This week’s special guest: Sammy Hagar

This week, the world of Rick Springfield featured special guest Sammy Hagar.

First, on May 15 RS performed at Acoustic 4 a Cure, a concert organized by “The Red Rocker” Sammy Hagar that benefitted the pediatric cancer program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. The sixth annual concert, held at the Fillmore in San Francisco, also included Nancy Wilson of Heart, Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, Chad Kroeger of Nickelback, Joe Satriani, Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers, Michael Anthony, Jason Bonham and Vic Johnson. There are some great pics from that evening on Sammy Hagar’s Facebook page.

Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images

Sammy Hagar’s first appearance in the Rick Springfield story was a few decades ago. He wrote the song “I’ve Done Everything for You” in 1978, which he released as a single that didn’t make the charts.

Then a few years later, Keith Olsen, who produced RS’s “Working Class Dog,” suggested that RS cover it. It was released in 1981 as a single after “Jessie’s Girl” and became a hit. From what I can tell, this year, 38 years later, marked the first time they played it together – first during the taping of Hagar’s “Rock & Roll Road Trip,” which aired on AXS-TV on Sunday – and then at this benefit concert. (Update on June 5: I just learned that the filming of Hagar’s show was filmed in June 2018 so it was actually 37 years later.)

The “Rick & Roll Road Trip” (as the episode was called) was so great! It was a fun interview that took place at the Springthorpe home in Malibu and included RS & SH playing IDEFY together for the first time in RS’s Black Lagoon home studio. What didn’t air was any mention of the tequila story mentioned in the Stripped Down shows. (SH once gave RS a bottle of tequila as a thank you for IDEFY and one day RS came home to discover that his sons drank it – in the very same house that SH visited for the interview. He may have even walked on the same floor where the bottle sat all those years ago.)

I don’t seen the interview online, but here’s a deleted scene from the interview:

One thing I learned in the interview was that they didn’t really know each other all that well before the interview so it was cool to watch them enjoy each other’s company since they’ve had this shared IDEFY connection all these years. RS has played SH’s song hundreds if not thousands of times over the past few decades so it was to fun to watch them play it together.

When SH asked RS what he’d like to do next, RS said he’s interested in doing more work for charities that benefit animals and children, which I thought was really beautiful. Perhaps his answer to this question was what led to him performing at SH’s Acoustic 4 A Cure last week? Everything is connected somehow it seems, although sometimes we don’t discover it until later.

(To clarify: Yes, I know that Acoustic 4 a Cure was SH’s benefit (he does lots of charity work and seems like a great guy) and that RS was a guest and RS was also a guest on SH’s show, but because this is a RS blog, SH is the special guest here.)

In other recent RS news:

A wonderful review of “Orchestrating My Life” in the Herald-Standard:

As a whole, “Orchestrating My Life” showcases Springfield’s talent for crafting and delivering songs that make us laugh, cry, dance and sing out loud like nobody’s watching.

And RS is scheduled to perform on The Talk this Wednesday.

Rick Springfield The Talk

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Orchestrating My Life on the charts!

OML Billboard - Copy

Great news on the Billboard Charts today! Rick Springfield’s “Orchestrating My Life” debuted as #4 on the Classical Album Chart. Congratulations to everyone involved!

There’s also a lovely article on people.com about his song “Irreplaceable” off the new album, along with a new video from the symphony performance interspersed with family photos.

A beautiful tribute to his mom:

“My mum died at 96 sitting in her backyard in the morning sun facing the blue spruce tree we used to call ‘Dad’s tree,” Springfield says. “She walked the walk and was good to everyone (except to me when I was 16 years old because I was a jerk back then.) I never met anyone like her.”

It’s a fitting article to come out right before Mother’s Day and I’m sure the song will touch people this year and many more years to come.

Listening to ‘Orchestrating My Life’

Although I thought it was so cool that “Orchestrating My Life” took Rick Springfield hits and recorded them with his band and a symphony, part of me wasn’t as driven to listen to it as I had been his previous new albums in the last few years (“Rocket Science” and “The Snake King”) primarily because I’ve heard his hits countless times.

