Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Rick Springfield to strip down with stories, songs at Penn State York's Pullo Center

The musician talks about touring, working on 'Sound City' and writing his first novel.

By Erin McCracken @FlipSidePA on Twitter

Rick Springfield enjoyed a rare moment last month. He was home.

But he still had phone interviews, writing sessions and studio time on his agenda.

"I can't really sit still," he said.

Springfield's spring is packed. He will be on the road with his full band and for solo dates. He'll bring his "Stripped Down" show to the area Tuesday, March 25, at Penn State York's Pullo Family Performing Arts Center.
Springfield said his full-band shows include tunes from his career arc and his latest album, "Songs for the End of the World." Later this summer, Springfield will hit the road with Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo.
He said his solo shows are completely different.

Rick Springfield will share stories and take fan questions during his March 25 concert.
Rick Springfield will share stories and take fan questions during his March 25 concert. (SUBMITTED)
"This is laid back," he said, adding that he likes to share stories and bring out different guitars. "There is a lot of humor and a Q&A after the two-hour show."

At first, Springfield said he was nervous to be so candid on stage, but the response from fans has boosted his confidence.

'Sound City'

Springfield had early success with his music in his native Australia before setting out for America. He tried acting at a time when his music prospects had faded and was cast as Dr. Noah Drake on "General Hospital."

The role coincided with his 1981 smash album "Working Class Dog," which spawned "Jessie's Girl."

A few years earlier, in 1976, Springfield said he'd been looking for a manager. Joe Gottfried, who ran Sound City Studios in Los Angeles, was looking to sign new artists.

"It felt like a good mix," Springfield said of the production deal. "We basically recorded a bunch of albums that nobody wanted. But (Gottfried) was really supportive."

They hit the right note with "Working Class Dog." It remains one of the biggest records from the studio, which was later visited by Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Weezer.

Several months ago, Springfield said he got an email from Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, formerly of Nirvana.

Grohl was working on a documentary about Sound City Studios and asked Springfield to be a part of the project. Several other musicians agreed to be interviewed.

From there, Springfield said the project grew legs. Grohl organized an album and tour to correspond with the documentary, "Sound City."

The soundtrack, which features Springfield and Grohl's song "The Man That Never Was," won a Grammy in January. Springfield said, for him, the effort honored Gottfried, who passed away in the 1990s.

"He was so proud of that studio," he said of Gottfried. "I kept seeing him on stage smiling."

Novel and star

Between touring, writing music and working on "Sound City," Springfield found time to focus on creative writing. He said it was the only thing he got attention for in school.

For years, his writing went into making music. But on May 6, he will release his first novel, "Magnificent Vibration." The story follows a man who connects with God via cellphone.

"I have a pretty eclectic view of religious practices and spirituality," Springfield said. "(The novel) has dark humor. It has a heart and a surprise ending."

About a week later, Springfield will get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame — a stretch he used to peruse years ago.

"When I first came over, I used to walk the boulevard looking for Aussies (on the Walk of Fame)," Springfield said. "It's kind of fun to be joining them."

In the coming months, Springfield said he might switch gears to acting again.

"I'm looking for a project that works," he added. "I like to try new things. I like to try to experiment."

If you go

Rick Springfield will bring his solo "Stripped Down" show to the stage 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, at Penn State York's Pullo Family Performing Arts Center, 1031 Edgecomb Ave., Spring Garden Township. For tickets, $75 and $55, call 717-505-8900 or visit For details about Springfield, visit

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