Zoot to reunite for Australia performances

Way back before “Jessie’s Girl,” “General Hospital” and even “Speak to the Sky,” there was Zoot.

As the Noise 11 site says, “As the 60s turned into the 70s, Zoot was one of Australia’s most popular Pop Rock bands.” After the band disbanded in 1971, each of its members went on to find more great success. If you read this blog, you likely know a great deal of what the band’s guitarist has been up to.

Other members were Beeb Birtles, who formed Mississippi then the Little River Band; Rick Brewer joined The Ferrets: and Darryl Cotton had several hits then hosted a TV show. The band reunited in 2011 on one of the Rick Springfield fan cruises, resulting in a live album and DVD. They hoped to continue performing together but sadly Darryl Cotton died the following year from liver cancer.

Now, for the first time in nearly 50 years, the band will perform a handful of gigs in Australia. Musician Russell Morris will fill in for Darryl Cotton. The show will not only include Zoot songs, but also songs that each of the individual members did after leaving the band (so Australian fans will be able to hear “Jessie’s Girl” live).

According to the Noise 11 article, the show will have three parts – “Zoot bubblegum” songs, an acoustic set and then heavier Zoot songs. (Check out the article for a lot of great videos and more information.)

The shows are Nov. 12-13 and Nov. 20-21, 2020.

Here’s a little message from RS about the tour (with an Australian accent…)


Update on the guitar auction

The online auction of guitars from Rick Springfield’s private collection is currently under way and ends Friday. Forbes even reported on it: “Rock star legend auctions his guitars to aid Australian wildlife” Below is RS’s reply to the reporter’s question about how precious the guitars are to him:

“Not as precious as the animals. They are favorites and I have quite a bit of history with some of them. I have used them in recordings, in performances.I have written countless songs on some of them. And I’ve never met a guitar I didn’t like. Wildlife Warriors are hands on and treating burned, orphaned and homeless animals that are all victims of the fires. I hope the guitars find good homes and raise some useful money for the Aussie animals.”  

– Rick Springfield, Forbes

More on wildfire fundraisers

I wore my koala bear “Souls to Save” shirt for the first time the other day and my 9-year-old son, who has never commented on my clothing before as far as I can remember, took a look at it and said “I love that shirt!” I told him the story behind it and he said he loved it even more (plus he loved how soft it is). Just thought I’d share that. (Note: The shirt is now sold out and, according to the merch site, they will not be getting any more in at this time.)

An animated plumber?

Voicing an animated character is nothing new for RS. He appeared in “Family Guy” and all the the way back to the 1970s, there was “Mission: Magic!” According to a recent social media post, he also lent his voice to an Australian plumber on an episode of “Duncanville.”

Hmmm. Weird. Someone said tonight’s episode of “Duncanville” on Fox might feature an Australian plumber who sounds just like me. Guess I’ll have to watch and find out. 😉

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I haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, but it looks like you can watch it here.

There’s another addition to RS’s lengthy IMBD profile: “The Pitch,” a short listed as being in post-production. RS is listed as playing the character of “Barley” (he could have played the character listed as “Handsome Guy,” too.) The director of the short is Jackson White, the son of actress Katey Sagal and musician Jack White (RS’s drummer during the early 80s, among other times).

One more thing

RS had to miss the Eddie Money memorial celebration because he was sick and had to cancel a couple of shows. Hope he is feeling better now!

Show #14 coming soon!

Usually when a new Rick Springfield show is announced, it’s in a different state and I don’t think twice about going (unless it’s in Vegas or L.A. then I consider it.)

I was eyeing the symphony show in Costa Mesa this summer because there’s a chance I’ll be in Southern California that week, but a few things have to happen first to get that in place. Not only do I want to see a symphony show, but I also wanted to get in at least one RS show in my milestone birthday year since I’m not able to go on the big fan trip in November.

Imagine my surprise when a couple of weeks ago, I received a notification that he will be in Chandler, AZ (about 15 minutes from where I work) at the beginning of June! Tickets went on sale May 3 so there’s not even much time to wait. I considered it my early Mother’s Day present. I missed the presale unfortunately because the timing didn’t work out, but I still got second row, albeit way at the end of the stage. This will be my first time on this side of the stage – over in Tim’s territory. Maybe I’ll even get in Tim’s photo of the audience if he takes one!

