Posts Tagged ‘Rick Springfield’

My Life: The First 35 Years

While it’s not a milestone birthday, like my first, another one is approaching.

My life’s longevity has surpassed both of my parents (my mother died at 47 and my father at 55) and I’m grateful for that.

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel that as we get older, we pontificate about life more.

We think about the past — good and bad — and wonder what the future holds. And, Good Lord, with 2020 and Covid-19, I hope it’s an improvement!

With that in mind, I started thinking about the events and the songs that have influenced me most in life.

So, today, I’m sharing the 13 most memorable events of my first 35 years (1964-1999). Why 13? It’s my favorite number and I was born on the 13th!

EVENTS THAT SHAPED MY FIRST 35 YEARS

#13 KENT STATE MASSACRE (MAY 4, 1970)

While I was only five years old when this happened and I didn’t understand the Vietnam War or the protests, I vividly remember the news that evening and this iconic photograph.

As you may recall, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on unarmed students killing four and wounding nine others.

On the 30th anniversary of the deadly shootings, I covered the story for a television station in Mansfield, Ohio.

#12 MADONNA MARRYING SEAN PENN (AUGUST 1985)

It’s no secret that I love Madonna. I’ve seen her in concert four times and I remember buying her first album at Terrapin Station in Murray, Kentucky, in 1983, before she was a household name.

But, I’m almost embarrassed to admit that I shed tears the day she married Sean Penn in 1985!

Not because I was happy. I just knew it wouldn’t last and it was my “Madonna”! 🙂

#11 JEFFREY DAHMER & MY MILWAUKEE SUMMER (1990)

Back in 1990, I moved from Kentucky to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While I was only there for the summer into the early fall, I enjoyed my job as a bartender at “Partners”, one of the oldest LGBTQ bars in the city.

OMG, I was so young — in stone-washed jeans and a New Kids on the Block t-shirt! 🙂

On a slow Sunday night, a couple came in and ordered drinks.  Jerry was a good-looking man and his lady friend, who was older than him, was D’nell. 

While Jerry flirted with me, it was my bond with D’nell that would stand the test of time. She became my “Mom” and I called her that until her death in early 2009.

One night I went out drinking with my friends and co-workers in the seedier part of the gay district at C’est La Vie and Club 219.

Needless to say, I had way too much to drink and the scary alley, while unsavory, was a great place to puke before we moved on elsewhere!!!

I didn’t think too much about it at the time, but when serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested, I got chills. Club 219 was one of his favorite haunts and he picked up many of his victims there!

I used to keep journals and my night at Club 219 coincided with the stalking and murdering timeline. He very well could have been lurking in the corner that night I was totally wasted!

#10 VANESSA WILLIAMS TURNING OVER HER MISS AMERICA CROWN (JULY 1984)

It was a beautiful night in 1983 when Vanessa Williams became the first black Miss America.

It was a very sad day in the summer of 1984, when the 21-year-old turned over her crown after artistic (and unauthorized) nude pictures surfaced in Penthouse. (Even as a gay boy, I bought the magazine to see what the fuss was all about!)

Another admission: I was saddened and cried watching this press conference! I was hoping that she’d fight to keep her crown and tell the Miss America pageant to “f*ck off”, but that didn’t happen!

But, Vanessa has gone on to a very successful singing and acting career with numerous Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award nominations!

As a bonus, my favorite Vanessa Williams song!

Here’s my blog from earlier in 2020 dedicated just to Vanessa! (It’ll open in a new window.)

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2020/03/18/vanessa-williams-still-reigns/

Along with the events that impacted my first 35 years, I’m sharing my 35 favorites songs from those 35 years!*

Casey Kasem is my inspiration. I still recall all the weekends I spent listening to Casey count down the 40 biggest songs in America!

As I compiled my comprehensive list, it started out with 236 of my favorites!!!

As a teenager, I remember telling my grandmother Helen that a certain song was my “favorite” and she replied, “they’re all your favorites”!

But, when I was a youngster, there could only be one winner!

So here goes… enjoy the countdown and the videos!

#35 “GLORIA” (LAURA BRANIGAN) (1982)

#34 “SUGAR SUGAR” (THE ARCHIES) (1969)

#33 “LIZZIE AND THE RAINMAN” (TANYA TUCKER) (1975)

#32 “YOU ARE” (LIONEL RICHIE) (1983)

#31 “NEVER SURRENDER” (COREY HART) (1985)

MORE EVENTS THAT SHAPED MY FIRST 35 YEARS

#9 “JOHN WAYNE GACY’S CHICAGO MURDER SPREE (1970s)

Just before Christmas 1978, John Wayne Gacy was arrested in Des Plaines, Illinois (near Chicago), for the murder of 15-year-old Robert Piest.

During his confession, police would learn there were many other bodies.

Gacy is known to have killed, at least 33 young men and boys. Of those, 26 were buried in the crawl space of his home!

When the news of this serial killer broke, I was a 14-year-old gay boy living in western Kentucky, just six hours away.

This had a very chilling effect on me since I was the same age as some of his victims. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that people could kill others just for the thrill of it!

#8 KAREN CARPENTER’S DEATH (1983)

Karen and Richard Carpenter were on “top of the world” in the 1970s topping the chart with their amazing melodies and her incredible voice.

After years of battling anorexia nervosa, the music world was shocked on February 4, 1983, when Karen died of a heart attack. The years of starvation had destroyed her body.

Karen’s battle with an eating disorder brought that subject to the forefront for America. I know the awareness has saved many lives.

#7 AIDS EPIDEMIC (FROM THE SUMMER OF 1981 TO NOW)

For almost 30 years from the 1980s through the early-2010s, I strongly despised, even hated, President Ronald Reagan.

In the summer of 1981, a new “gay cancer” (it would be called AIDS later) was attacking and quickly killing homosexuals in alarming numbers.

However, President Reagan didn’t mention the deadly disease publicly until a press conference in 1985. And, it’d be six years into the AIDS pandemic (1987) before he gave his first speech on AIDS — after more than 20,000 Americans had already died!

What a terrifying time for a 16-year-old boy that wasn’t even sexually active yet.

Four decades later, by the grace of God, I’m still HIV-negative, but I have friends that are positive and I’ve know people that have died of AIDS.

Thankfully, we now have drugs, when taken properly, make it impossible to spread the virus!

National Institute of Health: “U=U means that people living with HIV who achieve and maintain an undetectable viral load—the amount of HIV in the blood—by taking and adhering to antiretroviral therapy (ART) as prescribed cannot sexually transmit the virus to others.”

#6 “HALLOWEEN IN HOUSTON” & ELECTING BILL & HILLARY CLINTON (1992)

My first time on a plane was in October 1992 when I flew to Houston to celebrate Halloween with my friends Steve and Dennis.

There were so many amazing costumes in the big city including 1992 presidential candidate Ross Perot!!!

That pretty much summarizes the PG version of our nights on Montrose in the gay district.

There are many more scandalous pictures of that trip elsewhere in my blog’s history, including ones of yours truly!

Remember I was in my carefree 20s and it was before Facebook!!! 🙂

Clearly, there was boob admiration going on here between the two of us — he won!

Since my outfit was rather risque, I didn’t drink much that night and maybe that was a good thing! 🙂

However, after an intoxicating Sunday night with vodka cranberries, we flew back to Kentucky Monday and on Tuesday, I cast my first vote for the Clintons, which sent them to the White House for what would turn out to be eight years! 🙂

Now, back to the countdown!

#30 “MERRY CHRISTMAS DARLING” (THE CARPENTERS) (1970)

#29 “SOS” (ABBA) (1975)

#28 “DREAMS” (GABRIELLE) (1993)

#27 “YOU MAKE MY DREAMS” (DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES) (1981)

#26 “SO EMOTIONAL” (WHITNEY HOUSTON) (1987)

#25 “TARZAN BOY” (BALTIMORA) (1985)

#24 “EMOTIONS” (MARIAH CAREY) (1991)

#23 “BORDERLINE” (MADONNA) (1984)

#22 “ONLY IN MY DREAMS” (DEBBIE GIBSON) (1987)

#21 “I WANNA DANCE WITH SOMEBODY (WHO LOVES ME)” (WHITNEY HOUSTON) (1987)

EVENTS THAT SHAPED MY FIRST 35 YEARS

#5 THE DEATH OF MY FIRST IDOL — MY GRANDFATHER (1978)

My first two idols in life were my my mother, Dessie, and my grandfather, John Henry Peoples.

Sadly, my life with my grandfather was cut short since I had just become a teenager when he died in early 1978.

I’ll never forget his last Christmas as he was dying from colon cancer, it was remarkable how he stayed in good spirits.

I’ll always cherish the weekends we spent together at Kentucky Lake camping out and fishing.  Also, all of the memories of just piddling around in the back yard and in his work garage remain vividly clear in my mind.  He made me feel loved and appreciated.

I never really liked the taste of beer.  But, as a kid, it was so cool that he would let me suck the suds off his beer cans when he’d open them. 

Maybe it’s because of the suds that I’ve now moved on to bubbly champagne as an adult (along with vodka and wine)!

When I finally get to heaven, I can’t wait to say “thank you” and let him know how much I idolized him.  I know, as a kid, I never told him.

There was also talk that I was almost named after my father.  I’m grateful that I wasn’t.  However, it would have been an honor to have been a “John Henry” Junior!

