One-way street

One of my favorite songs off of “Songs for the End of the World” is “One Way Street.”

I think one of the reasons is the opening lines:

“From a window, I’m looking down at a one-way street, All the cars, they’re all pushing in one direction, And the faceless people moving ahead in that same direction.”

It reminds me of one particular scene that has occurred a few times in my life: looking out the window from a high floor in a New York high-rise building and being mesmerized by the traffic below. Seeing all the cars and trying to fathom the idea that there were so many people in one place at the same time; it was hypnotizing to watch. It’s an image I’ve carried in my head for years as a way to put things into perspective so when I heard the song, it reminded me of that.

And then the next few lines:

“Every one of those people searching your eyes for a real connection, Yeah, I’m just like you, looking for meaning to feel complete, Hope and praying its true that love is never a one-way street.”

This made me think about how many people RS must come in contact with in a year – even at one show on any given night. So many people who know so much about him and feel a deep connection with him. And yet he can’t possibly reciprocate in the same way. Although perhaps his touring schedule reflects his willingness to try. I’m not aware of any other performer who does so many meet-and-greets, book signings, concerts (including intimate Stripped Down shows), fan cruises and getaways, etc. (Not that I’m an expert on this sort of thing, but I’m just basing it on the number of photos I see of him posing with fans.)

So, RS if you are actually reading this blog, can you give a little sign that you saw it? It doesn’t need to be much. Just a little indication. A casual obscure reference in one of your many interviews, a hint in a photograph or, if you are so inspired, a song about it on your next album. (OK, that might be pushing it). I would be ever so grateful. I will be looking for a sign.

(Hopefully this post doesn’t sound too stalker-ish or creepy. It’s just that I know that at next month’s show – in a little over two weeks! – it’s unlikely that I’ll actually come into contact with him but I just want him to know what an inspiration he has been. And even if I do have a chance to meet him, I will likely be unable to find the right words to say. I am guessing that RS is probably a bit too busy to have time to stumble upon sites like this but one can dream, right?)

Update from Dec. 26, 2015: I just found this image online when I was searching for something else. I’d never seen it before (easy to do, there are thousands of RS pics online) but it made me think of this song so I thought I’d add it here).


Another generation of fans

Since I have “rediscovered” Rick Springfield, I’ve been listening a lot to “Venus in Overdrive” and “Songs for the End of the World.”  For the past few weeks, it’s either one or the other that is in the CD player in my car so my kids have been listening to them often as well.

I have three sons, ages 4, 6 and 8 and they have all quickly become familiar with Rick Springfield. When I first started playing “Songs for the End of World,” my 8-year-old asked who was singing and I showed him the cover. “Does he look familiar?” I asked him. “Yes,” he replied. “From ‘Late, Late at Night,’ ” which he had seen around the house.

His favorite songs are “A Sign of Life”- because it’s about aliens – and “Our Ship’s Sinking”  – he likes singing the “woah woah woah wo.”

My 6-year-old says he likes all the songs and often instructs me to “turn up the volume” as we’re driving, after I turn it down to ask them questions about their day. The other day he informed me that “In song number nine, Rick Springfield says a bad word.” Fortunately he doesn’t quite understand the meaning of the songs – he was just walking around the house singing, “Six kids keep me buried alive – yah, yah…” (Venus in Overdrive) I didn’t correct him. One of his favorite songs is “Don’t Keep the Sandman Waiting.”

My 4-year-old has been heard singing, “Victoria’s seeeecret” and “Awaaay, awaaaay” (from “One Way Street”) around the house. He’s also picked up a few new vocabulary words (such as the one in song number 9 mentioned above) so I skip over some songs when they’re in the car. (When he first used that word, I asked him where he heard it – he replied, “from Rick Springfield.”) I always skip “I Hate Myself,” because I don’t want them walking around singing that.

One funny coincidence: last weekend I was home alone doing some work and was listening to a podcast of a RS interview from June on the computer that somebody had posted on a RS fan Facebook page. It was a fun interview during which RS and the interviewers were joking about the number of records RS has sold and at one point joked that they could say there were trillions of them.

A couple of hours later, I was in the car with my oldest son and out of nowhere he asked me, “Does Rick Springfield have billions of songs?” (He hadn’t heard the interview.) The timing was just weird because the interview was still in my mind.