A Stripped Down virtual concert

Due to the positive response of the previous virtual concert, I thought I’d do one for the Stripped Down acoustic show, too. I think everyone can use more joy in their life, right?

This set list is from the April 4, 2019 concert in Albany, Georgia and the videos are from whatever Stripped Down videos I could find on YouTube for those songs. Thanks once again to all those who posted these videos! (The featured pic at the top is from the one Stripped Down I got to attend, in Tucson back in 2015: “What an amazing show (and another brief meeting).”)

Enjoy the show!

I Get Excited

Affair of the Heart

Me & Johnny

Oh Well and Love is Alright Tonite

T-Shirt Song

Mash-up of 867-5309, Jessie’s Girl and Stacy’s Mom

Inside Sylvia

Voodoo House

Human Touch and Don’t Talk to Strangers

Baby Blue

4 Billion Heartbeats/My Father’s Chair

I’ve Done Everything For You

If Wishes Were Fishes

Love Somebody

Jessie’s Girl

This was so much fun – I love his sense of humor and hearing the stories behind his songs. I’m so glad he doesn’t mind people videotaping at his shows, which allowed us to have this great footage! Thanks again to all the fans who posted their videos!

Bonus videos!

There are so many great videos from his Stripped Down shows, that I just wanted to share a few more, although they weren’t in this particular setlist.

Ordinary Girl

Walking In

What Kind of Fool Am I?

Stripped Down two years tonight

Two years ago tonight, I was hanging out with Rick Springfield.

OK, maybe “hanging out” is an exaggeration, but I did spend the evening in his presence. First during his “Stripped Down” show in Tucson and then during my longest interaction ever with him (I’ve “met” him four times – once in 1999 for an autograph at a music store, once in 2015 for a pic at a meet and greet, two years ago tonight and once last summer for a two-second selfie.)

I wrote about the actual encounter two years ago (click here  to see that post), but it was so close to not happening at all, so I treasure it even more.

My family and I were going through a difficult time financially – my husband was in the process of looking for a job and buying tickets to the show in Tucson (a two-hour drive) seemed irresponsible because we had so many other expenses. Then our fridge broke and tickets for a concert weren’t even a possibility.

Then on the afternoon of the show, my husband heard back from one of the jobs he had interviewed for and he called me to let me know he got the job. And my mother-in-law was in town staying at our house so she could be there with the kids. My dad lent us money for the tickets (he probably would have anyway, even without the job offer, but it didn’t seem right to ask before we knew funds would soon be coming in). My husband knew how badly I wanted to go to the concert so a few hours before it started, we bought tickets and headed to Tucson for the evening.

It was a wonderful show and although I don’t even remember exactly what I mumbled to RS after the show, he laughed and gave me a big hug so that was nice. I even remembered to introduce him to my husband and they shook hands.

It’s kind of funny that these few minutes left images imprinted in my mind (in addition to the photo that captured our brief encounter) and here I am recounting it two years later, yet to RS, it was just one more night of work and one more visit with devoted fans hanging around after the show. I hope he realizes how much these little encounters are treasured by his fans and how much they are appreciated.

RS Marquee-Tucson

Stripped Down questions: Fall 2016

Because previous Stripped Down Q&A posts often receive hits on this blog, I thought I’d post more recent questions since those most of the questions on those previous posts have already been answered.

So with some upcoming Stripped Down shows coming up (with the Q&A sessions that follow), here’s what I want to know (in case you happen to be searching for some questions and then feel like posting a video of the Q&A session on YouTube…)

  1. When is “Traces” scheduled to be released?
  2. How close are we to the sequel to “Magnificent Vibration”?
  3. Any plans for a sequel to “Late, Late at Night” or any other kind of book?
  4. Have you been working on any new songs lately and if so, what kinds of songs?
  5. What was your mom’s response when you told her you’d be playing Lucifer?
  6. How did you get involved in the Rock Meets Classic tour in Germany and what do you need to do to prepare for that? Will you be performing your songs with a symphony?
  7. What are you looking forward to most about your upcoming fan getaway in the Bahamas?

There are several other questions I have for him, but most are really none of my business and I wouldn’t actually ask him those. Oh, and although there may be a slight possibility that he’s changed his mind about returning to “General Hospital,” his response to that often-asked question is usually, “No,” so maybe skip that question this time…

(I hope to someday attend another Stripped Down show one of these days if he comes back to town with one, but meanwhile I’ve enjoyed all the pics and videos people have posted – thank you to all those generous fans who share them!)

