More subtle than posters on the wall

If anyone peeked into my teenage bedroom, they would know beyond a doubt that I was a Rick Springfield fan. His face was plastered all over my walls and his music was likely playing from my stereo speakers (my stereo had a record player AND a cassette player, which I guess would now be considered vintage).

But although my walls are no longer covered with pictures of Rick Springfield (my husband wouldn’t appreciate that), I realized this morning that there are still signs around the house that show I’m a fan.

On the top off a bookshelf in our office is the original location of RS memories, with the signed “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet” album and a framed pic of RS from the first time I met him (on the day of the release of “Karma” in 1999.) It’s a little dusty up there (sorry RS), so I guess I’ll call that my dusty Springfield shelf. (Ha ha.) Tucked into the frame of the picture are two guitar pics that I got at concerts in October 2015 and March 2016. These items sit on the shelf with a menorah my husband’s grandfather made, a vase from my wedding reception, a cuckoo clock from my parent’s house and a glass lamp shade my husband’s aunt made. And a little violin sculpture, not sure where that came from.

Rick Springfield on top of shelf

Another shelf in the office contains my RS items from the past few years since I started this blog (except for the “Tao” cassette, which is another “vintage” item from my high school days and the signed “Karma” CD, which I got on the day I met RS in the picture above.)

This collection includes CDs, a CD stand (which was my “Santa’s gift” from Rick Springfield Official Merchandise last year), a copy of handwritten lyrics of “Carry Me Away” and “Everybody’s Girl” (my extremely treasured “Santa’s gift” from the previous year), a signed RS pic from one of the fan giveaways and my treasured “Rick Fit” winnings, which includes a signed “Speak to the Sky” record and a signed “medal.”

Rick Springfield on book shelf

(Full disclosure: I moved the “Late, Late at Night” book from a different bookshelf for the sake of this picture.) On the shelf underneath is the manila envelope with those mysterious photos I found last year and an envelope with the lyric booklet from “The Snake King.” I have a couple of DVDs somewhere, too.

Downstairs there are only a couple of clues, the “Working Class Dog” tumbler currently sitting on the counter (my Mother’s Day gift to myself last year, on the 35th anniversary of WCD) and a magnet on the fridge from last year’s RS birthday campaign.

Rick Springfield magnet

My RS treasures from high school, which includes all my posters and my RS scrapbook, are all at my dad’s house, but you can see them in this post: “Where it all began.” They are no longer on the walls of my former bedroom (my former bedroom is now my dad’s office) but are in a desk drawer in the guest room, the same desk I had in high school, which would also probably considered vintage by now, too.

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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.

‘The Snake King,’ ‘Little Demon’ and ‘In the Land of the Blind’

DOO-b7SW0AA2FmnHaving a lazy Saturday afternoon and thought I’d do a Google search to see if there’s any more information out there on “The Snake King.” He recently announced at a concert that the first single will be “Little Demon” and then this European website announced another one of the songs, “In the Land of the Blind” and the title track, “The Snake King”:

Here’s what the website said about “The Snake King”:

“Rick Springfield’s resume as a successful musician and actor need not be repeated here as it has been well documented many times over the years. What needs to be discussed here is that The Snake King will NOT be the Rick Springfield album you or anyone else was expecting. Rick, not for the first time in his career, has thrown a curveball that surprises and absolutely delights at the same time.

The Snake King finds Rick travelling down a dusty dirt road to explore the blues side of his rock ‘n roll. All you have to do is check out two of the first couple cuts on the album, “In The Land Of The Blind” and “Little Demon” or also the title-track to get an understanding of the blues laden journey Rick had decided to allow us to join him on.

And of the many delights on this album, Rick’s grossly underrated guitar playing really shines here, perhaps moreso than on any album in his storied catalog. As for the lyrics? Not what you’d expect either, but we’ll leave it up to the listener to decide what’s being relayed there.”

Sounds intriguing – now we just have to wait two months and a day until we can listen to it. (Unless some songs will be released earlier like in the past. Hope so!)

What we know so far about the new CD

I wanted to start this post out by first clarifying that not all of its content is verified and is solely what exists in my head based on bits and pieces of information found online. That being said, here we go…

  1. Genre: In interviews, RS has said that he is making a blues album, so that’s pretty much confirmed.
  2. The name: There have been a couple references to the new CD’s title as “The Snake King.” “Rocket Science” was originally supposed to be called “Mayhem,” so we won’t really know until its closer to being released.
  3. Theme: Judging from the blues genre and the working title “The Snake King,” I have a feeling that it won’t have the same positive vibes as “Rocket Science.” A snake just doesn’t conjure up the same emotion as the dressed-up chimpanzee on the cover of “Rocket Science.” Starting back with the original book – the Bible – snakes don’t have a great reputation so a reference to a “snake king” sounds somewhat sinister.
  4. Contributors: References to the recording session have included his current band, the wonderful producer Jeff Silverman ( a member of his band back in the 70s, as well as someone who has produced much of RS’s work), singer-songwriter Windy Wagner (who is credited as doing background vocals on “Light This Party Up“) and guitarist Tim Pierce (a member of RS’s ’80s band The Fabulous Eels.) (July 3 update: a blog post by Jimmy Z Zavala, who played harp (harmonica) on “Bop ‘Til You Drop” records for the new album at RS’s home studio.)
  5. Songs so far: We were treated to a snippet of one of the songs this week on social media, with a line that sounds like “I aspired for something greater, what I expected I don’t know.”

As the 2017 touring continues this weekend and beyond, hopefully we’ll be learning a little more about it soon!

It’s official – Rocket Science on Feb. 19!

Now it’s officially official – this was on Rick Springfield’s Facebook page today, with a list of songs! In past interviews, he’s mentioned that he had 16 songs for the CD and he’s mentioned “Walking In” as one of the songs, so maybe there will be extra tracks on some, like there was for “Songs for the End of the World.” (“Let Me In” was a bonus track on that album. Great song!) Can’t wait!

Rocket Science Facebook announcement