It’s Time

I think it’s time.

The renewal date for this domain comes up like clockwork, every summer.  And for the last….oh, I don’t know….three, four, six years….I’ve hung onto it, even though my heart hasn’t been in it.  I’ve put up things here and there, gotten excited in fits and starts, but it just isn’t the same.  It isn’t what it was.  It’ll never be that again.

It’s almost embarassing how badly I’ve let it go.  I need to let it go, but I just haven’t been able to.  This space deserves better.  The Rick Springfield fans that stumble upon this piece of Internet real estate deserve better.  Just because I am not active and engaged in the Rick Springfield fan world anymore doesn’t mean that there aren’t a lot that are.  There are tons that are.  Probably more than there were when I was so heavily involved.  And they’re coming here because they want current information.

And it isn’t here.  I didn’t chronicle the biggest news this year, Rick’s work with David Grohl and the Sound City Players.  I didn’t talk about the movie that was on cable this year about his fans.  I didn’t talk about the second book that I hear he’s penning.  I heard about them, I was so happy for him, and I still love him.

But.

There was a time when this space here, it was my everything.  It honestly meant more to me than anything except my family.  And my family would probably argue that at times, it felt like this space was more important to me than them.  I would wake up in the morning and check my RS emails.  I would update my websites.  I would send messages out to the “Rick List”.  I would monitor the message board.  I would get my kids up, deal with their needs, get them where they needed to be, all the while wondering what I was missing online in the Rick World. I would get back to it as soon as there was a nap, a TV show, anything to keep everyone else busy so I could get back to the Rick World.  And after everyone was all tucked in for the night I spent hours designing website designs, graphics, pitching ideas to keep the fans busy and in touch and connected to Rick.  It was all consuming, all day long, every single day.

I went to shows, as many as I could.  It was never enough.  I had young children, a husband with a demanding job.  If I could get to four or five a year, that would be a good year.  I went to shows while pregnant with my two younger children.  I knew people who went to twenty, thirty a year.  They traveled all over.  I could never afford to go far from home.  I watched as people spent thousands of dollars flying all over the country, buying hotel rooms and plane tickets.  It was an exhausting game that I never felt quite good enough at.  A constant state of feeling like there was something I was missing, something I should be doing more of or better at.

And there are still people out there doing just that, still.  Doing all of those things.  They are online here, looking for information and wondering what kind of fan I am for not posting any of it.  I used to work on this site twenty, thirty, fifty hours a week.  There are fan sites out there now that remind me of my own back in the day.  I sense their passion, their excitement, their fever.

And there’s nothing wrong with it.  I just can’t keep up with it anymore.  It doesn’t mean I don’t love Rick’s music, or follow what he’s doing still, or that I’m not insanely grateful for every single experience I have had connected to him.  Because I am, a thousand times over.  I will always think of him with a smile on my face and warmth in my heart.  I will still go to a show now and then if the time and place align with my current world and its demands.  And when I do, I hope that I can shake his hand and see his shy smile.

But until then, it’s probably time for me to finally realize that it’s time.  It’s time to let this space go.  Seventeen years is one hell of a ride.  But it’s time.

(she says with her hands hanging firmly on the ledge, afraid as can be of letting go)

Gabriel

As some of you know who visit this site, the author of the sporadic posts here is from CT.  Actually, I am from Detroit, but I have lived for the last eight years in Monroe, CT, and it feels more like home than anywhere else I have lived.

I have wanted often to write of what happened in Newtown, the town just to our north, here in this space.  Even though it doesn’t make sense on a Rick Springfield blog site.  Just because mostly I want people to understand better how this tragedy has affected the real people involved.  I have seen awful things on the outside looking in before:  9/11, Columbine, Gabby Giffords.  You feel the sadness, you feel the loss, but it is distant.  Tragic and terrible just the same, but distant to your life.  You can go out the door and if you put it out of your head, it’s almost like it didn’t happen.

It isn’t like that here.  It is everywhere we turn.  The survivors now attend school here, in my town.  In a school where my children have taken classes, walked the halls.  This is close and personal and raw.