This is the week

Here we are – “Rocket Science” week. The time RS fans have been waiting for since last January when there was a shot of him and the band in the studio announcing that they were working on it. 12219633_10153459169577326_6020387591552106660_n

Some lucky fans have already gotten copies of the CD, some from Japan, where there was an earlier release date, and some as a reward for coming out in single-digit temperatures for CD signings at music stores. So far I’ve only heard five of the songs, but the weather is sunny in the low 80s here so maybe it all equals out?

Even though some fans are luckier with regard to RS – CD signings, intimate concerts in music stores followed by a CD signing, full-band shows (two nights in a row in Nashville), sound checks, meet-and-greets, a Stripped Down Valentine’s Day show – it is OK, because they are so darn generous, sharing their photos and videos so you almost feel like you were there. Although my weekend was dominated by laundry and a four-hour Valentine’s Day visit to the ER with my 9-year-old (he is OK, thank G-d), I still feel like I had some RS fun, too. “Wasted” and “Speak to the Sky” at Grimey’s, the live debut of “That One” on Friday night and the live debut of “Miss Mayhem” on Saturday night. Also a  fun Stripped Down Q&A tonight with an impromptu acoustic performance of “Light This Party Up” and oh yeah, the live stream of the full Friday night concert on Yahoo Music.

Last year I went to three full-band shows (and one Stripped Down show) so between those and watching lots of other RS clips from shows this past year, it’s kind of funny that “Light This Party Up” and “Down” are already so familiar that they don’t even seem like new songs anymore although the CD isn’t out yet. Of course the CD versions with the country influence may have a different sound, but I’m already getting used to those, too. And although I’ve always expressed a dislike for country music, maybe I am a little bit country and a little bit rock and roll, because I really like them. (Yes, I used to watch “The Donny and Marie Show,” if you caught that reference.)

RS is looking happy and healthy and hopefully his busy schedule and cold weather doesn’t get him sick again like last year, when he was chugging cold syrup on the stage each night while performing one great show after another. But next weekend he’ll be in sunny southern California where he’ll be doing one CD signing in Long Beach about five minutes from where I used to work in college and another in Los Angeles about 10 minutes from where I used to live in my 20s. For some reason the song “Born Out of Time” plays in my head whenever I think about this, even though it’s a different context and it doesn’t directly apply.

There were several videos of this weekend’s performances, but the ones on Periscope may disappear soon unless the Periscopers end up saving on YouTube. Here’s a sample:

 

Enduring lyrics

As I mentioned in a previous post, I recently ordered the “Rick Springfield Original Album Classics” – which includes five of his CDs, all albums I had back in the 1980s. Some of the songs I haven’t heard in decades, yet I found myself still singing along. If only my brain retained some other information besides song lyrics from my school days, I’d probably be in better shape today…

Anyway, I’ve been listening to the CDs in the car, singing along, and realized today that one of the (many) reasons why Rick Springfield has such longtime fans is because his songs really stand up through time. He was in his 30s when these albums came out (for four of them) and although many of us may have related to some of these lyrics when we were 13, now that we’re on the other side of our 30s, they resonate much more, based on our life experiences.

While some of the music production may seem outdated in a few songs, his lyrics have so much depth and meaning. I think that’s why his solo “Stripped Down” show is so popular – you are hearing the essence of his songs: just RS playing guitar and singing his lyrics.

(Read the post about the “Rick Springfield Original Album Classics” here.)

Even more Rocket Science details

Another late-night post after everyone else is sleeping…

Got to see some of tonight’s “Stripped Down” show in San Diego – thanks to those who shared on Periscope! The new “Jessie’s Girl/867-5309/Stacy’s Mom” mash-up is great (and I noticed a few seconds of “My Sharona,” too in tonight’s version). And there was a funny little message to the airlines, too, in a separate song.

The official Rick Springfield site, rickspringfield.com now has lots more details about “Rocket Science” so the RS recap can be a little more complete now:

Current recap on “Rocket Science”:

1. Light This Party Up: single released: described as “a song about redemption and how life sometimes feels like one long fall from grace.”

2. Down: single released: “A song about disillusionment and commitment” written with Rascal Flatts’ Jay DeMarcus while “traveling on DeMarcus’ tour bus to Atlanta, where the two were filming an episode of “Drop Dead Diva.”

“Jay came up with the title ‘Down’ and we were off to the races,” Springfield says. “By the time we were halfway to Nashville the melody and structure of the song were complete, as if by magic. I love it when that happens.”

(Side note: I watched the episode of “Drop Dead Diva” (mentioned above) a few months ago after finding out he was on it (“First Date” is the name of the episode from 2014). One of the actors was my high school class president so there’s my “two degrees” to RS, however tenuous that may be. I guess it’s really three degrees, since I didn’t know him personally but knew others who did. It’s a cute show, I watched the pilot afterward and have watched through the third season so far.)

