Happy birthday to my favorite rock star, Rick Springfield, who turns 71 tomorrow!
The team behind the fan-led Rick Springfield Birthday Charity Campaign has announced that they decided to bring back the birthday campaign again this year to help the dogs at the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation, a beneficiary of past birthday campaigns.
This year’s theme is “Light This (Birthday) Party Up!” and features a cute sketch of RS’s dog Bindi wearing a mask and holding a balloon with the number “71” on it. (Who would have imagined this time last year that a dog wearing a mask would not seem strange?!)
The campaign began on Aug. 20 and runs through Sept. 27. For more details, visit the campaign Facebook page (where you can watch a welcome video by the birthday boy himself) or website, happybirthdayrick.com. Since the campaign first started in 2007, it has raised $156,730.52 for charity.
Tonight, Saturday, Aug. 22 at 8 p.m. EST (5 p.m. PST), DJ Rowdy Ron is back with his Rick Springfield Saturday Night Springfield Special, where he plays Rick Springfield music all night in celebration of RS’s birthday – without repeating any songs. It’s truly incredible how much music RS has released through the years and tonight is a way to celebrate that. Find out more at Rowdy Ron’s website, rowdyron.net/. Rowdy Ron does a great job putting these specials together and it’s greatly appreciated. If you are not very familiar with RS’s music since “Jessie’s Girl” and other ’80s songs, it’s a great way to catch up.
In countless interviews, Rick Springfield has been asked about the fate of “Jessie’s Girl.” Now we know.
Well, maybe not “know” exactly, but we have a fun scenario to consider.
Claudio Sanchez of the progressive rock band Coheed and Cambria recently approached RS about writing a sequel to “Jessie’s Girl” (see their Instagram chat here) and the new song, “Jessie’s Girl 2,” and video was released today.
In the video, RS is a bartender at Springfield’s Bar (with product placement of the Beach Bar Rum he owns with Sammy Hagar) and we learn that “Jessie’s Girl” is a bit of a psychopath as we watch her steal keys and light a pool table on fire. (Not a recommended way to light a party up.)
Apparently it’s a good thing that RS didn’t end up with her, because the fictional bartender version of RS who spills the rum instead of profiting from it, is stuck with his previous obsession and living a life of regret, as explained in the bridge.
“Jessie played sincere, He sure seemed cool What I hadn’t known was I was his fool We’re married now: house, job, three kids Dreaming of what life could have been Stranded on the if’s and maybe’s Had I left that monster in the 80’s”
Speaking of the ’80s, there’s also a reference to Tommy Tutone’s 1981 hit “867-5309/Jenny.” (Sidenote: For those who aren’t aware, RS toured with Tommy Tutone recently so RS fans actually got to hear Tommy Tutone sing the song at RS concerts.) Is the added animation a reference to the ’80s video of the song “Take on Me” by A-Ha?
Other random thoughts after watching (and re-watching) the video and the original video.
The original video starts with “Jessie”spray painting “Jessie’s Girl” on a brick wall, this video has JG writing Jessie’s Girl on a mirror with lipstick and there’s a brick wall behind bartender RS.
The clock at the beginning shows the time as 11:10 but in the next scene the time is 11:30 then in the next scene it’s 11:05. Does that signify that we are going back in time?
RS stares into the mirror in both videos.
Wasn’t there another sequel to “Jessie’s Girl”? (Patty’s working, but she’s watching the clock, she’s in the back room counting stock, and down in a warehouse out by the dock, Jessie’s lifting crates and breaking rock,” from “Tonight”on ‘Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet.” (In the 1981 video, “Patty is Jessie’s Girl” is what is painted on the wall. )
Can you believe the original video was filmed in 1981, 39 years ago, and that Rick Springfield is going to turn 71 this weekend? From looking at him, you’d never guess that so much time has passed.
Unfortunately I don’t have any other irrelevant thoughts to share because as I was writing this, the video was blocked – when you try watching it on YouTube, there’s a message that says “This video contains content from WMG (Warner Music Group), who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.”
In case that gets worked out, you can enjoy the video here:
If not, you can at least learn more about the song and merch on the Coheed and Cambria Facebook page or listen to the song here:
Hundreds of concerts that generated hundreds of photographs and videos
Knowledge of Rick Springfield’s extensive “Star Wars” collection (recent reports indicate that he’s sold most of it.)
