‘The Snake King’ tour – and a new video

Rick Springfield’s “Snake King” tour is now under way – last weekend, the drum skin with the cute chimpanzee from “Rocket Science” came off Jorge’s drum set and was replaced by the cool logo from the cover of “The Snake King.”

And now some songs from “The Snake King” are part of the set list. Here are two videos I found on YouTube from last weekend:

“The Devil That You Know”

“Little Demon”

Recent interviews about ‘The Snake King’

There have also been several interviews lately that divulge more about “The Snake King.”

Guitar World

Rick Springfield on Covering Katy Perry, the “Jessie’s Girl” Strat and His Bluesy New Album, ‘The Snake King’

This one reminded me that I was at the show where he first introduced Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” to the set list. (I’m pretty sure it was the first time because I remember being surprised about it and it seemed others were, too.) The article also mentions again that he wrote “The Snake King” in four or five days and he’s currently working on the sequel to “Magnificent Vibration.” He answers several questions from fans.

Salon

Rick Springfield: From “Jessie’s Girl” to “God, the devil and sexThe pop idol on why hitting it big at 30 was better, learning humility and, of course, “Gary’s Girl.”

This is a great article that focuses on RS’s many accomplishments. (And what a lucky guy this author is – this interview was over “soba noodles and green tea” – aka “in person” rather than over the phone or via email. On second thought, I don’t think I could sit there in front of Rick Springfield and eat noodles, it would be a little awkward. The green tea would probably be OK, though.)

Anyway, there are a lot of interesting details in this article.

Melodicrock.com

Rick Springfield Talks Influences Behind ‘The Snake King‘: Here’s another great RS interview by Melodic Rock. Here we learn more about the influences behind the new CD, as well as learn that he was drunk when he wrote much of it and that the overall theme is “WTF is going on???” (Note: If you are wondering what that means, take a look at today’s news. And by “today” I mean that there’s probably something in the news on any day that will make you say “WTF is going on???”). We also learn about what he would ideally like to do next: “I want to be in a great and creative night time TV series so that touring can be a seasonal thing.”

He is also on the cover of the Melodic Rock Fanzine.

Melodic Rock pic

The Herald Palladium 

Rick Springfield takes blues detour on new album: We’ve come a long way from those preview articles from four years ago that would say things like “80s icon ‘Jessie’s Girl’ soap star singer to play in town next week.” Thank goodness. This article touches upon many of RS’s accomplishments and contains some real substance like about RS’s writing process and details about the new songs.

Myglobalmind.com

This review of “The Snake King” is on an online magazine for hard rock and heavy metal. Do you hear that, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame judges? RS has fans from so many generations and in so many genres. Let’s plan for 2019, OK?

‘The Snake King’ slithers through your speakers like a honky-tonk cocktail consisting of good time boogie-woogie, with a heavy splash of heavenly blues ….. keep rocking n rolling buddy, we are right with ya!

Where to find everything before ‘The Snake King’

I just wanted to take a quick moment to thank the Rick Springfield and Us fan-based website for all things Rick Springfield for adding a link to this blog on the site. It is truly an honor to have a mention there on the comprehensive site of all things Rick Springfield. (Seriously, there is so much about RS on that site, it is so awesome. His music library, lyrics, tour datesTV and film roles, bio of his lifebooks, video footage,  lots and lots of pictures and so much more.) I wonder if RS used the site as a reference when he wrote his autobiography?

I suppose I should also mention the official RS page, too: rickspringfield.com, which has a list of all the upcoming full-band shows, Stripped Down acoustic shows and symphony shows (coming up in Portland and Nashville), as well as next month’s ’80s cruise.

And then there’s the latest news of the evening: Another new video – for “Voodoo House,” which is one of my favorite songs off “The Snake King.” It makes my heart go boom. (See the RS fan site for lyrics if you don’t have a copy of the CD.)

Hey ya, hey ya, ooh.

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Stop everything, it’s a live feed from the Grammy Museum

What a great night!!! OK, so the kids fought a lot and the bedtime routine sucked but the evening ended with a live (Facebook livestream) Rick Springfield interview/concert at The Grammy Museum.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to whoever coordinated that live feed. It’s been about 18 months since I was at a RS concert and this was almost like being there. (I was inside the museum in November last year and looked at the door of the theater at the museum and wondered if RS would ever play there, so it’s a same place/wrong time situation).