So now it’s already TWO days after its release and I’m just now listening to it. True, I’ve already watched several videos filmed at his symphony shows the past year or so, including the beautiful new song “Irreplaceable” about his mom, but I hadn’t yet had a copy of the new CD until tonight.

So, in case anyone is interested, here’s the first impression.

Kristina: As I sit in anticipation of listening to the album, the first song has a different beginning than the original. Maybe it’s the album preview in the back of my mind – the one with the red curtains that was posted on social media not too long ago- but I feel like I’m sitting in a theater listening to the overture of a play, with the anticipation of waiting for the show to start. OK, now it’s starting to sound familiar. And here’s RS starting to sing. Whoo-hoo! He sounds so good, it’s amazing to think it’s 37 years after the original recording. Thirty-seven!!!!! Plus it’s super cool that his current band is playing on this one. They are such an important part of the whole RS live experience and they’ve played these songs so many times, it’s nice to have them forever immortalized on a version of these songs.

Here’s a video of the song that was recently released:

I’ve Done Everything For You: This one starts out right away the way you’d expect it to, but with a little extra from the orchestra. The mix of the orchestra and the electric guitars sounds so cool!

Don’t Talk to Strangers: Again, it sounds like you’d expect it to, but with extra depth from the symphony.

Jessie’s Girl: Although I’ve heard this song SO many times and it’s the only RS song I ever hear on the radio these days, I’m still singing along – this version rocks and he still sounds so good singing it.

Affair of the Heart: Such a cool opening. Familiar and yet different. Makes me start thinking of how long many of his fans have been fans. When this originally came out, RS was 33 years old and now it’s been 36 years since it was released. I was 13 then and now am hearing a new version of the same song sung by the same guy who is now almost 70 and he sounds just as good. My mind is blown. This time around, I can clearly hear the words he’s whispering…

Love Somebody: Rocks as usual.

Human Touch: This symphony adds some fun stuff here, not sure what instruments they are, but it sounds good. The only downside to listening to this with audio only is that RS doesn’t come out of my computer for some human touch (like he comes out in the audience during a concert). In fact, he skipped this song altogether at the last live show I was at. Maybe the next CD will include some virtual reality component to take care of this.

Celebrate Youth: My mind just flashed back to a 2015 Stripped Down Q&A where RS explained his inspiration for this song. (See the “Inspiration for Songs” post for a reference.) But then I returned back to the present to ponder on how great RS sounds today.

World Start Turning: As I mentioned in a previous post, this song isn’t imprinted on my brain like the others, but it fits so well on the CD and is such a beautiful song. I think it’s one of my favorites on this CD so far.

Souls: OK, this song isn’t actually on the CD, but I’m including it here because it’s one of my favorite RS songs and it sounds so beautiful with a symphony so I think it should have been included. Here’s a video posted on YouTube by rsandus from a symphony show about a year ago. See if you agree.

State of the Heart: OK, how does his voice sound the same more than 30 years later? I must say, I’m realizing my teen self had really, really good taste when it came to selecting a favorite rock star.

Irreplaceable: This one I listened to with my eyes closed to really focus on it, although in my mind I saw RS performing it live with such emotion. Such a beautiful, touching and meaningful song.

April 24, 1981/My Father’s Chair: “Orchestrating My Life” is dedicated to RS’s parents, Norman and Eileen Springthorpe, so it’s fitting that the CD concludes with the songs dedicated to them. The addition of the symphony to these two songs makes them even more powerful and provide a somber ending to the CD. I think this CD would have made both of his parents proud.

Bravo, bravo to the whole RS team behind the CD!

Now if only The Phoenix Symphony would bring this performance to Symphony Hall!

April 24, 1981: His Last Words

This month marked the 20th anniversary of Rick Springfield’s “Karma” CD so I revisited it a few days ago. I admit it’s been awhile since I’ve listened to it so when I saw the title “His Last Words,” it didn’t come to me right away what it was. Of course when I listened to it, I remembered it, but it’s not a song that you can sing to so the lyrics didn’t come to mind. Instead it is read to haunting sounds by RS, his sons and his brother.

When I read the lyrics, I found them so powerful and poignant, and was moved by the poetry of it. Especially the last few lines:

And so it went
There were no proud and profound last words
No bright ringing final moment of clarity
He just died

We kissed his still warm face
And strangers came and took him from us forever

The cold wind blew through the tree in my father’s yard
And I looked for meaning.

