Rick Springfield’s birthday month is going to the dogs, in a good way

2018 American Rescue Dog Show

I was going to title this post “Summer of 69,” but for some reason people often confuse Rick Springfield with other artists so I didn’t want to add to the confusion.

But as most RS fans can attest to, August 23 is practically a national holiday on our calendar as we celebrate the arrival of our favorite rock star into the world. And as fans know, he likes to celebrate his birthday, sometimes as early as mid-July, during concerts when he encourages the audience to sing him “Happy Birthday.”

But it’s not all about him. Each year he asks that in lieu of gifts, fans should donate to charity. His charity of choice is usually the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation, which helps rescue dogs. Here’s his note this year:

RS going to the dogs

So if you’re able to help, I’m sure RS and the dogs would appreciate it!

His fans’ annual birthday charity campaign will be starting soon, too. The campaign has raised more than $100,000 for charity since it started in 2007. This year’s campaign is in conjunction with the above campaign, which means it is all for the dogs. Word on the street (or Facebook actually), is that the campaign starts Aug. 15.

There’s also another Rowdy Ron birthday special coming up: The “Happy 69th Birthday Rick Springfield Special,” where DJ/comedian Rowdy Ron plays hours and hours of Rick Springfield music starting at 9 p.m. ET on Aug. 25. If you’re a new RS fan or rediscovering him after a few decades, it’s a great place to catch up: rowdyradio.listen2myshow.com.

In other RS news, check out this cool article on indystar.com that addresses how RS really feels about his well-publicized “Star Wars” collection: ‘Rick Springfield talks Tinder, ‘Star Wars’ toys and the blonde in the ‘Jessie’s Girl’ video.’

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The character of Rick Springfield

Sideswiped smile

When I heard that Rick Springfield was going to play Rick Springfield who goes on a date with Rosanna Arquette’s character on the new YouTube original show “Sideswiped,” I wondered what the scenario would be. After all, as any of his fans know, he’s been married to his wife since 1984 and they have two grown sons. So why would he be on Tinder (or the celebrity version of Tinder, in the case of the show)? He better not be dissing his wife!

Then as soon as I watched it I realized that Rick Springfield wasn’t playing Rick Springfield who has been married since 1984, he was the Rick Springfield rock star character who has a 28-year-old ex-girlfriend and grandchildren. (As far as we know, RS is not a grandfather yet.) Just like the Rick Springfield in “Californication” was the narcissistic Rick Springfield character, not the rock star we all “know” and love.

Does he think of himself as Rick Springfield or Richard Springthorpe? Is “Rick Springfield” the rock star more of an on-stage persona? Many fans have said that in person he’s quieter/shyer than the rock star legend on stage (which makes him even more endearing, right?) How is he at home? All these things are NONE of my business of course, but I still wonder.

Anyway, I loved his character on “Sideswiped,” the vulnerable rock star that isn’t quite over his much younger ex-girlfriend. I enjoyed the character so much more than Dr. Irving Pitlor on “True Detective,” Lucifer on “Supernatural” or the demented Pastor Charles on “American Horror Story.”

I admit I only watched the fourth episode of “Sideswiped” so far, aptly titled “The Rock Star,” but I thought it looks like a cute show and plan to watch more. (Not the same with those other three shows mentioned above. I watch enough horror in the daily news that I don’t enjoy watching fictional horror.) The shows I’ve been watching lately are “Nashville,” which sadly ended this week, and “This is Us,” which will have its last season soon, too. I need to find another show soon so I have something to watch when I fold laundry. Any suggestions?

After concert cancellation, Rick Springfield performs in hotel bar

After last night’s Rick Springfield/Pat Benetar& Neil Giraldo concert was cancelled at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City a few minutes before the show was to start – due to a “technical issue” – guess who turned up playing in the casino bar?

I’m sure the  concert’s cancellation was a super bummer for fans who were planning on attending the concert, especially those who traveled far to see him, but hopefully many of them were there to see him perform “Superstitious” with Johnny-O and the Classic Dogs of Love  or hang out in the casino with him for a bit.

