Scoot Blog: Rick Springfield - Better for different reasons!
by Scoot,posted Sep 9 2013 7:51PM
Baby Boomer rockers continue to define every era they occupy and right now those rockers are redefining what it means to have another birthday. When Paul McCartney wrote and sang, “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, whenI’m 64?” - that seemed to be an actual concern at the time.
Friday night on stage at the Joy Theater on Canal Street, Rick Springfield is another example of a Baby Boomer rocker shattering the ‘age barrier!’ At 64, Rick still has the look that made girls want him - and guys want to be him when his video for “Jessie’s Girl” was one of the dominant music videos in 1981 – the first year MTV went on the air. Rick has more than taken care of himself – he is in top shape and even at this stage in his career he can still take his shirt off on stage without the audience wondering ‘what happened to him?’ In fact, Rick and his band must have a group deal on a health club because the entire band is in great shape and defies the effects of the rough life of years in a rock band.
I have seen Rick Springfield in big arena shows in the past, but this is the first time I have seen him in a more intimate concert setting. Friday night’s show was the best Springfield show I have seen. Not because of the more intimate venue of the Joy Theater, but because I think he’s an even better performer now.
Rick’s energy and powerful stage presence make you feel like he’s playing each of his iconic hits – as well as his new songs – for the first time ever. The stage lighting effectively fit his image as a rock star that has grown up and the video panels that provided the backdrop behind the stage were used to bring the venue to life. At one point in the show, Rick took the audience on a trip through his past hits, past videos and past looks. The audience seemed to enjoy the Rick Springfield they were first introduced to in the early 80’s – but were not disappointed when the focus was back on Rick Springfield today!
Rick played the hits everyone wanted to hear, “Jessie’s Girl,”“Don’t Talk toStrangers,” “I’ve Done Everything For You,” “Human Touch,” Affair of the Heart” and “Love Somebody,” and when he played his fresh material you never had the feeling that he was trying to force it on the audience to promote CD sales. It all seemed to fit together. Rick recognized his own maturing process by singing The Beatles “When I’m 64” and then went into “Jet” by Paul McCartney. Rick Springfield may not be known as an accomplished guitarist, but he is - and proved it throughout the night – especially when he played “Pipeline!”
Friday afternoon before the show, I did an interview with Rick and it was the first time I had met him. Having interviewed countless rock stars and celebrities over the years, I am always prepared for the cocky, unapproachable star that thinks they are too big to be in contact with mere mortals. Rick Springfield was a refreshing surprise. He was warm, personal and fun and similar to his attitude on stage, he seemed to be as excited and willing to do an interview as I image he was when his career first took off.
His autobiography is titled “Late, Late at Night” and that suggests a time in one’s life when they are most alone and maybe most honest with themselves. In my personal time with Rick, the one thing that stood out to me most was his deep, philosophical nature about his career and himself.
Rick has admitted to dealing with depression since he was a child, but as someone who is part of the same generation and grew up with a severe case of obsessive-compulsive disorder, I had to ask him when did he first come to terms with what he was dealing with – since things like depression and O.C.D. were not understood in the way that such disorders are today.
Rick said it was in the very late 80’s when he first realized he had battled depression his entire life. “Jessie’s Girl” was a #1 hit in American and Australia in 1981, the year he won a Grammy. His career instantly exploded. And yet, because of my own battles with O.C.D., I could so relate to how everything seemed to be so great on the outside to the rest of the world – while being tortured on the inside. He said that all the fame and everything that goes along with that never took away the deep depression that haunted him from within.
Rick Springfield is a glowing example of how you can deal with those demons that try to control you, but you can move on. Things like, depression, O.C.D. and other brain disorders are common among those who tend to be creative. The lesson is learning to embrace what you don’t like about yourself, deal with it and use it as part of the creative process. Rick admitted that dealing with his depression is part of his writing and performing.
Rick Springfield on stage in 2013 gives you a lot more than a trip through your 80’s past – he gives you permission to get older without getting old. And the memories combined with the sound and visual of who and where he is today is hopefully a reminder that you haven’t changed that much either!
And if you have settled over the years and only remember what it was like to be young and dancing to Rick Springfield – he proves we can change without losing that person we have always been!