February milestones

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February seems to be a big month for Rick Springfield milestones.

One day in particular stands out:
Feb. 24, 1981: “Working Class Dog” is released
Feb. 24, 1982: RS wins a Grammy for “Jessie’s Girl”
Feb. 24, 2004: “Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance” is released
Feb. 24, 2015: “Stripped Down” is released

Last night Rowdy Ron had an online radio show where he played the full albums of WCD and SDAA, including bonus tracks, in celebration of the milestone. Unfortunately I only caught a few minutes of it, but I’m sure it was a great show!

Other notable dates (courtesy of rickspringfield.us):

Feb. 14, 1945: RS’s parents are married
Feb. 19, 2016: “Rocket Science” is released
Feb. 20, 2016: “iHeart80s Party” at the Forum, which gave him great exposure
Feb. 23, 1981: “Jessie’s Girl” is released as a single

This year also marked the 10th anniversary of his Valentine’s Day weekend show at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, which was covered this month in a great interview in Center Stage Magazine and this nice review in National Rock Review. In the Center Stage interview, he talks about his desire to do more acting and mentions his upcoming tour in Germany with Rock Meets Classic and the review mentions some highlights from the Nashville show:

“Since this is live music, anything can and usually happens. Tonight, mid-way through the opening song, the music suddenly stops, and the faint ring of the fire alarm is heard. Not to be outdone, Rick is out among the fans, shaking hands and fist bumping those around him while the guys break into a jig on stage entertaining fans while the power and fire alarm issues are sorted out.”

After a brief delay, Rick and the guys launching into “Light this Party Up” for the second time and the crowd jumps in on the fun, raising their glasses, dancing, and singing along.”

And this is sweet:

“Slowing down the pace, Rick takes center stage with his green dobro guitar on his knee. He takes a moment to tell a quick story about long-time guitar tech, Ruben Velasco, who died last year. Velasco, who’s birthday was this day, had repeatedly said that Rick needed a light-up guitar. Springfield now plays a light-up guitar on tour which he appropriately named “Ruben.” It was a touching moment and a class move by Rick Springfield.”

Liked this line, too:

“Springfield exudes energy and positive vibes.”

Speaking of articles – and energy- there was some interesting information in a recent one in the Orlando Sentinel in advance of Sunday’s night’s show in Orlando.

“He is working on another novel to follow “Magnificent Vibration,” a 2014 bestseller, but laughs when asked when it will come out.

“It’s like a song. When it’s done, it’s done. You can’t really push it,” he said. “There’s been a lot of stuff that’s come up and gets in the way of it, but I like to do it all.” 

And this is a cool possibility:

He is writing a new record and screenplays. Another possibility is a memoir to follow 2010’s “Late, Late at Night.” “Certainly enough has happened. I was actually thinking about that —  the stuff I didn’t tell you,” he said.

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Jessie’s Girl spoofs

In an intro video at Rick Springfield concerts before he plays “Jessie’s Girl,” there are clips from shows or movies where the song has been used, such as on “Glee” and “Boogie Knights.” It’s also been said that it’s the most popular karaoke song.

This past week I saw two other uses – in recent spoofs, one about a remote control and a commentary about the Iran deal. Thirty-five years after its release, the song is still going strong.

I wasn’t able to post the Iran deal video, which was on the Secure America Now Facebook page, but here are some of the lyrics:

“Iran is no friend, yeah I know they’ve been no friend of mine,
But lately they’re in charge though they’ve done a lotta crimes
Iran’s got themselves a deal and now all they do is lie
And they’re watching us with their spies
And they’re cheating on that new deal, I just know it
And they’re taking advantage of literally everything
You know I wish there was no Iran deal
I wish there was no Iran deal
How could we make a decision like that?
They played along with the charade
Because $150 isn’t pocket change
You know I feel so worried when they start talking nukes
I want to tell Congress to stop but the point is probably moot…”

You get the idea. I bet when RS was recording his “Jessie’s Girl” demo back in his Hollywood living room back in 1979, expressing sexual angst about a girl in his stained glass class, it never crossed his mind that his tune would be used 35 years later to make a political commentary about a country in the Middle East.

There’s also this one from last year was pretty funny and obviously this one was approved by RS:

And there is also the Studio C take on “Rick Springfield’s First Hit Song” here.

If the real “Jessie’s Girl” is still alive, she should be aware of this song by now and, with all the publicity out there about it these days, maybe we’ll soon solve this great mystery of the modern world!

35 years after ‘Jessie’s Girl’ hit #1

Hey RS, remember that time a few months ago when we stayed in the same hotel?

You probably don’t remember because when I saw you, you were standing in the lobby and your back was toward me and with all the lobbies you’ve stood in, you can’t possibly remember everyone who walks behind you.

And even though I briefly saw most of the members of your band walking around the hotel during our visit, I never saw you again after the lobby – except during that night’s show of course.

And so because my husband is opposed to stalking – which in most cases is a good thing but not really in this case – we checked out of the hotel in the morning and headed home.

I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed on the way home because I had gotten a little spoiled by the chance encounters – albeit very brief ones, enough for a quick photo – after prior shows. So in the days that followed, I wrote a little song about it to get it out of my system.

On a whim a few weeks ago, I decided to submit a couple of my song/poems to a local literary magazine  – “In the lobby” being one of them – and they got accepted! The magazine is scheduled to come out in the fall.

So why am I writing about this here? 1. To say, hey thanks for not turning around in the lobby because that inspired a song and this is the first time I’ve had a song/poem published in a literary magazine since high school and 2. Because I found out about it exactly 35 years – minus one day – after “Jessie’s Girl” hit #1 on the Billboard chart (which was Aug. 1, 1981).

OK, I know there’s a big difference between an acceptance email from a local literacy magazine and a #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, but whatever, I thought the timing was cool anyway since they were both inspired  (sort of) by similar experiences. 

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!

’80s heartthrob to release new CD

Have you heard that Rick Springfield has a new CD coming out next week? Yes, that Rick Springfield, the ’80s heartthrob soap star best known for his Grammy-winning “Jessie’s Girl.”

OK, I’m just amusing myself in preparation for those kind of statements to make an appearance, as they did last year in articles about “True Detective,””Ricki and the Flash” and concert previews.

Or maybe something’s changed over the past year? Maybe his transformation from Dr. Noah Drake to Dr. Irving Pitlor made people take notice that he has done other things over the past 30 years? Maybe he can break free from that ’80s icon label? (Well, OK, maybe the I Heart80s Party later this month doesn’t help that. But that does sound like an AMAZING concert and I wish I could go because I heart ’80s music, but that’s another story.)

Anyway, I’m feeling a little antsy because the “Rocket Science” release is still a week away (on Feb. 19) and there hasn’t been any songs released from it for seven days. (Man, are we getting spoiled or what?!) And some fans have already received their Japanese imports of the album and have gotten to hear all the songs already. Fortunately there’s a Live Nation Yahoo live stream of the Feb.12 show at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville planned this week, so that’s something a little closer than Feb. 19.

Oh, and if articles still refer to RS as a “heartthrob,” that is still accurate.

 

A matter of time

Everyone is given the same amount of hours in each day, yet the various ways people choose to spend them is fascinating.

For instance, if your workdays kept you busy from the afternoon until late at night with people constantly demanding things from you the whole time and as soon as you finished, you had to travel somewhere else for the next day’s work, I imagine you’d be pretty exhausted after a few days of this and ready to take a few days off to unwind, even if you love your job.

RS in Venice, Italy

Rick Springfield attends the Jury And Jonathan Demme Cocktail Party during the 72nd Venice Film Festival at Albergo Quattro Fontane on Sept. 8, 2015 in Venice, Italy. (Source: Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images Europe)

That’s why I was amazed to find out that when RS had three days off during a two-month concert tour, he left from his Sunday night concert in Charlotte, North Carolina to travel to Venice, Italy to spend a day and a half promoting “Ricki and the Flash” then turned right back around for a Thursday night show in Chicago. And this is at an age when many people his age are welcoming their retirement years. But I imagine that many people half his age aren’t even half as productive as he is.

(During interviews, when reporters inquire about his intense work schedule, he has attributed it to being a result of having ADHD and has said that he likes to keep busy because it helps ward off his depression.)