So many thoughts rushing around in my head that I may not make any sense, but here goes:

I can’t wait to hear “The Snake King” in its entirety. Tonight he played “Little Demon,” which I’ve already listened to countless times; “Land of the Blind” which sounds great; and “The Voodoo House,” which is my favorite so far. It’s funny that he says he doesn’t really know what they’re about. Is that true? I know that when I write songs, they kind of develop as they go and there’s often not an intentional planning so I get what he’s saying about songs writing themselves, but does he really not know or does he just want people to interpret them on their own? (Or does he just not want to repeat the same story over and over again in future interviews like he does with “Jessie’s Girl”?) Here are my guesses: “Little Demon” – unrequited love (or lust). “The Voodoo House” – unrequited love (or lust) and attempting to fulfill it through use of a voodoo doll? Maybe? “Land of the Blind” – no clue, but there are some biblical references there to explore. I’m glad that there’s a lyric book available.

I love how candid he is in his interviews. Not planned and polished, just goes with it and doesn’t seem to care about what people may think about what he thinks of things. It was true in his autobiography and it continues today in interviews. In a world of Photoshop and filters, it’s refreshing to have someone be so real. And it’s not unfiltered in a mean way, like anonymous comments on an online newspaper article or a rude tweet – it’s unfiltered but in a way that makes him still seem like a good guy. Plus he has such a great sense of humor.

Little things like him dropping his guitar pick during the interview in the Pulse Studio and needing to tune his guitar tonight and during an earlier interview are endearing. I go to these song workshops where you bring a song you’re working on and you receive feedback from professional songwriters. Until recently I would bring a CD that I recorded at home because I worried that if I played it live I might forget the chords or the words or drop my guitar pic or have to tune my guitar at the last minute. But now that I’ve seen RS do all of these things – and he’s a pro – then it makes those things less of a big deal. I find the whole story of his career so inspiring, all the ups and downs and how he persevered through it all. I’m glad that his stained glass master career path idea didn’t work out.

I think listening to “Suicide Manifesto” is going to be really, really difficult, knowing that’s how he sometimes feels. I also think it will be important to listen to it to be able to understand how people who are going through depression may feel.

It was interesting to see all the comments on the live stream and to see how so many people feel connected to him. When I was reading the comments as they scrolled by, I realized once again how much about his life is imprinted in my brain. It’s still weird to me that he was such a big part of my teen life (music, concerts, teen magazine articles, posters, diary entries) then totally out of it for more than a decade, besides turning up his songs when I heard them on the radio and then nothing until 1998. Then after 2000 (after four concerts in those three years and one meet-and-greet at a record store), nothing again until 2014. Totally oblivious to all his new music, interviews, etc. for 14 years then BAM, all of a sudden I’m aware of his daily schedule. (As far as touring and promotional interviews, that is.)

How lucky are RS fans that he keeps putting out such great music and that he’s such an incredible songwriter and guitarist? It’s not the first time his songs have had dark undertones (“Misty Water Woman,” “I Hate Myself,” “Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance”) – they’ve been there throughout his career. I think if “The Snake King” would have followed “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet,” it would have been more of a shock for ’80s fans, but we’re all grown-ups now. We’ve all seen examples of how devastating life can be and oftentimes creative expression comes from pain. And he has been very open about what goes on in his head. As he mentioned in interviews, taking that pain and anger and expressing it creatively is what helps him get through it. Each time he releases a new CD, he’s exposing a personal part of him to the world, just as most artists do, and I appreciate that he is able to transform those feelings into songs. I think true artists don’t create based on what they think people want, they create because it’s something they have to do. Their fans are fans because they enjoy what the artist does and they might not love everything that comes out of the creative process, but the creative process is not a service industry and shouldn’t be based on what a consumer wants.

(Click here for the video.)

 

Fifth ‘Snake King’ song: ‘Voodoo House’

With everything out there in the world trying to compete for our attention, it’s amazing that any of us have anything in common to use as a point of reference. Between all the content available on the Internet, television, radio, apps and on-demand services, not to mention books, movies and things that go on in our little corners of the world, it’s a little overwhelming.

