Yes, that was Rick Springfield on ‘American Horror Story: Cult’

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I don’t talk about Rick Springfield’s Dr. Noah Drake character very often because it was a long time ago and he moved away from that character a long time ago. But I did miss Dr. Noah Drake tonight…

Instead RS was Pastor Charles on “American Horror Story: Cult,” which is a horror anthology TV show and not something I’d usually watch. But I thought I’d give it a try tonight to see what RS’s character was like. IMG_20171024_222549

The episode, “Winter of our Discontent,” was creepy, as I had expected. I didn’t take a photo of the last scene – too gruesome – but it did remind me of RS’s injured rib.  He may not remember how he hurt his rib, but now we know. (Just kidding.)

He sure likes to play  creepy roles (think the freaky Dr. Irving Pitlor on “True Detective” in 2015 and Lucifer on “Supernatural” last year) and he’s disturbingly good at it. (Could this be a hint of what his upcoming new CD “The Snake King” is going to represent, some kind of creepy character?)

 

Fortunately there was a good character in the mix these past few years (Greg from “Ricki and the Flash.”)

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Ricki and the Flash

Now I need to erase the image of Pastor Charles from my head and think of RS in my favorite role.

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OK, that’s better. Now I can sleep tonight.

A devilish rock star role

About a year ago at this time, we were waiting for the premiere of “Ricki of the Flash,” in which Rick Springfield played Greg, a nice aging rocker who played in a bar band with his girlfriend (played by Meryl Streep). Yesterday, it was announced that RS is filming another aging rocker role – but one very different from Greg.

In the TV series “Supernatural,” he is going to be Vince Vincente, an aging rock star trying to make a comeback and whose body provides a vessel for Lucifer. I’ve never watched “Supernatural” and hadn’t even heard of it until last week, so I can’t explain what that means, but I’m sure RS will do a great job. He also played an out-of-control aging rock star in “Drop Dead Diva” in 2014;  in 2009, he played a narcissistic rock star version of himself on “Californication”; and in 2007 he played rock star Eli Love on “General Hospital.” And of course, his role of Jamie Roberts in his 1984 film debut, “Hard to Hold.” Sometime this year, the film “Traces” is supposed to come out, where he’ll play Carl, a record store owner. Not sure if Carl was a rock star before he opened the record store. (He also played a very creepy non-rock star, Dr. Irving Pitlor on “True Detective” in 2015.)

In the tweets following the announcement of this “Supernatural” role, some tweeters tweeted about whether RS would now sing “Jessie’s Girl” at future comic-cons.

There always seems to be a “Jessie’s Girl” comment no matter what RS does. But it did make me realize that RS would actually be a great guest at a comic-con because if that was something he’d be interested in, he certainly would be qualified. His 1970s credits include “Wonder Woman,” “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “The Incredible Hulk” and “Battlestar Galactica.” He was even a cartoon in “Mission Magic!” and “Family Guy.”

The list of his acting credits is long (check out his IMDb credits to see for yourself, if you’re not aware of all his acting work; there are many non-rocker roles and he has also done musical theater.)

So just as he’s much more than “Jessie’s Girl” in his musical career, he’s more than Dr. Noah Drake in his acting career. And in addition to his musical and acting accomplishments, there’s also his bestselling books – his memoir “Late, Late at Night” and his novel, “Magnificent Vibration.”

In real life, RS is more of an ageless rock star. With a new album that came out earlier this year (“Rocket Science”), the new film scheduled to come out sometime this year (“Traces”), a national tour (with both full-band shows and solo shows) and now this TV show (“Supernatural”), this rock star sure has a lot going on.

Here are other sources that highlight his acting roles:

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weloverickspringfield.com

‘Ricki’ reunion at ‘All the WOO in the World’

There are so many great photos on social media today from last night’s “All the WOO in the World: An All-Star Celebration of Bernie Worrell,” an all-star concert to help raise funds/express appreciation for the musician, who is battling stage-four lung cancer.