#4 JIMMY CARTER BECOMING PRESIDENT (1976)

In November 1976, as a 12-year-old boy in Kentucky, I cast my first presidential vote for the Democratic candidate Jimmy Carter, and four years later, at 16, I voted for him again. 

So, you might be thinking, that’s impossible.  Many things go on in Kentucky that aren’t talked about in other states, but kids still can’t vote. 

Well, since my Grandmother Helen was not very literate, I accompanied her into the voting booth and I got to vote for the candidates of my choice.  Even then, I knew what I was doing.  🙂

Now, you might be thinking, why Carter?  Maybe it was because he was a Southerner and he talked like me!  I’m kidding.  I just liked him.

At age 12, I didn’t know anything about “gay rights”, but then again, there was no such thing as “rights” for those kind of people in the mid-1970s!

While Carter was a deeply committed Christian that taught Sunday school and prayed several times a day, he was the first president to address gay rights and his administration was the first to meet with gay rights activists.  He was opposed to the Briggs Initiative in California that would have banned gays from teaching in public schools.

In the summer of 2017, while living in Panama City, Florida, I drove through the darkness of night and across the backwoods of the Southeast to hear President Carter give a sermon at his church in Plains, Georgia, and I got to meet my idols, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter!

#3 MY DECADE LONG STRUGGLE WITH BULIMIA (1986-1995)

Over the years, I’ve written many times about eating disorders from Karen Carpenter’s anorexia nervosa to my own battle with bulimia.

Just know that eating disorders affect men and women, girls and boys, the young and the elderly!

I wrote, “In early 1995, I was down to 116 pounds and I thought I was fat… I’m still obsessed with weight gains and losses, eating too much, and fighting the urge to binge and purge.”

Another time I shared, “… I fight the food demon of overeating every day.  A few pounds to the average person is a huge burden, a catalyst for insecurity, and a path for destruction to a food addict.”

While I was a practicing bulimic for nine years from 1986-1995, I got my act together for more than two decades.

Beyond the scope of this blog, I’ve fallen off the wagon a few times and then I just get up and start over again!

Like other addictions, it’s a daily struggle and not something that’ll just go away.

Let the countdown roll on….

#20 “AIN’T EVEN DONE WITH THE NIGHT” (JOHN COUGAR MELLENCAMP) (1981)

#19 “DIM ALL THE LIGHTS” (DONNA SUMMER) (1979)

#18 “ON MY OWN” (PATTI LaBELLE & MICHAEL McDONALD) (1986)

“ON MY OWN” (REBA McENTIRE, MARTINA McBRIDE, TRISHA YEARWOOD, & LINDA DAVIS) (1995)

#17 “NO FRILLS LOVE” (JENNIFER HOLLIDAY) (1985)

#16 “I AM WOMAN” (HELEN REDDY) (1972)

#15 “TWO OF HEARTS” (STACEY Q) (1986)

#14 “FASCINATED” (COMPANY B) (1987)

#13 “I LOVE MY RADIO” (TAFFY) (1986)

#12 “TOP OF THE WORLD” (THE CARPENTERS) (1973)

#11 “MISSING YOU” (JOHN WAITE) (1984)

“TAINTED LOVE” (SOFT CELL) (1982)

“WE DON’T HAVE TO TAKE OUR CLOTHES OFF” (JERMAINE STEWART) (1986)

“ONE PROMISE TOO LATE” (REBA McENTIRE) (1987)

“OH L’AMOUR” (ERASURE) (1986)

“DON’T YOU WANT ME” (THE HUMAN LEAGUE) (1981)

“HARPER VALLEY P.T.A.” (JEANNIE C. RILEY) (1968)

“ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU” (MARIAH CAREY) (1994 ORIGINAL)

“ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU” (MAKE MY WISH COME TRUE EDITION) (MARIAH CAREY) (2019)

EVENTS THAT SHAPED MY FIRST 35 YEARS

#2 MOVING TO CHICAGO (1994) & KICKING OFF MY TV CAREER (1996)

In November 1993, my grandmother Helen (the last of my living parents and grandparents) died.

I was still in my hometown helping to take care of her and since Tammy was young and had her own family, I had no reason to stay in Kentucky any longer.

I often wondered “Is There Life Out There?” (the title of a huge Reba McEntire song in 1992), and I struggled through the 1993 holidays and the early winter months of 1994.

In the spring of 1994, my friend Steve shared with me the PBS series, “Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the Cities” and Mary Ann Singleton (Laura Linney) became my inspiration to make a change in my life!

Over Memorial Day 1994, Steve, Dennis, and I went to Chicago to party for the weekend and we had a blast.

At Gentry’s on Rush, the owner started sending over free cocktails and the boys (and the music) were so hot!

It was there that I fell in love with “Dreams” by Gabrielle (back at #28) and Sarah Brightman’s “Once in a Lifetime” from the “Dive” album!

It was also that weekend that I decided I was moving to Chicago!

Six weeks later, over the Fourth of July weekend, I moved to the big city and it was the best decision I ever made!

It was an interesting two years — bartending in a country gay bar, meeting a psycho on my 30th birthday that ended up trying to kill me several times, and then meeting someone that would become my longest relationship (9 years).

It was also during my first residency in Chicago that my television news career took off in the spring of 1996. My first network-affiliated television weather job was in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, that summer. And, from there, jobs in Texas, Ohio, Maryland, Illinois, Florida, and Minnesota followed!

#1 MY MOTHER’S DEATH (NOVEMBER 7, 1990)

My beautiful, wonderful mother, Dessie, died of a heart attack on the morning of November 7, 1990.

While I’ve lived more than half of my lifetime without her, I’m grateful for the 26 years we had together.

She was there to see me make my theatrical stage debut in “The Curious Savage” and saw me present weather at Murray State University’s television station that was only broadcast on cable systems in two cities.

My mother was there in the spring of 1989 when I became the first college graduate in our family.

One of the funniest stories I have of my mother happened in the spring of 1990. I took her to Sunday brunch at 101st Airborne in Nashville, Tennessee.  

She didn’t drink, but her champagne glass was empty every time the server came by and mine was always full since I kept switching glasses with her. I’m sure the waitress thought Dessie was such a lush and I was so innocent allowing my mother to drink so freely while I just sipped my champagne! 🙂

There have been so many times over the past 30 years that I’ve wanted to grab the phone to share something with her and then realize that I couldn’t do it!

As I reflect back on my life with my mother, I was so fortunate to be loved. She wasn’t just my mother — she was my biggest supporter, she was my rock, and she was my friend!

When I think of all of the things I wrote about today and not having a chance to talk to her about them, I can still smile and feel warm inside.

I know that my mother is with me — in my heart and in my memories!

P.S. The #38 song at the bottom of the blog was played at my mother’s funeral!

To quote Casey again, back to the countdown because “we don’t stop until we get to the top!”

“XANADU” (OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN) (1980)

“IMAGINE” (JOHN LENNON) (1971)

“LET IT BE” (THE BEATLES) (1970)

Casey, take us home, “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars!”

I appreciate you taking time to check out my fun little walk down memory lane.

Anthony

*Okay, since I ❤️❤️❤️ LISTS & COUNTDOWNS, I’m really sharing my 101 favorites!

Why 101? There were “101 Dalmatians”! 🙂

#101 “SO MANY MEN, SO LITTLE TIME” (MIQUEL BROWN) (1983)

#100 “LOVE WILL KEEP US TOGETHER” (THE CAPTAIN & TENNILLE) (1975)

#99 “DREAM WEAVER” (GARY WRIGHT) (1975)

#98 “KISS AN ANGEL GOOD MORNIN'” (CHARLEY PRIDE) (1971)

#97 “OBJECT OF MY DESIRE” (STARPOINT) (1985)

#96 “EVERY BREATH YOU TAKE” (THE POLICE) (1983)

#95 “ANOTHER SAD LOVE SONG” (TONI BRAXTON) (1993)

#94 “I’LL TUMBLE 4 YA” (CULTURE CLUB) (1983)

#93 “CHAINS” (PATTY LOVELESS) (1989)

#92 “FAITH” (GEORGE MICHAEL) (1987)

#91 “HIGHER LOVE” (STEVE WINWOOD & CHAKA KHAN) (1986)

#90 “CAN’T FIGHT FATE” (TAYLOR DAYNE) (1989)

#89 “SAD SONGS (SAY SO MUCH)” (ELTON JOHN) (1984)

#88 “EDGE OF SEVENTEEN” (STEVIE NICKS) (1982)

#87SAY YOU, SAY ME” (LIONEL RICHIE) (1985)

#86 “IT MATTERS TO ME” (FAITH HILL) (1995)

#85 “DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HURT ME?” (CULTURE CLUB) (1982)

#84 “I KNEW YOU WERE WAITING (FOR ME)” (ARETHA FRANKLIN & GEORGE MICHAEL) (1987)

#83 “JESSIE’S GIRL” (RICK SPRINGFIELD) (1981)

#82 “EXCEPT FOR MONDAY” (LORRIE MORGAN) (1991)

#81 “LOUISIANA WOMAN, MISSISSIPPI MAN” (CONWAY TWITTY & LORETTA LYNN) (1973)

#80 “I LOVE ROCK & ROLL” (JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS) (1982)