(Over Thanksgiving weekend, I was having a conversation with one of my nieces, who is in her early 20s, and she was dumbfounded that I didn’t recognize any of the big players in her preferred style of music: hip-hop or rave music.)

So it was a nice little surprise yesterday when this blog broke its own record of views for one day – 260.

I know it has nothing to do with me and that it’s because the subject of this blog was on “Good Morning America” – and that doesn’t even come close to reaching a “viral” status – but that’s OK.

What brought so many people to this site after Googling “Rick Springfield” yesterday? Did they swoon over Rick Springfield in high school and when they saw him discussing his depression and his new album yesterday, they wanted to find out what he’s been up to all these decades later? Did they disregard RS’s music years ago and couldn’t believe he has a blues album coming out? Do they suffer from depression and wanted to learn about who Rick Springfield is? Do they love “Jessie’s Girl” and didn’t know anything about the singer and assumed he was a one-hit wonder? (He’s not.)

I don’t know. But if you missed the “Good Morning America” interview, it’s currently on the ABC News website. (And you can see scenes from his new video, “Land of the Blind” in the segment, too!)

Today we got to hear ANOTHER new song from “The Snake King” – “The Voodoo House,” which he debuted on “Harry,” Harry Connick, Jr.’s talk show. That makes the fifth song we’ve heard.

So to recap the songs we’ve heard so far:

“Little Demon”

“Santa is an Anagram”

“Jesus was an Atheist” and “Land of the Blind”

 

And today, on the “Harry” show: “The Voodoo House.” Cool slide guitar! This a a catchy song.

And now we’re nine days away from hearing all of “The Snake King.” What will be next? Perhaps we’ll see the full “Land of the Blind” video before then?

Update on July 18: As of today, “Land of the Blind” is available to listen to if you pre-ordered the digital version of”The Snake King.”

‘Snake King’ song debuts and a new video

Lots of “Snake King” action today as Rick Springfield fans got to follow their favorite rock star throughout the day, from a radio station in New York (listening live on a phone app) to a live performance (at Paste Studio)  on Facebook and YouTube to an interview on Sirius.

He debuted the song “Land of the Blind” live at the Paste Studio performance, with his guitarist George Nastos. In the interview, he explained that the lyrics are up for interpretation so didn’t give too many details about them. I look forward to hearing the CD in its entirety to see how all the songs fit together and what story they tell. I ordered the lyric booklet from Pledge Music so maybe with the lyrics in front of me and access to Google, it’ll help make sense of it. He also played “Little Demon” and “Jesus was an Atheist.” (The latter he played live for the first time at a Jan. 6 Stripped Down show in Morristown, New Jersey).

The Sirius interview, on the Debatable show with Mark Goodman and Alan Light, was really long (in a good way) and covered some of his spiritual beliefs and goes more into depth about the making of the CD. There was also talk about birthday boys Elvis Presley and David Bowie, among other things. There were even phone call and Twitter questions from fans. (But I wasn’t able to listen live.) It was a great show!

Plus there was an Instagram post today about filming a video for “Land of the Blind,” but shooting the video likely didn’t happen today unless there’s a desert in New York that I’m not aware of.

On a totally different note, but still RS-related, as well as Mark Goodman related, today I finally got around to watch a little of the “Rick Springfield & Friends” DVDs from Port St. Lucie, Florida (2013 and 2015) trips. Looks like it was such an amazing time.

And I’ll conclude this post with this adorable video I came across today about this boy who went to a Rick Springfield concert with his mom this week. My sons love making videos so I appreciate this both as a mom and as a RS fan.

Funny note from the following day (Jan. 9): I’m watching more from the “Rick Springfield & Friends” DVD today and just watched RS interviewing former MTV VJ Mark Goodman and they were talking about when Goodman interviewed David Bowie on MTV. Such weird timing because I’ve had this DVD for a few months now and just started watching it yesterday, which happened to be on the same day that Mark Goodman and RS were talking about David Bowie on David Bowie’s birthday in a live interview on Sirius. Anyway, maybe someone else will find that interesting, too. Or not. 

Three-weeks away, with more details about ‘The Snake King’ songs

I haven’t had this much anticipation for a new CD since this time two years ago when “Rocket Science” was only weeks away. Thanks, Rick Springfield, for making it so fun to be a fan!

