Reliving the ’80s in 2016

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Rick Springfield rocked on the new ABC series “Greatest Hits” last night! For anyone who has seen him live in concert lately, that was no surprise. What a great idea for a show, it was lots of fun to watch. (In case you missed it, you can see it here.)

In addition to the nostalgic feeling of the show – hearing all those familiar tunes and the intro with all the 1980s clips from TV shows and movies – it was also nostalgic to have that feeling of watching something fun along with so many people from across the country. I rarely watch live TV and seeing the tweets and Facebook posts about a show I was also watching reminded me of the days when you went to school the next day and everyone was talking about the same show. Back in the days before hashtags, when there were only a few channels to choose from so the chances of that happening were much more likely.

It also reminded me how much technology has changed since the 1980s – in addition to the tweeting and Facebook posts. I tried to turn on the TV downstairs, but the TV is hooked up through the Xbox and I couldn’t figure out how to switch it to live TV. Then I couldn’t find the remote control upstairs and for some reason the TV was on a Spanish station and I couldn’t change the channel without the remote so I was frantically looking for the remote as the clocked ticked closer to 8 p.m.

But in the end, it all worked out and I got to watch it along with all those other ’80s fans out there.

And it was cool to know that my favorite rock star from the ’80s is still making music today and I get to see him perform live next week!

Future greatest hits

 

On June 30, Rick Springfield will be featured in the debut of ABC’s “Greatest Hits,” a six-episode summer series hosted by Arsenio Hall. Of course RS will perform “Jessie’s Girl.”

The show is scheduled for 9-10 p.m. EST on ABC and will also feature “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins, “Bette Davis Eyes” by Kim Carnes, “Ghostbusters” by Ray Parker Jr. and “Celebration” by Kool & The Gang” – all part of my 1980s soundtrack (which I’m sure is true for many people).

Those who were a big fan of 1980s RS and are going to one of his concerts this year after a decades-long hiatus will likely recognize most of the songs because there are so many hits from those days.  But he’s also been including some of the songs from “Rocket Science” at his live shows. So far “Light This Party Up,” “Down,” “That One” and “Miss Mayhem” have been part of current set lists.

Which of these songs will someday appear on a “Greatest Hits” album? It’s too soon to tell of course – and RS has said in an interview that he had no idea “Jessie’s Girl” would be the hit off “Working Class Dog” and look what it has become today. (Does this conversation sound familiar?: “I’m going to see Rick Springfield in concert.” “Who?” “Rick Springfield. Have you heard of him?” “No.” “Jessie’s Girl?” “Oh yes! I love him.“)

So now that “Rocket Science” has been out a few months – it came out Feb. 19 – let’s see where the songs are today.

“Light This Party Up”: Fans first heard this song at the RS fan event at the Club Med event in April 2015. I unfortunately was not one of the fortunate ones to be there, but someone posted videos to share the experience. I first heard it live in October 2015. In December 2015, USA Today presented the official world premiere. About a month after “Rocket Science” was released, a snippet of the song was played in an ABC Wednesday night promo for “The Middle.” Then there’s this video, which is part animation, part concert footage.

“Down”: I first heard this song live in October 2015, at the same show as “Light This Party Up.” But by then, I had heard it countless times on videos other people posted from past shows. An official audio video was released in December 2015 and the official video – shot at Sunset Cliffs in San Diego – was released this week after an ABC interview in his home studio. The song also is currently the theme song for the “Sundays with Carolyn & Dan” show on QVC.

“That One”: The debut for this song was on the Yahoo Live Stream of a concert in Nashville, about a week before the CD’s release.

“Miss Mayhem”: Another one that was released in early February – before the CD. (B.C.D.?) This sneak peek debuted on guitarplayer.com.

“Pay It Forward”: The concept of this song was used for a benefit concert for the American Cancer Society in Palm Springs, California. If people weren’t able to attend the concert, but still wanted to contribute, they could purchase tickets for cancer survivors. Such a cool idea.

Let Me In: This song was originally released as a bonus song on “Songs for the End of the World,” but the “Rocket Science” version has more of a country sound. It also has a more upbeat vibe to it, which fits with the idea that the new album has a more positive message than its predecessor. This new version’s premiere was released in January 2016 on billboard.com, along with an acoustic version.

Time will tell what the destiny of these songs will be, but for now they are considered his new songs – although for many of his fans, they are already as familiar as ones on past albums.

Greatest hits

51r31MDtOuL[1]In the past year, I’ve listened to the “Venus in Overdrive” and “Songs for the End of the World” CDs countless times in the car, which means my kids have, too. So before this week’s concert, I figured I better get them acquainted with the songs on the Greatest Hits CD, too, since those are the ones he will likely be singing on Wednesday night.

Of course they already know “Jessie’s Girl,” because any time it comes on the radio, I crank it up and sing along. And they’re familiar with “Human Touch” and “Don’t Talk to Strangers” because of the times I’ve shown them the concert videos of RS coming into the audience and having kids on stage, respectively.

Not only is it fun to listen to these earlier songs again, it’s also fun to hear the kids’ reaction to them.

“Don’t Talk to Strangers”: 7-year-old: “If we don’t talk to strangers, we’ll never meet anyone new.” (I guess this means we need to review the “Stranger Danger” lesson?)

First-grader in carpool: “I don’t know this song, but I like it.” And then the next week: “I really like this song, this is my favorite song.” “That and Jessie’s Girl.”

“I’ve Done Everything for You”: My 9-year-old suggested that this would make a good duet between Veruca Salt and her father. (We recently watched “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”) Veruca’s dad would say, “I’ve done everything for you,” he explained, “and Veruca Salt would sing, ‘you’ve done nothing for me.’ ”

I also often hear them singing these songs. My 7-year-old was singing “Bop ‘Til You Drop” as he was doing his math homework tonight and I’ve heard my 5-year-old singing, “You better love somebody.”

They also want to know what the songs are about, so I try to explain them as best as I can, although the content isn’t quite kid-appropriate in certain cases. But we did have a good conversation about jealousy the other day.

I admit that I hadn’t really listened to this CD in years until recently because I’d heard the songs so many times and I was more interested in listening to all the newer music I’d missed over the years. Plus so many of the concert videos that people post are these songs so I hear them – or parts of them – regularly. But my appreciation for them is rekindled now – it’s so fun singing along to them – the lyrics are both deep and fun to sing and the melodies are so catchy.

I’m so excited that I’ll be able to hear these songs live in two nights! I tested out Periscope earlier this week and I’ll try to pay it forward for all the past videos and record from the concert. Since it’s the first time I’ll be so close to the stage (THIRD ROW AHHHH!!!!), I want to the savor the moment as much as I can – and watch my kids savor the moment, too, and make sure they don’t get trampled – I don’t know how much recording I’ll actually do. But I’m not as close for the Vegas show on Sunday night so I can try again that night.

Two more days – yea!