonymous comments on an online newspaper article or a rude tweet – it’s unfiltered but in a way that makes him still seem like a good guy. Plus he has such a great sense of humor.

Little things like him dropping his guitar pick during the interview in the Pulse Studio and needing to tune his guitar tonight and during an earlier interview are endearing. I go to these song workshops where you bring a song you’re working on and you receive feedback from professional songwriters. Until recently I would bring a CD that I recorded at home because I worried that if I played it live I might forget the chords or the words or drop my guitar pic or have to tune my guitar at the last minute. But now that I’ve seen RS do all of these things – and he’s a pro – then it makes those things less of a big deal. I find the whole story of his career so inspiring, all the ups and downs and how he persevered through it all. I’m glad that his stained glass master career path idea didn’t work out.

I think listening to “Suicide Manifesto” is going to be really, really difficult, knowing that’s how he sometimes feels. I also think it will be important to listen to it to be able to understand how people who are going through depression may feel.

It was interesting to see all the comments on the live stream and to see how so many people feel connected to him. When I was reading the comments as they scrolled by, I realized once again how much about his life is imprinted in my brain. It’s still weird to me that he was such a big part of my teen life (music, concerts, teen magazine articles, posters, diary entries) then totally out of it for more than a decade, besides turning up his songs when I heard them on the radio and then nothing until 1998. Then after 2000 (after four concerts in those three years and one meet-and-greet at a record store), nothing again until 2014. Totally oblivious to all his new music, interviews, etc. for 14 years then BAM, all of a sudden I’m aware of his daily schedule. (As far as touring and promotional interviews, that is.)

How lucky are RS fans that he keeps putting out such great music and that he’s such an incredible songwriter and guitarist? It’s not the first time his songs have had dark undertones (“Misty Water Woman,” “I Hate Myself,” “Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance”) – they’ve been there throughout his career. I think if “The Snake King” would have followed “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet,” it would have been more of a shock for ’80s fans, but we’re all grown-ups now. We’ve all seen examples of how devastating life can be and oftentimes creative expression comes from pain. And he has been very open about what goes on in his head. As he mentioned in interviews, taking that pain and anger and expressing it creatively is what helps him get through it. Each time he releases a new CD, he’s exposing a personal part of him to the world, just as most artists do, and I appreciate that he is able to transform those feelings into songs. I think true artists don’t create based on what they think people want, they create because it’s something they have to do. Their fans are fans because they enjoy what the artist does and they might not love everything that comes out of the creative process, but the creative process is not a service industry and shouldn’t be based on what a consumer wants.

(Click here for the video.)

 

Songwriting lesson

This past week I had my first songwriting lesson with a new teacher and midway through the lesson, the instructor, who is in his somewhere in his early to mid-40s, was showing me some kind of technical thing that I don’t remember the name of right now and – I kid you not – he tells me, “Rick Springfield does this type of thing a lot.”

He then explained that he’s a big Rick Springfield fan and I told him that I am, too. Then he told me that he’s seen him in concert many times and once RS threw a pic out in the audience and it landed in his drink and he also has a poster signed by RS. He also told me that Rick Springfield has a new CD coming out and he couldn’t wait to hear it. I told him I also couldn’t wait.

I didn’t tell him about this blog, but I did want to mention it here because I thought it was so cool that somebody giving songwriting lessons is throwing some RS moves into his lesson and that this random songwriting teacher that I found on Craigslist is such a big RS fan and I thought you’d appreciate it, too.

Anyway, that’s it – back to the countdown of “The Snake King” – five more days until Jan. 26! And the Rock Solid comedy/music podcast interview that took place in San Francisco this weekend is scheduled to be available here by Thursday, Jan. 25. It sounds like it was a deep interview and different than the usual interviews RS goes through during his pre-CD publicity interviews.

Who is Josephine?!

I just had a weird experience and was wondering if anyone has an answer.

This afternoon I’ve been listening to Rick and the Newsflash radio and all of a sudden this song plays that I’ve never heard before – “Hey Josephine” off of a limited edition of “The Day After Yesterday,” one of RS’s albums that I haven’t listened to.

