Posts Tagged ‘Jessie’s Girl’

The Ups & Downs of Rick Springfield’s “Rock Star” Lifestyle

“Jessie is a friend/Yeah, I know he’s been a good friend of mine/but lately something’s changed/it ain’t hard to define/Jessie’s got himself a girl/and I want to make her mine.”

We know the song by heart.  And, after reading Rick Springfield’s memoir, “Late, Late At Night”, one of the main things I came away with is that he wants you to know that while “Jessie’s Girl” changed his life, he had many other big hits after that signature song from 1982.

Late, Late At Night

His 336-page memoir was released in 2010 and made it all the way up to #13 on The New York Times best seller list and I just got around to reading it.  But, not everyone loved the book.

Here’s the headline from the review in “Entertainment Weekly”.

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While that may be a little harsh, to the uninitiated or the prudish, there might be a little truth to it.

I won’t give away all of the juicy details from the book because it’s definitely worth reading.  However, you’ll want to go into it with an open mind.

If you’re a Rick Springfield fan, you know he’s Australian.  While I’ve always wanted to visit “Down Under”, after seeing “The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert” and reading this book, I would definitely only visit the larger cities and not the outback!

Just hearing Rick talk about all of the poisonous creatures and plants in nature and the sharks, no thanks.

Rick and his family traveled and moved around a lot in his childhood and not just in Australia.  They also moved to England and then back to their home country.

As a child, Rick was awkward with girls and obsessed over losing his virginity.  He also lacked self-confidence and that was a factor that led to his life long struggles with his “Darkness” — depression.

It also led to a suicide attempt when he was 17.  His love for music and pursing it helped bring him past that failed attempt.

Rick joined several band before making it big in the early 1980s.  One of those bands was called Zoot and, early on, pink was their signature color!

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After leaving the band around 1970, it wasn’t too long before he scored his first solo hit, “Speak To The Sky”.  It reached #14 in the U.S. in 1972 after already reaching the Top Ten in Australia and Canada the year before.  But, long-term success wasn’t meant to be this time around.  It would take Rick another ten years for “Jessie’s Girl” to propel him to super stardom.

This was rough on Springfield, who had joined a cover band to make ends meet.  He also pursued his acting career and got many small roles, but his biggest television success came in 1981 on ABC’s “General Hospital” as Dr. Noah Drake.

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From his tour of Vietnam in a band as a teenager in the late-1960s through the 1970s and early-1980s, Rick lived up to the “rock star” image of backstage hook-ups and he hides nothing in the book about his numerous sexual conquests — some days he scored with multiple partners.

In early 1981, the album that would propel him to the stratosphere, “Working Class Dog”,  was released and featured his adorable bull terrier, Lethal Ronnie, on the cover.

Working Class Dog

It would sell more than a million copies and earn Rick his first #1 hit and Grammy Award (Best Rock Male Performance) with “Jessie’s Girl”.

“I’ve Done Everything For You” also hit the Top Ten (#8) and “Love Is Alright Tonight” peaked at #20.  It’s still one of my favorite Rick songs.

While making that album, he met a receptionist, Barbara Porter, at the recording studio and she would become his wife in October 1984.

This year, the couple, who are the parents of two sons, Liam and Joshua Springthorpe (Rick’s real last name), will celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.

Rick Family

Before this turns into a greatest hits compilation of my favorite Rick Springfield videos, I want to talk more about the book.

There is a similarity in “Late, Late At Night” and Belinda Carlisle’s “Lips Unsealed” that I read and blogged about earlier this year.

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In that book, Belinda wrote extensively about her drug use and it got to the point where it seemed that she was glorifying the abuse.  However, it sounded that way because she was being brutally honest about using drugs and the repeated setbacks she encountered en route to becoming clean.

While Rick admits in the book to using drugs and abusing alcohol, it was his addiction to sex and infidelity that prompts the reader (and I’m speaking of me right now) to think, “are you really even trying to be faithful?”