Next week is the Jewish New Year, a time that involves a great deal of introspection, as one reflects upon the past year and thinks about what changes they’d like to make in their lives in the upcoming year. Although it’s a joyous time, spent with family and friends and eating lots of good food, it’s also a somber time. So this is the frame of mind I’ve been in the past few days and pondering how one spends one’s precious time fits right in.

OK, but before I go off in a totally different direction, I will try to focus here, as it’s getting late. I just wanted to mention another way that RS is so inspiring. In his memoir, “Late, Late at Night,” he writes about his time in “the burbs” in Glendale, California in the late 1970s when his fourth attempt to make a record falls through and he decides to sculpt figures of aliens and tries to sell them at swap meets, contemplates becoming a priest and hangs out with chickens in his Glendale backyard. And his breakthrough song “Jessie’s Girl” came about when he had decided that if his musical career wouldn’t work out, maybe he’d become a stained glass artist (and then wrote “Jessie’s Girl” about a girl in the class).

And then, finally, when he became extremely successful, he realized that the success hadn’t made him happy and he walked away from it all in the late 1980s. In his book, he writes about all the highs and lows during his career and although it probably never occurred to him as he was going through all these challenges that someday he would share them with others and, as a result, it would help them get through their own challenging times, it’s fortunate he chose to be so honest. By sharing all these highs and lows, he provided hope to those who are on the low end, by showing that paths can shift direction at any moment.

‘True story’ behind ‘Jessie’s Girl’

When MTV debuted 34 years ago – on Aug. 1, 1981 – “Jessie’s Girl” was the No. 1 song in the country. And for 34 years, music fans everywhere have wondered – “Was there really a Jessie’s girl?”

This week, Jimmy Kimmel unearthed never-before-seen footage that revealed the “true story” behind the song.

Of course it’s not actually the “true story,” but it was hilarious and included RS with an 80s-style hairdo and that crazy jacket.

During the interview, RS talked about the real true story about “Jessie’s Girl,” which is just such a cool example of how one small decision you make can turn your life around. In this case, RS thinks his musical career is over – in 1979 – so he decides to pursue a career as a stained-glass maker. In a stained glass-making class, he’s attracted to a girl in the class who has a boyfriend and that scenario inspired “Jessie’s Girl,” which helped catapult his musical career.

Here’s part of the interview:

One question for Jimmy: Why did he call Rick Springfield fans crazed?

OK, the Marriott story qualifies, but Jimmy probably didn’t know about that before the interview. Are RS fans really any more crazed than fans of other musicians? Don’t other rock stars have fans who travel around the country to see their shows, attend fan events, hang out in alleys and hotel lobbies after shows, follow their musician’s every cyber move? Is that any crazier than sports fans who memorize players’ statistics, watch multiple instant replays and then have another sports show right afterward dissecting every play? Who is he calling crazed?

[Taking a moment to pause and reflect on the fact that I’ve spent nearly the whole past year blogging about my crush on Rick Springfield and have already seen him twice in concert this year (meeting him  briefly both times), have tickets for one more that I’m going out of state to attend and then just found out this week that he’s going to be performing a free concert at a fair a few miles away from my house four days earlier so of course I have to go to that one, too.]

OK, maybe call it slightly obsessed, but I prefer devoted.

Play it again: CMT Music Awards show

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OK, fine. Jessie’s Girl it is. Although there are hours and hours of other songs by Rick Springfield over the past 40 years, if that’s the one that will make people take notice of him again, fine, play it again.

If Jessie’s Girl is the song that keeps getting mentioned over and over again in tweets and what draws people to his concerts, fine, play it again.

For those of you who missed it, he was on for a few seconds in a pre-taped segment on tonight’s CMT Music Awards Show, busking on a Nashville sidewalk. Arnold Schwarzenegger is driving by as a Uber-spoof chauffer (Tom Arnold is one of his passengers) and a woman in the backseat (one of the show’s hosts) points out RS on the sidewalk. Arnold abruptly stops the car as RS finishes singing Jessie’s Girl and Arnold asks him to play it again. “Come on dude, I already played it like 10 times,” RS replies. Then Arnold gives him that “don’t mess with me” look and responds in a Terminator-ish voice, “Play it again.”

So if a few lines of Jessie’s Girl on a national country music awards show that attracts a large audience (about 3 million viewers tuned into last year’s show) is what’s necessary for RS to get the exposure he deserves, then fine, play it again.

