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!

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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!

 

 

 

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.

More on ‘Rock Meets Classic’

My last post put a request for more information on Rock Meets Classic out into the universe and a response came back on my phone today in the form of an article in the Chicago Tribune. Thanks, universe (and writer of said article, “Springfield proves there’s life after ‘Jessie’s Girl,’ ‘General Hospital.'”)

So here you go, straight from the fingers of the man himself (it was an email interview):

“Next month I’m doing a tour of Germany, with a symphony orchestra playing my songs that have been transcribed for the different instruments,” the 67-year-old singer said. “Don Felder (Eagles) and Steve Lukather (Toto) are also on the bill. I have gigs booked through the year and we are looking at TV and movies with more focus now.”

And this clarification on my last post – new material, not a CD of the symphony music (no confirmation yet on whether it’s a blues album):

Additionally, Springfield noted that he is “writing a new CD/album/free download that I hope to have out before the end of the year.”

Now just waiting for an announcement about one of those “gigs booked through the year” being within driving distance from my house, no flight or hotel stay required (because I’m not sure I can get away with another getaway for just myself and not the whole family…).

I might as well ask the universe for that too, right?

The last laugh

As I was perusing the photos and videos posted from the Rick Springfield fan getaway trip in the Bahamas, I found myself thinking of little Ricky Springthorpe feeling so despondent in his younger years.

RS has written and talked about his struggles with depression and about how he’s felt like a failure when depression hits. I thought about how he probably felt like he wasn’t living up to what people expected of him as a child because he wasn’t successful in school and scholastic achievement is typically how adults measure success in children.

When he was struggling in school and getting reprimanded for spending so much time on music, if only he could have known that decades later he’d be at a resort in the Bahamas with hundreds of women spending thousands of dollars to spend a few days with him and listen to him perform music in a variety of ways – with his band, in an acoustic set on the beach, in a piano bar and in a Beatles tribute band. Hundreds of people singing and dancing along to songs that he wrote. Songs that wouldn’t exist if he would have let those naysayers get to him. These fans also paid hundreds more for some extra time with him – swimming with dolphins or visiting his hotel suite for an intimate musical gathering (with a group of other adoring fans).

That reality probably never crossed his mind. (Or maybe it did, he has quite an imagination…) So there, all you people who gave him a hard time when he was young – the last laugh is on you.

So if anybody reading this is feeling discouraged in their current situation, just remember that there’s always the possibility that things will take a turn in a better direction. And may you experience whatever the equivalent of the resort-beach-Beatles tribute band dream is for you.

#HappyThanksgiving #Donotletothersgetyoudown #Followyourdreams

 Here are some great videos I came across from the fan trip:

“That One,” off of his newest album “Rocket Science,” at the welcome concert: 

At the piano bar singing the classics; here’s one by the King of Rock n’ Roll:

“Something” during the Beatles tribute show:

“Written in Rock,” from the 1985 album “Tao,” at the beach party:

One of the new cover songs he’s added to the set list, “Foxy Lady” at the farewell concert: