‘The Birthday King’ to raise funds for dogs

This year’s Rick Springfield Birthday Campaign kicks off today! For details, visit: happybirthdayrick.com.

“The Birthday King” campaign runs today through Sept. 23, 2018 and all funds go toward the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation.

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This year’s logo

This is the 11th year of the campaign, which has raised more than $100,000 since 2007. Learn more about the campaign’s history here. Last year’s campaign, for RS’s 68th birthday, raised $17,068.68. Learn how to donate here.

The grand prize is “The Backstage Extravaganza.” Not sure exactly what that is, but it sounds exciting! Each $5 donation gets one entry for the prize drawings. Math isn’t my strong suit so check here for all the details about the prize drawing. The prizes aren’t listed yet – besides the (cue extravagant music here) “The Backstage Extravaganza.”

Thank you, RS Birthday Campaign project team and all the fans who are donating prizes!

Side note: Did I mention that Rick Springfield will be a few miles away from where I am right now in SIX days?! Fourteen minutes away. 11.2 miles. I couldn’t resist buying a ticket even though I couldn’t find anyone willing to spend the money to go with me (when you’ve seen your favorite rock star six times in less than four years, sometimes you run out of concert-going buddies to go with if they don’t feel the same way.) But my birthday was last week so this is my birthday present to myself!

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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.’

Over 100K raised through Rick Springfield birthday campaigns

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The totals are in for this year’s fan-run Rick Springfield birthday campaign.

This year’s campaign was in memory of his mom, Eileen Springthorpe, who died on Dec. 21, 2016, and raised $17,068.68 to benefit Linda Blair’s Worldheart Foundation, an organization that helps rescue dogs. (Notice the double 68s? That’s relevant since this campaign celebrates RS’s 68th birthday.) The campaign ran Aug. 1-Sept. 15.

Although the campaign is completely run by fans – who design the website, coordinate the donations and donate prizes – RS chose the foundation as the beneficiary. As his fans know, he is an avid dog lover, as was his mom. Helping so many dogs is such a nice tribute to her and I’m sure she would have been so proud to know all the good work being done in her son’s name.

According to the campaign website, happybirthdayrick.com, the birthday campaign started in 2007 and with the addition of this year’s funds, the total raised through all the campaigns is $107,290.83. This year’s total is the second largest amount raised. In 2015, the campaign raised $18,666.  Last year’s campaign was $8,767.

Past charities have included American Gold Star Mothers, a  veterans service organization for mothers who have lost sons or daughters who died while serving in the military; Hoops for Life, a research program for pediatric brain tumors; and charities helping with Haiti earthquake relief efforts. In past campaigns, some funds have also gone to helping individuals with terminal illnesses, such as Ruben, who worked as RS’s guitar tech.

Way to go, RS fans!

Rick Springfield birthday season

August is a big birthday month for our family – first mine, then my dad’s then two of my kids and then a nephew’s. But although we have our share of celebrations this month, none comes close to Rick Springfield’s.

Throughout the month of August (and sometimes earlier and after), thousands of people sing “Happy Birthday” to him at his shows. Since 2007, his fans also raise thousands of dollars for charity in honor of his birthday each year. As of 2016, these efforts have raised more than $90,000 for multiple charities. This year’s campaign, which is initiated and run by fans, is in memory of his mother, Eileen Springthorpe, who died on Dec. 21, 2016. As of today, more than $6,000 has been raised. The “Celebrate Life Birthday Campaign” continues through Sept. 15 and this year the proceeds will go to the Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation, which helps rescued dogs.

The campaign’s nice-looking website, happybirthdayrick.com has all the details about how to donate, as well as how to purchase T-shirts designed specially for his birthday campaign. Donations of at least $5 include an entry to the prize drawings. This year’s grand prize is a guitar and a Meet & Greet.  Those who donate $68 or more (he’s turning 68 this year) will receive a 4×6 photo of RS and a custom guitar pick, while supplies last. All donors will also receive a Celebrate Life magnet, while supplies last.

Happy birthday month, RS! (And many moooooore…) ❤️🎂🎈🎉🎸🎶

Apparently there will also be another Saturday Night Springfield Special this year – a whole evening of Rick Springfield music presented by DJ Rowdy Ron and The Rick Springfield Birthday Charity Campaign. If you haven’t been following RS all these years, be sure to tune in because you have lots to catch up on – the show features decades of RS music, hours and hours of songs (yes he has enough songs through the years to cover hours and hours of music with no repeats). Read more about this show here and here.

