PSA: Beware of celebrity friend requests

And now for a public service announcement:

Have you received a friend request from a celebrity?

Actor Hugh Jackman recently addressed this in a tweet, noting that it has been brought to his attention that he learned that impostors claiming to be him on social media were asking for personal information and trying to scam people into sending him money.

Oprah Winfrey and Robert Downey, Jr. have also warned their fans of possible scams.

I wanted to mention this here because apparently there are Rick Springfield impostors out there, too, creating fake accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and contacting RS fans. One woman said she had been in contact by one of these scammers for several months before realizing it was a scam once the impostor asked if she could send him money for a private jet plane to pick her up.

Other fans have been approached by a scam artist pretending to be RS or a member of his team soliciting charitable donations or VIP concert experiences.

Don’t fall for it! As much as you may be thrilled at the idea that your favorite rock star is contacting you, realize that he’s a busy happily-married guy and with those royalties from “Jessie’s Girl” still rolling in, he doesn’t need to turn to his fans for some extra funds. Save your money for a concert or a meet & greet instead.

beware-social-media-impostors

RS’s official website is rickspringfield.com, his official merch site is rickspringfieldmerch.com and his official social media accounts (notice the blue checkmarks – some of these impostors set up their page to look like the official page) are:

https://www.facebook.com/rickspringfield/

https://www.instagram.com/rickspringfield/

 

 

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Videos from the ’80s cruise

As promised, I found some videos from the cruise on YouTube and am posting them here for your weekend viewing pleasure. Thank you to those who posted!

On the ’80s cruise

What an incredible ’80s cruise! Rick Springfield as the host and a long list of performers, such as Thomas Dolby, Loverboy, Mike+ The Mechanics, Lou Gramm from Foreigner, Terri Nunn from Berlin, Billy Ocean and Tommy Tutone.

I wasn’t actually on the cruise, but I enjoyed it vicariously through videos of those who were there. Many RS fans were on the cruise and shared videos in Facebook fan groups and the fabulous Shantelle Bisson her husband Yannik (former co-star of “High Tide” with RS and star of Canada’s “Murdoch Mysteries”) both shared some great behind-the-scenes videos on Instagram (along with some beside-the-scene views, such as clips of RS concerts from the side of the stage.)

The fact that I was able to watch videos taken by people I don’t know who were in the middle of the ocean is pretty incredible. It’s another one of those things that my 13-year-old self would have been thrilled about back in the 1980s. Back then being a RS fan meant taking babysitting gigs so I could watch MTV and possibly see a RS video or interview (we didn’t have cable at home.) Or I’d walk to the neighborhood Revco drug store to see if the latest issue of Teen Beat, Tiger Beat or 16 magazine was out. (For other examples, see “Rick Springfield fandom in the 1980s vs. today.“)

But sitting home watching a video of my favorite rock star performing on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean the same night it was happening? No way, not in my wildest dreams.

Some of the highlights of the cruise (from my limited view 2,400 miles away) were:

  • The piano bar when RS and Thomas Dolby were playing The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.”
  • The Mark Goodman and RS Q&A session
  • Videos of the band hanging out singing in one of the cabins
  • RS singing “Waiting for a Girl Like You” (watching that brought out my inner teen giddiness, for sure)
  • Watching RS perform so many great songs with all those other talented performers and seeing him have such a great time

I’m sure there were many more highlights from people who were actually there so check out the Facebook fan pages. If I can find any videos to share from YouTube, I’ll post at a later date.

Next year’s lineup looks fun, too, especially the English Beat. I was a big fan in high school and I saw them once in this little bar in Tempe where I danced on the same dance floor as Dave Wakeling. But this year’s cruise, with Rick Springfield as host, would be hard to beat.

I love the 80s

Back to the ’80s

Oh, how I wish I was in Florida preparing to embark on a trip back to that totally tubular time of the 1980s. Yes, the ’80s cruise that we heard about last year starts this weekend, with none other than Rick Springfield as its captain. Or host. Let’s go with captain, he seems to like that:

Human Touch

I never started playing the lottery so I never won and therefore am not going on the cruise, but hopefully some of the lucky fans who are will share some videos.

Tonight RS is performing in Florida and then the ship sets sail on Saturday. Sometimes I feel like I know WAY too much about RS’s life. My brain can only hold so much information and I wonder sometimes if I didn’t know so much RS trivia maybe I’d remember more of my passwords and not have to reset them so often.

There weren’t as many passwords to remember back in the 1980s. In fact, so many things have changed since then. My childhood mall is being redeveloped into an office complex. Toys R Us is closing all its stores. I feel like I’ve reached that age where I spend too much time explaining to my kids how things used to be and talking about things that no longer exist. Although the details are different, it’s a reiteration of my dad’s story about being one of the first families on his block to get a color TV.