Reading the book, I wondered why Barbara put up with his cheating for all of those years.  While I thought that, I never really passed enough judgement to call Rick a “pig” or Barbara “weak” because I’m not in their shoes.

In our past relationships, many of us have been with an unfaithful partner.  Or, we may have been the unfaithful one.

Rick Springfield

While reading the book and thinking of their relationship and the unfaithful incidents, Rick addresses that point-blank on page 277 when he states, “I’d also like to address those perfect souls who are reading this and saying to themselves, ‘Why is this masochistic woman putting up with this asshole?’  I’m happy that your life is so unruptured  that you can make such a distant judgement call , so I’ll address the humans in the audience.”

That personifies who Rick is and says a lot about the tone of the book.

He’s honest, crazy, and funny.  His style of writing made me smile and shake my head many times throughout the book even as he talked about heavy topics like infidelity, depression, love, and whatever else crossed his mind.

I’m glad that he and Barbara are still together and there for each other through everything life has dealt them and I’m glad Rick is still making music and touring.

I had the pleasure of seeing him in concert last year in the Quad Cities and it was an incredible show.

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My sister and two cousins saw him in concert back in his musical heyday in the 1980s, but I bet they weren’t this close to him! 🙂

In his career, Rick charted 17 Top 40 songs (all but “Speak To The Sky” were from 1981-1986).

Of those hits, five reached the Top Ten:  the aforementioned “Jessie’s Girl (1981) and “I’ve Done Everything For You” (1981), “Don’t Talk To Strangers” (1982), “Affair of The Heart” (1983), and “Love Somebody” (1984).

That song, “Love Somebody” is from his 1985 motion picture debut, “Hard To Hold”.  From just reading the book, it sounds like he’d like to forget it!  I bought the DVD after I saw him in concert, but I still haven’t watched it.  Maybe I’ll do it this weekend!

Living In Oz 1983 Rick Springfield

As I stated in my blog last year after my first Rick Springfield concert, the “Living In Oz” album cover is still my favorite Rick Springfield picture over the past three decades and trust me, I had many to choose from!

And, since Rick was so honest in the book about drugs, alcohol, depression, infidelity, sex, his penis, and cute guys hitting on him (I’m sure there were ugly ones, too, but I can see why he wouldn’t pontificate too much on that), I admit that I had a super crush on him and after reading the book, I wish that I had been one of those guys back in the 1980s. 🙂

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We all have our faults and Rick laid his out in “Late, Late At Night”.  There is no doubt, whatsoever, how much he loves his wife, Barbara, his two sons, his mother and his late father.

And, it warmed my heart when Rick talked about how much he loves dogs.  From Elvis, his first dog in Australia, to the many that have come and gone afterwards, you have to love a man who thinks the world of his dogs.  “Ronnie” was featured on the covers of his platinum albums, “Working Class Dog” and “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet”.

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Rick, thank you for sharing your private thoughts about your life in “Late, Late At Night” and most of all, thank you for music over the past 40 years.

While it only reached #21, here’s my favorite Rick Springfield song, “What Kind of Fool Am I?”

And, here’s Rick live from the Quad Cities in 2013 with his signature song, “Jessie’s Girl”.

Rock on, Rick!

His new novel, “Magnificent Vibration” comes out in early May.

If you’re a Rick Springfield fan, here’s my blog from last May after his concert in the Quad Cities:

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/i-got-to-celebrate-youth-with-rick-springfield/

Anthony

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I Got to “Celebrate Youth” With Rick Springfield

Once I hit 30-years-old living in the big city of Chicago after growing up in small town Kentucky, I came to the realization that age is just a number.  As long as I’m healthy, I feel good, and my appearance holds up, I wasn’t going to let my age hinder me or stand in my way.

And, after living it up and partying Friday night with the great folks of the Quad Cities and Rick Springfield, I’m looking forward to aging gracefully.  With 1980s pop star and sex symbol Springfield as my inspiration, I’m ready to “Celebrate Youth” even as I close in on the big 5-0 in the fall of 2014!