Stepping back for a moment from my initial reaction of “Wow, there are so many great photos of Rick Springfield, he’s looking better than ever,” let’s take a moment to reflect on what a great event this was. In addition to the amazing musicians that performed there, these quotes from a “Rolling Stone” article sum it up well:

“This year has been tough — we’ve lost so many great musicians,” Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid told Rolling Stone. “Bernie is facing a serious situation, but he’s determined to make art, to play it out. This will be a great opportunity to recognize and celebrate a person while they’re still here with us.”

“Artists don’t get 401Ks; they don’t get insurance with their record deals; they don’t get a lot of stuff that other people get in corporations, like the people inside the music business get,” notes Nona Hendryx, who is spearheading the April 4th benefit. “I wanted to do something where Bernie could hear people sing his praises while he’s here.”

Such great sentiment, since so often people don’t express their appreciation for others until it’s too late to tell them. When artists are memorialized in the press after their death, I have often wondered if they realized when they were still alive that they were so valued.

The RS connection to this event was that Worrell was the keyboard player in “Ricki and the Flash,” which made this also a mini-reunion, as Meryl Streep and director Jonathon Demme were also there. (Another reason why it was a good thing that he listened to his publicist and flew across the country for the “Ricki and the Flash” audition, right?)

<> at Webster Hall on April 4, 2016 in New York City.

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Click here to learn more about the fund set up to help Bernie Worrell with medical expenses.

’80s heartthrob to release new CD

Have you heard that Rick Springfield has a new CD coming out next week? Yes, that Rick Springfield, the ’80s heartthrob soap star best known for his Grammy-winning “Jessie’s Girl.”

OK, I’m just amusing myself in preparation for those kind of statements to make an appearance, as they did last year in articles about “True Detective,””Ricki and the Flash” and concert previews.

Or maybe something’s changed over the past year? Maybe his transformation from Dr. Noah Drake to Dr. Irving Pitlor made people take notice that he has done other things over the past 30 years? Maybe he can break free from that ’80s icon label? (Well, OK, maybe the I Heart80s Party later this month doesn’t help that. But that does sound like an AMAZING concert and I wish I could go because I heart ’80s music, but that’s another story.)

Anyway, I’m feeling a little antsy because the “Rocket Science” release is still a week away (on Feb. 19) and there hasn’t been any songs released from it for seven days. (Man, are we getting spoiled or what?!) And some fans have already received their Japanese imports of the album and have gotten to hear all the songs already. Fortunately there’s a Live Nation Yahoo live stream of the Feb.12 show at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville planned this week, so that’s something a little closer than Feb. 19.

Oh, and if articles still refer to RS as a “heartthrob,” that is still accurate.

 

New Stripped Down questions

For anyone who has gone to or watched more than one “Stripped Down” Q&A session, it’s clear that there are a lot of repeat questions. Will he go back to “General Hospital?” (He’s pretty busy with other things lately but he won’t say never.) What does he remember about that one concert in (fill in city here) in (fill in year here)? (Nothing, he doesn’t remember it – he’s played lots of concerts in lots of cities over many years.)

And of course even though it goes against the guidelines outlined at the beginning of the session, there’s always the “Will you autograph my …” and the “Can I get a picture with you?” and the “It’s my birthday” or “It’s (fill in name)’s birthday” – with a request for him to sing “Happy birthday.”

In one video posted online,  a guy proposed to his girlfriend, which included both a question and an answer (fortunately she said yes), but that’s something altogether different.

Anyway, since there are some shows coming up for his “Stripped Down” tour, here’s a message to future Stripped Down Q&Aers. Since you are one of the select few who get the opportunity to speak directly with RS and ask him a question, use your time wisely. Think of yourself as an ambassador representing RS fandom. If you are able to put together a coherent sentence when you speak to him (something that I haven’t been able to do when I’ve had the chance), kudos to you. And here are some suggested questions:

  1. What’s the story behind the cover of your new CD and who are the kids in the picture?
  2. Is there an overall message or topic of the new CD?
  3. Do you know the release date of “Traces”?
  4. Will you be touring overseas for the new CD? (That question is for his fans in Australia, Europe and wherever else since I’m sure they’re wondering).
  5. Will there be another fan trip? If so, when and where?