Today as we prepared to set out for school drop-off, my car didn’t start. The AAA guy checked the battery, but that was fine, it’s likely my starter. (’80s note: My very first 45 record was “Start Me Up!” by the Rolling Stones). I ended up having to drive my husband to work and passed the Arizona State Fairgrounds where two of my kids sang “Don’t Talk to Strangers” with RS a couple of years ago. (Another ’80s reference, in case you didn’t get it.)

For some reason, today when people call me on my cell phone, I can’t hear them and they can’t hear me. To paraphrase Blondie, “Call me, call me any, anytime” but I won’t be able to hear you.

Despite all these ’80s references, the song that kept going through my head today was “It’s Always Something.”

For that reason, it sounds so fun to get way from all of this and go out on a big boat dedicated to the 1980s and all that great music.

To everyone who is going – have an awesome time. Totally. For sure.

IMAG0914

My bedroom wall in the 1980s.

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?!

‘The Snake King’ tour – and a new video

Rick Springfield’s “Snake King” tour is now under way – last weekend, the drum skin with the cute chimpanzee from “Rocket Science” came off Jorge’s drum set and was replaced by the cool logo from the cover of “The Snake King.”

And now some songs from “The Snake King” are part of the set list. Here are two videos I found on YouTube from last weekend:

“The Devil That You Know”

“Little Demon”

Recent interviews about ‘The Snake King’

There have also been several interviews lately that divulge more about “The Snake King.”

Guitar World

Rick Springfield on Covering Katy Perry, the “Jessie’s Girl” Strat and His Bluesy New Album, ‘The Snake King’

This one reminded me that I was at the show where he first introduced Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” to the set list. (I’m pretty sure it was the first time because I remember being surprised about it and it seemed others were, too.) The article also mentions again that he wrote “The Snake King” in four or five days and he’s currently working on the sequel to “Magnificent Vibration.” He answers several questions from fans.

Salon

Rick Springfield: From “Jessie’s Girl” to “God, the devil and sexThe pop idol on why hitting it big at 30 was better, learning humility and, of course, “Gary’s Girl.”

This is a great article that focuses on RS’s many accomplishments. (And what a lucky guy this author is – this interview was over “soba noodles and green tea” – aka “in person” rather than over the phone or via email. On second thought, I don’t think I could sit there in front of Rick Springfield and eat noodles, it would be a little awkward. The green tea would probably be OK, though.)

Anyway, there are a lot of interesting details in this article.

Melodicrock.com

Rick Springfield Talks Influences Behind ‘The Snake King‘: Here’s another great RS interview by Melodic Rock. Here we learn more about the influences behind the new CD, as well as learn that he was drunk when he wrote much of it and that the overall theme is “WTF is going on???” (Note: If you are wondering what that means, take a look at today’s news. And by “today” I mean that there’s probably something in the news on any day that will make you say “WTF is going on???”). We also learn about what he would ideally like to do next: “I want to be in a great and creative night time TV series so that touring can be a seasonal thing.”

He is also on the cover of the Melodic Rock Fanzine.

Melodic Rock pic

The Herald Palladium 

Rick Springfield takes blues detour on new album: We’ve come a long way from those preview articles from four years ago that would say things like “80s icon ‘Jessie’s Girl’ soap star singer to play in town next week.” Thank goodness. This article touches upon many of RS’s accomplishments and contains some real substance like about RS’s writing process and details about the new songs.

Myglobalmind.com

This review of “The Snake King” is on an online magazine for hard rock and heavy metal. Do you hear that, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame judges? RS has fans from so many generations and in so many genres. Let’s plan for 2019, OK?

‘The Snake King’ slithers through your speakers like a honky-tonk cocktail consisting of good time boogie-woogie, with a heavy splash of heavenly blues ….. keep rocking n rolling buddy, we are right with ya!

Where to find everything before ‘The Snake King’

I just wanted to take a quick moment to thank the Rick Springfield and Us fan-based website for all things Rick Springfield for adding a link to this blog on the site. It is truly an honor to have a mention there on the comprehensive site of all things Rick Springfield. (Seriously, there is so much about RS on that site, it is so awesome. His music library, lyrics, tour datesTV and film roles, bio of his lifebooks, video footage,  lots and lots of pictures and so much more.) I wonder if RS used the site as a reference when he wrote his autobiography?

I suppose I should also mention the official RS page, too: rickspringfield.com, which has a list of all the upcoming full-band shows, Stripped Down acoustic shows and symphony shows (coming up in Portland and Nashville), as well as next month’s ’80s cruise.

And then there’s the latest news of the evening: Another new video – for “Voodoo House,” which is one of my favorite songs off “The Snake King.” It makes my heart go boom. (See the RS fan site for lyrics if you don’t have a copy of the CD.)

Hey ya, hey ya, ooh.

Aloha, let’s talk about dogs

Let’s take a break from the depressing lyrics and negative world view of “The Snake King” (as close to reality as it may be) for a moment to talk about dogs.

Rick Springfield Hallmark dog show

On Feb. 19, The Hallmark Channel will debut its first American Rescue Dog Show. And the ultimate dog lover Rick Springfield will be a judge. (Although he admits if it was really up to him, every dog will win simply because they’re dogs.) Check out the full interview here. I love how all the women on the show are gushing over him. Generations of women have a Rick Springfield crush. It’s also so cool to see the family photos.

This weekend RS is performing three shows in Honolulu, Hawaii. Ah, the life of a rock star. Hopefully he’ll find some time to relax on the island.

Speaking of Hawaii, RS was on “Hawaii Five-O” in 2011, playing a photographer, another role where his character met an untimely death – what’s up with that?

In other RS news, RS is in this week’s People magazine, “How Rick Springfield reconciles depression & suicidal thoughts with his love for his family.”

Also, Feb. 16 marks the Chinese New Year and this year is the Year of the Dog so it seems like it should be a good year for Rick Springfield.

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.

‘Snake King’ on the charts

Mr. Rick Springfield is back on the charts, this time with “The Snake King”!!

I’m not really clear on how the Billboard charts work, but I thought the new charts come out on Tuesdays so when it was midnight on the East Coast, I thought I’d take a look and there it was!

Here’s what I found:

Independent Albums

“The Snake King” peaked at #8 on Feb. 10 (I know today is Feb. 5, I don’t get it either, but that’s what it says.)

 

SnakeKingBillboard

Top Rock Albums

Peaked at #38 on Feb. 10

SnakeKingTopRock

Top Album Sales

Peaked at #40 on Feb. 10

SnakeKingTopAlbum

Whoo-hoo! Not bad for an album that was written over one weekend!

How does an artist get their song on the Billboard charts? Here’s Billboard’s answer:

How does an artist get their music on the Billboard charts?

Billboard publishes a host of charts that are individually or collectively based on key fan interactions with music, including album sales and downloads, track downloads, radio airplay and touring as well as streaming and social interactions on Facebook, Twitter, Vevo, Youtube, Spotify and other popular online destinations for music. These measurements are tracked year-round by Billboard and its data partners, including Nielsen BDS, Nielsen SoundScan and Next Big Sound. In order for artists and title to chart in Billboard, they must be among the higher ranked performers among the specific metric used to compile the chart. Specific methodologies can be found on each chart page on billboard.com and on the Chart Legend reference page on billboard.biz.

For past posts about RS on the charts, see “On the Charts” and “20 songs on the Hot 100 chart.”

Extra track on ‘The Snake King’ CD

When I originally heard “The Snake King” last week it was through the Soundcloud premiere by Billboard. Then I listened to some songs individually on Alexa, streaming from Amazon in my kitchen – purposely passing on the real depressing ones since my kids were nearby. Last night I picked up the actual CD from Best Buy and today played it while I was getting some work done. For today’s listen, I wasn’t trying to analyze the lyrics but just listening as a casual listener. The verdict? It is SO FREAKING INCREDIBLE!

It really is. The songs are so catchy and the music has so many layers. When I was a kid, my parents had the “Jesus Christ Superstar” record and I used to dance around singing it in the living room. Since our family is Jewish, I always thought it was a little weird that my parents even had that record, but the music was so good and fun to sing. This kind of reminds me of that, a bluesy version. It’s telling a story and the topics aren’t something I would normally choose to listen to, but the songs are amazing.

“Suicide Manifesto” is still just as depressing though, because once you know that that was how RS was thinking last year, it’s hard to move past that. But if “The Snake King” were to be made into a rock opera, there could be a character representing a human on Earth who is affected by the work of “The Snake King” and that could be that character’s song. I’m not sure yet what the overall story would be, but I think there may be something there.

Anyway, right after the last song listed on the CD “Orpheus in the Underworld,” there’s another song that’s not listed: “Goodbye, St. Paul.” The song is listed on the Japanese import CD, but apparently it’s a hidden track on the U.S. version.

It’s also cool to see all the different instruments listed in the CD booklet that were used in the songs: electric and electric slide guitars, acoustic guitar, harmonica, electric piano, synth horns, bouzouki, violin, viola, Dobro, mandolin, banjo and ukulele. In addition to his touring band, there are familiar names listed, such as Jeff Silverman and Tim Pierce (both who he used to perform with) and Jimmy Z (who played sax on “Bop ‘Til You Drop.”) Were the typos on the “Suicide Manifesto” credits intentional? A kind of “I don’t care” message for that song or is a typo just a typo?

There’s also a picture of him and his mom and their dog (Elvis?) in the CD booklet and a little tribute to her.