The knowledge that RS was still struggling with serious bouts of depression and all the people RS has helped by speaking about his struggles.
This past year has been different than any others since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in the world, halting life as we know it. Touring stopped and all the new concert footage RS fans have been lucky to enjoy on a regular basis over the past few years ceased. His big tour with Chicago that was supposed to happen this summer was cancelled, as well as his tour with Zoot in Australia (which has now been rescheduled to 2021). The fan trip was postponed indefinitely.
Also, RS has held regular happy hours (half-hours) with fans on Zoom, where we’ve learned that he’s almost finished with “World on Fire,” the sequel of “Magnificent Vibration,” and it’s scheduled to come out on Audible in October. He also formed a band, The Locusts, with his former bassist Matt Bissonette and drummer Gregg Bissonette and they recorded an album and will soon be releasing songs. If you watch the happy hour videos (available on his Facebook page), you can learn more RS trivia such as his favorite places in the world (Tahiti and Italy) and that he is scheduled to be a judge on an upcoming mystery singing game show, “I Can See Your Voice.”
He’ll also perform a live invite-only Labor Day weekend performance for those who post a picture of their own paradise that features Beach Bar Rum, a line of spirits with Sammy Hagar. (Haven’t found anywhere local that carries the rum, though it can also be ordered online.)
Returning to the past year, here are some other highlights:
Fans raised $34,170 for the 2019 birthday campaign in honor of RS’s 70th birthday. The funds went to Linda Blair’s Worldheart Foundation, which helps rescue dogs.
The premiere of the documentary “Orchestrating My Life,” about the making of RS’s CD featuring students from the Santa Monica High School Orchestra. (Still no word on when that will be available to view elsewhere.)
After quarantines and lockdowns began once the pandemic struck (his last live in-person concert was March 7, at a Rock the Casa benefit concert), RS started doing fun videos about how to play Jessie’s Girl “Human Touch” and “Love Somebody” parodies (“No Human Touch” and “Glove Somebody) then next came the songwriting series I mentioned above.
After writing that last item, I just realized that the last concert he did this year was on what would have been my mom’s 75th birthday. On her 70th birthday, I met RS briefly after a concert. (RS is now 70.) I know that’s all totally irrelevant to anyone else reading this, but that’s kinda weird, right? That was the day I slipped him a note with this blog address on it in hopes he would look at it. What if instead I wrote “Five years from tonight will be your last concert in 2020 because a few days later, the country will shut down due to a worldwide pandemic.” He probably wouldn’t have believed it. (He probably would have also been surprised to hear that his sequel to “Magnificent Vibration” – which is about a plague – wouldn’t be coming out for five more years and that it would be released during a worldwide pandemic.)
Speaking of birthdays, RS fans would by now have had lots of opportunities to sing him happy birthday in concerts since the celebrations typically begin in June. Since we can’t do that in person this year, here’s a clip from last year.
Hope he’s feeling that birthday love headed his way, as many of his longtime fans have had his birth date etched on their minds for a few decades.
If you got to the bottom of this post, thanks for reading.
“Welcome to Your Bright New World” echoes the prevailing feeling of our time’s chaotic events and hopes for a better world when the dust settles. This song culminates Season 2 of Rick Springfield and Vance DeGeneres’ “Ultimate Mini-Series: The 60-Second Guide to Songwriting with a Partner”, started off as a way for the two friends to have some fun online while home-sheltering during the current Covid-19 pandemic. But what began as a way to share a few laughs with their online communities grew into a popular multi-episode series spanning two Seasons. You can watch both Season 1 and Season 2 on-demand here:
OK, that’s all the important details.
Now for my 12-year-old self fan reaction.
The floor of his house is the same kind of floor of the house I grew up in!
The theme of the video combines “The Wizard of Oz” (one of my favorite movies- notice the black and white beginning that turns to color and the twister lifting up the house) and “Alice in Wonderland.”
Why is that so cool?
I have two books from when I was younger that are now sitting in one of the bookshelves of one of my sons and they are “The Wizard of Oz” and “Alice in Wonderland.” He’s almost the age I was when I first became a Rick Springfield fan and I probably had the books when I was about his age. Now there’s a video in existence that captures three elements of my 12-year-old life: “The Wizard of Oz,” “Alice in Wonderland” and Rick Springfield. Cool, right?
OK, maybe I’m the only one that thought it was. Oh well.
Other thoughts about the song/video.
Very catchy! I like that the song has a positive view, as the situation in the world is getting so dark now we need that hope for a better world once we get through this.
I wonder where the green sock puppet was? Why wasn’t he included in the video? Did he drink too much Vance Vodka the night before the filming and miss the shoot? Will Spencer the sock puppet have a new career after appearing in the music video?
Next comes the fun part of diving deeper into the lyrics.
Welcome to your bright new world, everything can change from this moment on. There is no need for fear or questioning the gods as we watch Babylon fall.
Our world has changed so much these past few months. But there’s not a need for fear or questioning G-d, there is some kind of purpose for all of this and hopefully it’s all part of developing into a better world. (We hope.) Babylon is defined as a society or a group in a society considered as corrupt or a place of exile by another society, a place of luxury and corruption. Have you watched the news lately?
We stand together or it all falls apart. Fire burns and it’s been lit from a spark.
Basically, we’re all in this together. Fires are destructive and can destroy communities – and it can take only one person – and one spark – to start the fire.
So welcome to your bright new world, we’ve crossed the mountain range, we’re unbending, strong, there is no exit here, no impossible odds, as we reach Avalon’s shores.
Flash forward to the future after we’ve gone through this challenging time, staying strong, making it to Avalon (an island represented as an earthly paradise in the western seas, according to Celtic legend).
As we as a world experience this COVID-19 pandemic, entertainment is very welcome.
Fortunately Rick Springfield and Vance DeGeneres are doing a second round to their Songwriting with a Partner series and are currently in the process of recording their second song. This round took a different turn, which includes sock puppets, evil twins and RS’s BFF, actor Doug Davidson. There’s even an unexpected sighting of Charlie Chaplin, which was pretty hilarious.
RS has also continued weekly Zoom happy half-hours with lucky fans, which he graciously answers all sorts of questions about his music, acting, books, life. It’s pretty cool that he does this as many of those on the calls are decades-long fans so to have a chance to engage this way with their teenage crush is pretty amazing.
Video highlights of these calls are on his Facebook page, which are fun to watch because you get to learn what he’s been up to, such as the final edits of the sequel to “Magnificent Vibration,” which is called “World on Fire” and due to be released on audiobook in October.
I just realized that if the book is released only on audiobook, does that mean that there will be no bookstore tours like there was for “Magnificent Vibration”? Can you have a booksigning for an audiobook? Will there be any more book tours for any author in the next year? Will bookstores even make it through this pandemic?
Argh, sorry. So many unknowns lately, my mind often wanders.
Fortunately RS is keeping busy, which benefits his fans. He’s mentioned that he and Matt Bissonette (his former bass player who most recently tours with Elton John) and Gregg Bissonette, who tours with Ringo Starr) created a band called The Locusts (first there was the Crickets, then the Beatles, now the Locusts, which is such a fitting name for a band created during a plague). He mentioned on one of the Zoom calls that they recorded 12 songs which they will soon start releasing. Whoo-hoo!
In case you missed these:
The Global News Morning Show: Musicians Rick Springfield and Vance DeGeneres talk about their creative process in quarantine and their new single “The Wall Will Fall.”
Until the pandemic struck the U.S., Rick Springfield has toured nonstop with about 100 shows a year for many years, most recently with three versions: a full-band show, an acoustic Stripped Down show and shows with full symphony orchestras. Unfortunately I never got to see the last one live and the chance of that number of people all being on a stage together anytime soon is pretty slim.
Fortunately, RS fans are generous with their concert experiences and posted videos of symphony performances, so here’s a virtual concert featuring RS symphony concerts. The setlist is from June 27, 2019 in Atlanta, Ga. though the videos are from whatever I could find on YouTube. Thank you to all the fans who shared these videos!
Affair of the Heart
I’ve Done Everything for You
Don’t Talk to Strangers
Love is Alright Tonite
I couldn’t find a video for this one, but if you find one, let me know and I’ll add it!
She’s Leaving Home
April 24, 1981/My Father’s Chair
I Get Excited
World Start Turning
State of the Heart
Definitely won’t see anything like this anytime soon…
Here are the official RS videos for the “Orchestrating My Life” album, which show many different cool angles of the performance.
And that wraps up the 2020 virtual concert series! Of course these are nothing like actually seeing a live performance in person, but hopefully they will hold us over for now.