To see the video, see this article here.

Five decades of Rick Springfield

Due to the unprecedented exposure of the last post – about 400 views in 48 hours (yes, I was surprised, too) – I thought I’d take the opportunity to launch the Rick Springfield is Not a One-Hit Wonder campaign.

It’s not an official campaign but I’m just tired of seeing RS included in references to one-hit wonders.

So here’s an abridged look at RS through the past five decades.  In the 1970s, he was on shows like “The Sonny and Cher Show” and “American Bandstand.” Then he was popular on MTV after that launched in 1981. Although I didn’t have cable at home, I spent many happy moments while babysitting watching those videos.

His look changed with the times – long feathered hair in the 1970s, short feathered hair and pink and purple suits in the 1980s, the mullet, etc. His musical sounds changed, too, as he adapted to different musical styles throughout the years. His early songs are very different from his current ones, and yet I can appreciate his songs from all the different decades because of his songwriting and musical skills. My personal tastes today are much closer to his current albums – the older ones are more nostalgic now – and I’m excited to hear his new CD that is scheduled to come out in the next year.

Here are some blasts from the past:

1970s

As a guitar player in Zoot:

“Speak to the Sky,” his first hit single in 1971:

His American television debut in 1972, on “The Sonny and Cher Show”: “What Would the Children Think?”

On “American Bandstand” with Dick Clark in 1975:

1980s

His most popular song, “Jessie’s Girl,” for which he received a Grammy Award in 1981:

The 1980s also included his first movie, “Hard to Hold,” and the albums “Rock of Life” and “Tao.” He also took time off from his musical career when his sons were young and focused more on his personal life and on acting.

He was nominated for a Grammy for “I Get Excited,” “Don’t Talk to Strangers” and “Affair of the Heart” and made many music videos during MTV’s first decade. Here’s a link to more of his videos.

His other hits included  “I’ve Done Everything for You” (written by Sammy Hagar), “Love is Alright Tonite,” “Human Touch,”  “Souls,” “Love Somebody,” “Don’t Walk Away,” “Bop ‘Til You Drop,” “Bruce,” “State of the Heart,” “Celebrate Youth” and “Rock of Life.”

For many, this was the last people remember about Rick Springfield.

1990s, 2000s, 2010s

But he’s been busy since then, recording several albums – including a CD of lullabies that he wrote for his sons when they were young – touring, acting, writing (a memoir and a novel).  For an amazing resource on all things Rick Springfield, visit this comprehensive fan site.

And now, in 2015, RS fans are awaiting a new CD, a new movie, a new book, a guest spot on a television show and lots of live shows. All in one year! So there’s much more to Rick Springfield than “Jessie’s Girl.”

Enough with the “Jessie’s Girl” references!

TrueDetectivetweet

Rick Springfield is so damn cool. He (or his social media rep, who knows?) tweeted today about his newest project. In just one year, he’s toured around the country during rock shows, storytelling concerts and book signings and filmed a movie; now he’s shooting a HBO series. When the hell are people going to stop with the “Jessie’s Girl” references? That was 33 years ago! He has recorded more than a dozen albums since then with so many other great songs, written a memoir and a novel that both made it to the New York Times Best-Seller List, acted in numerous TV shows and just filmed a movie with Academy Award-winning actress Meryl Streep. And he’s the father of two sons and just celebrated his 30th anniversary with his wife. Sure, he’s had his difficulties and challenges – doesn’t everyone? – but his perseverance and stamina is truly inspiring.

Here are some examples of what led to this post:

Rick Springfield, singer of “Jessie’s Girl,” will appear on Season 2 of “True Detective”

‘True Detective’ Season 2 Wishes It Had Jessie’s Girl, Casts Rick Springfield

“General Hospital” star and “Jessie’s Girl” singer joins Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams on HBO anthology drama

‘Jessie’s Girl’ singer Rick Springfield joins cast of ‘True Detective’

Rick Springfield Is For Some Reason In Season Two Of ‘True Detective’

Now that the main cast for the second season of HBO’s “True Detective” has finally been confirmed, fans may be wondering who else will pop up on the anthology series. If you guessed a former ’80s pop star-turned-actor, you’d be right.

Do your homework, guys. Ever heard of Google?