By the way, the “Ricki and the Flash” Blu-Ray and DVD was released today, so if you missed it in the theater, you have a chance to watch it now. The Blu-Ray has some deleted scenes and a “Rediscovering Rick Springfield” featurette. And both the Blu-Ray and DVD have another extra bonus feature that the theater didn’t offer – you can pause and rewind as often as you want.

Update on Dec. 13: A couple of these have been answered since this was posted. 1. The boys on the CD cover are part of a stock photo and 5. Nov. 10-14 in the Bahamas.

 

Searching for Rick Springfield

Although most of the search terms for this blog come up as “Unknown” – some search engines don’t reveal search terms for privacy reasons – sometimes it’s amusing to see what search terms land people on this site. For example, two recent ones were “rick springfield injured by fan october 2015” and “rick springfield bloody legs.” One of my favorite search terms is “rick springfield shirtless 66.”

This year, the most popular search terms were related to “True Detective,” such as “Is Rick Springfield in True Detective?” “Rick Springfield’s hair,” “Rick Springfield True Detective Makeup” (and even “True Detective Rick Springsteen” – argh!)

Other people searched for information about “Ricki and the Flash”: “What is Rick Springfield doing now that he has finished ricki and the flash,” “gibson sg ricki and the flash” and information about the NYC screening.

When people were searching for details about his music and concerts, they were looking for lyrics for “Light This Party Up,” information about “Down” and “Walking In” (songs reportedly on his upcoming CD), when his new album is coming out (both its former name of “Mayhem” and its current name of “Rocket Science,”)  his tour bus, the story behind “My Father’s Chair,” and to ask “Is Rick Springfield still touring?” (The answer is definitely yes!)

Other people searched for information about the cost for his Club Med trip, his wife, his appearance on Live Aid, his appearance on the 2015 Country Music Awards, his birthday (I bet they were surprised to find it was in August after singing him “Happy Birthday” at an October concert), the “butt lawsuit,” meet and greets, and him selling his hair for charity.

It’s also kinda fun to note that the views for this blog (more than 4,800 so far this year) are in 57 countries. The majority are from the United States but there’s good representation from Canada and Germany, as well as some from Australia, United Kingdom, France, Sweden, the Philippines, Spain and Japan. I even learned that there is a country called Jersey.

A quick update on the “rick springfield injured by a fan october 2015” and “rick springfield bloody legs” topic – although he cancelled one concert due to a “scheduling conflict” last week, apparently he’s OK because he did his “Stripped Down” shows that were scheduled later that week. Good timing on those shows, since he doesn’t have to jump around on stage. No word yet on whether the “Human Touch” portion of the full-band show (walking on chairs through the audience to get the “human touch” from fans) will continue, but the next full-band concert is scheduled for this Saturday night, so I guess we’ll find out soon!

Update: He did go out into the audience during “Human Touch” at the Nov. 7 show at the Mystic Lake Casino in Minnesota. A collective sigh of relief could be virtually heard on the RS fans pages after this news was posted.

A matter of time

Everyone is given the same amount of hours in each day, yet the various ways people choose to spend them is fascinating.

For instance, if your workdays kept you busy from the afternoon until late at night with people constantly demanding things from you the whole time and as soon as you finished, you had to travel somewhere else for the next day’s work, I imagine you’d be pretty exhausted after a few days of this and ready to take a few days off to unwind, even if you love your job.

RS in Venice, Italy

Rick Springfield attends the Jury And Jonathan Demme Cocktail Party during the 72nd Venice Film Festival at Albergo Quattro Fontane on Sept. 8, 2015 in Venice, Italy. (Source: Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images Europe)

That’s why I was amazed to find out that when RS had three days off during a two-month concert tour, he left from his Sunday night concert in Charlotte, North Carolina to travel to Venice, Italy to spend a day and a half promoting “Ricki and the Flash” then turned right back around for a Thursday night show in Chicago. And this is at an age when many people his age are welcoming their retirement years. But I imagine that many people half his age aren’t even half as productive as he is.

