Another new album on the way!

There was an exciting announcement this week:

Another new album! I’m so incredibly astonished about the amount of music that my favorite rock star puts out! Since this is a “symphonic album of hits & new songs,” there will be some familiar tunes on this new album (hopefully “Souls” will be one of them – it sounded so beautiful in the clips I saw from his recent symphony concerts). But also some new songs! Whoo-hoo!

If any reporters come across this blog when preparing for an interview to run before the next Rick Springfield show in your town, please ask him about this!

RS orchestra

He explained in one fascinating interview how the process worked with the symphony. Unfortunately, I can’t find where that interview was. If I remember correctly, somebody annotated the music for his songs (is that the right word?) then the talented symphony musicians were able to play it with very little rehearsal. But what about the new songs? Did he still write them the same way he usually does, going  through the same process with the annotator (is that the right word?) or did he have the symphony instrumentation in mind when he wrote it? What are the new songs about? Are they more “Rocket Science” (which he has called his happiest album ever) or “The Snake King” (the opposite of “Rocket Science”)? We’d like some details, please.

A brief recap of the last few albums – all since I started this blog in August 2014:   acoustic (“Stripped Down”), country-influenced (“Rocket Science”) and blues-influenced (“The Snake King.”) And now one with a symphony orchestra. See why I’m so impressed (and why Rick Springfield fans are so incredibly lucky)?

 

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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.

Feeling moody

This past week’s news feels much more like “Songs for the End of the World” than “Rocket Science.” It may even be closer to a “Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance” feeling.

It makes me nostalgic for the “Working Class Dog” and “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet” days.

If more people in this world were “Karma”-oriented and more “Tao”-conscious, there would be more harmony in the world.

(OK, I don’t really know what “Tao” means, I only have a sense of what it means and then found an article that said it can’t be defined in words, so that made me feel better…)

But seriously, what’s up with the world these days?

#Peace

(Note: For those not familiar with Rick Springfield’s albums, this post probably doesn’t make any sense, but it has to do with the overall mood of each album – and the world could use a little more “Rocket Science” right now.)

‘We Connect’ and ‘Let Me In’

The first review of “Rocket Science” came out a few days ago so I thought I’d include a link to that, here, too, especially because it includes a few lines of lyrics of one of the new songs on the new CD: “We Connect.”

It’s a very positive review (Melodicrock.com) and provides some clues to what the new CD sounds like: Rick Springfield delivers songwriting masterclass with ‘Rocket Science.’

And here’s a clip from a rehearsal from January when RS and his band were working on “Let Me In” (That song was a bonus track on “Songs for the End of the World.”)

So here’s what we have so far:

  1. The actual recording of “Light This Party Up.”
  2. The live version of “Down” plus bits of the recorded version after the lights go on after a concert.
  3. The previous version of “Let Me In” (great song).
  4. A few lines of lyrics from “We Connect.”
  5. A mention in an interview that “All Hands on Deck” is a patriotic song.

So now there are nine songs that are complete mysteries (the 8 others on the album plus a bonus track on the mp3).

And yes, I do realize that this probably stretches “fan” into “fanatical,” but one of the reasons I started this blog was because this is the kind of stuff that goes on in my head and it’s a way to not drive those around me crazy by actually talking about it.

Perhaps I should take the fact that my keyboard keeps freezing up as I write this as a hint that I should just stop now so I’ll go ahead and do that.

First glimpse of Rocket Science

So, this showed up on Twitter tonight:

Rocket Science cover

I was ready to go to sleep, but this woke me up very quickly!

What else do we know about Rick Springfield’s new CD? He’s played a couple of the songs at recent concerts: “Light This Party Up” and “Down.” Other songs that have come up here and there online are “Walking In” (at one time there was a video posted of him singing part of it at Club Med – great song, I can’t wait to hear the rest) and “Pay it Forward.”  That’s four out of 16 songs.

So the countdown begins – three months from today!

 

Patiently waiting. OK, not so patiently.

Back in January, when I heard that RS was recording a new album, I was so excited. Well, now that it’s been a few months, the waiting has kind of turned into torture. (#firstworldtorture)

I want to hear the new songs NOW! And now that the Club Med Rickation is going on and there’s a chance he might play some of the new songs and I’m not there, it’s just kind of hard to focus on my weekday responsibilities. And the fact that he’s been talking about it having a country sound. What? That’s usually my least favorite music so I’m really curious about what kind of country he’s referring to.