Apparently Rascal Flatts was playing in a different venue in the hotel that same night, but I haven’t heard anything about RS going in to play “Down” with the band. (He co-wrote that Rocket Science song with Jay DeMarcus, the bassist of Rascall Flatts.)

I’m so glad it’s Friday, as it’s been a long week and my mind is playing tricks on me. How many RS references do you find in this very brief blog post?

Just for fun, here’s what I noticed:

  1. He was going to co-headline the concert with Pat Benetar & Neil Giraldo. Neil Giraldo played guitar on the song “Jessie’s Girl” off of the Working Class Dog album.
  2. There are two references in the name of the band he played with: “Johnny” (“Me & Johnny” off of Living in Oz) and “dogs of love”- well, RS loves dogs.
  3. “Superstitious – somebody recently posted a video of him playing that song during one of the new meet & greets.
  4. As I mentioned above, he co-wrote one of the songs of Rocket Science with one of the guys in the band who was also playing a concert that same night in that same hotel.
  5. The hotel with the “technical issue” (rumor is that it was a problem with the ceiling) is Atlantic City’s newest hotel – and it used to be the Trump Taj Mahal. Not really a RS connection there, I guess, but I thought it was interesting. Maybe there’s a Snake King connection there somewhere.

Here’s a video from earlier in the day that somebody posted on YouTube, of him singing “Under the Milky Way.”

 

Before I go, here’s a fun interview that came out yesterday: “Rick Springfield talks blues, books and Saturday morning cartoons,” on nuvo.net. He covers a lot here, including what he’s doing with his Star Wars collection and what event he might considering showing up to in disguise.

Have a great weekend!

Rock star in overdrive: So many things to look forward to!

Embed from Getty Images

 

When I started this blog nearly four years ago, I had no idea what I was going to do with it. More than anything, it was meant to be a way to avoid talking endlessly about my re-discovery of Rick Springfield with my husband and co-workers.

I was so excited to learn that RS was still creating new music and had written books, that I dived right into exploring all of it – along with my teenage fandom years – and this blog gave me a place to share it with (I hoped) others who felt the same way and would find it entertaining instead of annoying.

(Nobody in my real life actually told me I was being annoying, but I started to sense their frozen smile and glazed look if I talked too much about RS so I had to rein it in.)

At the time I had NO idea what a driven person RS was and didn’t know that there was so much more on its way. I thought it was cool that he had released a few albums since “Karma,” which was the last time I had followed his career (between 1998 and 2000, I saw him in concert four times and met him once. That was in addition to seeing him twice in high school back in the ’80s.)

Here’s a recap of his musical work between 2000 and my “re-discovery” in 2014:

SDAA

2004: “Shock/denial/anger/acceptance” (So many good songs, which I enjoyed only after getting over the reason they were written, since I first heard this CD after reading “Late, Late at Night”)

2005: “The Day After Yesterday” (I still haven’t heard this CD of covers in its entirety)

2007: “Christmas With You” (which I still haven’t heard, except for the song for the soldiers.)

RS-VIO400

2008: “Venus in Overdrive” (which has become one of my favorite CDs)

2009: “My Precious Little One: Lullabies for a New Generation” (Played it for my kids a few times when they were younger and they always fell asleep by the second or third song, and I mean that as a compliment)

2012: “Songs for the End of the World” – so many great songs, I especially love listening to this while driving, for some reason. I think because the first time I heard it was when I was driving my kids to school and it was so funny to hear their reactions.

SFTEOFTW

In 2014, I had all of this to catch up on and I also read “Late, Late at Night” and “Magnificent Vibration” right away, then listened to “Late, Late at Night” on audiobook. Then I caught up on some of his acting stints, like “Californication” and “Drop Dead Diva.”

Then a few months later, in November 2014, it was announced that RS would be coming to Arizona and I got tickets to my first RS concert in 15 years! So of course I had to go and then ended up meeting him briefly that March after the concert. Then I saw him a few more times over the next couple of years.