My husband will be joining me for this show, as it’s been a couple years since he went with me and we even have a babysitter already lined up! Just for the fun of it, here’s a recap of the past 13 shows:

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  • Sept. 28, 1983: ASU Activity Center in Tempe, AZ.
  • Oct. 4, 1984: ASU Activity Center in Tempe, AZ (Ticket pictures courtesy of my 14-year-old and 15-year-old selves respectively, as preserved for decades in the scrapbook I found in my parents’ shed in April 2016. See “Where it all began.”) For one of those two shows, me and a few friends camped out overnight at Fiesta Mall for tickets, along with a long line of other RS fans (and their mothers).
  • Dec. 5, 1998: Sunset Station in Henderson, NV: My aunt and uncle lived in Henderson so I stayed with them and saw the show with a friend who also traveled to Vegas to see the show.
  • April 13, 1999: Met RS for the first time at a Los Angeles Wherehouse on the day “Karma” was released. Not a show, but noteworthy.
  • Aug. 28, 1999: Sunset Station in Henderson, NV: Went with one of my friends who I saw him in concert with in high school. Met some of the band members in the bar after the show and even got the guitarist’s phone number (because we had a mutual friend and he wanted me to give his number to her). Also got to say hi to Tim Pierce, RS’s guitarist from the ’80s who made a special appearance that night. (See “Flashback to 1999 concert” for more on this show.)
  • Sept. 24, 1999: Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. Again went with my friend from high school.
  • May 5, 2000: Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. Again with my friend from high school, along with her sister-in-law and niece (whose daughter’s name is Christina – the sister-in-law was also a huge RS fan and she screamed out to RS that her daughter’s name is Christina when he started playing “Kristina.”)
  • March 7, 2015: Soon after I “rediscovered” RS in 2014 and started writing this blog, he came to San Tan Valley on what would have been my mom’s 70th birthday. I also got to meet him that night after the concert and give him a piece of paper with this blog address on it. (Has he read this blog yet?!?!?! Maybe someday I will find out?) Read about that evening here: “A brief crossing of paths” and “Almost a week after the concert” and “My Meet and Greet.” (Obviously I had a lot to say about it.) And a little video too: “Nine minutes from the 17th Row.” For this show, George Bernhardt was still the lead guitarist and George Nastos played bass (after George B. left, George N. moved to guitar.)
  • April 9, 2015: My husband and I traveled to Tucson for the night to watch a Stripped Down show. Read about that one here: “What an amazing show (and another brief meeting).” Because the guy who handled the slideshow was stuck on the East Coast due to storms, there weren’t any visuals for the show – it was just RS on the stage, which was really the only necessary visual (although I would like to see the show with the photographs, too.)
  • Oct. 21, 2015: Arizona State Fair in Phoenix: Since tickets were much more affordable than at a regular show, my husband and I brought our two older sons, who got to sing “Don’t Talk to Strangers” with RS when he came out into the audience. We captured it on video! (See “My sons got to sing with Rick Springfield!“) It was so surreal to have my favorite rock star/teen crush interacting with my kids and I was thrilled to hear “Down” live for the first time (from “Rocket Science,” which was released on Feb. 19, 2016.)
  • Oct. 25, 2015: Back to Las Vegas, stayed with my cousin and went to the show with her. It was her first RS show and we met some of the “Rick Chicks” in a casino bar before the show. Read about this show, when “Human Touch” was stopped short because of an audience injury so he never made it to my row: “What happened in Vegas.” (I saw two shows in one week because the fair show a few miles from home was announced after I already bought my concert ticket and plane ticket for the Vegas show.)
  • March 26, 2016: My husband and I did another road trip to Southern Arizona for a full-band show at the Desert Diamond Casino in Sahuarita. This time we stayed in the same hotel as RS and the band and even saw RS in the lobby. (I didn’t approach him, but I did write a song of regret about that afterward.) We did, however, get to chat with Siggy and say hello to the other band members and scored some “Rocket Science” guitar pics. (See “Sahuarita show.”) This show included the debut of Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” in the set list.
  • July 8, 2016: Comerica Theatre in Phoenix. Brought my friend from high school again, but this time I bought the tickets and surprised her that they were in the second row. She’s quite familiar with my longtime RS infatuation and expected to hang out after the show where I was fortunate to get a quick selfie with RS. (“Summer tour rolls on.”)
  • Sadly, I wasn’t able to go to the 2017 show in Phoenix or see any shows at all that year.
  • Aug. 21, 2018: Back to Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. I went by myself for the first time, as the tickets were a little pricey and I couldn’t find anyone who wanted to go with me. (See “Concert in the round“). Still enjoyed the show, of course, and now I think of it as his last show of his 68th year and the night before he filmed “The Goldbergs” TV show. It was the first time hearing “The Snake King” songs live: “Voodoo House” and “Little Demon.”

So here we are in 2019 and three weeks from tonight, I’ll be there in the second row at the Wild Horse Pass Casino, squeezing one more RS concert into my first five decades here on Earth (or maybe there will be two more shows, if I work in the symphony show in July).

Rick Springfield is in my state!

OK, I know this may sound a bit ridiculous coming from somebody who is nearly 50 years old, but RICK SPRINGFIELD IS IN MY STATE! WHOO-HOO!