And it’s been a really, really long time since there was an album I was looking forward to. Since I was out of the loop for so many years, his recent few albums were available right away.

I want to hear the songs and I want to hear them NOW! (Shouting in a loud, obnoxious Veruca Salt tone like in the original “Willy Wonka” movie.)

OK, that’s all.

What a new RS album means

I can’t explain my reaction to the photo on Rick Springfield’s Facebook page today – it made me feel so happy that I felt like I could possibly burst from the happiness.

I’m not even sure why. Yes, I’m looking forward to hearing his new songs. Yes, he and his bandmates looked like they were having a fun time. Yes, I was glad to see that he cut his hair and shaved his beard. But it must have been more than that.

Maybe it was my inner teenager that was just ready to burst out. If social media had been around when I was in high school, I may have never gotten anything else done.

That immediacy is just so addictive. Not only did RS fans learn yesterday that he was in the studio rehearsing for a new album but we learned about it the same week it was happening (and not weeks or months later after the new record was released). There is even a video of RS with his songwriting partner Matt Bissonette from three days ago, the first day of rehearsals.

(As I was writing this I had to watch the video again and then got a little distracted by another video I hadn’t seen before – thank you, YouTube teasers. It was a fun video though, a KTLA Google+Hangout promoting “Songs for the End of the World” so it kind fits with the theme of this post.)

So anyway, where was I?

Ah yes, what does a new RS album mean?

More new songs! More insight into what he’s been experiencing since his last album. And just the fun of anticipating the new album (in addition to the new movie, new book and concert).

It seems as one gets older, there’s less to anticipate. When you’re a kid, there’s a long list of things to anticipate – driving, turning 18, turning 21, the possibilities of who you may become and who you may meet. But then you reach an age when you realize how fragile everything is and just become really grateful for what you already have. The more you learn about all the things that could go wrong, the more you appreciate all the things that go right and are apprehensive to wish for more. Kinda depressing but also kinda true, at least for me, especially after having kids.

So the opportunity to experience this anticipation is actually a huge blessing (which I am grateful to be experiencing).

In fact, I found scientific evidence for this reaction – it is the dopamine, according to this 2011 article on medicalnewstoday.com:

“Experiencing and even anticipating thrilling music releases the neurotransmitter dopamine, a “pleasure” chemical in the brain that is linked to tangible rewards like food, drugs and sex, said scientists from Canada who measured dopamine response to music and found the more “chills” or “frisson” the music elicits, even in the anticipation phase, the more dopamine is released…”

“And, [the researchers] added, it also shows that the anticipation of an “abstract reward” (music is not considered a tangible reward like food or sex), can release dopamine in a different anatomical pathway to that which is triggered at the peak of actually experiencing the pleasurable reward.”

That explains a great deal, actually.

And now we have an answer – a new RS album means a whole lot more dopamine will be released into the world.

New songs for the new year

Yesterday on Rick Springfield’s Facebook fan page, there was a photograph of RS and his band in the studio with the caption “Rehearsing for the next record.” Needless to say, the post received a number of likes – more than 4,700 so far – and more than 200 shares and comments. The announcement gave RS fans another dose of anticipation for the upcoming year – so far we’re looking forward to the release of his next movie, “Ricki and the Flash”; the sequel to his best-selling novel, “Magnificent Vibration”; his episodes on “True Detective” (for those with HBO); and upcoming concerts for both full-band tours and “Stripped Down” tours. And now more new songs!

So in the spirit of new songs for the new year, I’m going to share my first song of the year – not anticipated by anybody but I’m going to share nonetheless.

It’s called “Holes in the Wall.”
 