But I digress, this post wasn’t meant to be about me and my RS concerts, it’s about the driven rock star. So back to that.

In January 2015, he announced that he was back in the studio recording a new album! That year the live “Stripped Down” show also came out on CD and DVD. The country-infused “Rocket Science” was released the following February. In 2015 and 2016, he was touring with both the full-band show and the solo acoustic show. In 2017, he added a symphony tour – with Rock Meets Classic in Europe. Fans even got to watch the live stream of a show in Germany, which was cool!

Among all his touring, he also wrote and recorded another CD, blues-infused this time, “The Snake King,” which was released in January of this year. This year, he had acoustic shows, full-band shows and symphony shows. (There has also been a movie and several TV roles in the past four years.) Which means there are lots of interviews, photos and videos out there in Cyberspace, including this Morning Mix interview, where RS goes into detail about the symphony shows, which was fun to hear, and we get to learn about MORE upcoming projects (such as this in Fairfax County Times):

Once the tour is over, the singer will be back to his many ventures. He’s working on a rewrite of a follow up to “Magnificent Vibration,” and he’s recording a symphonic record with his best hits and a 40-piece orchestra.

“There will be a new song on that album, and it is light years away from ‘The Snake King,’” he said. “Also, we are rerecording all the hits as they originally sounded so we can put out our own greatest hits. And I am writing for a new record and looking for that next great acting gig.”

A new song! A new Greatest Hits album! New songs for another new record! A new book! So many exclamation point-worthy things on the brink of happening! Also, on July 25 will be the “Sideswiped” show on YouTube.

(Just a reminder to those who handle the fan club – maybe we can get more details about all this stuff there in Rick’s Diary? That would be a nice fan club perk, along with the Meet & Greet contests, which don’t exist yet, but it sure would be nice… Or maybe we all get a chance to sing a duet with RS at a beach-side bar?)

Anyway, see what I mean when I say I can ramble on about RS? But if you’re still reading this, then I’m guessing that you understand so thanks for reading.

Same songs, different medium

In a recent interview on The Eddie Trunk Podcast, RS mentioned that he’ll be putting together a new album of his hits recorded with a symphony – and writing a new song for that. How cool is that?! Fans in Australia will be happy to hear that he’s also talking about a tour in Australia.

Another interesting tidbit mentioned in the interview is that he recently recorded a Spanish version of “Jessie’s Girl” for a musician in Mexico who is putting a “Legends” type of album with musicians who inspired him.

Listen to the podcast here.

For those who are following the songwriting track of this blog, here’s a video I put together that includes two of the songs that I previously wrote. One was inspired after seeing Rick Springfield in a hotel lobby and the other one, “In the Fifth Row,”  was written in advance of a concert that I ended up not being able to attend.

They were written at different times – the first in March 2016 and the second in October 2017 – but they have similar melodies and the same chords and my tickets for the March show were also in the fifth row so it worked to combine the two. (I’m happy to report that I’ve learned several new chords since then so my newer songs don’t all sound the same.)

Thoughts about set lists

This week marks two years since I saw Rick Springfield in concert, although I’m hoping to go his show next month when he’s in town. Thanks to those fans who post videos and set list pictures, I ALMOST feel like it hasn’t been so long.

Since many RS fans see multiple shows throughout the year, it’s nice that the band mixes things up now and then.

One song that is apparently back in rotation is “Souls,” which is my favorite song off of “Living in Oz.”

One of the songs he’s been playing is “Voodoo House, my favorite from his newest CD, “The Snake King.”

“Affair of the Heart” is one of my favorites from the 1980s and that’s one that he’ll probably always have to play, so that one is pretty safe, I think.

It’s also great hearing a longer version of “State of the Heart.”

A couple of songs that seem to have moved off the list are “Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift and “Roar” by Katy Perry. Although I like both of those songs, I’d much rather hear Rick Springfield songs at a Rick Springfield concert so I won’t miss either of those AT ALL.

Another one I am glad is gone is “I Hate Myself,” which I heard live back in 2015. Although it’s great live, there was something disturbing about hearing hundreds of people shouting “I hate myself.”

One song that he’s played the last few times I saw him that seems to be gone is “I’ll Make You Happy,” from “Shock/Anger/Denial/Acceptance,” which was wonderful live so I will miss that one.

Currently “Our Ship’s Sinking” from “Songs for the End of the World” and “Down” from “Rocket Science” are on the set list of longer shows.

What really would be fun is the type of thing that happens at the fan events – albums in their entirety – but that’s unlikely. Especially from “Venus in Overdrive”because I didn’t go to any shows during those tour years.

I haven’t had any new videos to add lately so thanks to those who have shared theirs!

Rick Springfield on Tinder?

Sideswiped smile

What, Rick Springfield is on Tinder?

Before any rumors get started, he’s on Tinder the same way he is a creepy psychologist, a demented pastor and Lucifer – as part of a role. In real life, he’s a longtime married man so there’ll be no swiping right except for in your fantasies – and on an upcoming YouTube Originals show.

This announcement came today:

Here’s the official trailer:

Although my dating days were before swiping right was a thing, I’ve heard several Tinder stories from my sister and the dating site definitely sounds like good inspiration for a dating comedy series.

This multi-generational eight-episode comedy series about relationships and dating in the digital age is based on a true story from Carly Craig, who stars in the show.

A description of the show from Broadway World:

A lifetime of saying no has left “Olivia” single and miserable on her 35th birthday. This workaholic verging on a breakdown vows to plunge into the hellish world of Tinder by dating all 252 of her matches. She is spurred on by her sister “Jayne” – a young married woman experiencing a seven-year itch. The sisters are joined by their recently widowed mother, “Mary,” who is now also a part of the online dating scene.

RS has talked about wanting to do some more acting and this looks like the show was shot in Los Angeles (the Dodger Stadium sign sighting) so this was probably filmed between two weekends of shows because his tour schedule has been pretty heavy this year between the full band shows, the solo shows, the symphony shows, the ’80s cruise and “The Snake King” special performances.

Did all of that really happen this year? Wow, and there’s still half a year to go.

I am so glad that he’s not playing another creepy character. Or is he? Although he looks like himself in the trailer, he is playing a Tinder date, so I guess we’ll have to watch to see what kind of date he turns out to be in “Sideswiped” on July 25!

Farewell to soundcheck access

It used to be that Rick Springfield fans could purchase a soundcheck package where they could sit in during the band’s soundcheck session and then afterward they could briefly meet him for autographs, pictures and a chance to share any personal thoughts about the impact that he’s had on their life.

This past week, the Rick Springfield Official Merchandise site announced that effective immediately, that option was being changed to a VIP Backstage Experience, which is described on the site as:

About an hour before Rick hits the stage, you will be escorted backstage by our VIP Host to a private room where Rick will perform a song, and you’ll catch a rare and personal side of him as he engages the few fans in attendance. You will be able to meet Rick, get a few autographs and a photo taken during this time. You also have the option of adding a guitar to this package.

The cost of this experience is $349.99, $724.99 with the guitar. There’s also a VIP Collector’s Edition Guitar Package for $2,499.99, which is described as this:

This is your chance to take home the very guitar that Rick plays on stage during the iconic song, Jessie’s Girl. This limited edition guitar features the artwork from the album that started it all: Working Class Dog. Rick will sign, date and label the guitar by city, making this is truly a one of a kind collector’s piece. Oh yeah, and it may be a little sweaty.

After the show, you and two of your friends will have the opportunity to meet Rick in his backstage dressing room. He’ll personally present the guitar to you, and you’ll have the opportunity for a bit of a chat, and of course, photos and autographs. It’s going to be a night you’ll remember for a very long time.

Only one guitar is sold per show, and there’s only so many shows in a tour! Hurry to secure your collector’s edition Working Class Dog guitar.