The words kind of took my breath away and made me feel like sobbing, although I didn’t. My mom died just over 20 years ago on April 20, so I suppose this time of year I’m already feeling melancholy when the date April 24 comes up.

RS’s new album, “Orchestrating My Life,” which officially is released in a few days – April 26 – is dedicated to his parents. Here is a recent video posted by rsandus of “April 24, 1981” and “My Father’s Chair” with the Portland Symphony.

So beautiful and the orchestra adds another depth to it. You may want to grab a tissue before you watch it.

To many RS fans, April 24 is a very meaningful date as today we remember Norman Springthorpe. He continues to live on through his sons and the impact they make in the world.

‘World Start Turning’

The song list for Rick Springfield’s upcoming “Orchestrating My Life” CD includes many songs that you would expect:

  • Don’t Talk to Strangers
  • Love Somebody
  • I’ve Done Everything for You
  • Affair of the Heart
  • Human Touch
  • Celebrate Youth
  • State of the Heart
  • Jessie’s Girl (of course)

Then there’s a concert favorite (especially for fans with variations of that name, I’m sure): Kristina

Then there’s the two dedicated to his parents: “My Father’s Chair” and the new “Irreplaceable.”

One song that I was surprised didn’t make the cut – simply because it’s one of my favorites and he’s played it before at symphony shows (which sounded beautiful) was “Souls,” off of “Living in Oz.”

The one song that I wasn’t expecting was “World Start Turning.”

Up until summer 1987 – when I graduated high school, moved out of my parents’ home and moved to California – my bedroom walls were covered with Rick Springfield posters. My Rick Springfield obsession started at age 12 and from junior high through high school, I went through a Duran Duran stage, a Beatles stage and a ska stage, but the RS posters remained through all those stages. After moving out, the posters came down and I didn’t see them again until about three years ago. (See the posters in the “Where it all began” post.)

Rock of Life

When the RS album “Rock of Life” came out in 1988, I was living in Southern California, taking some college classes and working. RS was no longer on my radar and to this day I haven’t owned this album (probably something I should remedy at some point, I know.)

Although I knew the song “Rock of Life” because I picked up a Greatest Hits CD after CDs were introduced, I didn’t hear any of the other songs until recently so they are not in my nostalgic memory bank.

Those past few paragraphs are a long way of saying that I wasn’t that familiar with the “Rock of Life” album or “World Start Turning.” (Or “Hold on to your Dream,” which I wrote a “Totally random post” about.)

Anyway, a recent, really awesome, concert review, “Rick Springfield reminds us he’s a rock star,” mentions that the March 19 concert in Airway Heights, Wash., included the “first-ever live performance of “World Start Turning.”

The review said:

Not only did the song kill, but Springfield appeared to break down in tears at the end, saying “That song brought up a lot of shit for me,” before taking a slug from a glass of wine.

So of course I had to check out the lyrics.

Like many of his songs, it’s autobiographical and the lyrics are pretty heavy. (In fact, the current Wikipedia entry for “Rock of Life” says it’s “considered to be the darkest Springfield album of his career.” Obviously that became outdated once “SDAA” then “The Snake King” was released.)

We were taught if man believes in
What he wants in America
It’s only a matter of time, just a matter of seasons
But I walk through the houses of dreams that died
I see the ones still trapped there the ones that tried
But spent the rest of their lives wondering why
And searching for reasons (and they never wake up)

-World Start Turning lyrics

After reading his autobiography and learning about the depression he experienced at that time (and still today), fans will notice how autobiographical this is as we now have some insight on what he was experiencing in his life at the time the record came out.

“Rocket Science” fans might find this line from “World Start Turning” familiar:

“I’ve been standing on the beach crying to the raging sea.”

From “The Best Damn Thing”:

I was crying on the beach by the raging sea
Just a small town broken-down refugee
Holier than thou, I caused the damage done
You’re the best damn thing and I’m the lucky one

His sharing so much of himself in his songs is one reason why so many of his fans feel a personal connection with him. I’m pretty sure I know more about his life than I do about 99 percent of the people I know in real life. (I may even know more details about his life than I remember about mine.)