OK, so what’s weird about that, you might ask. Well, the weird thing is that it made me think of a song I wrote back in 1988 called “Hey, hey Josephine.” No, I don’t think somehow RS found his way into my little spiral notebook and got the lyrics (I wasn’t writing music at that time, but I remember the melody –  I was attempting a ska sound as I was a big fan of The Specials at the time), but I was just wondering who Josephine is? Was it a character or something that I don’t remember? My song topics are inspired by so many different things, I have no recollection of where the name Josephine came from.  Was the song “Hey Josephine” ever released earlier than the 2005 limited edition version of “The Day After Yesterday” that I might have somehow heard?

My lyrics are nowhere close to RS’s song (his lyrics here, mine are below, from my 18-year-old self ), but it’s just still so strange how “Hey, hey Josephine” was used in both, nearly three decades apart.  If anyone has any clue, please share. Thanks! (Oh, and thanks Rick and the NewsFlash for the great Thanksgiving weekend radio show!)

 

 

Update on Nov. 26:

I did a little more research on the song and found this explanation on the RS song on the wonderful Rick Springfield fan site, rickspringfield.us.

It was an unreleased demo from “Shock, Denial, Anger, Acceptance.” On the back cover of the limited edition: “Musically it didn’t fit on the album so we ditched it. I kind of wished we’d at least attempted to record it properly. Again a rough demo recorded at my house in Vegas during EFX.”

(SDAA was released in February 2004.)

AND I learned about another Josephine song called “Hello Josephine” that Fats Domino (may he rest in peace – he died last month) recorded in 1960. It was covered by many different artists, some of who changed the name to “My Girl Josephine,” “Josephine” and “Hey Hey Josephine,” the last one by the U.S. Army Airborne in 2006.

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!

Two lines

Two days and 17 years ago I was at a Rick Springfield concert but until today I hadn’t found my journal from that year so I had no memory of it; it wasn’t until I noticed the anniversary date on somebody’s Facebook post that I realized I had been at that particular concert.

Today I realized that my notebook from that year wasn’t with my earlier ones because I had recently moved so it was part of my current life (current at the time) rather than my past and was in a different place.

I found the notebook and since past RS shows had resulted in at least a page of details about the show (or long blog posts, after 2014), I couldn’t wait to see what I had written about it.

I quickly turned through the pages to find the date: 5/5. There were only two lines: a mention of the concert, who I went with and where it was. Two lines, no details.

The pages before and after were filled with heartbreak and dating drama, which reminded me of that relationship from so long ago that so consumed me. It also appears that I was recording my dreams that year, as many entries are fragments of dreams, probably written right after I woke up.

There were also lots of entries of  lyrics – some of them with melodies I remembered; the lyrics remind me how I was feeling at that time.

For instance, this one:
You climb into his car, you fly to the moon
You think it’s a brand new melody, but it’s just the same old tune
You smile at his stumbling, you’re touched by his thoughtful gaze
You think it’s a once-in-a-lifetime, but it’s just one of those days…

After that 5/5 concert in 2000 (my sixth RS show)  I wouldn’t see RS in concert again until 15 years later. And by the time that concert occurred, I had been writing this blog for eight months, after coming across a TV interview after his novel was released.

Why is it that back in 2000, a RS mention was two lines in a journal and now, in my 40s, I’ve written over 260 posts on a blog about him, a process that provided inspiration to start writing songs again? In this early months of this journey, my goal was to record some of my old songs so they’d exist outside of my head and I’ve only recorded a couple of them so far because I’ve been so busy writing new ones instead. If I would have been so inspired 17 years ago, who knows how many songs I’d have by now or what I would have done with them.

Maybe because sometimes when your head gets clouded with negative things, it’s more difficult to recognize hints of inspiration. Or maybe things are happening the way they are – when they are – for a reason and you can’t look backward, only forward.

February milestones

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February seems to be a big month for Rick Springfield milestones.

One day in particular stands out:
Feb. 24, 1981: “Working Class Dog” is released
Feb. 24, 1982: RS wins a Grammy for “Jessie’s Girl”
Feb. 24, 2004: “Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance” is released
Feb. 24, 2015: “Stripped Down” is released

Last night Rowdy Ron had an online radio show where he played the full albums of WCD and SDAA, including bonus tracks, in celebration of the milestone. Unfortunately I only caught a few minutes of it, but I’m sure it was a great show!