DOO-b7SW0AA2Fmn

Now that we are three weeks away from the Jan. 26 release date, reviews by those lucky reviewers who have already gotten to hear it are starting to come out. And so far the reviews are GREAT!

One of these reviews, on fabricationshq.com, shares many details about the songs. Thank you, Ross Muir! You’ll want to read it in its entirety, but here’s a breakdown about what we now know about each song, per this review:

Land of the Blind:  “a great big slice of Springsteen-esque, melodic country-meets contemporary rock” with  “a lot going on lyrically.”  Lyric sample: “Cyclops in the White House understands it, keeps everyone snow-blind from the great West Wing; he knows the world’s gonna fry here in the snake pit – it’s the land of the blind, and the one-eyed man is king.” (Some of the lyrics are also available in the preview of the lyric book on sale at pledgemusic.com.)
The Devil That You Know: “a Chicago blues ‘n’ roll number that hollers with blues harmonica and howls with a short, sharp solo”
Little Demon: “a gritty and groovin’ blues that dynamically shifts in its second half to allow Springfield to lay out some expressive (and sadly still underrated) six-string work”

Another review of “Little Demon” on 2loud2oldmusic.com: “All in all, I will give it a 3.5 out 5 stars as I did enjoy the song and I am excited about the new album.  I think we will be in for a treat with this one.  Rick’s output since 2004 has been great and I think he has been getting better with age.”

And on maximumvolumemusic.com: “Of the many delights on this album, Rick’s underrated guitar playing really shines here, perhaps more so than on any other record in his storied catalogue. As for the lyrics? These are possibly not what one would expect either, but we’ll leave it up to you the listener to interpret what is being relayed here.”

In RS’s own words, in an interview with the Long Island Pulse: “I had a riff in my head and built the song around that riff. I needed some lyrics so the sexual angst thing works I think because of the instrumental nature of the song. All these songs are open to interpretation so I will leave the lyric part alone.”

Judas Tree: “12-bar and piano honky-tonk”
Jesus was an Atheist: “big-beat shuffle”
The Snake King: “a foot-tappin’ title track with catchy chorus”
God Don’t Care: “bar-room blues”  with “a serious dose of bluesy venom injected in the lyrics”
The Voodoo House: a “southern and slide guitar affected stomper”
Suicide Manifesto: “rockin'” (some of these lyrics are also on the Pledge Music website)
Blues for the Disillusioned: “AOR-friendly and melodically charged” (AOR is “album-oriented rock)
Santa is an Anagram: “a devil of a funny number in the rockabilly roll”

Orpheus in the Underworld: “a majestic 10-minute Americana country-blues, nods to Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp at their own, modern Americana best.”

 

More in RS’s own words, about “The Snake King, from a December article in The Oakland Press: Taking on the blues “is something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, and I wrote actually over a weekend, got the basic form for a lot of the songs and what they’d be about. It happened pretty quickly and then I just fiddled with them over the months after that. But it came pretty fast, and it’s basically a theme record, I guess, the first theme record I’ve ever done, based on a character named The Snake King. Sometimes that character is a devil, sometimes it’s God, sometimes it’s me, sometimes it’s just the news.”

In three more weeks, we’ll find out what all this means! Meanwhile, to all of you heading to RS shows this weekend in that crazy cold weather, stay safe and have fun!

Looking forward to 2018

Besides next month’s release of Rick Springfield’s new CD “The Snake King,” it sounds like there might be some other cool RS offerings in 2018, too.

In an article on oaklandpress.com, “Rick Springfield at Sound Board: 5 Things to Know,”  RS mentions that his upcoming projects could include a prequel to “Magnificent Vibrations,” which started as a sequel, and a follow-up to his autobiography, “Late, Late at Night,” which came out in 2010. After learning so much about his life in LLAN, I think it would be so interesting to hear his perspective on the past seven years, too, especially after following his career so closely the past three years. It would be like those books where the narrator switches between characters so the reader learns what’s going on in everyone’s heads. I’m familiar with the fan view, now it would be interesting to hear the rock star’s point of view.

He also talked about the inspiration for “Little Demon” in “Rick Springfield channels ‘The Snake King,’ “ an article on cantonrep.com.