In other RS, news we got to hear a little sample of the new album on social media:

Whoo-hoo! Can’t wait to hear the symphony version of all these songs!

The general release date of “Orchestrating My Life” is April 26, but visit the official RS site for details on how to get it earlier.)

RS rock review

(Read the full review here.)

Update on April 4: rickspringfield.us site posted this video on YouTube from the dress rehearsal. Yay!! Such a great video!

Leading up to ‘Orchestrating My Life’

The Rick Springfield website and social media pages will soon need to be updated to reflect his NEW new album, “Orchestrating My Life.” “The Snake King” is so 2018 because RS has been busy recording this next one with not only his touring band, but a 60-piece orchestra.

He’s invited his fans to attend a dress rehearsal on March 29, where 200 lucky fans will get to see RS perform with the award-winning 60-member Santa Monica High School Symphony Orchestra. (The experience is priceless, but if you have to put a price on it, it’s $250.)

The following night, March 30, is the world premiere of his newest new album, a concert at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills that will feature at least 13 RS compositions, including all of his biggest hits and “Irreplaceable,” a brand new song in honor of his mom.

But wait, there’s more

August Day Recordings, a record label that was founded in 2007 in London, set up a U.S. office in New York last year and according to its website, Rick Springfield is now one of several artists they work with, in addition to Wang Chung and A Flock of Seagulls, among others.

Rick Springfield

One of my favorite RS photos.

Not only do they use one of my very favorite photos of RS on their website, it looks like they set up a new website for him that is for now focused on his newest new CD: rickspringfield.org.

On this site is information about a limited edition special box set that includes four CDS, a signed postcard and two bonus CDs.

  • The main “Orchestrating My Life” CD
  • Instrumental versions of the songs
  • An Orchestra-only version (Not sure how that is different than the instrumental version, maybe the other one also includes his band?)
  • A CD where RS talks about the story behind each song (just like on the 45-record from the fan club with the little messages scratched in the middle circle!)
  • Bonus CDs are for the first 200 orders and are samplers of “Irreplaceable” and “Kristina,” according to the site.

NOTE: AT THE WRITING OF THIS BLOG, IT LOOKS LIKE THE BOX SET IS ALREADY SOLD OUT. Apparently they underestimated the demand. (Update the next morning: now it looks like you can order more and this is now mentioned on rickspringfield.com)

The site lists the “Orchestrating My Life” track list:

Kristina
I’ve Done Everything For You
Don’t Talk to Strangers
Jessie’s Girl
Affair of the Heart
Love Somebody
Human Touch
Celebrate Youth
World Start Turning
State of the Heart
Irreplaceable
My Father’s Chair
We also get to see the cover of the new CD (which features one of my newest favorite pics of RS, as of today):

RS OML

‘Orchestrating My Life’

My favorite rock star (and possibly yours, too, if you’re reading this…) was on a radio show tonight where he casually mentioned that his new album is called “Orchestrating My Life” and it will be out in about two months. He said there’s a new song on it and “a bunch of the big hits on there orchestrated and re-recorded.” They sound like the original, he said, but then they added the orchestra.

First of all, I love the title and its double meaning. It’s the perfect name. Plus, I can’t wait to hear his songs with the orchestra and I’m excited for a new song!

There are some videos of the Rick Springfield interview with Peter Tilden on the 790ABC Facebook page, where he briefly talks about this new album and a variety of other things. It was a fun interview to watch and I appreciate the fact that we got to see the radio interview – thank you, technology.

Listen carefully to the beginning of the third video (sorry, I tried to embed it here, but it didn’t work. It’s the one that’s 3:57 long. I also shared it on this blog’s FB page). Could it be the NEW SONG? I’ve listened it about 15 times and don’t recognize it, searched the lyrics on Google and couldn’t find them and Shazam-ed it and got “No Result” so I’m thinking it might be. (If I’m wrong, let me know, as if it was the NEW SONG you’d think one of them would say “Here’s the NEW SONG from the NEW ALBUM, right?) Inquiring minds want to know. I want to know!

(Do you catch that reference? One more thing imprinted in my mind from the ’80s.)