“I LOVE ROCK & ROLL” (BRITNEY SPEARS) (2002)

#79 “HEAVEN’S JUST A SIN AWAY” (THE KENDALLS) (1977)

#78 “OPEN YOUR HEART” (MADONNA) (1986)

#77 “WITH EVERY BEAT OF MY HEART” (TAYLOR DAYNE) (1989)

#76 “TAKE ME AS I AM” (FAITH HILL) (1994)

#75 “1999” (PRINCE) (1982)

#74 “MAMMA MIA” (ABBA) (1975)

#73 “I CAN DREAM ABOUT YOU” (DAN HARTMAN) (1984)

#72 “EMPTY GARDEN (HEY HEY JOHNNY)” (ELTON JOHN) (1982)

#71 “ONLY IN MY MIND” (REBA McENTIRE) (1985)

#70 “NO MORE WORDS” (BERLIN) (1984)

#69 “WEST END GIRLS” (THE PET SHOP BOYS) (1984)

#68 “MAGIC” (OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN) (1980)

#67 “I GUESS THAT’S WHY THEY CALL IT THE BLUES” (ELTON JOHN) (1984)

#66 “I RAN (SO FAR AWAY) (A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS) (1982)

#65 “TRUE” (SPANDAU BALLET) (1983)

#64 “IS THERE SOMETHING I SHOULD KNOW?” (DURAN DURAN) (1983)

#63 “DREAMLOVER” (MARIAH CAREY) (1993)

#62 “THIS WOMAN AND THIS MAN” (CLAY WALKER) (1995)

#61 “COLD HEARTED” (PAULA ABDUL) (1989)

#60 “COME GO WITH ME” (EXPOSE) (1987)

#59 “IT’S NOT RIGHT BUT IT’S OKAY” (WHITNEY HOUSTON) (1999)

#58 “YOU GOT IT (THE RIGHT STUFF) (NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK) (1988)

#57 “FLASHDANCE (WHAT A FEELING)” (IRENE CARA) (1983)

#56 “FRIENDS & LOVERS” (GLORIA LORING & CARL ANDERSON) (1986)

#55 “SUNGLASSES AT NIGHT” (COREY HART) (1984)

#54 “WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY” (JANET JACKSON) (1986)

#53 “LOOKING FOR A NEW LOVE” (JODY WATLEY) (1987)

#52 “DANCING ON THE CEILING” (LIONEL RICHIE) (1986)

#51 “LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOY” (DENIECE WILLIAMS) (1984)

#50 “IF YOU LOVE ME (LET ME KNOW)” (OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN) (1974)

#49 “MAKING LOVE OUT OF NOTHING AT ALL” (AIR SUPPLY) (1983)

#48 “(THEY LONG TO BE) CLOSE TO YOU” (THE CARPENTERS) (1970)

#47 “LET ME BE THERE” (OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN) (1973)

#46 “HOW WILL I KNOW” (WHITNEY HOUSTON) (1985)

#45 “WHAT MADE YOU SAY THAT” (SHANIA TWAIN) (1993)

#44 “KARMA CHAMELEON” (CULTURE CLUB) (1983)

#43 “BLAME IT ON YOUR HEART” (PATTY LOVELESS) (1993)

#42 “TOO SHY” (KAJAGOOGOO) (1983)

#41 “BELIEVE” (CHER) (1998)

#40 “THE REFLEX” (DURAN DURAN) (1984)

#39 “FOREVER YOUR GIRL” (PAULA ABDUL) (1989)

#38 “WIND BENEATH MY WINGS” (BETTE MIDLER) (1989)

#37 “I’LL BE YOUR SHELTER” (TAYLOR DAYNE) (1990)

#36 “KIDS IN AMERICA” (KIM WILDE) (1981)

Random Friday Thoughts — April 18, 2014

It’s Friday and it’s Easter weekend.  I hope it’s a nice one for you and if you’re going to church, enjoy the services.  I hope your Easter egg hunts are dry and fun and your Easter feast is a tasty one.

I’m working Saturday, so Ray and Gretel are celebrating with Ray’s family in northwestern Iowa and my sister, Tammy, is visiting her granddaughters in Tennessee.  So, I’m home alone and I plan on sleeping in Sunday, having pancakes, and watching a couple of my favorite movies again.

Easter Bunny

If you’re thinking of what to buy someone for a great Easter present and bunnies come to mind, make it a chocolate bunny!

Here are my random thoughts this Friday.  Thank you for checking them out.

AIRLINE THREATS ARE NOT FUNNY

Before the 1970s, it was a much different world when it came to flying.  High profile plane hijacking changed the rather lax airport security.

I remember seeing a cartoon during my childhood of a man raising his hand to his friend and yelling “Hi Jack” before being arrested.

After the terrorist attacks on the United States on 9/11, it’s hard to imagine anyone making a joke of threatening an airline, an airport, or a plane.

However, last Sunday night, it happened when a 14-year-old Dutch girl, “Sarah”, sent a threatening tweet to American Airlines.

AA Threat

Once she realized that this was turning into a big deal with the police involved, she tweeted, “I was joking and it was my friend not me, take her IP address not mine. I’m so scared I’m just a 14-year-old white girl I’m not a terrorist.”  She was arrested the next day!

airport security

I have two things to say about this.  I don’t care how old someone is when they threaten to bomb a plane.  It’s not a joke and they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Secondly, if this tweet is proven to be sent by a “14-year-old white girl who is not “a terrorist”, she’s truly offensive.  Implying that a “white girl” couldn’t possibly be a “terrorist” is racist!

Sadly, the only leeway I’ll give her on that one is immaturity, but even a teenager should know that the tweet would cause fear in some people and that is terrorism!

More Threats 1 More Threats 2 More Threats 3

Incredibly, this has caused a rash of similar copycat tweets to American and other airlines.  Real threats or not, this is just mind-boggling!

HAPPY FLIGHT

On a happier airline note, I sure hope this flight attendant is working my next Southwest Airlines’ flight.

I hope this made you smile.

HE CUT OFF WHAT?

Rapper Andre Johnson, also known as Christ Bearer, is recovering at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after severing his penis and jumping off the second floor balcony of his North Hollywood apartment!

Andre Johnson

Those present say that no one was using drugs and that they believe he suffered from mental illness.

TMZ reports that efforts to reattach the appendage were unsuccessful.

If Johnson is mentally ill, I hope that he gets the help he needs.  If he isn’t ill, this was a very painful and horrific plea for attention!

And, as a man, this is just painful to think about!

WHILE WE’RE IN THAT MIND SET…

Now that “How I Met Your Mother” has ended its nine-year run on CBS, Neil Patrick Harris is getting rave reviews for his upcoming Broadway performance in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”

NPH Hedwig

If you’re not familiar with the rock musical/love story, Hansel is an East German that falls in love with an American soldier.

Since the couple wants to get married and the laws says that it has to be a man and a woman, Hansel’s mother changes his named to Hedwig (her name) and finds a doctor to perform a sex change.  The operation is botched leaving Hedwig with the so-called “angry inch”.

hedwig-680

Harris’ performance as Hedwig on Broadway runs from April through August.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

MichelangeloCollege  Dog

TATTOOS

Do you have a tattoo?  While still somewhat controversial, getting inked is becoming mainstream.

Even Miss Kansas 2013, Theresa Vail, is tattooed with the Serenity Prayer and a military medical insignia.  She says, “If I were crowned Miss America, bearing my tattoos, do you realize the stereotypes and stigmas it would break?”

Miss Kansas 2013

If you’re in your thirties, there’s a 40% chance that you have a tattoo.  If not, 30% of people in their 20s and almost 30% of people in the 40s are getting inked!

More women than men and Hispanics more than whites or blacks have body art.

Two years ago this week, I join the group of white men in their 40s to get a tattoo.  It was a painful, almost four-hour process and I’m very happy to sport it and show it off.

Tattoo1

As you know, my sweet golden retriever and my best friend , Miss ABBA, went to “puppy heaven” in February 2012.

Two months later, I turned her beautiful face into body art.  Here’s the picture from Halloween 2011 and you can see the final product.

ABBA Inspiration For Tattoo Anthony ABBA Tattoo

John Kautz, from O’Toole Design, in Rock Island, Illinois, did an incredible job.

You can read about the entire experience here:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/miss-abba-ill-cherish-this-piece-of-art-forever/

“LATE, LATE AT NIGHT” WITH RICK SPRINGFIELD

I recently finished Rick Springfield’s memoir about his life, his battle with depression, his sexual addiction, and his music and acting career.

Late, Late At Night

It was a fun book.  I’ll share the link again if you didn’t read my blog about the book.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/the-ups-downs-of-rick-springfields-rock-star-lifestyle/

However, one thing that I forgot to mention in the blog was his one year affair with “The Exorcist” star Linda Blair.

Linda and Rick

At the time, he was 25 at the time and she was only 15! I guess things were different in the 1970s and in Hollywood!

“Don’t Talk To Strangers” hit #2 in 1982 on the Billboard Hot 100.  It was the second biggest hit of Rick’s career behind the number one, Grammy-winning smash, “Jessie’s Girl” the year before.

“OUT OF THE FURNACE”

Christian Bale is one of the best actors in the movie business today.

“Out of The Furnace” is a little seen movie that came out about a week before his Oscar-nominated role in “American Hustle”.