3. That One:
“Who of us hasn’t had some heartless lover crap on us and our tender feelings?” he says. “This song hits home for me both as the protagonist and the victim. I have been both the crapee and the craper, I’m ashamed to admit.”

4. The Best Damn Thing: Still a mystery

5. Miss Mayhem: a “blues-infused rocker,” on which he collaborated with indie artist Tad Kubler of the band The Hold Steady.

“Ah, Miss Mayhem,” he says. “We have all met her or him at some point in our romantic past. A burning hot, amazing-in-bed, beautiful/handsome, whack-job!”

6. Pay It Forward: “Imbued with a sense of spirituality” and he mentioned at a “Stripped Down” Q&A that this is his favorite song on the CD.

7. Found: Still a mystery

8. Crowded Solitude: “Imbued with a sense of spirituality”

9. Let Me In: a “sensitive ballad” that was a bonus track on “Songs for the End of the World.”

10. All Hands on Deck: “anthemic”

11. We Connect: A few lyrics are in an article on MelodicRock.com.  One of three described as “imbued with a sense of spirituality.”

12. (I Wish I Had A) Concrete Heart: See this post from last week.

13. Earth to Angel: Still a mystery

Bonus track on MP3: Beautiful Inside: Still a mystery

And still no word on the “Walking In” song he played at a Stripped Down show earlier this year and said it was going to be on the new CD.

And here’s more from the article, that provides some insight on his writing process:

“I wanted the album to be very open and electric — rock and roll with some country elements, and always with great hooks,” he says. The lyrics largely address matters of the heart with the irreverence, wit, and dark humor that has always permeated his work. “The songs usually start with titles for me,” Springfield says. “A title will catch my eye and inspire a lyric. Both Matt and I are happily married, but there’s some heartache on this one. You can’t just write about how everything is all good and bore people out of their minds. When different emotions come up, I just go with that. I don’t set out to write about anything in particular. I just look for something that feels true and that I can hopefully say in an interesting way.”

(Another side note: I feel like I’m sounding a little bit obsessed about this new CD. But then I look at the long list of posts on this blog and realize that I passed that point long ago. But it’s all in good fun, right?)

If money wasn’t an obstacle

If money wasn’t an obstacle, I would have quite a nice weekend planned.

It’s looking to be a nice weekend already – dinner plans with the family at a friend’s house on Friday night, a bar mitzvah on Saturday and a birthday party on Sunday but oh, my Saturday night would be looking different. And it wouldn’t include “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”(Although that seems to be in my family’s plan sometime next week when the kids are out of school.)

This is what I’d do. After the lunch on Saturday, I would head to the airport and fly to Ontario, California. It’s only about an hour flight, so I’d get in around 4, rent a car and head to the Fox Performing Arts Center in Riverside. It would be too late for the sound check for Rick Springfield’s Stripped Down show that night, but that’s OK because I could purchase a Meet and Greet pass and meet him after the show instead, where I could get a picture with him and he could sign my Stripped Down collectible box set (which I would have already purchased back when it was available, if money wasn’t an obstacle).

Then I’d enjoy the Stripped Down show from the front row.

Then after the meet and greet, I’d head back to the airport, return the car and head home, ready to wake up the next morning to take my youngest son to his friend’s karate party.

Doesn’t that sound wonderful?

(Oh, and of course I’d also purchase my tickets for the Rick Springfield and Friends Getaway for next November at the Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas, but that is pretty obvious, right?)

But since money is an obstacle, maybe I’ll just scan my Twitter feed and check for any Periscope videos instead. To those actually going to the show (and the one Friday night in San Diego) – have fun!

February is around the corner

It was almost a year ago – January of this year – that RS first announced that he was working on a new album. The original release date was the summer then it moved to October and now the official date is Feb. 19.

“Rocket Science” is now available to pre-order on Amazon. There are two versions so far: the CD and the mp3, the latter one has a bonus track: “Beautiful Inside” listed.

Whoo-hoo, so excited! It’s difficult to wait, but we’ve waited this long already. And awesome fans being so generous with their Periscope videos makes the waiting a little easier. Last night after a full night of Hanukkah celebrations with my family, I remembered that RS had a Stripped Down show in California last night so I checked Twitter to see if anybody had posted anything. There was a sound check, extra long videos from the show (including this “Jessie’s Girl,” “Stacy’s Mom” and “Jenny (867-5309)” mash-up that was pretty clever) and a Q&A session. I poured a glass of wine and enjoyed the show.