Don’t get me wrong, these experiences sound great, too, although the idea of sitting in on a soundcheck sounded really cool because it’s a little glimpse into what musicians do to prepare for a show. (Many years ago I was able to listen to a soundcheck for Sting and although I was standing up in the stands at the empty amphitheater and not up close, it was still a cool experience. To be able to do that standing right there with my favorite rock star on stage would have been incredible.)

But alas, it looks like that opportunity is gone. I’m grateful to the fans who have shared videos of the soundcheck experience in the past so I have an idea of what it was like.

You know what would be really cool? How about some “exclusive contests” for meet & greet opportunities through the RS fan club? (Hint, hint to the powers that be.)

RS is very generous with his time for his fans so I’m glad that he’s continuing these meet & greet and opportunities, even with these changes and although they are still out of my budget. I’m hoping that he’ll be doing some book tours with his next book since I missed out on those. (When I “rediscovered” him back in 2014, it was three months after his visit to an Arizona bookstore after the release of “Magnificent Vibration.”)

In other Rick Springfield news, here’s a recent video from Vintage Guitar where RS talks about his guitars (and alien-fighting capabilities) inside his studio:

Here’s another recent interview:

A recent article on newscentermaine.com mentions the second novel and also that he’s working on an album of his songs played with a symphony. That sounds cool (and wouldn’t it be cool to see that on DVD, too, like the “Stripped Down” set?)

His summer tour will bring him about 15 minutes from my house in August so I hope to catch that show since I didn’t make it to any shows last year. He has more than 20 shows between now and then, including symphony shows in Columbus, Ohio; Nashville; San Diego; and Park City, Utah. Such a busy guy!

Words of advice to those struggling with depression

Rick Springfield’s Twitter response to the tragic news about Anthony Bourdain’s death was so meaningful, as RS both shows compassion for Bourdain’s family and loved ones, but also demonstrates that he understands what Bourdain went through, as it’s something that he’s dealt with for most of his life. (Was it wrong that the “award-winning depressionist” part cracked me up among all the sadness?)

Although Rick Springfield’s most recent CD “The Snake King” was such a shift from his previous music, it’s pretty amazing that somehow it seems to fit the mood of the world lately. As if his musical spirit was saturated by all the things going in on in the world and it came out through him in those songs. He’s already said that was the case for him personally, but lately it feels as if that tone fits the world in general.

That being said, perhaps some people who may be suffering from depression could benefit from some of the wisdom RS has shared about his depression:

People magazine: “‘Suicide Manifesto’ is stuff I think about. I’ve been close to it,” he said about his forthcoming song from his new album, The Snake King. “When Robin Williams and Chester [Bennington and Chris Cornell] and those guys … I didn’t go, ‘Oh that’s terrible.’ I went, ‘I get it.’ I get being that lost and dark.”

Adding, “You’re in so much pain that you just want it to end. I have been there and I know what it’s like and I understand. It’s just part of your makeup.”

“I’ve taken Prozac and all that kind of stuff and I meditate. Meditation is the only thing that takes me out of it. If I truly meditate and focus and get to that place, I’m not depressed. No matter what’s going on. But it’s pretty hard,” he shared.

“I’m alive and well. Anyone says, ‘How you doing?’ I never go, ‘Great.’ Because it’s bulls—. I go, ‘I’m okay — I’m there.’ Sometimes I’ll go, ‘F—ing horrible, I’ve had a terrible day.’” Springfield said of talking to other people about his emotions.

“We’ve all had the social front and it just makes me feel like such a liar when I go home and I look in the mirror and I go, ‘Really, you said that to somebody? That everything’s great and you’re feeling awesome? That’s bulls—,’ ” he continued.

Adding, “I’m at the point now in my life where I want to do what’s truthful.”

Extra: As for what goes on in his head when he is hit with depression and suicidal thoughts, Rick shared, “You’re not trying to hurt anyone else. You’re not trying to hurt your family. You’re just trying to get away from the thing that you can’t get away from.”

“You know, you’re always kind of on the edge of the cliff with depression, and you gotta deal with it the way you do,” Springfield continued. “I’m doing my best to pursue the life that I want even though the hand drags me down every now and then.”