The show is Aug. 26: 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST

Listen at rowdyradio.listen2myshow.com/ and join Carry On Wayward Chat for live radio group chat. Thank you, Rowdy Ron, for doing this again!

Lastly, here are some of concert birthday songs from previous years. (His actual birthday is Aug. 23.)

Last year:

2015:

2014:

2013:

2012:

2010:

2008:

Happy 67th, Rick Springfield!

Although the celebrations started weeks ago, the big day is finally here – Rick Springfield’s birthday! Happy 67th birthday, RS!

It’s incredible how one person can inspire so many people. Not only through the music created and shared, but by following their passion and persevering through difficult times.

RS has shared so much of his life with the world, through his songs and memoir and during interviews. For some fans, his music has gotten them through difficult times and for others his concerts provide a nostalgic way to reconnect with their inner teen. Some fans have a two-way connection with him, from attending his shows and fan getaways for years and sharing their life stories during meet-and-greets – he might even recognize them and know them by name.  For many, like me, this connection is mainly in their head – any actual encounters are very brief (like maybe a photo and a word or two) and he doesn’t know anything about them. But either way, lives are changed for the better  because of the connection he’s made with them simply by living his life.

It’s a special person who can inspire others by the life they live. Perhaps there are times when he didn’t make the best choices – as he detailed in his memoir – but life offers many opportunities to change and grow and by sharing his life’s highs and lows in “Late, Late at Night” and being honest about his struggles, it gives hope to many people that they, too, can get through their own struggles. And despite what he’s expressed about how he’s felt about himself through the years, I think he seems like a really good, kind person. Lots of people put out good music, but it’s really the person behind the music that makes RS one-of-a-kind.

(Also a special shout-out to his wife, Barbara, because it takes a special person to let their loved one pursue their dreams so wholeheartedly and she appears to be an incredible support to him through the years. And to put up with all of us fans, wow.)

For me personally, RS has been an incredible muse, inspiring me to start writing songs again after a 10-year hiatus, something that gives me much joy. And now my 10-year-old has recently started writing songs so the inspiration carries through to another generation.

Happy birthday, RS – thanks for your all your music, your humor, your inspiration. May you have a very happy birthday and know that the 67 years of your presence here on Earth so far has meant a great deal to so many people.

Birthday indulgence

Last year on this day was a big press day for “Ricki and the Flash” and I remember it well because I was at a hotel in Palm Springs so I got to watch all the RS interviews that were on that day since I wasn’t at work. Plus it was my birthday so it was a little treat in addition to my real-life celebration.

So, if you don’t mind  little birthday self-indulgence, let’s go back in time to past Aug. 6 news (tonight he’s doing a show at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island – hope everyone who goes has a great time!)

2015

Press for “Ricki and the Flash”

2014

Official announcement that RS would star in “Ricki and the Flash.” (See article here.)

2011

A concert in Oklahoma (read a review here.)

2009

Promoting “My Precious Little One”

2008

RS has the highest chart debut in over 20 years with “Venus in Overdrive.” His first CD of all new material in almost five years came in at No. 28 on the Billboard chart.

2007

A scene on “General Hospital.”

And now waaaaay back, to my 1982 diary:

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Update on Aug. 10: I found some clips from the Aug. 6, 2016 show (from somebody whose videos turned out WAY better than any I’ve taken. In fact, it is such an amazing RS concert recap video, I totally plan to watch it on my birthday again next year. Happy birthday to me.)

 

RS fans: charity and documentary

Well, I now have one less thing to worry about – I don’t need to give any more thought about what to order if I won the dinner with Rick Springfield.

Yes, the Rick Springfield Birthday Charity Campaign has come to an end for this year, raising a total of $18,566. Great job to those fans who organized it (and thanks for the RS photograph and “Ricky and the Big Birthday Bash” guitar pic!)! The money benefited The Linda Blair Worldheart Foundation and Hoops for Life/Dr. Michael Edwards’ Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Program at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

I actually didn’t spend very much time worrying about what to order for dinner (this was the grand prize), but I admit that it did cross my mind a few times, with worries about food getting stuck in my teeth and spilling his glass of wine. And judging from my past encounters with him, I doubt I’d even be able to speak in complete sentences in his presence. But attending a sound check (another grand prize) would have been very cool. Oh well.