Other notable dates (courtesy of rickspringfield.us):

Feb. 14, 1945: RS’s parents are married
Feb. 19, 2016: “Rocket Science” is released
Feb. 20, 2016: “iHeart80s Party” at the Forum, which gave him great exposure
Feb. 23, 1981: “Jessie’s Girl” is released as a single

This year also marked the 10th anniversary of his Valentine’s Day weekend show at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, which was covered this month in a great interview in Center Stage Magazine and this nice review in National Rock Review. In the Center Stage interview, he talks about his desire to do more acting and mentions his upcoming tour in Germany with Rock Meets Classic and the review mentions some highlights from the Nashville show:

“Since this is live music, anything can and usually happens. Tonight, mid-way through the opening song, the music suddenly stops, and the faint ring of the fire alarm is heard. Not to be outdone, Rick is out among the fans, shaking hands and fist bumping those around him while the guys break into a jig on stage entertaining fans while the power and fire alarm issues are sorted out.”

After a brief delay, Rick and the guys launching into “Light this Party Up” for the second time and the crowd jumps in on the fun, raising their glasses, dancing, and singing along.”

And this is sweet:

“Slowing down the pace, Rick takes center stage with his green dobro guitar on his knee. He takes a moment to tell a quick story about long-time guitar tech, Ruben Velasco, who died last year. Velasco, who’s birthday was this day, had repeatedly said that Rick needed a light-up guitar. Springfield now plays a light-up guitar on tour which he appropriately named “Ruben.” It was a touching moment and a class move by Rick Springfield.”

Liked this line, too:

“Springfield exudes energy and positive vibes.”

Speaking of articles – and energy- there was some interesting information in a recent one in the Orlando Sentinel in advance of Sunday’s night’s show in Orlando.

“He is working on another novel to follow “Magnificent Vibration,” a 2014 bestseller, but laughs when asked when it will come out.

“It’s like a song. When it’s done, it’s done. You can’t really push it,” he said. “There’s been a lot of stuff that’s come up and gets in the way of it, but I like to do it all.” 

And this is a cool possibility:

He is writing a new record and screenplays. Another possibility is a memoir to follow 2010’s “Late, Late at Night.” “Certainly enough has happened. I was actually thinking about that —  the stuff I didn’t tell you,” he said.

More songs on the way?

So happy to read this in an interview tonight:

Springfield, 67, is touring behind his latest album, “Rocket Science,” which dropped last February, and he continues to co-star in the fantasy-horror series “Supernatural” on The CW. And he’s already writing songs for a follow-up album.

(This was a story from newsobserver.com in advance of this weekend’s concert in Durham, North Carolina.)

The soft-spoken bard knows his ’80s hits draw the crowds, but he’s looking forward to showcasing fresh material. “Most people want to hear the hits, but I love to play the new stuff, which is why I keep writing,” he says. “Whether people listen to it is immaterial.” …

Right now, Springfield says he’s focusing on his role in “Supernatural” – he plays Lucifer – and on songwriting. “I’m in a great space right now,” he says. “I’m on a creative high.”

I’m guessing the interview was done weeks ago since his role in “Supernatural” is over (or at least it seemed to be), but it was the “writing songs for a follow-up album” part that caught my attention. Plus if the story had to mention “Jessie’s Girl,” at least the headline said, “More than Jessie’s Girl.”

I thought the part about writing songs even if nobody listens to them was interesting, especially since everything he writes gets listened to repeatedly and then is analyzed and digested by his fans. (Or is that just me? No, I don’t think so.)

There is a joy of creating something from nothing and the whole process of it is magical, whether it is music or art or anything creative. One of my songs on Soundcloud has over 300 “plays” – but that’s because it happens to have the same name as some wrestling theme song, I discovered after a brief investigation (mine is a very un-wrestling song). So although nobody is listening to my songs (although sometimes my kids sing them), it’s OK, because just the process of writing them is enjoyable (when it’s not frustrating because it feels like something’s not working).

