‘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. 

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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!

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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!

Rick Springfield exploring his blues at the Grammy Museum

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View from my hotel window last month

Last month I was in Los Angeles for a conference with a view of The Grammy Museum outside my hotel window and was able to find an hour to quickly walk through the museum before leaving for the airport. I kept my eye out for a mention of Rick Springfield since he is a Grammy winner (and I thought it would be nice to mention his presence there in this blog), but I found nothing. But now I can write about it because he will be performing in the museum’s theater on Jan. 24, right before the release of his new album, “The Snake King”!

Ahead of the release of his new album, The Snake King (Frontiers Music Srl), on Jan. 26, 2018, the GRAMMY Museum will welcome GRAMMY®-winning singer/songwriter Rick Springfield to the Clive Davis Theater for an intimate conversation and performance. His new album finds Springfield exploring the blues side of his rock & roll, and marks a definite departure from the power pop he has been known for. With 25 million records sold, Springfield has withstood the test of time far better than most critics would ever have imagined, performing nearly 100 concerts around the world every year.

I’m so excited for those fans in Los Angeles because that’s such an intimate venue and the tickets are affordable ($20). The album launch party of course sounded amazing, too, but that’s sold out (and was $325). Then there’s the three-night engagement in Honolulu, Hawaii in February and the ’80s cruise in March. Ah, the rock star life (and the rich rock star fan life).

But since I’m not a rock star or a rich rock star fan, I have to take what I can get and in this case, it was a quick tour of the Grammy Museum so here are some pictures, just because I have a good excuse to post them now.

 P.S. If anyone has been to the museum and found any RS mention besides this concert, please let me know.

Update as of Dec. 22: Apparently the 200-seat show is already sold out, before going on sale to the public as museum members got first dibs on the tickets and who could pass up that opportunity? What a bummer for the L.A. fans. How about a second engagement for Access members? 😃

Rick Springfield with the Nashville symphony

This past summer, Rick Springfield toured Europe with the Rock Meets Classic tour – an annual European tour featuring classic rock artists backed up by a symphony orchestra – and I guess he enjoyed it because now tickets are on sale for a June 29, 2018 show with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.

Have you ever noticed that sometimes totally unrelated parts of your life have mysterious connections that you can’t really explain and it just seems so funny although if you actually tell somebody about it, you feel a little silly? Well, this blog seems like a good place to share this, so here’s an example:

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been binge-watching the television show “Nashville” (I just started Season 4) so the news of RS playing in Nashville fits right into that particular track of my life. AND in the episode that I just started watching, rock star Markus Keen just arrived in Nashville after being signed to Rayna James’ label.

That’s it. Nothing too monumental and I’m not expecting Luke Wheeler to be a special guest at next year’s show or anything, but I just thought that was kind of funny.

(And I think it’s cool that RS is doing this. Rock, country, blues, symphony orchestra, fiction, nonfiction, movies, Broadway, TV shows, the list of his accomplishments keeps getting longer…)

Update on Aug. 12, the day after I wrote this post: Guess who was on the episode of “Nashville” I watched tonight?

Jack White, Rick Springfield’s drummer in the 1980s! Ha, life is so funny sometimes.

It looks like there might be some live videos for tonight’s show in Vegas so I’m off to see.  Thanks, Rick and the NEWSflash!

Random connections from the photos in the envelope

After the last post about the Rick Springfield photographs I found in an envelope in a box in my garage, somebody noted that Joe Gottfried – co-founder of Sound City Studios – was one of the men in the photos.

So I did an image search for “Joe Gottfried Sound City” and found a similar photo on producer Jeff Silverman’s website for his Palette Music Studio Productions. On the page with the photo, Silverman describes his early days in the music business, including how he first met Rick Springfield and his connection with Sound City Studios. The page doesn’t say where the black and white photo was from, but the caption says the photograph is from the “Sound City” movie and it looks to be from the same event as the photos I found.

So that mystery is somewhat solved, but what I then realized was that this ended up being a reminder of how mysterious life can be and how interconnected we all are. I don’t know if I can articulate it clearly, but I’ll try.