“It was just a riff I came up with, actually while I was touring in Germany last year.* I always loved the tracks from the ’70s where there would be several parts to the song — before punk told us that was (BS) — and I set out to write something like that with two totally different moods. Lyrically, its probably the most normal song on the album. Again, unrequited lust.”

So for those fans who are concerned that RS has gone to the dark side, judging from the song titles of “The Snake King,” it’s OK, it’s just a bluesy rock version of unrequited lust, 35 years after “Jessie’s Girl.” Speaking of “Jessie’s Girl,” I just have to say that I really appreciate how both of these reporters handled these articles. So much better than article angles from three years ago. (See the  “Enough with the Jessie’s Girl references!” post from December 2014 for examples.)

Plus, learning more about the theme of the album (from the cantonrep.com story) explains more about those titles.

 “The Snake King is the character that tells most of these stories on this record, so I wrote this to define who or what that character was. He is a hedonist, a sex addict and a generally good-time dude. I wish I was more like him. The title track was the first song I wrote for the album, and the verse came in a dream, which doesn’t happen often but is awesome when it does. I woke up with the whole verse, and got up at three in the morning to record it. It really started the whole writing process again.”

Since it’s been over a year since I’ve been to a RS concert, which means no show in 2017, I also hope that there will soon be a 2018 RS concert that I can look forward to.

* “Last year” meaning the Rock Meets Classic tour March 30-April 18, 2017.

Nov. 29: ‘Little Demon’ Day

Since first waking up this morning and seeing that the audio for Rick Springfield’s newest song, “Little Demon” was available, I’ve already listened to it countless times and am pretty sure these are the lyrics:

Little Demon, did we go south
I was sure I could haunt you
Skin to skin, we were mouth to mouth
Little Demon, I want you

Little Demon, you’re in my head
I keep trying to replace you
Still burning for you in bed
Hoping time will erase you

Little Demon she slept with God
And he sent me a warning
Stay away from my girl, Nimrod
Or you won’t see the morning

(Woman’s voice at the end:) Hey! Guess who’s got a new boyfriend!

Like I mentioned in the previous post, it seems like a story will unravel as we hear more songs. The use of the word “Nimrod” set me off on a little biblical research since I’ve heard the name but wasn’t that familiar with who he was. In case anyone is interested, he was a great-grandson of Noah and was the king who was responsible for the Tower of Babel. Interestingly enough, according to one source (Rashi), Nimrod was a manipulator who ensnared people with his words. The reason this is interesting, of course, is because in the song, it appears that the narrator, whom we can assume is RS, is called “Nimrod” and in real life, RS’s lyrics have “ensnared” (but in a good way) many fans. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but it’s keeping me busy until the next song is released.

There was also news posted today about “The Snake King” being available for pre-order on red vinyl LP and in regular black vinyl, RS’s first vinyl release since “Rock of Life” in 1988.

rickspringfieldred

There was also an article about the album on Billboard.com: “Rick Springfield explores his blues side on new album “The Snake King.”

Or course the article mentions “Jessie’s Girl” in the first line, but RS seems to have accepted that eternal connection so I guess I should just get over it, too. Other than that, it’s a nice little article and it’s great to see that the album is already getting some recognition.

And on a personal note, and funny coincidence, my one order from Cyber Monday was delivered today, which seemed like an appropriate “Little Demon” Day delivery:

IMG_20171129_205304

 

First song from ‘The Snake King’ released: ‘Little Demon’

Incredible! It gave me chills. Wondering what the story behind this is, especially that part at the end. Amazing guitar playing – there aren’t many lyrics, but it’s almost like the music is telling its own story. So exciting to hear the new music, can’t wait to hear more.

The CD is listed as “hard rock” on iTunes and there’s also now a song list available, making it clear that “The Snake King” will be VERY different from “Rocket Science“:

Land of the Blind
The Devil That You Know
Little Demon
Judas Tree
Jesus was an Atheist
The Snake King
God Don’t Care
The Voodoo House
Suicide Manifesto
Blues for the Disillusioned
Santa is an Anagram
Orpheus in the Underworld (a 10-minute song!)

It feels like some big story is about to unravel… And maybe some insight into RS’s soul. Are you ready for it?