Since he’s on a short break from his tour, there haven’t been any live-stream concerts to watch, but I did come across this great interview on YouTube: an uncut interview from The Daily Buzz from Oct. 3, 2011 – four years and five days ago – when he was helping to promote the “An Affair of the Heart” documentary about his relationship with his fans.  Since it’s the uncut version, it means that although the “Who is Jessie’s Girl?” question did come up, there was plenty of time for other questions, too.

How many other rock stars inspire their fans to raise money for charity in lieu of birthday gifts and make a documentary about them?

Happy birthday, Rick Springfield – 33×2

As I mentioned last year at this time, Aug. 23 is an international holiday to Rick Springfield fans around the world.

Since junior high, I’ve always thought “That’s Rick Springfield’s birthday!” any time I hear the date Aug. 23. And last year and this year, I’ve marked the occasion by listening to all night Springfield Saturday Night Specials – hours and hours of Rick Springfield music – first by Rowdy Ron then followed by Mark Davis, who is in Melbourne (That original demo for “Jessie’s Girl” was especially cool, Mr. Davis).

So, now Rick Springfield is 66 years old! And still rocking, acting, writing. Many people see age 65 as a time to retire from their career and RS seems to be going as strong as ever, trying and succeeding at new things each year. Pretty incredible!

There’s also something really cool about RS and the number 66, that I just realized. 66 is 33×2 and it’s been 33 years since 1982 when he was 33 and hit it big with “Jessie’s Girl” (and gained millions of new admirers who continue to be fans today) and now here he is 33 years later at age 66, having an extremely successful year in music, movies and TV, a “renaissance,” as some may say. I’m not really sure what the significance of these numbers are, but it feels significant.

Happy birthday, RS!! And thanks for live-streaming parts of your Hershey concert on your Facebook page (especially your new song “Down” – what a nice surprise – can’t wait to hear the new “Rocket Science” album in January!).

(Update: A funny little note regarding the 33×2 mention above – he posted on his FB page today that he’s touring in a tour bus for this current tour – for the first time since the ’80s. See, history is repeating itself. Only for the good stuff, though, I hope.)

(Another update, as of Aug. 24: The video of “Down” seems to have been removed from the Facebook page. Big bummer, since I was still trying to decipher all the lyrics, but it was still great to hear it. It just means I may be singing the wrong lyrics for a few months, which is probably also what I am doing with “Walking In.”)

Wonderful interview on the eve of a 66th birthday

One cool thing about a decades-long career like Rick Springfield’s is when he gets an opportunity to reflect on his life up to this point. And he has had quite a life. It would make a great memoir. Oh wait, it was (and maybe there will be a sequel to that someday, which would be awesome).

He shares many reflections about his life in a wonderful recent interview in Australia: “Rick Springfield: On learning the craft of acting, wanting to be a rock star and living with depression.” A very touching, insightful interview. I love that he is so honest and open about his life. I think by doing that, he has helped so many people.

Happy birthday, RS, hope you have a wonderful birthday weekend, thanks for sharing so much of yourself with others.

(On another birthday note, Rowdy Ron will have another one of his Saturday Night Springfield Specials in honor of RS’s birthday – Saturday, Aug 22 starting at 8 p.m. EST at rowdyron.com.) The previous Saturday Night Springfield Special, in December, was more than seven hours long. Yes, seven hours straight of Rick Springfield’s music. Freaking awesome!)

(And one more birthday note: The Rick Springfield Birthday Campaign has raised more than $7,500 so far. Click here to donate to great causes in honor of RS’s birthday. And who knows, maybe you’ll win the grand prize of dinner with RS!)

If I lived in New York…

If I lived in New York
I would make a big sign that says “Today is my birthday”
And I would stand outside the “Today” studio tomorrow.
Then maybe Rick Springfield, who will be on “Today” tomorrow,
Would see it and maybe I would get a hug or a selfie.
But I do not live in New York
So I will watch “Today” on TV tomorrow
But I will not hold a sign.

(Since this blog is dedicated to my 12-year-old self who would have written something like this if there were blogs in the ’80s, I thought it would be appropriate to throw this in, although I realize it’s cheesy…)