Out of the Furnace

In the movie, Bale plays Russell Baze, a West Virginia steel mill worker that has a beautiful girlfriend (Zoe Saldana) that wants to have a baby, a brother (Casey Affleck) with a gambling problem and is struggling with life after serving in the war, and a dying father.

He works every day and is paying off his little brother’s gambling debts.  After stopping for a few drinks after work one night, he’s involved in an accident that changes his life forever.

Also, his little brother disappears and Russell feels it’s up to him to find out what happened and to make things right.

The movie features incredible performances from Bale, Affeck, Saldana, and Woody Harrelson as a New Jersey sociopathic, inbreed, drug dealer named Harlan DeGroat.

GRADE:  A

DAVID DUCHOVNY IS COMING TO NBC

Once Showtime’s “Californication” wraps up its seventh and final season in late June, David Duchovny will star in the new NBC series, “Aquarius”.

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The 13-epidsode drama take place in the late-1960s.  Duchovny stars as a Los Angeles police sergeant “who starts tracking a small-time criminal and budding cult leader seeking out vulnerable women to join his ’cause.’ The name of that man is Charles Manson.”

Young Charles Manson

NBC goes on to say that “the twists and turns of a complicated undercover operation will lead Duchovny’s character and his young partner to the brink of Manson’s crimes that will eventually lead to the Tate-LaBianca murders in subsequent seasons.”

Here’s my two cents.  I love David Duchovny and I’ve always been intrigued with serial killers.  I’ll be watching.

NBC, if “Crisis” and “Hannibal” are not renewed, please write Gillian Anderson into the script and let her work with Duchovny’s character!

Gillian David The X-Files

“I’M A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY”

The first concert that Ray and I went to together was Keith Urban and Taylor Swift in Moline in June 2009.  Both were amazing performers and this was before I quickly tired of the teen sensation.

Keith Urban Moline 2009

Since his first hit on the Billboard Country chart in 1999, “It’s A Love Thing”, reached #18 (his first four releases from 1990 and 1991 didn’t chart), Urban has been a force to reckon with on country radio.

Of his 33 Top 40 hits, an incredible 31 have hit the Top Ten, the aforementioned “Love Thing” and “Blue Sky” by Emily West, which he was just featured on and so, really that one doesn’t count!

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28 of his hits have made the Top 5 and 15 have topped the Country charts.

The ones that spent multiple weeks on top are:  “Somebody Like You” (6 weeks, 2002), “You’ll Think Of Me” (2 weeks, 2004), “Days Go By” (4 weeks, 2004), “Making Memories Of Us” (5 weeks, 2005), “Better Life” (6 weeks, 2005), “Sweet Thing” (2 weeks, 2009), “You Gonna Fly” (2 weeks, 2012), and “We Were Us” (with Miranda Lambert, 3 weeks, 2013).

Keith’s current hit, “Cop Car”,  recently reached #4 on the Billboard Country chart.

HAPPY EASTER!

Have a great weekend!  Here’s a flashback to Easter 2001 and Miss ABBA and the Easter bunny.

ABBAEaster2001

That’s it for this week.  I hope you enjoyed my random thoughts.

Let me know what you think.  I always appreciate feedback — good or bad.  Well, obviously, I like the positive comments more!

Anthony

 

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”.

EW Rick

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!

Zoot 1

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. 🙂

Rick Springfield 6

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

Random Friday Thoughts — May 31, 2013

Happy Friday everyone!  Another weekend is upon us and I hope you have a nice one planned.  Today is Gretel’s last day of school and her last day as a sixth grader!  I think she wants to go out to lunch at Osaka Buffet, one of our favorite places to eat.  I should do it because tomorrow is June 1st and that is the date that Ray and I agreed upon to eat healthier, limit our buffets, and exercise more.

This is also Pride weekend in the Quad Cities.  We might go and check it out.   The late, great Miss ABBA and I went to a couple of the festivities.  This picture is from the 2010 Quad City Pride.

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I’ll have to check with the weatherman to see which day would be better! 🙂

ONE LESS RAT IN THE RAT RACE

Early Wednesday morning, I got the best news that brought a smile to my face.  There will be one less rat in the 2014 “rat race” election season.

Failed Republican presidential wannabe and Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann announced that she will not be seeking re-election.  She said, “I fully anticipate the mainstream liberal media to put a detrimental spin on my decision not to seek a fifth term.  They always seemed to attempt to find a dishonest way to disparage me. But I take being the focus of their attention and disparagement as a true compliment of my public service effectiveness.”

michele bachmann

The woman is, how do you say it, bat-sh*t crazy.  She’s currently being investigated because of her campaign spending and in the last Congressional election spent a lot of money and barely won re-election with less than two percentage points.  Her competitor in that race, Jim Graves, recently announced that he would be running again in 2014.

Now, if I didn’t filter how I really felt, I’d say she came to realization that American handily told her we didn’t want her for president, that it took a lot of money to barely convince Minnesota to keep her in office the last time, and keeping her husband in the closet is a full-time job!   But, that would be mean and that is just a rumor about her husband — for now! 🙂

Marcus Bachmann

I would say good riddance, but Bachmann vows to continue fighting for traditional marriage and family values.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

SHARKCrazyStalker

We The People

GALLUP POLL

A recent Gallup poll shows that gay or lesbian relations are accepted by 19% more people today than just 12 years ago.  Today, with twelve states and the District of Columbia with marriage equality (and Illinois is considering it), 59% of Americans polled find gay or lesbian relationships acceptable.  In 2001, only 40% did so.

Also, Americans find having babies and having sex outside of marriage much more acceptable today than a decade ago.   Even divorce and polygamy are 9% and 7% more acceptable today, respectively, than just a decade ago.

Gallup Poll

Of the 20 topics surveyed, the most unacceptable now compared to 2001 is medical testing on animals.  It’s down 9% in the past decade.  Also seeing a decrease in acceptability today, compared to 2001, is doctor-assisted suicides.  That is down 4%.

REMEMBERING “DR. DEATH”

While more Americans find doctor-assisted suicides less acceptable today than a decade ago, according to that recent Gallup poll, I’m taking a moment to remember the man whose name is synonymous with that subject.  He died two years ago next week.

Kevorkian

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, a Michigan born pathologist, gained national attention in late 1998 when he allowed CBS News’ “60 Minutes” to air a videotape he made two months earlier of the voluntary euthanasia of 52-year-old Thomas Youk, who suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease, a debilitating disease that causes progressive weakness, muscle atrophy, muscle spasms, difficulty speaking, swallowing, and breathing.

After a two-day trial, a Michigan jury found Kevorkian guilty of second-degree murder.  After serving time, he was paroled eight years later.

He may have been involved in more than 130 deaths and Kevorkian told “Time” magazine, “My specialty is death.”

So, what is your view on doctor-assisted suicides?  Feel free to tell me, even if we disagree.

I’m all for it.  I’ve seen people wither away to almost nothing in so much pain. I look at their lives and I see that some have no quality of life.  My mother died of a sudden heart attack at age 47.  While we were unable to say goodbye, I’m thankful that she never suffered for a long period like some people do.

If I’m ever in a terminal health situation where there is no chance of recovery (short of a miracle) and I’m in unimaginable pain, I’d welcome being euthanized.  Why is it that we’re in a position in this country where we have to watch our loved ones suffer until they die naturally, but we can do the “humane” thing to keep our beloved pets from immense suffering when they reach that point of no return by euthanizing them?

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On February 3, 2012, Miss ABBA, our golden retriever that was just like a child to us, took that final R-I-D-E in the car.  I carried her to the car that morning and into the vet’s office.  I sat on the floor holding her when the doctor administered the two shots and she peacefully crossed over the “rainbow bridge”.

Many of you already know that Miss ABBA lived ten fantastic months after being diagnosed with terminal cancer when she was only given two to three months to live.  She never got sick or down until the day before she died.

I’m blessed for the almost 12 years Miss ABBA and I had together.  I’m so glad that she never had to suffer and that I had that option to ease her pain when her quality of life ended.  I would want the same for myself or for my human counterparts.

RICK SPRINGFIELD ROCKS!

Let me lighten the mood now by saying last Friday night’s Rick Springfield concert in the Quad Cities was incredible.  The ’80s heart throb played for about two hours and he still sounds as good as he did back in his heyday when “Jessie’s Girl” was #1 and he had other top ten hits like “I’ve Done Everything For You”, “Don’t Talk To Strangers”, “Affair Of The Heart”, and “Love Somebody”.

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“DEXTER SEASON 7 IS AWESOME!”

We are eight episodes into season 7 of “Dexter” and I absolutely love this season.  Only four more episodes to go and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.  Please don’t spoil it for me or for anyone who hasn’t seen this season, but I hope Joey Quinn bites the dust.  I’m over his character. 🙂

As for “Dexter”, fans already know that the new season begins on Showtime June 30th and this will be the final season!!!!!!!!  😦

Who’s going to be my favorite serial killer then?  And, how will I handle not seeing sexy Michael C. Hall?

Dexter-michael-c-hall

So, what are your favorite seasons?  Other than season seven, my other favorites are seasons one, four, and six!

SPEAKING OF SERIAL KILLERS

Good news!!!!  The Hollywood website, deadline.com, is reporting that “Hannibal” has been renewed for a 13 episode second season!

hannibal

There was concern that the graphic drama about our favorite cannibal might be cancelled because it only brings in a rating of about 4.7 million people weekly.

But, NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke says, “We’re so proud of Bryan’s [executive producer Bryan Fuller] vision for a show that is richly textured, psychologically complex, and very compelling.  There are many great stories still to be told.”

And, here’s an interesting fact.  NBC says that “Hannibal” is the youngest drama on NBC, CBS, and ABC, with a median viewer age of 45.7 years.

AMAZING ALBUM I KNOW YOU PROBABLY DON’T HAVE!!!

While I love all genres of music, I’m partial to dance and 1980s.  I’ve moved away from country music.  I mean, no country radio without new Reba and Patty Loveless music is boring.  You can take your Taylor Swift and… what was I saying? 🙂

I have to highly recommend an album that came out last fall that I just can’t stop listening to and it’s been nine months.  It’s “Push Rewind” by Chris Wallace, the former lead singer of the Chicago band, the White Tie Affair.  I saw them at Market Days in Chicago a few years ago and Chris is amazing.

Push Rewind

I totally agree with “Entertainment Weekly” when it said “Push Rewind” was “the best pop album you probably haven’t discovered yet.”  Meanwhile, iTunes called “Push Rewind”, the “best breakthrough pop album of 2012” and his first solo hit, “Remember When (Push Rewind)”, one of the “best songs of 2012”.

“Remember When (Push Rewind)” reached #25 on the Billboard “Pop Songs” chart, which is based on radio airplay.

If you liked the first single, you’re going to love the CD.  “Keep Me Crazy” (the second and new single), “Hurricane”, and “Time Bomb (Walk Away)” are all fun upbeat dance numbers.  If those are a little too dance-oriented for you, you’ll love the mid-tempo tracks “Don’t Mind If I Do”, “Best Mistake”, and “Invincible”.

When Wallace slows it down for the ballads “I’ll Be There” and “Ready To Fall”, his soulful voice just captivates you.

He closes the disc with the perfect slow-building mid-tempo “Do It All Again”.

There aren’t too many albums where I love every song.  This is one of them.  I sure hope that radio and America learn who Chris Wallace is and that he becomes the star he should be.

GRADE:  A

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

Two years ago this week on June 4, 2011, we went to the Chicago suburbs to celebrate Gretel’s 10th birthday by seeing “Glee” in concert.  Gretel absolutely loves the show and Kurt is her favorite character.  And, while he was walking by, sexy crooner Darren Criss, who plays Blaine, shook hands with me!

Gretel June 4 2011Darren Criss June 4 2011

And, this week last year, we were in Spirit Lake, Iowa, for the week of Memorial Day.  We had a fantastic time just chilling by the Lake.  We also did a little boating, fishing, and we visited Arnold’s Park, an amusement park.  That’s where we took this cute family photo.

Arnolds Park May 30 2012

“PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK”

Canadian Bryan Adams has scored 22 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.

After reaching #10 with his first American hit, “Straight From The Heart” in 1982, his follow-up, “Cuts Like A Knife” reached #15.

Of his 22 hits, 11 of them reached the Top Ten here in the U.S.  Of those, four reached #1:  “Heaven” (1985), “(Everything I Do) I Do It For You” (1991) from the motion picture, “Robin Hood:  Prince of Thieves”, “All For Love” (1993) , and “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” (1995) with Sting and Rod Stewart, from the movie “Don Juan DeMarco”.

ENOUGH FOR THIS WEEK

With the severe weather Thursday and working until after 6 p.m., I had to cut this short a little.  But, it’s enough for one week.

Have a fantastic weekend and thank you for checking out my blog of random thoughts!

Anthony

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

Random Friday Thoughts — May 24, 2013

It’s the last “unofficial” weekend of spring if you’re one of those people who count Memorial Day as the “unofficial” start of summer.  It’s also a three-day weekend for some of you and if you’re Ray, it’s a four-day weekend since he’s taking today off!  And, if you’re in the news business, it’s probably a traditional two-day weekend!!!  Oh, woe is me!  However many days off you have or whatever you do, I hope you have fun and it’s a safe one.

Tonight, Ray and I are going to the Rick Springfield concert at the Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf, Iowa.  We’re meeting up with two of my colleagues from my television job in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, in 1996, for a blast of the past evening — my former morning show co-anchor, Julie (VanGoethem) Lund and Elizabeth Goodsitt (who now works in the Quad Cities at a competing station).

Rick Springfield

I’ve never seen Rick in concert, but I hear he puts on a fantastic show.  It’s so strange that his first hit was more than 40 years ago (“Speak To The Sky” reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971)!

PEEPS’ ’80s FRIDAY FLASHBACK

However, Aussie Springfield shot to super stardom in 1981 when “Jessie’s Girl” hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.  He scored a total of 17 Top 40 hits in the U.S.  Of those, five reached the Top Ten:  “Jessie’s Girl” (#1, 1981), “I’ve Done Everything For You” (#8, 1981), “Don’t Talk To Strangers” (#2, 1982), “Affair Of The Heart” (#9, 1983), and “Love Somebody” (#5, 1984), from his movie, “Hard To Hold”.

I blogged about Rick Springfield and getting tickets for this show back in March.  Here’s the link in case you missed it:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/im-ready-to-celebrate-youth-and-bop-til-i-drop/

IF YOU HAVE FAITH IN THIS MAN, I’M VERY SORRY!

Pat Robertson

“The 700 Club” televangelist Pat Robertson has said some very mean things in the past about gay people being the root of all problems in America.  Okay, maybe not all of the problems, but many of them.  However, for once, it has nothing to do with “the gays”.

Severe Weather

Earlier this week, one day after deadly tornadoes killed 24 people, including 9 children, in Moore, Oklahoma, he stooped to an all-time low.

I have three to say:  How can real God-loving Christians have any faith in anything this vile man says, how can people actually give money to support this ignorance, and “Don from Illinois”, if you’re a Facebook friend of mine, please delete me.

And, let me clarify and question one of his weather comments.  Since tornadoes have occurred in all 50 states, does that mean we shouldn’t build houses in the U.S.?

AND, SPEAKING OF ANOTHER WHACK JOB…

onemillionmoms

“One Million Moms”, an offspring of the conservative fundamentalist Christian organization, the American Family Association, is now taking credit for the cancellation of the NBC series, “The New Normal”.

The-New-Normal

The show about a gay couple hiring a surrogate mother to have their child was cancelled after one season.  But, then again, so was its lead-in, “Go On”, with former “Friends” star Matthew Perry, along with many other first season shows.

In an email, “One Million Moms” leader Monica Cole writes, “Our persistence has paid off once again!  The New Normal got the axe by NBC after the show’s first and only season!”

She goes on to say, “We are still waiting for a decision on a few of the other programs we have voiced our concerns over. Many of those shows have a high probability of not being renewed, including  The Biggest Loser, American Idol and Dancing With the Stars.”  And, she ends her email with, “One Million Moms continues to fight for the moral values that have served our country so well for so long. We do so without apology.”

Monica, keep up your good fight (note the sarcasm)!  “The Biggest Loser”, “American Idol”, and “Dancing With the Stars” are still performing rather well for their respective networks.  And, remember your failed campaign to get that married lesbian fired as spokesperson for JCPenney?

ellen-degeneres

I have three words for you:  Ellen DeGeneres Rocks!  And, she’s still working!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

HomophobiaCrazy Women

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MISS ABBA

This past Wednesday marked what would have been Miss ABBA’s 13th birthday.  We celebrated by having a Whitey’s ice cream cone in her memory.  A typical birthday celebration for Miss ABBA would have consisted of a cake, an ice cream cone, and a Checkers burger (since we moved to the Quad Cities in 2005).  Before that, any fast food double cheeseburger worked.

Our friend, Vickie Felger, did this beautiful piece of art that hangs in our sun room right after Miss ABBA went to puppy heaven on February 3, 2012.  And, as you can see, it is no secret that the goofy golden loved her “ice cream & Checkers”.

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And, for those of you that haven’t seen it, here’s a memorial video I made of Miss ABBA’s life and I posted it the day she crossed over the “rainbow bridge”.

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Two years ago this week on May 25, 2011, we replaced our old broken stone patio with a concrete patio.

Since Miss ABBA had already been diagnosed with cancer two months earlier and given only two to three months to live (luckily, she lived ten more months and never got sick until the last day), I knew she had to be immortalized.  While she stared at me and wondered what we were doing, she lives on and we can see her paw print every time we’re on the patio by the fish pond!

May 25 2011 ABBA Cementing Her Legacy May 25 2011 ABBA Pawprint

HAVE PASSPORT, MUST TRAVEL

While I’ve been to Ontario, Canada, and to Cancun, Mexico, it was before you needed a passport.  And, this past December when we went on our Carnival cruise, we spent the daylight hours in Cozumel, Mexico, but because the cruise started and ended in New Orleans, Louisiana, it was a “closed loop” voyage and no passport was needed.

PassportPassport2

But, Ray and I finally broke down and got our first passports in preparation for his upcoming 50th birthday celebration.  Details coming soon on the milestone vacation he chose.  And, since I’ll turn the big 5-0 in October 2014, I’m working on where I’d like to go.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHER

Iconic singer, actress, and performer Cher celebrated her 67th birthday earlier this week.  She is currently at work putting the finishing touches on her new album that is expected in September and her new single, “Woman’s World” officially comes out next month.  So, in honor Cher’s birthday, here are her top five hits of her 50-year-plus career ranked by Billboard Magazine.