(During interviews, when reporters inquire about his intense work schedule, he has attributed it to being a result of having ADHD and has said that he likes to keep busy because it helps ward off his depression.)

Next week is the Jewish New Year, a time that involves a great deal of introspection, as one reflects upon the past year and thinks about what changes they’d like to make in their lives in the upcoming year. Although it’s a joyous time, spent with family and friends and eating lots of good food, it’s also a somber time. So this is the frame of mind I’ve been in the past few days and pondering how one spends one’s precious time fits right in.

OK, but before I go off in a totally different direction, I will try to focus here, as it’s getting late. I just wanted to mention another way that RS is so inspiring. In his memoir, “Late, Late at Night,” he writes about his time in “the burbs” in Glendale, California in the late 1970s when his fourth attempt to make a record falls through and he decides to sculpt figures of aliens and tries to sell them at swap meets, contemplates becoming a priest and hangs out with chickens in his Glendale backyard. And his breakthrough song “Jessie’s Girl” came about when he had decided that if his musical career wouldn’t work out, maybe he’d become a stained glass artist (and then wrote “Jessie’s Girl” about a girl in the class).

And then, finally, when he became extremely successful, he realized that the success hadn’t made him happy and he walked away from it all in the late 1980s. In his book, he writes about all the highs and lows during his career and although it probably never occurred to him as he was going through all these challenges that someday he would share them with others and, as a result, it would help them get through their own challenging times, it’s fortunate he chose to be so honest. By sharing all these highs and lows, he provided hope to those who are on the low end, by showing that paths can shift direction at any moment.

Interviewing in Oz

My fascination with Australia started in third grade when I really wanted to go hug a koala bear. Although I’m not much of a collection person, I did seem to accumulate many koala stuffed animals around that time. I still have never been to Australia but my RS crush continued my fascination with the country (and I enjoyed seeing the beautiful country through Wiggles videos, too, when my kids were younger).

Anyway, RS was recently in Australia to promote “Ricki and the Flash,” which opens there on Aug. 27, so I’ve enjoyed watching some of the promotional interviews there (and listening to the accents). One thing in particular that’s interesting is how the questions differ from the American interviews because of the circumstance – these include his fame in Australia in the 1970s, why he hasn’t toured in Australia since he found success in America and that they forgive him for cancelling last year’s tour because he was filming “Ricki and the Flash.” He also told the interviewers that they are planning to tour in Australia next year. Here are some of my favorite interviews from his recent visit.

Oz interview

The Fix: “Rick Springfield on his Aussie roots, his ’80s lowpoint and rocking with Meryl Streep in their new movie” (click on photo for interview).

Looks like they are having a good time with this one:

This one is a fun one, too, as you can tell by the title: “That awkward moment when your interview goes way off.”

And here’s another good interview:

In this interview, RS mentions that he just finished a script:

Good stuff, mate!

‘Ricki and the Flash’ and motherhood

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People who follow their passion are often greatly admired. Their dedication is lauded and their ambition applauded. But that’s usually only true if they are successful.

If their efforts are fruitless, however, the response is much different.

For instance, there’s the character of Ricki Rendazzo, played by Meryl Streep in “Ricki and the Flash,” who leaves her husband and young kids to pursue a career as a rock star. Instead of the successful musical career she dreamed of, she sings cover songs in a bar band in Tarzana, California and works as a cashier in a Whole Foods-type of market. If she wasn’t barely surviving on the brink of bankruptcy and was instead a successful singer selling hit records and touring around the country, would it make it acceptable that she left her young kids in order to pursue her dream?

In an interview posted on The Globe and Mail website with the film’s screenwriter Diablo Cody, Cody admitted that the script for ‘Ricki’ is in many ways a projection of her own anxieties as a mother. “Could this be my future?” she asked. “Are my kids going to forgive me for the time I spent away from them because I was passionate about writing movies, or are they going to appreciate it?”