The person who sent me the photos, who I lost touch with years ago, was somebody I didn’t know all that well – she was the girlfriend of my ex-husband’s guitar teacher and was in a band in Los Angeles that we saw a few times. Apparently she knew I was a big fan of Rick Springfield because she was the one who got me into the Wherehouse in the first group to meet RS in April 1999, the day “Karma” was released, and before I went to Las Vegas to see a RS show later that year, she told me she knew RS’s guitar player. When I saw his guitarist in the bar after the show, I mentioned her to him and he gave me his phone number to give to her.

So that’s the first part of this scenario. Then the second piece is that a similar photo to the one she mailed me is on Jeff Silverman’s website. What’s weird about that is that last year I contacted him to find out about how his online/virtual recording studio works after hearing him talk about it on a Rowdy Ron online radio show.

I will be forever grateful to Jeff Silverman for taking the time to listen to some of my songs and for his words of encouragement for my songwriting. He was so nice and gave me such invaluable advice about how to move forward with my efforts. (Ironically, the one song he expressed interest in was the one that stemmed from a conversation from my mother-in-law after watching “Ricki and the Flash.”)

Anyway, perhaps it’s just because it’s late at night as I’m writing this that all these connections related to RS seem so mind-blowing, but I’m just feeling super appreciative for all these small acts of kindness that people in my past have done for me and wanted to send out waves of thanks to them.

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.

Internal musical journey

My morning commute was physically the same as it usually is, but this morning, my mind took me on a completely different journey based on what played on the radio.

It started with “Don’t You Want Me” by the Human League, which was my favorite song in eighth grade and reminded me of the crush I had on a classmate’s older brother.

The reception on that station was a little fuzzy so I changed the channel and the next station was playing “Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran, which made me think of that time in high school when me and three of my close friends sat around in a circle singing “Hungry Like the Wolf” as part of a rehearsal of a band that we wanted to form but never did. We were HUGE Duran Duran fans in those days.

Then it was “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins – a song my kids like. My husband recently watched “Top Gun” with them so that scene recently played on the TV in our living room.

Next was “Jessie’s Girl” and you can probably tell that the musician who sings that is often on my mind.

Following that was “Rocket Man” by Elton John, which reminded me of all of RS’s connections to Elton John through the years, as mentioned in “Late, Late at Night.”

And right before I got to the office was “When Doves Cry” by Prince, which is one of my favorite Prince songs and of course it reminded me that he is no longer alive. : (

Then my internal musical journey ended because I got to the office.

Speaking of music, there’s another weekend of Rick and the NEWSflash Radio being planned for Memorial Day Weekend. Here’s the info:

This Memorial Weekend, Rick and the NEWSflash Radio is broadcasting non-stop the tunes of Rick Springfield & Friends starting this Friday 1200AM PST 5/26/17 to 9PM PST Sunday 5/29/17.

We will also feature the music of Jeff Silverman, Joe Taylor, Erick Baker, Jennifer Lynn Simpson, Drew Six, Dauzat St. Marie, Ken Sharp, Kenny Charles, Debra Lyn, Niclas Lundin, Shewolf, Michael Springthorpe and more!

SAVE the below link to enjoy online.
LISTEN: at http://bit.ly/2nlWcJ3

 

 

 

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.)

Some thoughts about studio news

Exciting news about RS recording some new songs, posted on Facebook earlier today with a pic of the recording studio.

My first thought, of course, was – yay!

Then my second thought was, “Wait a minute, isn’t he supposed to be in Germany already? The first Rock Meets Classic show is March 30, which is this Thursday night. How is he going to get over to Europe in time for the show? It’s a pretty hectic schedule, with a concert nearly every night for three weeks in a row. Won’t he be exhausted by the time he gets there?”

Then my third thought was, “Hey, I’m flying tomorrow, maybe we’ll be on the same plane! Maybe I’ll see him in the airport! I’ll have to be sure to look for him!” (Note: I’m not going to Germany, but quite possibly headed in the same direction. And it is possible he snapped the picture earlier in the week and remembered to post it today, or had someone else post it, but whatever.)

And then once again, yay! I wonder what these new songs are about? Will they give us some deep insight into his soul? Will it reveal some new discovery about him? What will they sound like?!  (No pressure, RS….)

And one final thought: Before we move on to this next album, I think some follow up is needed from “Rocket Science.” In small print in the booklet, it says, “For the stories behind the bonus tracks “Mercy” and “Walkin’ In,” go to http://www.rickspringfield.com!” I’ve been to http://www.rickspringfield.com several times and have yet to find them. Has anybody else come across them?

And lastly, yay!

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!