What a great night!!! OK, so the kids fought a lot and the bedtime routine sucked but the evening ended with a live (Facebook livestream) Rick Springfield interview/concert at The Grammy Museum.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to whoever coordinated that live feed. It’s been about 18 months since I was at a RS concert and this was almost like being there. (I was inside the museum in November last year and looked at the door of the theater at the museum and wondered if RS would ever play there, so it’s a same place/wrong time situation).
So many thoughts rushing around in my head that I may not make any sense, but here goes:
I can’t wait to hear “The Snake King” in its entirety. Tonight he played “Little Demon,” which I’ve already listened to countless times; “Land of the Blind” which sounds great; and “The Voodoo House,” which is my favorite so far. It’s funny that he says he doesn’t really know what they’re about. Is that true? I know that when I write songs, they kind of develop as they go and there’s often not an intentional planning so I get what he’s saying about songs writing themselves, but does he really not know or does he just want people to interpret them on their own? (Or does he just not want to repeat the same story over and over again in future interviews like he does with “Jessie’s Girl”?) Here are my guesses: “Little Demon” – unrequited love (or lust). “The Voodoo House” – unrequited love (or lust) and attempting to fulfill it through use of a voodoo doll? Maybe? “Land of the Blind” – no clue, but there are some biblical references there to explore. I’m glad that there’s a lyric book available.
I love how candid he is in his interviews. Not planned and polished, just goes with it and doesn’t seem to care about what people may think about what he thinks of things. It was true in his autobiography and it continues today in interviews. In a world of Photoshop and filters, it’s refreshing to have someone be so real. And it’s not unfiltered in a mean way, like anonymous comments on an online newspaper article or a rude tweet – it’s unfiltered but in a way that makes him still seem like a good guy. Plus he has such a great sense of humor.
Little things like him dropping his guitar pick during the interview in the Pulse Studio and needing to tune his guitar tonight and during an earlier interview are endearing. I go to these song workshops where you bring a song you’re working on and you receive feedback from professional songwriters. Until recently I would bring a CD that I recorded at home because I worried that if I played it live I might forget the chords or the words or drop my guitar pic or have to tune my guitar at the last minute. But now that I’ve seen RS do all of these things – and he’s a pro – then it makes those things less of a big deal. I find the whole story of his career so inspiring, all the ups and downs and how he persevered through it all. I’m glad that his stained glass master career path idea didn’t work out.
I think listening to “Suicide Manifesto” is going to be really, really difficult, knowing that’s how he sometimes feels. I also think it will be important to listen to it to be able to understand how people who are going through depression may feel.
It was interesting to see all the comments on the live stream and to see how so many people feel connected to him. When I was reading the comments as they scrolled by, I realized once again how much about his life is imprinted in my brain. It’s still weird to me that he was such a big part of my teen life (music, concerts, teen magazine articles, posters, diary entries) then totally out of it for more than a decade, besides turning up his songs when I heard them on the radio and then nothing until 1998. Then after 2000 (after four concerts in those three years and one meet-and-greet at a record store), nothing again until 2014. Totally oblivious to all his new music, interviews, etc. for 14 years then BAM, all of a sudden I’m aware of his daily schedule. (As far as touring and promotional interviews, that is.)
How lucky are RS fans that he keeps putting out such great music and that he’s such an incredible songwriter and guitarist? It’s not the first time his songs have had dark undertones (“Misty Water Woman,” “I Hate Myself,” “Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance”) – they’ve been there throughout his career. I think if “The Snake King” would have followed “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet,” it would have been more of a shock for ’80s fans, but we’re all grown-ups now. We’ve all seen examples of how devastating life can be and oftentimes creative expression comes from pain. And he has been very open about what goes on in his head. As he mentioned in interviews, taking that pain and anger and expressing it creatively is what helps him get through it. Each time he releases a new CD, he’s exposing a personal part of him to the world, just as most artists do, and I appreciate that he is able to transform those feelings into songs. I think true artists don’t create based on what they think people want, they create because it’s something they have to do. Their fans are fans because they enjoy what the artist does and they might not love everything that comes out of the creative process, but the creative process is not a service industry and shouldn’t be based on what a consumer wants.
(Click here for the video.)