I think that’s a question many working mothers ask. And if a working mother has other interests outside of their workday that they try to fit in between school pick-up and bedtime, is that admirable or poor parenting?

In the last few weeks, I’ve spent a lot of time writing new songs – the lyrics and melodies are what comes most naturally and I can do that while driving or doing things around the house. But the actual music is much more challenging and I don’t have much time to spend practicing guitar or piano, much less try to create something new. I’m fortunate to have a job I’m passionate about – that involves lots of writing – but I still have a strong desire to write songs. So I try to fit it in between work and school schedules, meals and bedtimes, although I feel guilty about it. (What’s with motherhood and guilt?!)

Even now this very moment, at 1 a.m., I feel guilty because my 6-year-old just woke up and walked into the office and wants me to go into his room. Yes, I’m writing a blog post at 1 a.m. because that’s when I often end up having time for non-work writing and still (AT 1 A.M.!!!!) feel guilty about it because the little guy is asking when I’m going to be done.

So can a mom follow her passion without feeling guilty? Is it OK as long as you do it in moderation and attempt to balance it with your parenting duties and not simply forego your obligation altogether like Ricki Rendazzo?

I will have to ponder this another time because guilt won. The little guy just asked me again if I am done yet so I’m signing off now.

What a year

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What a year it has been in Rick Springfield’s life.

Since I began this blog a year ago today, I’ve been following his life pretty closely (online, through social media and interviews, I should probably clarify). At first it was mainly catching up on all the things I missed during the 15 years I hadn’t kept track of his work (got busy with work, getting married, having 3 kids, you know – life). I read his memoir and his novel, listened to his CDs since “Karma,” watched a documentary about him and his fans, caught up on past interviews, watched his guest spots on various TV shows, etc.

When I started writing this blog, it was a way to examine my “crush” on RS and involved going through my diary from junior high and my journals in the years that followed to find details about this crush in those pages. As I continued it, I realized that I really hoped that RS would someday see it so he’d have an idea the kind of impact he’s had on his fans. (Since then, I’ve learned that there are many, many other stories from other fans, too). Going through my journals led me on other personal journeys that I won’t go into detail about here, but this past year of RS sure provided lots of material to write about for this blog!

These include working on a new album, the “butt trial,” concert tours (full-band and Stripped Down, which I was fortunate enough to see both and meet him briefly afterward both times), his Club Med fan trip, Country Music Awards skit, “True Detective” and “Ricki and the Flash.”

Because I just can’t resist a good year-end countdown (maybe a result of listening to Casey Kasem’s Top 40 every weekend during my formative years?), here is a list of the 10 blog posts (out of nearly 100) that received the most views this past year (not counting the home page, which had the most views):

10: New songs for the new year

9: One in a million – back on tour

8: What a new RS album means

7: Muse musing

6: VIDEO: My Rick Springfield Crush Revival and Rickamania (TIE)

5: Yes, it’s makeup. (a True Detective-related post)

4: Questions for RS Stripped Down Tour Q & A

3: A brief crossing of paths (a post about when I met RS this past March)

2: 7 reasons to adore Rick Springfield even more after Syracuse trial

And the post that received the most views this past year is:

1: A new look for Rick Springfield (a True Detective-related post)

Although there wasn’t much interaction from readers, I hope that people enjoyed it – I know I enjoyed writing it! Since the number of views grew from 327 in 2014 (August through December) to more than 2,840 so far this year, obviously the interest in finding out what RS is up to these days has increased with all the work he has done lately. I’m sure the number of people who randomly click on this blog will increase even more in the weeks that follow because of “Ricki and the Flash.”

It’s exciting to see all the wonderful press about RS this past week in relation to the movie and I hope it only continues for this and future projects.

I’m not sure how much more I’ll be writing here – school starts this week and now that my youngest is starting kindergarten, that means homework x3 – and I have some projects that I plan to start working on. But I have two more RS concerts scheduled for the fall so hopefully that means there will be more stories to tell!