Coming of age

I recently realized that my oldest son is approaching the age I was when I first became aware of Rick Springfield: 12.

Here’s the first mention of RS in my diary, entered on May 15, 1982, almost exactly 36 years ago from today:

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It was just a couple of months after RS debuted on General Hospital (March 25, 1981) and although I don’t remember if I was already watching “General Hospital” at this time, it looks like RS and John Stamos were the only ones in the magazine that rated my three-star “Wow” poster rating.

So far my, son’s main interest is in basketball and although he does like music – some of his favorite are Imagine Dragons, Fall Out Boys and Bruno Mars – he hasn’t gotten to the point where there is any non-sports-related decor on his walls.

This is how my walls looked when I was in my early teens:

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Did my parents think it was odd that I had all these posters of a guy in his 30s all over my wall when I was 13? Or listening to these lyrics?

I get excited
Just thinkin’ what you might be like
I get excited
There’s heaven in your eyes tonight
The fire’s ignited down below
It’s burning bright
Oh baby, stay, we got all night, all night
Baby please, I can’t please
If I’m on my knees tonight

(“I Get Excited” from “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet” – 1982 – my parents bought me the album for my birthday that year)

Or this from “Inside Sylvia” from “Working Class Dog” – 1981

Inside Silvia, oh Silvia, yeah, yeah, Silvia
I know my love is alive
Inside Silvia, yeah Silvia, oh Silvia, oh

(I know he has said that his relationship with Sylvia was not of a sexual nature, but still, those lyrics…)

As he’s said himself, most of the songs from WCD and SHSMY are all about lust and sex – did I know that at the time? I think I sensed that they had adult themes, but I was pretty innocent at the time overall so I’m not sure how much I actually understood. But I did recognize his “wow” factor, that’s for sure, and the crush factor was pretty strong.

We made it through the baby stage with our sons, survived the toddler years, and now all of them are in elementary school. After reading “Late, Late at Night,” and getting a glimpse of what puberty can be like for boys (we are all girls in my family), I’m trying to prepare myself for being on the opposite end of the equation (the parent instead of the teen).

Of course things are much different these days – kids have exposure to many more things today then my generation did at this age. And what seems shocking in one generation, often doesn’t phase the next one at all (such as Elvis “shockingly” shaking his hips on national TV – if those shocked adults would have known what kind of things end up national TV today, they would likely be horrified.) It goes the other way, too, things that were everyday happenstance in previous generations (such as how women and minorities were treated) seem horrifying today (hence, the #metoo movement).

I’m not really sure what my point is here and I’ve probably gone off on a tangent, but what I’m TRYING to say is: How did this happen so fast that I was once a tween (although they didn’t call it that at the time) who innocently listened to Rick Springfield records and had his posters covering my wall and now I’m nearly 50 writing a blog about him and have a son who is almost the age I was when I started being a fan?

If I had to sum it up with one word, I guess I’d have to say, “Wow.”

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On the ’80s cruise

What an incredible ’80s cruise! Rick Springfield as the host and a long list of performers, such as Thomas Dolby, Loverboy, Mike+ The Mechanics, Lou Gramm from Foreigner, Terri Nunn from Berlin, Billy Ocean and Tommy Tutone.

I wasn’t actually on the cruise, but I enjoyed it vicariously through videos of those who were there. Many RS fans were on the cruise and shared videos in Facebook fan groups and the fabulous Shantelle Bisson her husband Yannik (former co-star of “High Tide” with RS and star of Canada’s “Murdoch Mysteries”) both shared some great behind-the-scenes videos on Instagram (along with some beside-the-scene views, such as clips of RS concerts from the side of the stage.)

The fact that I was able to watch videos taken by people I don’t know who were in the middle of the ocean is pretty incredible. It’s another one of those things that my 13-year-old self would have been thrilled about back in the 1980s. Back then being a RS fan meant taking babysitting gigs so I could watch MTV and possibly see a RS video or interview (we didn’t have cable at home.) Or I’d walk to the neighborhood Revco drug store to see if the latest issue of Teen Beat, Tiger Beat or 16 magazine was out. (For other examples, see “Rick Springfield fandom in the 1980s vs. today.“)

But sitting home watching a video of my favorite rock star performing on a cruise ship in the middle of the ocean the same night it was happening? No way, not in my wildest dreams.

Some of the highlights of the cruise (from my limited view 2,400 miles away) were:

  • The piano bar when RS and Thomas Dolby were playing The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven.”
  • The Mark Goodman and RS Q&A session
  • Videos of the band hanging out singing in one of the cabins
  • RS singing “Waiting for a Girl Like You” (watching that brought out my inner teen giddiness, for sure)
  • Watching RS perform so many great songs with all those other talented performers and seeing him have such a great time

I’m sure there were many more highlights from people who were actually there so check out the Facebook fan pages. If I can find any videos to share from YouTube, I’ll post at a later date.

Next year’s lineup looks fun, too, especially the English Beat. I was a big fan in high school and I saw them once in this little bar in Tempe where I danced on the same dance floor as Dave Wakeling. But this year’s cruise, with Rick Springfield as host, would be hard to beat.

I love the 80s

Back to the ’80s

Oh, how I wish I was in Florida preparing to embark on a trip back to that totally tubular time of the 1980s. Yes, the ’80s cruise that we heard about last year starts this weekend, with none other than Rick Springfield as its captain. Or host. Let’s go with captain, he seems to like that:

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I never started playing the lottery so I never won and therefore am not going on the cruise, but hopefully some of the lucky fans who are will share some videos.

Tonight RS is performing in Florida and then the ship sets sail on Saturday. Sometimes I feel like I know WAY too much about RS’s life. My brain can only hold so much information and I wonder sometimes if I didn’t know so much RS trivia maybe I’d remember more of my passwords and not have to reset them so often.

There weren’t as many passwords to remember back in the 1980s. In fact, so many things have changed since then. My childhood mall is being redeveloped into an office complex. Toys R Us is closing all its stores. I feel like I’ve reached that age where I spend too much time explaining to my kids how things used to be and talking about things that no longer exist. Although the details are different, it’s a reiteration of my dad’s story about being one of the first families on his block to get a color TV.

Today as we prepared to set out for school drop-off, my car didn’t start. The AAA guy checked the battery, but that was fine, it’s likely my starter. (’80s note: My very first 45 record was “Start Me Up!” by the Rolling Stones). I ended up having to drive my husband to work and passed the Arizona State Fairgrounds where two of my kids sang “Don’t Talk to Strangers” with RS a couple of years ago. (Another ’80s reference, in case you didn’t get it.)

For some reason, today when people call me on my cell phone, I can’t hear them and they can’t hear me. To paraphrase Blondie, “Call me, call me any, anytime” but I won’t be able to hear you.

Despite all these ’80s references, the song that kept going through my head today was “It’s Always Something.”

For that reason, it sounds so fun to get way from all of this and go out on a big boat dedicated to the 1980s and all that great music.

To everyone who is going – have an awesome time. Totally. For sure.

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My bedroom wall in the 1980s.

‘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!

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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