There are holes in the wall
Hidden underneath the pictures
I can’t answer when you call
There’s a shortage in the fixture
The lawn is overgrown
And the floor’s in need of sweeping
But I can’t get out of bed
I only feel like sleeping
 
The sun is shining brightly
But it’s icy cold outside
There’s a nail in the tire
That prevents me from a ride
The volume’s all turned up
But the mute button is blinking
It appears that we are floating
But it feels like we are sinking
 
There are holes in the wall
Hidden underneath the pictures
I can’t read the tiny scrawl
Scribbled among all the splinters
The pantry is empty
And the wall’s in need of painting
But I can’t get out of bed
So I’ll just lie here waiting
 
That may be light inside the tunnel
But it’s just too dark to see
Can’t tell if it’s salvation
Or a train headed toward me
It’s dark although it’s morning
Because the sun has yet to rise
So you don’t notice the new day
When you open up your eyes
 
There are holes in the wall
Hidden underneath the pictures
I can’t answer when you call
There’s a shortage in the fixture
The lawn is overgrown
And the floor’s in need of sweeping
I’ll try getting out of bed
Though I only feel like sleeping.
 
© 2015

NOTE: Hello from six months after this post was written – June 18. I finally recorded this song (a very rough version) – here it is:

Rick’s return

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Rick Springfield at The Wherehouse in the Beverly Center in Los Angeles, on April 13, 1999 – the year his “Karma” CD was released.

Although I wasn’t aware of it at the time, Rick Springfield took some time off after “Rock of Life” and I didn’t hear much about him except for that horrible ATV accident and that he had had a couple of kids. Life got busy and that was that.

At the end of 1998, I learned that Rick Springfield was going to be doing a show in Las Vegas. I lived in Los Angeles at the time so I headed to Vegas to see the show with a friend. My husband also came with a friend – they headed to the strip instead of the show (I stayed with my aunt and uncle, who lived near the casino where the show was, my husband and his friend stayed at the Sahara, which is a little ironic if you fast forward years later to Rick Springfield’s connection with a little girl named in Sahara in Las Vegas). My journal entry at the time: “Went to see Rick Springfield Sat. night. Row H. Ah! Rick was great – very nostalgic and I remembered most of the words!”

Then in 1999, when I heard he had a new CD out – and that he’d be doing a meet and greet at The Wherehouse in the Beverly Center in Los Angeles, not too far from where I lived – I knew I needed to go,

It was Tuesday, April 13. (No, I didn’t commit that to memory, I just dug up my appointment book from that year from a box in the garage.) The description in the book doesn’t go into much detail, it just says:

“MET Rick Springfield! Wendy got us in with the first group – no line. Rick was so nice! And looked so good!”

He signed my new copy of “Karma” (CD) and an old copy of “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet” (record).

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I don’t remember much about the meeting, except that he was really nice, looked very cute and he said he liked the way I spell my name. I still have a framed photo of him from that day on the bookshelf in my office. Not sure if there are other photos – like maybe one of him with me?! (I think I was trying to be respectful of my former husband by not having a photo of me with another guy displayed on our bookshelf but maybe there’s more photos in one of the boxes in the garage. This was long before digital cameras). I don’t think I said much as my mind tried to process that I was actually standing right next to him. The moment lasted forever but was over in few seconds.

After reading his “Late, Late at Night” memoir, I recently learned that “Karma” represented a spiritual journey for him, and in 1999, the songs really resonated with me because I had spent the last few years on a spiritual journey of my own.

Soon after that brief meeting, I learned that he would be performing in concert near Las Vegas – at Sunset Station in Henderson, very close to where my aunt and uncle lived – and my best friend from high school and I planned a trip to see him in concert (she was one of my friends who camped outside the mall for tickets).

By that time, I had returned to Arizona and my friend and I traveled to Vegas for the Aug. 28, 1999 concert. My appointment book said that we were in the front row by the end of the concert and I got to touch his hand and then met his band afterward but I don’t have any memory of any of that. (This was 15 years ago, you know-most of my memories are written in notebooks or appointment books in boxes in the garage). However, I do remember being surprised at how loud I could still scream and wondered how the children of some of the women who were there would feel if they saw their mom throw her bra on the stage.

Then he came to Celebrity Theater in Phoenix later that year – on Sept. 24 – and we saw him there again. Great shows both times! Both concerts were also surreal – the idea that the rockin’ guy on stage is THE guy who wrote all those songs that I’d been listening to for all those years. Out of everywhere in the whole world we could be or could ever go, we were both together in the same room at the same time. (OK, there were hundreds of other people in the room as well, but still…)

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.