#5 “Dark Lady” (#1 for one week, 1974), #4 “I Got You Babe” with Sonny Bono (#1 for three weeks, 1965), #3 “Gypsies, Tramps, & Thieves” (#1 for two weeks, 1971), #2 “Believe” (#1 for four weeks, 1999), and at #1 “Half Breed” (#1 for two weeks, 1973).

Happy Birthday Cherilyn Sarkisian!!!!!!!!!

HEADING TO THE MOVIES THIS WEEKEND

Outside of the Rick Springfield concert tonight, Ray and I may try to talk my sister, Tammy, into going to brunch Sunday at Jumer’s Casino since they’re having a great special.  I guess people don’t head out to the casino on a typical Memorial Day weekend.

While those plans are not certain, we are going to the movie to see the new J.J. Abrams movie, “Star Trek Into Darkness”.

Star Trek Into Darkness

In just its first seven days in theaters, the sequel has already brought in over $179 million worldwide.  It still has a long way to go to reach the box office success of Abrams’ 2009 original reboot, which grossed $385.7 million.

MADONNA, YOU GO GIRL!

As you know from reading my blogs over the past year, I absolutely loved Madonna’s “MDNA Tour” that I saw in Las Vegas, Nevada, on my birthday, October 13, 2012.  Well, apparently, I’m not alone!  Last Sunday night, Madonna ruled the 2013 Billboard Music Awards winning for “Top Touring Artist”, “Top Dance Artist”, and “Top Dance Album”.  By the way, the “MDNA Tour” was the top grossing tour of 2012 bringing in $305.2 million!!!!!!!!!!!!  The DVD is expected later this year.

Madonna Billboard Awards

Madonna’s Facebook page summed it up best:  “2013 Billboard Music Awards: 3 nominations, 3 awards and only 1 queen… Congratulations MDNA!”

I blogged many times over the past year about Madonna, “MDNA”, and the “MDNA Tour”.  All you have to do is type in one of those words in the blog search engine at the top of the page to read more. 🙂

Warning:  Contains violence and adult language  (After all, it’s Madonna)!

MORE FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Here’s something to leave you with as you kick off your weekend with maybe a barbecue.  I had this satirical, morbid thought yesterday — the perfect solution for fighting world hunger and crime is not fundraisers and superheroes, but the dynamic duo of Dexter and Hannibal! 🙂

Dexter Hannibal

Have a great weekend.

Anthony

Finding My Own “Personal Jesus” In Chicago This Summer

The Beatles.  The Rolling Stones.  David Bowie.  Queen.  Led Zeppelin.  The Police.   Depeche Mode.  Erasure.  Dead or Alive.  Culture Club.  Duran Duran.  The Human League.  Spice Girls.  Coldplay.  One Direction.

Those acts are all part of a “British Invasion” and depending on your age, you’re likely a fan of, at least, one of the groups.

I was fortunate enough to see The Human League at Market Days in Chicago about ten years ago and they were awesome.  I had tickets to see Culture Club the last time they were going to tour the U.S., but Boy George’s visa was denied because of the criminal charges surrounding his holding a male escort “hostage” in his home!  Luckily, he cleaned up his act and I hope they tour in the next year or so.

And, back in 2002, when I was a news writer for Fox News Chicago, Andy Bell and Vince Clarke of Erasure passed through the newsroom for an interview to promote their new album and concert and I got to meet them and they signed a VHS copy of their “Wild! Live” concert for me.

April 2013 001 April 2013 002

It’s too bad that I didn’t get to go to that concert that night because they are phenomenal live (on video, at least).

As you know, from a previous blog, I got to see one of my childhood idols, Helen Reddy, last month in St. Charles, Illinois, and next month, I’ll be seeing one of my 1980s crushes, Rick Springfield, right here in the Quad Cities.

And, later this summer, I’ll get to mark another one of those English super groups off my list!

DM Chicago

I’ve been a huge fan of Depeche Mode since their first American hit, “People Are People”, reached #13 in 1984, and I can’t wait to see them in concert for the first time.  It has only taken me thirty years, but they still sound as good today as they did back when I was a teenager!

The band, made up of lead singer Dave Gahan, and keyboardists/guitarists/vocalists Martin Gore (who’s also the primary song writer) and Andy Fletcher, are ready to kick off their “Delta Machine Tour” to promote their 13th studio album of the same name.  That album just debuted in the Top Ten in both the U.S. and U.K.  As a matter of fact, every one of the band’s studio albums have debuted in the Top Ten in their native England and they’ve also had three other complication and greatest hits albums to hit the Top Ten there, too.

As a young gay man in western Kentucky, that first Depeche Mode song touched me.

It wasn’t just the new, amazing electronic sound and the vocals, but the lyrics, “It’s obvious you hate me/ Though I’ve done nothing wrong/ I never even met you/ So what could I have done” and “Now you’re punching and you’re kicking/ And you’re shouting at me/ I’m relying on your common decency/ So far it hasn’t surfaced/ But I’m sure it exists/ It just takes a while to travel/ From your head to your fist/ I can’t understand/ What makes a man/ Hate another man” were incredible and touching.

And, it didn’t hurt that the band was so cutting edge and that Dave Gahan was so dreamy!

DM 2

I’m counting down the days four months from now to see them rock Chicago (okay, Tinley Park) with classics and songs from the very moody and amazing new album, “Delta Machine”.  While I won’t get to meet Dave, Martin, and Andy, I have awesome seats!  I may be closing in on 50-years-old in the next year or so, but I’ll be channeling my former 19-year-old self that night!!

This may be where I lose some of you, but I want to introduce you to the band and let you know about their accomplishments and why they are still relevant and popular three decades after their first album and first songs.  Depeche Mode has sold more than 100 million singles and albums and are the “most successful electronic band in history”.

Depeche Mode, if you happen to read this and you’re still putting together your set list, please consider playing your first Top Ten hit (#8, 1981) in the U.K., “Just Can’t Get Enough”.  I know you don’t do it very often any more, but I absolutely love this one.  American radio missed the boat on this first release when it hit our shores in 1982, but it did reach #26 on the Billboard Dance chart.

In the U.K., the band have had 43 Top 40 songs.  Of that number, 14 have hit the Top Ten.  Sadly, they also hold the distinction of having the most Top 40 hits in the U.K. without reaching #1.  They have reached #4 three times.  “Soothe My Soul” is already being played on some American rock stations, so maybe that’ll be the one to top the charts in the U.K.!  They recently performed that song for David Letterman and it’ll give you a good idea of how great the new album is.

In America, the dance clubs love the band.  They’ve charted with 27 hits on the Billboard dance charts.  Of those, 16 have hit the Top Ten, and 10 of them have topped the chart.  Their first was “Strangelove” back in 1987, and just this week (yes, this week!), they topped the chart again with “Heaven”, the first single from the new album.

On the Billboard Hot 100, Depeche Mode has charted with six Top 40 hits:  “People Are People” (#13, 1984), “Personal Jesus” (#28, 1989), “Enjoy The Silence” (#8, 1990), “Policy of Truth” (#15, 1990), “I Feel You” (#37, 1993), and “It’s No Good” (#38, 1997).

In the U.S., Depeche Mode has had 11 album to be certified gold (shipment or sales of 500,000) or platinum (shipment or sales of 1 million-plus).  Their biggest selling American album was 1990’s “Violator”, which went triple platinum (three million-plus) and also featured three of their radio hits, “Personal Jesus”, “Enjoy The Silence” (their only Top Ten Hot 100 hit in America) and “Policy of Truth”.

Dave, Martin, and Andy, I can’t wait to see you later this summer.  You guys rock!

DM1

By the way, Quad Cities, believe it or not, the band performed at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois, back on March 23, 1985!!!!  So, here’s a live performance from that era and they probably did this song live here.

Depeche-Mode-Delta-Machine-Album-Art-mala-1024x997

If you haven’t picked up “Delta Machine”, what are you waiting for?  It’s incredible!

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — March 22, 2013

Happy Friday!  We’re one week away from Easter and it’s officially spring!

SPRING SNOW THIS WEEKEND

With the forecast of a storm that could bring some snow this weekend and March temperatures running more than 8° below average, I think we’re experiencing  “2013:  The Year Without A Spring”!

I’m thinking we’ll see 2-4″ of snow in the Quad Cities Saturday night and Sunday.  To our south, 4-6″ are possible and to our north, only 1-2″ of snow could fall.  It’s still early and these numbers could change.

Here are the chances of seeing 4″ of snow.  This forecast is from NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center.

Up to 4 Inches Saturday Through Monday

BE RESPONSIBLE, NOT SENSATIONAL!

I have a plea for all meteorologists!  Be responsible when you look at data and post it.  If it’s not your forecast, then avoid the panic it causes for many people.

I’m really appalled by a few “Chicken Little” forecasters that throw out a computer model projection with astronomical snow totals knowing full well that it would have to be a perfect scenario for that to happen.  And, to do this six days in advance!  Insane!  I really wish  people would think about re-posting this crap and hold those forecasters accountable.