Look to the Stars: An accomplished actor, writer and Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter, Rick Springfield received the Beatrice Stern Media Award for his work as a mental health advocate who has openly talked about his depression and suicide attempt as teen. “I grew up thinking I’ve just got to become famous, successful, wealthy, have a house with a wife and kids and it (my depression) will all go away. In 1985, I had all those things and I wanted to kill myself. I realized the lie of fame right there—that it wasn’t going to heal me.”

Springfield’s award was presented by his longtime friend, Emmy-winning actor Doug Davidson who shared with the audience that he too, struggles with depression. “We all know 16 is a difficult time for anyone, and it was for Rick, too. He didn’t like the way he looked. He thought his ankles were too thin. He hated his nose. This is teenage angst. But by talking about it, he became a role model for teens everywhere. When you find out a rock superstar went through the same kind of angst and depression you’re going through, it helps you realize you can get through it, too.”

People magazine: Springfield —who has been married to his wife Barbara Porter, 56, for 33 years — says his family, including Liam, 32, and his younger son Josh, 28, help him remain thankful for his life.

“It’s like your heart beating. It’s something that’s there. I’m always aware of my family, absolutely, and the love that we have,” he says. “Being grateful is very important to trying to combat depression.”

Taking things day by day, Springfield hopes to one day forgive himself for his past mistakes and enjoy life a bit more with his loved ones.

“I look back on my regrets with great relish and my successes, not so much,” says the singer, who wrote about his multiple infidelities in his 2010 memoir Late, Late at Night. “In the end I’m always trying to prove my worth to myself which is what depression is all about.”

And this article on CBSnews.com from eight years ago, after the release of “Late, Late at Night”:

In the rash of recent teen suicides, Springfield, now 61, has a message for kids who feel as isolated and hopeless as he once did: Stick it out, it gets better.

“I know what it’s like,” he said Tuesday on “Good Morning America.” “You just want out. You want the pain to stop. Give yourself a year. Your life will change.” …

As for his message to teens on the edge: “Nothing remains the same,” he says. “I would have missed out on a lot of amazing stuff in my life.”

Quite a commute

I’ve been traveling the past couple of weeks, which has included time in planes, trains and automobiles.

During my journey, I’ve thought about the people who travel regularly for their jobs, such as musicians. Specifically, Rick Springfield. With about 100 shows all around the country each year (and sometimes internationally), the life of our favorite rock star must include lots of security lines, seat-belt and oxygen-mask demonstrations and waiting at the baggage claim carousel.

Sometimes people will snap a picture of him in the airplane or standing at baggage claim. Other times, reporters accost him as he heads into the airport. On one flight, a group of girls sang “Jessie’s Girl” on the plane after recognizing him. None of these things have ever happened to me during my travels, fortunately.

RS has often said that he gets paid for traveling rather than for playing music because he enjoys playing music so much, he’d do it for free. Lucky for him, he gets paid for both traveling and playing music. What a great gig.

 

Whenever I’m at the airport, especially at LAX, I can’t help but keep an eye out for RS, just in case. I’m not really sure what I would actually do if I saw him, but I look anyway. I recently flew into the Burbank, California airport and during the short walk through the terminal from the gate to the outside baggage claim, “Jessie’s Girl” played over the loudspeakers. Out of all the songs in the whole world that could have played in those few minutes, I thought it was pretty funny that it would be an RS song. Of course, I interpreted that as my personal welcome to Southern California from RS. (If you’ve read any of this blog, you may have learned that my thinking process is about age 13 when it comes to RS, so you shouldn’t be too surprised.)

I’m happy to report that I did recently spot RS at the Los Angeles International Airport, although it was in a different scenario than I had hoped. I had some time before I needed to get to the gate to board my flight so I wandered into a bookstore in the terminal. As I scanned the books on the shelves, I saw RS right there on a bottom shelf staring out at me.

Late Late at Night

I’ll be at LAX later this week so MAYBE I’ll run into him if he heads to Las Vegas early for his show there this weekend. I’ll look out for him just in case.