Tonight he performs in Tucson and I’m in Phoenix, but we’re in the same state! He’s actually been here since yesterday, according to his Instagram post yesterday. In fact he’s posted a few pics these past couple of days. It’s fun to see the goofy, tourist side of him.

He’ll be in Phoenix on Tuesday night – that means FOUR days in my state. That’s a long time for someone who is always running around the country on tour. Will he be in Tucson Monday on his day off or in Phoenix? Should I be running around to visit all the Starbucks in the area on Monday and Tuesday hoping for a glimpse?

(I’m only joking, I hope you know. In reality I’ll be shlepping kids to and from school and going to work. But it’s still fun to think about.)

His Tuesday night show is at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix, which is a cool intimate venue where the stage is in the middle and turns around during the show. The last time I saw him there was in 1999. Tommy Tutone will be opening (my 8-year-old was just singing 867-5309 this afternoon, coincidentally.) I remember Greg Kihn songs and videos from MTV and they were always a lot of fun to sing along with and Loverboy of course has some great tunes, too. Should be a fun evening!

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Here’s the inside of the Celebrity Theatre (Pic courtesy of Celebrity Theatre)

I’m not quite as close to the stage as I have been in the past, but my ticket is in the ninth row. Definitely a potential Human Touch Zone if he gets off the stage in the right place. I wonder if the spinning stage makes performers dizzy?

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!

In the fifth row – or not

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View from the fifth row in Sahuarita, Arizona.

I’ve been working on a little song in anticipation for the upcoming Rick Springfield concert at the Arizona State Fair this month.

In a sense, it’s a follow-up to “One in a Million,” a song I wrote back in January 2015 about the difference between how a fan views a rock star and how a rock star views fans. That was before my first RS concert in 15 years.

This one, “In the Fifth Row,” is about the feeling a longtime RS fan has at a show. (It could apply to a longtime fan of any musician, really.) Although I’ve now seen him six times since March 2015, I’ve felt this way each time.

In the past, my seats have ranged from 30th row (but moved to 17th row when I found empty seats after the opening act), to right at the stage (because there was some empty space there) so I’ve been really fortunate to have some nice views.

For this next show, which is the only scheduled full-band show from now until December, I have tickets in the, as you may have guessed, fifth row. Here’s the song, which is only one minute long:

Here are the lyrics:

In the Fifth Row

I’m in the fifth row, you don’t know me
I’m one of the faces in the crowd
I’ve been listening to your songs for decades
Tonight I’m gonna sing them out loud

Hello from the fifth row, sorry to stare
I can’t believe it’s really you up there
So long ago and so many years
And right here in front of me

I’m in the fifth row, can you see me?
I may look older, but I’m young inside
All of my worries wash away with your music
A refuge from the storm of life

After the last note fades
Reality invades
We go our separate ways.

Unfortunately, in my zest to purchase the tickets to the show as soon as they went on sale, I didn’t confirm the date and now it appears that I have a family conflict and I won’t be able to go to the concert. I’m so, so, so, so, SO sad about that, but I know family has to come first. If it was one night earlier or one night later I could do it, but not that night. I so wish he could just switch nights with Marilyn Manson or Old School Jam, but that’s not likely.

I feel silly feeling so sad about it because there are so many other people dealing with all kinds of horrible things like the aftermath of hurricanes and earthquakes and fires and floods and the massacre in Las Vegas and  I’m sitting here bummed out because I can’t go see my favorite rock star in concert for the seventh time in three  years. Pretty pathetic, I know, and I need to get over it.

The year I started this blog, he was in Phoenix twice – once in May 2014 to sign copies of “Magnificent Vibration” (it was an interview video I saw from this visit that ended up being the spark that started this blog) and in July 2014, a few days after I saw that interview.

So hopefully it won’t be too long until he is back in town again. Is the “Magnificent Vibration” sequel coming out anytime soon? Maybe I’ll just go hang out at the fair during the day of the show in case RS wanders through the fairgrounds in search of funnel cake.

Side note:

I know most of you are reading this blog for Rick Springfield content, but on the off chance that anybody is following the songwriting storyline, here is some additional information about the song:

I recorded vocals and guitar at the same time using Audacity and a Focusrite Scarlett Solo (2nd Generation) USB Audio Interface. It took about 50 tries to get this version and it still didn’t come out exactly the way I had hoped, but I pretty much hit all the notes in this version and it was the best of all of them so I decided to go with it.

I also revised the song quite a bit throughout the process because some of the verses ended up sounding a little stalkerish, which was not my intention, and hopefully I’ve gotten rid of anything that could be construed that way. Hope you enjoy it!

Magicians, turkeys, dragons and a Rick Springfield concert

The family and I went to a children’s festival this afternoon and the Arizona State Fair had an exhibit with some carnival-type games for the kiddos. 