It’s easier for people just to say that all weather forecasters are always wrong.  GRRRRR!!!!!!!!!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Groundhog

Aliens Long Marriage Mom Texting

SING IN YOUR SHOWER, HATER.  NOBODY WANTS TO HEAR YOU NOW!

Folk singer Michelle Shocked has never had mainstream success and I hope she never sings another note publicly again!

Last Sunday night, the singer went on an anti-gay tirade at a San Francisco club owned by a gay man in front of many gay patrons and all of her upcoming tour dates, except one (the Harmony Bar in Madison, Wisconsin) have been cancelled.

Michelle Shocked

While performing at Yoshi’s, she stunned the audience by saying, “When they stop Prop 8 and force priests at gunpoint to marry gays, it will be the downfall of civilization, and Jesus will come back,” and “You can go on Twitter and say, ‘Michelle Shocked says God hates fags.’

The show was shut down when about two-thirds of the crown walked out.

In the aftermath of the tour cancellations, Michelle Shocked tweeted, “First: “I’m abiding, letting everyone’s true colors show before I undertake a personal response to each & every tweet.” and  “Am neither against a woman’s right to choose nor gay marriage. Am a fundamentalist tho”.

Really, it doesn’t sound like you’re against gay marriage!  Good riddance!

REALLY READY FOR APRIL 1ST

No fooling here!  I’m ready for April Fool’s Day to arrive and for the Easter feast to be over with because I want to start eating really healthy again and working out.

Last summer when Ray and I lost all that weight (30 pounds for him and 25 for me), we both felt really good.  Since we’ve been very bad at our food choices since August, we’ve gained much of the weight back (17 pounds for me).

While I don’t plan on being so extreme this year, my goal is only ten pounds this spring and summer.

HILLARY, THANK YOU!

ONLY ONE CONCERT PLANNED, SO FAR!

After seeing Madonna’s “MDNA Tour” last October and Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way Ball Tour” in January before her hip injury forced the cancellation of the rest of the tour, I don’t have any big mega shows planned this year.

I’ll be seeing Rick Springfield (a teenage crush) in May at the Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf, Iowa.

rick springfield

And, there’s a part of me that would love to see Depeche Mode in Chicago in August.

Depeche Mode Tour 2013

Maybe there’ll be some big announcement coming soon that will really get me excited!  A Culture Club/Human League reunion tour would be fun!

PEEPS’ ’80S FRIDAY FLASHBACK

Rick Springfield 5

Since I’ll be seeing Rick Springfield in concert in May, I’ll feature him in my ’80s flashback.

The Australian gained television fame on “General Hospital” and scored his first hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971 with “Speak To The Sky”, which peaked at #14.  However, it would be a decade later when he shot to the top of the charts with “Jessie’s Girl”.

He would have four consecutive platinum albums (shipments of more than a million copies) from 1981-1984 and score a career total of 17 Top 40 hits with five of them reaching the Top Ten:  the aforementioned “Jessie’s Girl” (#1, 1981), “I’ve Done Everything For You” (#8, 1981), “Don’t Talk To Strangers (#2, 1982), “”Affair Of The Heart” (#9, 1983), and “Love Somebody” (#5, 1984).

FACEBOOK FLASHBACK PICTURES

With the dismal, cold weather we’re experiencing this March, I thought I’d share these pictures from my yard this time last year!

Hosta 032212 Peach 032212 Tulips 032212

EMAIL US!  TEXT US!  TWEET US!

Okay, the news business isn’t this bad?   Is it?   But, it’s funny.

AND, WHAT ABOUT HAIL DAMAGE?????

KABOOYOW!  I had to leave you with a smile!

Have a great weekend!

Anthony

I’m Ready To “Celebrate Youth” and Bop ‘Til I Drop

Growing up poor in western Kentucky in the 1970s and 1980s, I didn’t get to go to concerts.

The Purchase District Fairgrounds were located just down the road from our apartment in Mayfield, Kentucky.  While my mother got to see her idol, Conway Twitty, in concert (she always told us that he would be our stepfather, but that never happened), I remember hearing Loretta Lynn playing there, but I didn’t get to see her.

When I was a freshman at Murray State University, in the early-1980s, I got to interview the S.O.S. Band.  However, my first concert was John Cougar Mellencamp in Carbondale, Illinois, in 1985.  Being from a small town and an introvert, at the time, I missed out on seeing many of my favorite artists in concert:  Olivia Newton-John, Tanya Tucker, Helen Reddy, ABBA, The Human League, Culture Club, Duran Duran, Corey Hart and Rick Springfield.

Since then, I got to see The Human League “(Don’t You Want Me”) at Market Days in Chicago in the early 2000s and Australian Helen Reddy last week in St. Charles, Illinois.

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And, yesterday, I bought tickets to see another Australian, Rick Springfield.  He’ll be playing at the Waterfront Convention Center in Bettendorf, Iowa, on Friday, May 24, 2013.

Rick Springfield 3

Now that I’m in my late-40s, it’s great that I’m getting to see many of the acts that I grew up listening to and that they’re still recording new music.  I love hearing all of the hits from the 1970s and 1980s, but it’s fun that there’s new material that I haven’t heard.

rickspringfield_songsforendofworld

63-year-old Springfield released “Songs for the End of the World” in 2012 and he hasn’t slowed down one bit and still rocks.

While he charted with his first hit in 1971 (“Speak To The Sky” peaked at #14), he became a household name a decade later as Dr. Noah Drake on “General Hospital” (1981-1983) and as a Billboard Hot 100 chart topper for two weeks and Grammy Award winner (Best Male Rock Vocal Performance) for “Jessie’s Girl”.

Springfield would chart with two more hits from his 1981 platinum album (shipment of one million copies) “Working Class Dog”.  “I’ve Done Everything For You” (#8) and the under appreciated “Love Is Alright Tonight” (#20).

And, from that video, you’ll probably understand why I was so jealous that my sister, Tammy, got to see Rick in concert in the early-1980s.  How beautiful and sexy and you gotta love those ’80s bright colors!

Rick Springfield 4 Rick Springfield 6

Rick would go on to score four consecutive platinum albums starting with “Working Class Dog”.  That one was followed by 1982’s “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet”, “Living In Oz” from 1983, and “Hard To Hold” in 1984.

From that second album, “Success”, the lead off single, “Don’t Talk To Strangers” would be the biggest radio hit making it up to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.    The next two songs, “What Kind of Fool Am I?” (#21) and “I Get Excited” (#32) didn’t fare as well on the charts.  However, “What Kind of Fool Am I?” is still one of my favorites today.

And, the lyrics, “But the gods or whatever/Make the world go ’round/Shuffled when they should’ve cut” are some of the best ever written!

Rick Springfield Oz

His 1983 album, “Living In Oz” generated three hits, but only “Affair Of The Heart” (#9) reached the Top Ten.

After scoring one more Top Ten hit, “Love Somebody” (#5 in 1984), the next six Springfield hits would only reached the 20s on the chart.  His last Billboard Hot 100 hit to reach the Top 40 was “Rock of Life” in 1988 (#22).

In all, Springfield charted with 17 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100.  Of those, five reached the top ten with “Jessie’s Girl” as his only #1 song.

Working Class DogSuccess Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet

And, if Rick Springfield wasn’t such a good-looking singer, performer, actor, and family man, you have to love a guy that argued with his record label to feature his dog on the cover of two of his albums.  Ronnie (“Lethal Ron”), a bull terrier/great dane mix, who died in 1992, graced the cover of “Working Class Dog” and “Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet”.  I know that Ronnie and Miss ABBA are having a blast in puppy heaven right now.

Rick Springfield 2

I’m looking forward to seeing Rick in concert in May and if I’m lucky, I’ll get to meet him, so he can sign his “Late, Late At Night” autobiography that I have.  I’ll have to read before the show.

Rock on, Rick Springfield.

Anthony

You’ll Perform For How Much? Okay, I’ll Pay It To See You

I’m excited that we’ll be flying out to Las Vegas tomorrow to see Lady Gaga Friday night on the “Born This Way Ball” Tour.  This will mark my second or third time seeing Lady Gaga, depending on your definition of a concert.  I’ll explain that tomorrow. 🙂  What a tease!

Born This Way Ball Tour

As of now, the Lady Gaga concert is the only one I have planned in 2013.  However, I’d still love to see Helen Reddy, Olivia Newton-John, Shania Twain, Lorrie Morgan, and Depeche Mode in concert.  And, if the opportunity presented itself, I’d love to see Josh Groban, Reba, and Britney Spears again!

Last year, I saw only four concerts:  The Band Perry (Davenport, Iowa) , Elton John (Las Vegas), Madonna (Las Vegas), and Pam Tillis (Bettendorf, Iowa).  While two of those concerts were inexpensive (free and $15), the others were much more expensive ($125 and $375)!

I want to talk about how expensive concert tickets are these days, the best concert deal I know of, and share with you all of the acts that I’ve seen in concert one time.  Tomorrow, I’ll share the artists that I’ve seen multiple times.

2012 Top Tours

In a recent blog, I talked about Madonna’s “MDNA” tour being the number one worldwide tour in 2012 making $296.1 million .  But, today, I want you to focus on the number after the artist’s name, the average ticket price.  As you see, several artists in the Top Ten (Madonna, Roger Waters, Lady Gaga, Cirque Du Soleil – “Michael Jackson:  The Immortal”, and Elton John) all earned an average of more than $100 for a ticket!