 

 

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.

 

Inspiration for songs

During the Q&A after a recent Stripped Down concert, somebody asked Rick Springfield what inspired his song “Celebrate Youth.” The answer was not what you would expect.

He said that he was sitting in a steam room in Palm Springs “with a bunch of old, fat naked men” when he started thinking about that song, wondering what those guys thought of him because he was much younger than them. That is very different than the image I previously had in my mind when hearing that song…

But I thought that was so interesting because it is a reminder that inspiration can come from anywhere – and can develop into something else entirely. In the past – before marriage and kids – the majority of my songs were about dating angst. There were some exceptions, such as when my mom died and Sept. 11, but many were the results of emotions stirred up from dating encounters. After I met my husband, that angst disappeared and I rarely wrote songs anymore – until last year.

The first one I wrote in about 10 years was after reading RS’s memoir, “Late Late at Night” almost exactly a year ago. It is called Rick Springfield Crush Revival,” and is about my renewed teenage crush on my favorite rock star.

Then in the past year, inspiration has come in from all different directions. Here are the songs, with the first few lines (click on the title to hear the song (very rough versions) or see the lyrics-I’m still working on music for some of them).

“Holes in the Wall”: After noticing a hole in a wall.

There are holes in the wall hidden underneath the pictures
I can’t answer when you call, there’s a shortage in the fixture
The lawn is overgrown and the floor’s in need of sweeping
But I can’t get out of bed, I only feel like sleeping.

“One in a Million”: The difference between how fans view rock stars vs. how rock stars view their fans.

They feel like they know you from all that you’ve shared
Devoted for decades, they’ve shown that they care
To them you’re one in a million, the brightest star in the sky
A light in the darkness, a muse in their life

“A Thoughtless Whisper”: After reading an article about how social media destroyed people’s lives.

A thoughtless whisper becomes a worldwide trend
We’ve gone too far, we can’t go back again
Everyone’s a witness with a camera in hand
Gathering evidence against their fellow man

“Distracted Driving”: One day while driving on the freeway, I missed my exit, then almost did it again the next day, which led to this song.

I passed my exit, I drove too far
Caught daydreaming inside my car
Where are we going? Are we lost?
Distracted driving, paying the cost

“Under the Same Sky”: About the earthquake in Nepal

As the earth crumbled across the ocean
We continued our lives with depleted emotion
Underneath the rubble, thousands of lives lost
Numbed by the numbers, can’t comprehend the cost

“I Feel Rich”: Inspired by payday

I feel rich ‘cause I just got paid
My gas tank’s full and the bed is made
It won’t last long ‘cause the bills are due
But for one whole day I feel like you

“A Cup of Coffee”: Inspired by my husband bringing me coffee each morning

A cup of coffee on the counter waiting for me
One of the signs that you care for me
Waking in the morning with a smile on your face
Immersed in all your love, I know I’m in the right place

“Shine Your Light”: This actually started from a dark place, trying to figure out what goes on in the mind of someone who commits a horrific act (like a terrorist), but then it ended up turning around into people being inspired to do positive things in the world.

You may be quiet on the outside, but internally
There’s a fire burning and it’s yearning to break free
You think that nobody’s watching, you feel like nobody cares
Your dreams turned gray along the way, they were swallowed by your fears

“Glass Shatters”:  I was emptying the dishwasher and noticed our chipped plates and how we have so many different kinds of glasses – and how things have changed since when we first got married and all our dishes and glasses were new – and they matched.

Mismatched glasses, place settings on the table
We talk about replacing them someday when we are able
Years ago they were all so shiny and new
In our earlier days, when they made their debut

And the latest song came after I noticed that someone gave my “Rick Springfield Crush Revival” video a thumbs down. Couldn’t they just see the video for what it was – a cheesy, amateur tribute to my favorite rock star? Did they really have to go out of their way to publicly (though anonymously) declare their dislike for it? Couldn’t they have just rolled their eyes and clicked on a different video?

Then I realized that that’s just the way our society is these days, and then came “Thumbs-down Mentality”:

Everyone’s a critic, a thumbs-down mentality
Can’t keep it to themselves, they need the whole world to see
You’re king of your keyboard, you’re ruler of your room
A tyrant typing madly, spreading anonymous doom.

Every time I finish a song, I am convinced that it might be my last one because the inspiration seems to come from somewhere I can’t explain and I don’t really have any control over it. Maybe it’s just a matter of being receptive to the idea, I don’t know, and I spend time developing the song once the inspiration hits, of course. But that’s what I have for now. Thanks, RS, for inspiring me to write songs again!