There were also stacks of the flyers shown below. Can you tell what caught my eye?

No, it wasn’t the racing turkeys or the dragons, although I am curious about those.

Can you guess what day I plan to go to the fair?

Close to the one-year mark

In the last few days, I’ve received several notifications of upcoming Rick Springfield shows. There are full-band shows, Stripped Down shows, co-headlined acoustic shows with Richard Marx and co-headlined shows with Pat Benetar and Neil Giraldo. One thing they have in common is that none are in Arizona.

Sure, I’m happy for fans in all those cities and am grateful for all the photos and videos they will hopefully share, but it’s getting very close to the year-mark of being at a RS show so I’m starting to feel the withdrawal. In fact, a year ago one month from tonight, was the last time he was town.

I already feel the virtual glare of fans in Australia or other places that may not have had a RS show in years or decades, and I know I’ve been spoiled (a total of five Arizona concerts in 2015 and 2016) but, c’mon, we’re neighbors (state neighbors). It’s just a one-hour flight for most of the band. You don’t even have to bring any equipment, we have some guitars and a keyboard you can use. Sorry, Siggy, you’d have to bring your own bass and Jorge, you may have to use the ottoman (think retro-style, like the demo of “Jessie’s Girl”). It can be a casual get-together with your Arizona fans (and if you want to make a road trip of it, there are probably some California fans who would charter a bus). Doesn’t that sound fun?

Anyway, fortunately shows seem to be added on a regular basis (like that time in 2015 when I broke down and bought tickets for a Vegas show only to find out a few days later that tickets were going to go on sale for a concert that same week only a few miles away.) So there’s still hope that there will be a nearby show in 2017.

Meanwhile, there has been news that RS and the band have been in the studio to work on the next album, which RS has said will be blues-y. So there’s a chance that he’ll play one of the new songs at one of these upcoming shows, which would be pretty cool, too, and if people share it online, that will help withdrawals – so thanks in advance.

Live from Germany

I just wanted to reflect for a moment on the coolness of what just happened.

I was folding laundry on a sunny Phoenix spring afternoon and took a break for a few minutes to watch my favorite rock star perform live with a symphony orchestra in Berlin, along with thousands of other RS fans from around the world.

Pretty amazing.

It sounded so great – and thanks to those who made it happen.

Now back to the laundry.

See it here. (The concert, not the laundry.)

In the lobby a year ago tonight

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Close to the stage

A year ago tonight was the evening that I stayed at the same hotel as Rick Springfield.

I walked by him and the band in the lobby as they were checking into the hotel and because I was with my husband – who just isn’t into the “Hey, let’s hang out and see if we can meet Rick Springfield!” thing – we just walked by. I did, however, get a wave from drummer Jorge though, who was on the phone and caught me staring, and we rode in the elevator with bassist Siggy, who was very nice. (By the way, happy belated birthday, Jorge.)

We saw the show in Sahuarita that night, which was wonderful and although I talked my husband into hanging out in the casino and hotel for a bit just in case RS were to walk by, it never happened. But we did see keyboardist Tim walking around after the show and got to wish him a happy birthday (Happy birthday, Tim!)

It was a fun weekend trip with my husband. Much more fun than this weekend this year, as we are now going to empty the content of the downstairs cabinets so they and our floors can be ripped out this week because of water damage. Sometimes being a grown-up is just no fun – thank goodness for the moments in life when you can put that on hold for a couple of days to go see your teenage crush in concert!

 

 

 

Passport through technology

I of course was bummed that I wasn’t able to travel to the Bahamas this week for the Rick Springfield fan getaway, but through the amazingness of technology -and the kindness of fellow RS fans – I feel like I got a little taste of it tonight.

In addition to all the videos that fans posted tonight, there are also clips on Rick Springfield’s own Facebook page: from the soundcheck, from the opening song of the welcome concert – “Living in Oz” – an aftershow piano bar cocktail party with RS singing his songs and Beatles songs (with sharks or really big fish swimming by on the other side of the window) and even a personal message from Rick wishing that I was there! (OK, that’s my 12-year-old self talking, it was really a message to whoever visited his Facebook page. Of course.)

The Rick and the NEWSflash folks – who are so INCREDIBLY kind to share so much cool stuff – even posted more songs from the welcome concert, which included songs from “Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance.” It was SO cool to hear those songs live. And it shows how awesome his band is – they had to learn all these songs!

Also RSandUS, a fan-based site, is posting videos on its YouTube page. You rock!

One bonus of technology is how customized it is. For instance, on my Twitter page for this blog, my feed is a whole lot more fun to read than the depressing news/comments on my personal/work feed this week. Some of the posts on my Facebook feed are the same way. Because these days you can create your own reality based on who you follow on social media, tonight I’m sticking to the RS Facebook fan pages and enjoying a little time in the Bahamas.