And while I am not quite ready to say more than that on the topic, I did want to say that I am finding some comfort here:

“Gabriel”

At the edge of understanding is where it all begins
When I reach the end of reason is where it all sinks in

In the midst of all the raging storms the deluge covers me
I will find a place prepared for me so dry beneath a tree

Oh Gabriel I can hear you whispering
Oh Gabriel In my silent suffering
Oh Gabriel could you come to my defense?
Oh Gabriel how I wish that you would fly by my side

With no foregone conclusion I’m sane but paranoid
Is it all ordered confusion to find faith in the void

In the harshest winds you took me in and set me on my feet
Through the burning sand you held my hand and saved me from the heat

Oh Gabriel I can hear you whispering
Oh Gabriel in my silent suffering
Oh Gabriel could you come to my defense?
Oh Gabriel how I wish that you would fly by my side

Gabriel

Oh Gabriel I can hear you whispering
Oh Gabriel in my silent suffering
Oh Gabriel could you come to my defense?
Oh Gabriel I believe in providence

Oh Gabriel I can hear you whispering
Oh Gabriel how I wish that you would fly by my side

By my side..

 

Keep Calm

We’re expecting ourselves a bit of a storm here in the Northeast over the next few days.  After storm preps are done, it’s pretty much time to wait it out and see how incredibly fucked seriously impacted we are.  For the next few days my solar charger and I will be making sure I can still do this:

(no room on this poster for the obviously left out "and drink wine" part of the equation, but you get the idea)

 

A shoutout to all of us on the East Coast who are getting ready for this storm.  Stay safe, listen to your local officials, and be prepared.  Sandy is not the type of girl you want to mess with.

“You meet a girl at a gig, and you do it.” Wha???

I still get Google alerts for Rick. Most often I quickly scan the two or three sentences of each article, and hardly ever click on the link. If I am busy these emails get deleted without even reading them at all; I figure if anything huge is going on, someone in my Facebook feed will go crazy enough about it to alert me to its importance.

But the last week or so I’ve paid a little better attention what with the new CD coming out. There’s been a lot of interesting videos (confession: I still haven’t watched all the ones I put on this site, and there are more that I meant to put up but haven’t yet) and interviews and articles.

Still, when this particular Google alert popped up in my email two days ago, it caught my attention. The title? “Rick Springfield on Groupies, Depression, New Doc and Why He Turned Down…”

Since I hardly ever see anyone use the word “groupies” as it relates to a sixty three year old rock star, I thought it was worth checking out. The teaser had me even further intrigued: “Promoting a just-released album and fan-directed film “An Affair of the Heart,” the singer-actor looks back on a life of worry and women — many, many women — telling THR, “I was raised having sex; You meet a girl at a gig, and you do it.” ”

Oh my.

It’s not often I read an article and find out new things about this man who has been part of my world since I was 12 years old. But I learned some new things in this one. Notable:

  • Rick acknowledged that he was a “bit of a user” with the fans in the past.  It’s refreshing honesty.  Often we’ll read these glowing articles these days where the fans talk about how rosy everything is, and Rick will talk about how glad he was that the fans were still there when he “came back”.  But the reality is that he’s human, and not a saint, even when it comes to fans.  I was glad to see he admitted it.
  • Oprah wanted to interview Rick and Barbara together upon the release of his book, “Late Late At Night”.  I didn’t know this story.  I always knew Barbara was very private, but it’s kind of awesome to hear that they turned down such a lucrative opportunity to honor her wishes.
  • Rick talks of this one moment in therapy with his wife when he was ready to chuck the marriage, but then the therapist made him stop and just look at her, like you hear about all of the time.  It’s a very clear, beautiful image that he shares, and a private one.
  • Rick’s taking around a TV show with a Californication/Hot In Cleveland version of him.  Could be interesting, or could be disastrous.
  • “You meet a girl at a gig, and you do it.”  Wow.  I mean, I knew it went on, but to hear it in his own words….that’s something.

I guess you can see by what I’ve pulled out of here that what I like about this article is that it doesn’t show the idealized, fan version of this great sainted rockstar/great family man/wonderful father.  It shows the real Rick, warts and all.  And for all of those flaws, it’s the acknowledging of them that makes me respect him even more.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/earshot/rick-springfield-groupies-documentary-oprah-379210

And finally, for the love of all that’s holy….I keep reading all about how Rick had all of these many, many women he met all around the country while touring.  All of the times I spent with Rick working on his site, seeing him at shows, even sharing dinners with him…and he never once, not once, hit on me.  What’s wrong with me, I’d like to know.

Wait.  On second thought, I am not sure I do.

