From the audience to the stage

I just watched a video promoting a Paul McCartney concert, where he spoke about why he continues to tour after all these years. It nearly brought me to tears because it was about the connection he feels with the people in the audience during his shows, which of course reminded me of Rick Springfield.

I couldn’t help but think of a young Ricky Springthorpe at The Beatles concert in Australia all those years ago, watching Paul McCartney on that stage and dreaming all his big dreams about someday becoming a successful musician and having people sing along to his songs with the same excitement he felt at The Beatles concert.

And now 50 years later, both of these singer-songwriters are still touring, spreading joy and inspiration with every performance. Because of the longevity of both of their careers, their songs have been woven into our lives, with people all over the world listening to their songs for decades.

For many people my age, a Rick Springfield concert was among one of their first concerts, so it’s also kind of cool that the Beatles were RS’s first concert. What would little Ricky had thought about the fact that when he was in his 60s, he and Paul would both be on tour at the same time and that he would have touched so many lives through his own music? His father would be so proud.

It’s amazing to think that this one teenager screaming in the audience at a Beatles concert in Australia in the 1960s grew up to write hundreds of songs that would be instrumental in the lives of so many people all over the world. And there are likely many future musicians who are in turn inspired by Rick Springfield and will create more music that will inspire others. Music is a beautiful chain that links people to one another throughout generations.


Now this looks fun

Five days of Rick Springfield in the Bahamas?! How great is that? And a Beatles tribute band, and Doug Davidson and Terri Nunn (my husband is a fan, so something for him).

Sounds so fun!

Unless a miracle happens, like I sell the screenplay or novel I haven’t written yet or something else wonderful (I wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to be able to afford it), I will have to enjoy it vicariously, like the last one. 

(Funny side note noticed by the hopeful part of me that tries to find signs in things – my 7-year-old son, who sang with RS at a concert last fall, had to give a report today on a song from a movie. He chose “Star Wars,” which is used in this Bahamas trip video that was released today. That has to mean something,  right? Right? Hello? OK, never mind.)

Next decade or so

After graduating high school, I moved to Long Beach, California, and although I’d continue to turn up the radio and sing along each time a Rick Springfield song came on (and same for Duran Duran, my other favorite teen musical connection) – I was busy with other things. Working while going to school, and during the next few years, I began exploring my heritage.

One summer I spent my summer in the Catskills in New York in a program designed to do just that. I also continued doing a lot of writing – in addition to journals, I had written “poems with melodies” through high school and beyond. (Except for one year where my creative writing teacher was so discouraging that I quit writing on my own time when I was taking his class). Despite taking piano, viola, violin and guitar through the years, I never excelled in any of them but I’d often sing my own songs in the car and around my house. I was inspired primarily by my three biggest music influences in high school – Rick Springfield, Duran Duran and The Beatles, all musicians who wrote their own songs and I spent a lot of time examining their lyrics. One of my earliest songs, though, “Echo Heart Echo,” was inspired by 1980s Madonna.

Anyway, when I headed out to New York, I gave all my albums to a friend of mine to hold onto when I was away. I kind of lost touch with her after I returned and never got them back. My treasured Rick Springfield, Duran Duran and Beatles albums were gone. But it wasn’t a priority at that time – I knew they were replaceable. I still have a “Rick Springfield’s Greatest Hits” CD so I guess at some point I felt I at least needed to have that in my possession.

I also got married during this time and, seven years later, we separated – nearly 10 weeks after I met Rick Springfield.

(These two things actually had nothing to do with each other but in retrospect, it’s kind of interesting.)

The early days

I don’t remember how it all started but maybe if I find my diary from those days, I’ll find out the truth. But all I remember is that my walls were covered with Rick Springfield posters and by the time I moved out of my house out of high school, I had nine of his albums (long before CDs) and knew the words to most of the songs, having listened to them over and over. For a time, I was also a “General Hospital” fan – or specifically of Dr. Noah Drake. I was also a member of the Rick Springfield Fan Club.

At some point, I think in eighth or ninth grade, my focus shifted to Duran Duran. This was a phase shared with my closest friends, to the point where we wrote letters to each other describing lengthy scenarios as if they were our boyfriends. There was also an elaborate Duranie community, with fans donning alias names and posting messages to each other in the free classified listings of City Life. (I was White Sox, because Roger always wore white socks. I guess all the good names were taken). We exchanged phone numbers in these listings and spent hours on the phone talking about the band. Occasionally there’d be a gathering at the local mall where the young fans would come wearing T-shirts filled with little pins with the band members’ pictures.

Throughout this time though, I always remained loyal to Rick Springfield and his posters dominated my walls throughout high school. My sophomore year I was really into ska music, favoring The Specials, Madness and English Beat; the RS posters remained. The Beatles dominated my junior year, with the treasured album box set from Price Club, and I read all the books I could find about the group. I added a couple of Beatles posters to my ceiling but RS was still the dominating force (perhaps because he was the best looking of all of them?)

After graduating high school, I moved to California. My sister started moving her stuff into my bedroom before I left and the posters came down.