I just had an idea! RS has his own studio and he’s writing songs so he can record them whenever he wants to and because he doesn’t care if anybody listens to them though thousands of people do, he can record them and release them on YouTube so we can listen to them! That sounds like a great idea, right?

5 reasons I ❤ Rick Springfield 

You may know by now that I’m a big fan of Rick Springfield. I think I’ve covered the reasons why in my past 200-plus posts, but I thought I would summarize it here in case anyone is discovering him for the first time after his appearance on “Supernatural” this month.

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So here are the five of the reasons why I ❤ Rick Springfield:

1. His music: I will start here because this is where it started for me. (OK, if I am totally honest, it may have started before I heard his music. I can’t remember if his posters torn from teen magazines were plastered on my wall before I had any of his record albums, but I think hearing his songs on the radio and admiring his cuteness happened at the same time.)

Anyway, really it was his music that ignited my crush in 1982 and I quickly bought all his albums and played them over and over and over again.

Even today his large catalog of music, spanning five decades and covering many different styles of music, still amazes me. I still don’t know if I’ve heard them all.  (For more on this, read “Five decades of Rick Springfield” or check out the detailed list on the fan site Rick Springfield and US.)

2. His writing: I love a catchy tune as much as the next person, but the lyrics in the song are what connects me to songs and RS writes great lyrics. Sometimes even after hearing a song multiple times, I still catch something new that I hadn’t noticed before. For instance, I recently listened to “The Man That Never Was” off the “Sound City” CD and was curious about the “Major Martin” line. I Googled it and discovered the historical reference behind it.

Then there’s his prose. His best-selling memoir “Late Late at Night” was hilarious, touching, interesting and I really enjoyed it – both reading it and listening to him read the audiobook. His best-selling “Magnificent Vibration” was quite a story, too, and I am eagerly awaiting the sequel. (For more on his books, see these posts: “My evenings with Rick Springfield” and “Magnificent Vibration from a fan’s point of view.”)

3. His passion: His passion for music, acting and his family and friends is so inspiring to me. To be able to spend your life doing something you love is a huge blessing and I admire people who are able to do that. While other longtime celebrities seek the spotlight by appearing on reality shows, RS has stayed away from that and instead continues to pursue his passion of music and acting (and guest starring on popular shows like “Californication,” “True Detective” and “Supernatural” is a great way of reaching a new audience  while still keeping your personal life private – something that’s more difficult to do on a reality show). Because his focus is on creating music, writing, touring and acting – and less on the self-promotion so prevalent in today’s social media society – he doesn’t always get the recognition he deserves, unfortunately.

Plus, passion is contagious and learning about his life and the ups and downs of his career has also been very inspiring to me. (See “Blogging to inspiration.”) Plus he has such a great sense of humor and seems really down to earth.

4. His compassion: Although I don’t know RS personally, he just seems like a really good guy. He’s so good to his fans and really seems to appreciate them. Although he has that cool rock star persona, he also has shown his sensitive side many times (in interviews) and well, I’m just a sucker for that I guess (and he is cute and funny). Plus he seems to do a lot of benefit concerts, cares a great deal about dogs and other animals, brings kids on stage and sings with them (including two of my sons, an experience I’ll always treasure)  and is very concerned about the future of the earth and it’s nice when people care about things other than themselves.

5. His candidness: In his memoir, and in interviews since the book’s release, he’s shared his struggles with depression and by doing so, has given so many people hope in their own lives. And yes, he’s made a lot of mistakes in his life – haven’t we all – and the fact that he publicized them in his book and strives to improve himself and do the right thing now, makes me respect him a great deal.

To me personally, after I’ve learned about his experiences as a child and his struggles in school and with depression, it has given me insight into my own child’s struggles with ADHD and has helped me become a more understanding parent. (My son recently started writing songs that help him deal with things – one is an instrumental on keyboard called “The Sad Song” and the other one is “I Hate Homework.” He also wants to be an actor. Hmmm…)

(To read stories from fans about the impact RS has made on their life, check out the fan site We Love Rick Springfield.)

Anyway, these are five of the reasons why I ❤ Rick Springfield. What about you?