July 2018 - Cover Story: Rick Springfield
Being a child of the 80’s, the name Rick Springfield was synonymous with quite a few projects - General Hospital, Battlestar Galactica, or Jessie’s Girl. I remember watching General Hospital with my mom and swooning, yes, I said swooning, over the cute medical professional, Dr. Noah Drake. Come to find out he’s more than just a soap opera heartthrob. Springfield is a musician. He was destined to let his music be heard. “I just do what I do and let the chip fall where they may. I don’t stress about how I am viewed. At this point, I could give a fuck.”
Rick picked up the guitar at the age of 13 and never put it down. It lead him to work with such bands as MPD Ltd., Wickedy Wak and Zoot. His debut solo single, Speak to the Sky, made it to the charts, leading to a debut album and a move to the United States. Doing this time Springfield stayed steady with his music, but also accepted other opportunities, including a Saturday morning cartoon show, Mission: Magic! and guest starring on several primetime television dramas. But 1981 would lead to his biggest break. Springfield released Working Class Dog and the album spawned a number hit, Jessie’s Girl. Springfield couldn’t have imagined the fame that would follow with the release, especially since he thought it wasn’t the strongest song on the album. “I thought there were better songs on that album (Working Class Dog), but I am happy that people got that song. I put a lot into it and it was a true to life moment, which most long lived songs are.
Springfield’s biggest hit lead to soundtracks, movies, and television shows. With all the projects coming his way he still feels that the next project will be his favorite. “Anything that is history IS history to me and I am not into it at all. I only look forward, which is both good and bad for my head. Honestly, life is all about what you look forward to.”
His career has established a large fan base who will contest that Springfield is the nicest man in showbiz, but Rick has to strongly disagree. “I am not the nicest guy in showbiz, Sammy Davis was,” exclaimed Springfield. “I met him at the first Night of 1000 stars and he was a General Hospital fan and was a doll. I am a dick compared to him. Sorry to burst your bubble. You wouldn’t like me at my worst.” Having a career as long and successful as Springfield’s is not an easy feat. Rick has dealt with depression for several decades, making moments on the road difficult and one of the hardest part of being a part of the music scene as Springfield explained. “Being alone when nothing was happening [was the hardest]. When you choose to be your own boss it is both releasing and frightening. So I have experienced both.” But when it comes to the one thing that keeps him grounded, it was a no-brainer. “My family. Nothing else. There is no money or fame on the face of this planet that will heal you if you are broken, and we all are broken. Family and a meaningful existence with people you care about is all that really matters.”
Fans in New Mexico will have an opportunity to see Springfield live at Isleta Amphitheater on August 6th. The show will include the spectrum of his discography including Working Class Dog, Hard to Hold, and Tao, but he shared some of his upcoming projects. “A new book, a new album (Looking for) the next acting project and doing more with what I have and what I am. And it is not enough.”
Springfield has experienced more in his life that others can only dream. When it comes to what he wants people to remember him for, his no-nonsense personality answered with a response that sums up what Rick Springfield is all about. “Other than what my children think of my life my legacy is meaningless.”
The opportunity to interview Rick has me using the phrase, “Never just a book by his cover.” After decades of watching him on television and in music videos, I now know that this man is one that gives you his views - straight and to the point, but can be humble about what success has brought to him.