Review of “Songs for the End of the World” Part Two: Brutal Honesty

My totally honest and real take on The Songs For the End of the World. Overall, I have to say, it wasn’t an instant moment of connection with these songs. I had to sit down with them and really listen carefully and invest some time with them. Once I did, I definitely came up with some affinity for most of the tunes (sorry, there are a few that I don’t think are ever going get inside me). Again, bad fan me just has the downloaded iTunes version, so I do have “The Bug” but none of the other bonus tunes that are available with the hard copy versions.

Wide Awake: Not my favorite, and I think it colored my first listen to the whole collection in a negative way. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate it. I actually like the sentiment of the lyrics, but the music isn’t for me. It’s very repetitive, a little too chaotic and hyper. There’s no break to the dissonant sounds. That being said, it probably will make my RunMix playlist because it has a steady, fast beat.

Our Ship’s Sinking: The opening lines: “If I’m the one who caused your shipwrecked life, then hold my hand right to the fire. And I’ll bear this cross of love, enough for you, enough for me, even though the water’s all around and climbing higher…” Damn. This imagery, this turn of phrase. This is why I love Rick’s music. The whole metaphor of a ship sinking for a love gone wrong is beautifully played out in every lyric this tune. Another upbeat song, but this one with major chords instead of minor ones, makes me want to tap my feet and sing along.

I Hate Myself: A theme we see repeated often in Rick’s music, and examined thoroughly in his book: his self loathing and self destructive habits. I love his honesty about the subject, truly, and have always found comfort in the fact that someone as famous and successful as him could have the same thought patterns as myself in terms of low self esteem. But I’m not going to lie: I think it is slightly disconcerting to sing “I Hate Myself” over and over. I found it slightly odd to see legions of fans this week singing this chorus loud and proud. Maybe it’s my own issues coloring my feelings on this, but it just feels like a weird song to have as an fan anthem, you know? The song is catchy but I am really not wild about the sentiment.

You and Me: Clearly another love song for Rick’s wife Barbara, You and Me gives us all another glimpse into their long term marriage and relationship. It’s a sweet song that is eminently full of hooks; you start singing along with the chorus immediately. Love the line: “Given this frantic pace, just having another friendly face to share my pain…” I think this one has good broad based appeal for radio, and am not the least bit surprised that this track was released early, ostensibly for that purpose. It would be a great fit on A/C Mix stations.

Gabriel: Definitely one of my favorites, if not my favorite so far on this CD. I love the music, I love the message, and I really love the lyrics on this song. I am not sure if he’s really asking the archangel Gabriel for help, or if Gabriel is a code for someone who has passed already that Rick is seeking help from. It could be twisted and turned into several different stories and/or messages, which is of course the hallmark of a truly great song: the ability to apply the message in a myriad of circumstances.

A Sign Of Life: This is a weird, sci fi trip to start with….quintessential, quirky Rick. But then it kind of moves towards more of an existential “where is our higher power” and “are we alone down here” on Earth. I like the music in here, it is an upbeat and peppy tune, but overall, it’s not one that hits me in the heart. You know what I am talking about.

My Last Heartbeat: Initially, I hated this song. The dissonant, hard rock entry to it did nothing to grab me on my first listen. The music just wasn’t my thing. But then I put the song on while I was walking on the treadmill, and I could really hear the lyrics. The opening parry: “There’s a hole in my heart where the love leaks out, a shadow in my heart that is filled with out, a devil on my back, I can hear him shout…’let me in, let me in’.” Wow. Powerful stuff. The whole song is filled with fantastic images and lyrics that do exactly what they did not do in “A Sign of Life”: they reach in and grab you, making you listen. Making you understand exactly where he was when he wrote this song. Love when that happens.

Joshua: My favorite from my first listen to this collection. I love the music, that’s what initially made me listen. But moreover, I love this love song to his son. It’s not about romantic love, it’s not about himself, it’s not filled with self loathing or self hatred or doubt. It’s filled with all we admire about Rick Springfield: a good man who cares about his children and would do anything to lead them through this life with fewer scars than he bears from his own childhood. I also completely feel these sentiments for my own child, who is just a few months younger than Rick’s Joshua.

Love Screws Me Up: A revisit from an old tune that those of us who have one of those Limited Editions (is this on the SDAA one? I can’t remember) remember well. I like the redo. It’s cleaner, more polished. A fun rock anthem that is easy to understand and eminently relatable. “I want to drink from the picture perfect loving cup, but I fuck it up…” Love that.

I Found You: Another dark sounding song that didn’t pull me in at first. But like many Rick songs, particularly in this collection, when I had the chance to really sit and listen, this one grew on me. Fantastic wordsmithing in this tune: “That’s when I found you…somewhere between pain and fear….” “I’m too blind to read the wall…” “And then you walked into my thunderstorm and stopped the rain from falling….” This won’t be an anthem fans sing in concert, but it may end up being one of those that true fans sit in lobbies talking about, wishing he would play live.

Depravity: This one actually induced a headache the first time I heard it, no lie. The screaming guitars sound like Rick and what he does when he really gets into playing, but it just made me shake. More of the same dark and twisty theme that is Rick these days….he is constantly fighting “Mr. D”, or depravity as he names it here. This song is dark and displays the struggle within Rick at all times. He needs to be saved from it. “Save me from the dark one who comes around, I don’t want to be in this crowd, so I won’t tear this to the ground….” I like the way he weaves the words to tell of the constant inner battle. It’s a dark song with a dark theme, but I can totally relate. That being said, I could do without the spelling of depravity throughout.

One Way Street: I really like the message in this song. It is classic Rick, if you know that he really is an introvert seeking to connect with people but being very uncomfortable in his own skin a lot of the time. This song is also (I sound like a broken record) filled with very concrete, well crafted images to tell the story he is trying to convey: “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…every one of those people searching your eyes for a real connection…yea, I’m just like you, looking for meaning to feel complete…hope and praying its true, that love is never a one way street.” In in my head, I can put this song as between Rick and his fans. He often talks about how he really connects with his fans, and how he has really figured out that he has been such a big part of people’s lives without ever really knowing it. “Love is never a one way street,” could be a recognition of this connection.

I have the iTunes version of the CD….so I also have….

The Bug: Honestly, probably my least favorite tune of the whole thing. For all of the beautifully written lyrics and well crafted imagery contained within this collection, this one falls short of the mark for me. I don’t like the little “Help Me” at the beginning, I am not a fan of minor key, and I really think he could do better than “You are the flame and I’m the bug.” Seriously. Maybe this one didn’t make it into the top 12. But whatever. It’s a catchy little tune that makes me run faster on the treadmill, so it’s good for something.

RS Is “Everywhere”

I was chatting with a friend this morning, one who isn’t particularly interested in Rick Springfield and his doings, and even he commented that “Rick Springfield is everywhere this week.”

Indeed.

To make this easier for those of us who have a life missed some of Rick’s appearances this week, I’ve pulled them together in one happy little post right here. Enjoy!

Rick on Kelly and Michael:

Rick’s appearance on Fox and Friends:

Rick on the Nick and Artie Show:

Rick on the Today Show:

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Rick’s Livestream Performance/Chat Session:

Rick as Busker in Penn Station: “I Hate Myself”

Rick Plays “Roll Over Beethoven” ON The Actual Subway:

Rick Plays “Wasted” at the 42nd Street Station:

Rick Plays “Gloria” for the Commuters:

Rick Plays “Don’t Talk To Strangers”:

Rick Couldn’t Leave the Subway Without Performing “Jessie’s Girl”
(genius move, it got him tons of press today, and even TMZ said, “He Rocks!”)

And finally, Rick on Dr. Oz. I can’t get the embed feature working on this, but take a look anyway. There are four parts to this, and it is interesting how it is from a “health and wellness” perspective.

Rick on Dr. Oz:

http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/rick-springfields-secret-struggle-depression-pt-1

(Four parts to the interview, all accessible from this link)

I’m sure there are more things I’ve missed. And I’m not gonna lie; I see people I know in that clip of Rick in the subway, that must have been fun. There’s certainly a twinge knowing all of this happened just sixty miles from my front door. Still, at least these days I can find all of these links and just throw them up on the page like this. Back in the day I used to have to tape the show, figure out how to pull that feed and get it onto a digital file and then upload it all to my own website. How amazing it is just to Google around for these links, throw them up online and have them all ready in like, ten minutes.

The internet has come a long way, baby. And so has Rick. A few years ago we were thrilled for him to have one or two big NYC appearances booked. Now he’s “everywhere”. Good for you, Rick.

Good for all of us, too.