Although the average Madonna ticket was $140.38, just outside the Top Ten, Barbra Streisand (#22) ticket prices averaged $263, Celine Dion (#29) $157, the Rolling Stones (#33) were the big winners in every sense with an average ticket price of $529!!!! At #37, people paid an average of $165 to see Andrea Bocelli.  And, Vicente Fernandez (#49) tickets averaged almost $141.

With these ticket prices, I checked to see how much I paid the last time I saw New Kids on the Block at Alpine Valley in East Troy, Wisconsin, in 1990.

New Kids 1990

What???? Only $25.50 (before service charges) for reserved seats!  Holy cow!  So, just as a comparison, I decided to go to Ticketmaster and check to see how much it’d cost to see 2013’s version of the New Kids, One Direction.  Since there wasn’t a concert in Milwaukee, I’ll use Tinley Park (near Chicago).

One Direction

I know this is like comparing apples to oranges, but what a difference.  $25.50 vs. $89.50!  Everything is more expensive these days.  Nevertheless, to see concerts, even in the Quad Cities, you still have to be ready to hand over your cash.

One of the best bargains I know is Northalsted Market Days held in early August in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago.  It’s the largest two-day street fair in the Midwest and it’s so much fun.  There are street vendors, food, liquor, live concerts (last year’s line-up included Olivia Newton-John, The Pointer Sisters, Sheena Easton, and Karmin), and lots of half-naked people!  I mean, seriously, you don’t see this every day (pictures from 2010)!  You gotta love gay pride and Market Days in Chicago!

Twister Market Days 2010 Gay Pride 2010

All for the bargain price of $8 a day for “Market Days”!

With that being said, I want to share the artists that I’ve seen in concert once!  Now, the list is long!   Keep in mind that several of these were at Market Days or they were opening acts, so I haven’t spent a fortune on concerts in the past 28 years.

For the artists that I didn’t take pictures of in concert, I’ll add a video or album cover!

My very first concert was in the mid-1980s — John Cougar Mellencamp in Carbondale, Illinois.  (This video is not from that tour, but it’s one of my favorite songs from John!)

Bette Midler (Las Vegas, Nevada – 2015)

Bette

Enrique Iglesias (Rosemont, Illinois – 2014)

Enrique Iglesias 2014

Erasure (Chicago, 2014)

Erasure 2014

Shania Twain (Las Vegas, Nevada — 2014)

Shania 2014

Olivia Newton-John (Las Vegas, Nevada — 2014)

Olivia 2014

Ke$ha (Tinley Park, Illinois — 2013)

Kesha June 2013

Rick Springfield (Bettendorf, Iowa — 2013)

Rick Springfield May 2013

Depeche Mode (Tinley Park, Illinois — 2013)

Depeche Mode Tour 2013

Britney Spears & Nicki Minaj (West Allis, Wisconsin — 2011) 

*I want to see Britney again.  Maybe another trip to Las Vegas when she starts her rumored residency there!*

Britney SpearsNicki Minaj

Josh Groban (Moline, Illinois — 2011)  

*Amazing musician.  I can’t wait for his new CD February 5th.  Maybe I’ll get to see him play live again.*

Josh Groban

Elton John (Las Vegas — 2012) 

*Amazing!  This was a bonus concert, since we went to Las Vegas for my birthday to see Madonna and got these tickets at the last-minute!*

Elton John

Dixie Chicks (Chicago — 2006) 

*Great entertainers*

The Human League (Chicago — 2002)  

*Although it took me 20 years to see them after their #1 hit, “Don’t You Want Me”, I absolutely loved seeing them.  I felt 18 again!*

Keith Urban  & Taylor Swift (Moline –2009) 

*Keith was amazing and Taylor was enjoyable back then.*

Keith Urban Taylor Swift

Scissor Sisters (Chicago — 2010) 

*What a fun time.  I had a blast!  I love my Scissor Sisters!*

Scissor Sisters

Lady Antebellum (Bloomington, Illinois — 2008) 

*Great energy and beautiful harmonies*

Lady Antebellum 2008

LeAnn Rimes & Phil Vassar  (Salisbury, Maryland — 2005) 

*LeAnn was so sweet.  The show was fun.*

LeAnn Rimes 2005Phil Vassar

“Glee in Concert” (Chicago — 2011) 

*Gretel’s birthday present and when Darren Criss (Blaine) walked by us, he touched my hand!  Swoon!”

Glee Live

Expose (Chicago — 2008) 

*Great dance band with many hits during my formative years in the late-1980s.  Fun time!*

Expose 2008

Clay Walker (Merrillville, Indiana — 1996)

Sweet Sensation (West Allis, Wisconsin — 1990) 

*Fun freestyle dance trio.  No frills show — just singing and basic choreography.*

Terri Nunn of Berlin (Chicago — 2009)

*She was beautiful and incredible.  I’ve been a fan of Berlin since the early-1980s when “Pleasure Victim” and “Sex (I’m A)… came out.*

Terri Nunn Berlin

Martin Solveig (Las Vegas — 2012) 

*French DJ that opened for Madonna.  He has so much energy.  I bought his CD, “Smash” and it was my second favorite of last year, behind Madonna!*

Kelly Clarkson (Moline — 2008) 

*This was the concert where she and Reba were on stage together and sang each other’s songs.*

kelly-clarkson

Faith Hill & Tim McGraw (Rhinelander, Wisconsin — 1996)  

*I met both of them in the early part of their careers before they were megastars.  I hope to see them again in Las Vegas this weekend!*

Faith Hill 1996 Tim McGraw 1996

Kristine W (Chicago — 2009) 

*One of the most talented and successful dance artists in Billboard Dance chart history!*

Kristine W

Joan Jett & The Blackhearts (Chicago — 2010) 

*It took almost 30 years to see her, but, even now, “I Love Rock & Roll”!*

Joan Jett

Jody Watley  (Chicago — 2009) 

*Looking For a New Love” anyone?*

Jody Watley

Jennifer Holliday (Chicago — 2010) 

*AMAZING!  The original Effie White from Broadway’s “Dreamgirls”!*

Jennifer Holliday

Jon Secada (Chicago — 2010)

Jon Secada

CeCe Peniston (Chicago — 2009) 

*”Finally, it has happened to me… Meeting Mr. Right, the man of my dreams/The one and only true love or at least it seems?/With brown cocoa skin and curly black hair…” *

CeCe

White Tie Affair (Chicago — 2010) 

*Lead singer Chris Wallace’s solo debut, “Remember When (Push Rewind)” was one of my favorite songs last year.  It’s still trying to catch fire at Top 40 radio.  Check it out.  I’ll make it easy for you.  I’ll put the video under his picture.* 🙂

White Tie Affair

David Kersh (Lubbock, Texas — 1997)

David Kersh

Martina McBride (Darien Lake, New York — 2001) 

*Part of Reba’s “Girls Night Out” Tour*

Martina McBride

Sara Evans (Darien Lake, New York — 2001) 

*Part of Reba’s “Girls Night Out” Tour*

Sara Evans

Jamie O’Neal (Darien Lake, New York — 2001) 

*Part of Reba’s “Girls Night Out” Tour*

Jamie_O'Neal

Jason De Rulo (Rosemont, Illinois — 2010) 

*Opened for Lady Gaga three years ago.  Great CD.*

Jason+Derulo+JasonDeruloCoverTCC

Tracy Lawrence (Davenport, Iowa — 2011) 

*Fun country music and very nice man.  I interviewed him in Lubbock, Texas, in 1997, and I introduced him to the stage in Davenport two summers ago!*

Tracy Lawrence

JoDee Messina (Bettendorf, Iowa — 2011)

JoDeeMessina

Amber  (Chicago — 2010) 

*Major international dance artist!*

Amber

George Strait (Rosemont — 2011)

*Saw the “King of Country” with Reba.*

George Strait

Lee Ann Womack (Rosemont — 2011)

Lee Ann Womack

Martha Wash (Chicago — 1991)

Bjorn Again (Chicago — 2002) 

*ABBA tribute band.  They were flawless!*

bjorn-again

En Vogue (Chicago — 2009)

En Vogue

Blake Lewis (Chicago — 2010) 

*”American Idol” runner-up to Jordin Sparks.*

Blake Lewis

Lucas Prata (Chicago — 2009)  *Dance artist*

Lucas Prata

Joe Nichols (Virginia Beach, Virginia — 2005)

Joe Nichols

Eden’s Edge (Moline — 2011)

Eden's Edge

Steel Magnolias (Moline — 2011)

Steel Magnolia

Patty Loveless (Columbus, Ohio — 2001) 

*This concert was my birthday present that year and I’d love to have new music from Patty and to see her again.*

Toby Keith (Tinley Park, Illinois — 1995) 

*Before he was all political and anti-Dixie Chicks, he was good in concert early in his career.*

Toby Keith

September (Chicago — 2010)  *Swedish dance band*

September

Linear (West Allis — 1990)

Linear

Dino (Cincinnati, Ohio — 1989)

Dino

I enjoyed this little trip down memory lane and I hope you did, too.  Tomorrow, I’ll feature the artists that I’ve seen in concert multiple times.  One of them I’ve seen enough times that I’m surprised there isn’t a restraining order!

By the way, I loved my shirt I wore for the Madonna concert and I already have one picked out for Gaga!

Madonna Anthony

Anthony