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Two months ago, I bought tickets to Rick’s concert at the Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf, Iowa.  I remember back in the mid-1980s, my sister, who was a teenager then, saw Rick in concert.  If the 1980s were your decade, you know that Rick was a huge sex symbol and dominated the music charts with such pop classics like “Jessie’s Girl”, “I’ve Done Everything For You”, “Don’t Talk To Strangers”, “Affair Of The Heart”, and “Love Somebody”.

When I blogged about buying tickets the next day, I found out that my former co-anchor, Julie (VanGoethem) Lund, from my first television job in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, in 1996, was driving down from Madison, Wisconsin, to see the concert with another one of our former colleagues from Rhinelander, Elizabeth Goodsitt, who now works in the Quad Cities’ television market.  (Pictured:  Elizabeth, Julie, Anthony & Ray.)

Rick Springfield Group

Julie has seen Rick in concert more than 50 times!!!  I’m sure there’s an active restraining order somewhere in the system.  🙂  I’m kidding!  Who am I to talk since I’ve seen Reba in concert 12 times?

Now, while I say that age is a number if you feel good and take care of yourself, I have to point out that Rick Springfield is just a few months away from turning 64-years-old!  And, while he may have aged 30 years since he hit #1 in 1981 with “Jessie’s Girl”, you wouldn’t know it from his two-hour energy-filled rock concert!

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Several times during the show, he’d go into a few riffs of “Jessie’s Girl”, his Grammy winning and only #1 hit, and the crowd went wild and then he’d quickly segue into the next song in his set. What a tease and he knows from experience that it would energize the crowd.

And, finally he performed his signature song!

During “Human Touch”, his Top 20 hit in 1983 from the “Living in Oz” album, Rick came out into the crowed and walked around on top of chairs (and a few people).  I love this picture I snapped as he neared us!

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By the way, I only mentioned the “Living In Oz” album so I could show the album cover since I think this is one of the sexiest pictures of Rick I’ve seen over the past 30 years!

Living In Oz 1983 Rick Springfield

Okay, flash forward back 30 years to Friday night’s concert.  While Rick performed many of his 17 Top 40 American hits (some in a medley), he also showcased several songs from his 2012 album, “Songs For The End of The World”.

And, that got me to thinking.  That album is fantastic and it peaked on the Billboard Top 200 album chart at #44.  It’s really inspiring to see performers out on the road promoting new music long after they reached their radio peak.  Rick’s last hit on mainstream radio was in 1988 (“Rock of Life” reached #22 on the Billboard Hot 100).

It’s sad that radio today (pop and country) miss out on some fantastic music because they focus solely on young, hot acts and ignore older musicians.  There’s a world outside of Taylor Swift, One Direction, etc.

Songs For the End of the World

From his latest album, Rick performed some of my new favorites like, “Wide Awake”, “Our Ship’s Sinking”, “Love Screws Me Up”, and the beautiful “You & Me”.  Check out these awesome new songs from “Songs  For The End of the World”.

And, while it was comfortable inside the concert and only in the 50s outside the concert, it must have been warm for Rick to be jamming on stage for two hours because he lost his shirt for the encore.  That revealed two things to me:  a nice back shoulder tattoo and that with the right diet and exercise regiment, we can all have a hot body in our 60s!!!  Oh, who am I kidding?  While what I said is true, it’s just an excuse to show the pictures!

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What a perfect way to spend a Friday night and re-live my teenage and early 20s years with one of the pop stars I loved back in the decade of the best music ever — the 1980s.  If you ever get a chance, you have to see Rick Springfield in concert.  He’s amazing and he shows no signs of slowing down.

And, the concert gave me a chance to party with old friends and new!  First picture:  Anthony & Julie Lund — Second picture:  Elizabeth Goodsitt & Anthony — Third picture:  Britta Dixon, Anthony, & Julie Dixon Balmer.

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Rick Springfield, thank you for the awesome show and the memories.

Anthony