Due to the positive response of the previous virtual concert, I thought I’d do one for the Stripped Down acoustic show, too. I think everyone can use more joy in their life, right?
This set list is from the April 4, 2019 concert in Albany, Georgia and the videos are from whatever Stripped Down videos I could find on YouTube for those songs. Thanks once again to all those who posted these videos! (The featured pic at the top is from the one Stripped Down I got to attend, in Tucson back in 2015: “What an amazing show (and another brief meeting).”)
Enjoy the show!
I Get Excited
Affair of the Heart
Me & Johnny
Oh Well and Love is Alright Tonite
Mash-up of 867-5309, Jessie’s Girl and Stacy’s Mom
Human Touch and Don’t Talk to Strangers
4 Billion Heartbeats/My Father’s Chair
I’ve Done Everything For You
If Wishes Were Fishes
This was so much fun – I love his sense of humor and hearing the stories behind his songs. I’m so glad he doesn’t mind people videotaping at his shows, which allowed us to have this great footage! Thanks again to all the fans who posted their videos!
There are so many great videos from his Stripped Down shows, that I just wanted to share a few more, although they weren’t in this particular setlist.
Today’s announcement that all Rick Springfield concerts through August have been postponed until further notice was no surprise, but still felt crushing.
It’s one more reminder of all the changes in our new reality. So many things that we took for granted wiped away so suddenly. The enormity of it all is so hard to process.
So many people are dealing with incomprehensible challenges during this pandemic – such as those on the front lines or those fighting for their lives from the coronavirus or those hit hard economically. Every little loss has an impact in different degrees of severity. For music fans, concerts provide something to look forward to and a deep sense of enjoyment and connection. For the musicians and the crews, it’s their livelihood. It sucks on so many levels.
As of tonight, the desktop version of the RS website concert listing page has across the top of the page in red: “Please stand by for tour schedule updates.”
That’s really all we can do right now. We’re standing by to see how the number of COVID-19 cases will be affected by states lessening restrictions and opening up. We’re trying to figure out what to do with our kids this summer and waiting to hear what the next school year will look like. Some are wondering if their business will be able to survive. Will this be a temporary blip on a long history of trials we’ve faced as humanity or is this the time when everything changed? So much is unknown.
But it’s not all doom and darkness. There’s still much love and compassion and light. Volunteers and donors are stepping up to help others. So many people are creating music and art and various forms of creativity and entertainment to share with others. The recent “The Wall Will Fall” project is one of many examples. Innovation and resilience are also popping up – such as the resurgence of drive-in movies after the movie theaters closed, drive-up birthdays, Zoom weddings and funerals. There have also been some drive-in concerts.
We don’t know how this will turn out. But then again, before the pandemic we also didn’t know how things would turn out, we just made lots of assumptions based on experience.
For now, we’ll have to stand by to see how this develops – and, to quote an awesome new song that I’ve heard many times over the past week – be sure to “take care of each other.”
Since it’s uncertain when it will be safe for concert tours to continue – and because of all the Rick Springfield music that was supposed to be happening this weekend in Cancun as part of the postponed fan trip – I thought I’d put together a little concert here for anyone who might need one.
This is based on a set list from a concert on Feb. 15 2019, courtesy of the Rick Springfield & Us fan site, although the videos of the songs are from whatever recent footage I could find from YouTube. (Thank you to all who posted the videos! Some of you had such awesome seats, which makes it extra fun to watch! )
Light This Party Up
I’ve Done Everything For You
I Get Excited
Affair of the Heart
Our Ship’s Sinking
Medley & Love Is Alright Tonight
Bop ‘Til You Drop, Bruce, 867-5309 snippet, Jessie’s Girl snippet, Don’t Walk Away, Rock of Life, What Kind of Fool Am I
Don’t Talk to Strangers
OK, although I loved watching these, it also made me a little sad, realizing that these concerts are indefinitely on hold and some elements, like RS walking through the audience during “Human Touch” or passing the microphone through the crowd during “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” may be a thing of the past. But hopefully this hiatus is a brief one and RS and the band (and all other musicians) will be able to safely continue touring soon and share their music with fans in person.
I forgot about the time difference so it was a thrilling surprise to see that “The Wall Will Fall” is already out before I go to sleep on May 7! I even found my keys earlier tonight in the closet with an extra roll of paper towels! (I’ve been looking for my keys for the past month). A good day indeed!
So without further ado, here is the video for “The Wall Will Fall”: