Thursday, February 19, 2015

Rick Springfield strips down on CD and onstage

Rick Springfield strips down on CD and onstage
By Sarah RodmanGLOBE STAFF  FEBRUARY 19, 2015

Rick Springfield fans will be hearing classic songs like “Jessie’s Girl” and “I’ve Done Everything for You” in a new way when he takes the stage at the House of Blues on Wednesday. As part of his “Stripped Down” tour, to support a live CD and DVD of the same name that arrives on Tuesday, the veteran pop-rocker is going it alone, reimagining many of his 17 top 40 hits and a few covers with just his guitars, his voice, and his laptop, and telling a few stories along the way.

And they will also be seeing something different from the high-energy performer who regularly roams the crowd during his performances: Springfield will be sitting down.

It’s been a busy few years for the Australian singer-songwriter as he has bounced around various platforms making his mark. His candid 2010 memoir, “Late, Late at Night” and 2014 debut novel, “Magnificent Vibration,” both hit the New York Times bestseller list. On television, Springfield had a memorable arc on “Californication” in 2009, playing a comical version of himself, and he reprised his role as Dr. Noah Drake on “General Hospital” in 2013. He is currently shooting the upcoming second season of “True Detective,” on HBO and later this year will star opposite Meryl Streep in the big screen dramedy “Ricki and the Flash,” directed by Jonathan Demme (“The Silence of the Lambs”) from a script by Diablo Cody (“Juno”).

Springfield has also been in the news for a recently wrapped lawsuit in which a fan claimed to have been injured by Springfield’s posterior during a concert. The jury found in his favor last month.

We recently chatted with Springfield by phone from LA who says, incredibly, that this is the very first solo tour of his more than 40-year career. “Even when I was starting out I always had a band.”

Q. What was the inspiration for “Stripped Down”?

A. I wrote my autobiography, and I realized I had a lot of stories that turned into songs, so that was kind of the genesis of it. And I just worked it up through trial and error. (Laughs.) It’s pretty great to play all kinds of different songs. I play the first song I ever wrote when I was 18. I play a blues song that I played in a blues band, and a song I played in a band when I went to Vietnam [to entertain US troops] in 1968. I play different versions of the hits. It’s a very different show energy-wise from the band show. It’s a lot of funny stories and some serious ones, and a very different set list from the band show, intimate. I can hear the audience and they can call out songs. I really love to play with just me and a couple of guitars up there.

Q. You’ve been keeping yourself busy the last few years, but when you got the call to play opposite Meryl Streep in “Ricki and the Flash,” was that a pretty easy yes?

A. Yeah, I had a tour booked in Australia for the first time since I went solo, and we had to postpone that. It’s obviously something you can’t really turn down.

Q. What is it about, and who do you play in the film?

A. It’s about a woman who leaves her family and comes to LA to make it as a singer, and ends up in a bar band in Tarzana. (Laughs.) I play her boyfriend in the band and Kevin Kline plays her ex-husband. It’s a great family story. It’s really very clever.

Q. Can you tell us anything about your character on the second season of “True Detective”?

A. It’s got the lid really tightly clamped on it. You don’t get the script until a couple of days before. One of the makeup people was offered $10,000 to spill the beans because it’s such a hot show. It’s really run like the CIA. It’s run better than the CIA, I should say.

Q. “Magnificent Vibration” got some very positive reviews. . . . Are you working on a sequel?

A. Yeah, I was very surprised, I got better reviews for my novels! We’re busy doing a new record right now, but hopefully I will be able to get to it. I love writing – it’s my favorite thing to do.

Q. With the lawsuit, predictably people made jokes about “ass-ault” and the like. But I’m guessing this was not really a laughing matter for you since it stretched out over several years?

A. No, it took up a lot of time, and I didn’t want to settle because it would’ve sent the wrong message. So I went to the mat with it, and it was worth it. I think it was a good verdict for every touring artist because it would’ve set a precedent. It was bogus, what was claimed, it was just wrong all the way down the line.

Q. At least you have fodder for your own jokes now that the case is closed.

A. (Laughs) Yeah, we do mention it.

Interview was condensed and edited. Sarah Rodman can be reached at

Rick Springfield talks Long Island performance, what's next

Rick Springfield signs copies of his disc "Stripped Down" in West Babylon. Photo Credit: Jay Gilbert

If you grew up in the '80s, it was nearly impossible to avoid Rick Springfield. With hit songs like "Jessie's Girl," "Love Somebody" and "Don't Talk to Strangers" playing in heavy rotation on the radio and MTV and his popular stint as Dr. Noah Drake on "General Hospital," Springfield was everywhere.

Today Springfield, 65, still manages to look youthful and perform with exuberance to doting fans. He will hold an in-store performance, Q&A and album signing at Looney Tunes in West Babylon on Saturday in support of his new live release, "Stripped Down."

Is doing an in-store a throwback for you?

It's pretty old school. I haven't done one in years. Now it's a novel approach to release an album. Fans like it when you come out and do personal stuff. I get the value of that.

What was the inspiration for stripping down some of your older songs?

I realized that there are a lot of stories behind my songs that are fun to tell. I wanted to see if they'd hold up and I could pull it off. If you can't get it across with just a guitar and voice, something is missing.

You were very candid in your 2010 memoir, "Late, Late at Night." How did it feel to have all your personal stuff out there?

I enjoyed writing it, but once I realized other people were going to read it, I got very nervous. I called the publisher and said, "You can't release this book!" They talked me off the ledge and convinced me that it should be out there and not to worry about the dark stuff like my depression. I bit the bullet and went with it. Everyone was very supportive.

"Jessie's Girl" has resonated with fans for decades. Why does that song stand out among the rest?

It's a familiar story told with a bit of humor that was released in the summer. People just picked up on it. I think I've written better songs, but that seems to be the one people know the most.

How do you feel about being considered an icon of the '80s?

I'm comfortable with it in that I get the pigeonholing thing. But I think the best stuff I've done has been outside of the '80s. On the other side of that, I'm glad I'm not completely forgotten.

What kind of impact did being on "General Hospital" have on your music career?

It was both positive and negative, as life always is. I'm a big believer in ying-yang. There's nothing all great and nothing all bad, it's usually a combination of both. It was great in that it added fuel to the rocket ride and it was bad in that some radio stations stopped playing "Jessie's Girl" once they found out I was on a soap opera. There's always been the thought that I'm a one-dimension pop guy. But I'm actually a three-dimensional pop dweeb.

What's your current live show like?

It's a storytelling format. The great thing about it is that I can change it up because there are no other band members to cue. Even in the question and answer session, people can say, "Why didn't you play this song?" and I can just pick up the guitar and start singing it. I love that aspect of it. It's intimate and very free-form.

You seem fan friendly. Do you enjoy meeting them?

I haven't always been like that, but once I realized they were doing it for reasons, I thought it was about time I did, too. I realized the importance and genuineness of real fans. I like to meet them. They come from the same place you did when you first got into music and someone caught your ear. We are all fans of somebody. When I first met Paul McCartney, it was a big deal to me.

When did you start to embrace it?

I took a break in 1985, when things were still roaring. I got very down and had to pull the plug to survive. I was away for a long time. I did my first live gig in the early '90s, and the people who came out were really excited. It was a thrilling experience and I really got that connection.

In the song, "If Wishes Were Fishes," you say, "I wish people would stop calling me Rick Springsteen." Is that something you've dealt with a lot?

Yeah, I have, but it's really a joke. There is some confusion, and I get it with the name. It couldn't be much closer. I heard Bruce gets that occasionally, too, so I don't feel so bad. But I've actually never met him.

Your live shows are known for their high energy. What keeps you so pumped on stage?

I absolutely love playing live. It's like you are throwing your best party and everybody is there for the right reason. I totally get my energy from the audience. I can go up there not as pumped as normal and the fans just lift me up.

You are going to be in "Ricki and the Flash" with Meryl Streep. What was it like acting opposite her?

We shot it in New York last fall. I play Meryl's boyfriend. She's the singer in a band. The story, written by Diablo Cody, is amazing. Kevin Kline plays her ex-husband. Jonathan Demme directed it. It was a great experience and I learned a lot.

Last year you celebrated 30 years of marriage. How do you balance your personal life and being in the entertainment business?

I'm actually away less than a regular hardworking person. I found a great balance. I don't go away for six months at a time. The longest I go away is for two weeks. Home life has always been important to me. My family is No. 1 and it helps that it's my focus.

You often use dogs on your album covers. What do dogs bring to your life?

They are Prozac covered in fur! I've had as many as three, but I have one at the moment, a Norwich terrier called Bindi. I've always had dogs in my life. They are the greatest invention.

You are 65, but you look far younger. How do you pull that off?

I watch what I eat and work out. I realized that it didn't matter if I was rich and famous or married happily if I wasn't well.

What is coming up next for you musically?

I'm in the middle of recording a new record. I have 15 new songs filled with great hooks and lyrics that say something about certain moments in my life. I even wrote a song with Jay DeMarcus from Rascal Flatts. It will be coming out later this year.

RICK SPRINGFIELDWHEN | WHERE Noon, Saturday Looney Tunes, 31 Brookline Ave., West Babylon

INFO Must purchase CD (sold out, check for last-minte availability), 631-587-7722,

He's Back Rick Springfield records, tours and nabs movie, TV roles

Rick Springfield records, tours and nabs movie, TV roles

NH Weekend Editor

Rick Springfield has 17 Top 40 hits, a Grammy Award and sales of more than 25 million albums, but at 65,
the versatile performer is racking up some career firsts — including jamming with a guitar-toting Meryl Streep and shooting scenes for the new season of HBO’s hit “True Detective” series.

Springfield, known for tunes including “Jessie’s Girl,” “Affair of the Heart,” “I’ve Done Everything for You” and “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” brings his “Stripped Down” tour to New Hampshire for a show Sunday night at the Palace Theatre in Manchester.

Coinciding with the winter road trip, a CD/DVD to be released Tuesday, Feb. 24, focuses on some of the pared-down performances he’s been doing as of late. The more intimate shows include behind-the-scene stories, Q&A segments with the audience and fan favorites, including the comedic tune “If Wishes were Fishes.” (Among the things he lists as his own wishes are that his neighbor would choke on his yappy dog, that he’d never seen Miley Cyrus twerk and that people would quit calling him Rick Springsteen.)

Springfield recently shared some thoughts about expanding his acting resume, releasing one disc and working on another, and sacrificing some sleep to fit it all in between ongoing full-band and solo-show gigs.

NH Weekend: I understand that (in addition to releasing the “Stripped Down” CD/DVD), there’s another new disc in the works. Where are you in the process, and what kind of vibe are you exploring?

Springfield: We’ve just finished recording the basics for 15 new tracks and are hoping to be done pretty soon ... maybe a month. I’m touring a lot in February so I’ll have to work around that. The vibe is positive, upbeat songs mostly with big hooks and lots of guitars. (This disc is slated for release late this year or early next year.)

NH Weekend: You’ve played some interesting versions of yourself from “Californication” to “Family Guy,” and now you’re sharing screen time with Meryl Streep for the film “Ricki and the Flash” and appearing in the second season of HBO’s gritty crime series “True Detective” with Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn. What do these two latest roles bring to the table for you? Are they tapping into certain aspects of your own career and life?

Springfield: Yes and no. Every actor uses what he can from personal stuff in a role, but it has to go further than that, otherwise you’re just playing yourself all the time. The writing on both projects is so great and the casts amazing, so it’s kicking up my acting game — playing with the big boys and girls.

NH Weekend: Your performance schedule over the years seems consistently jammed with solo shows, full-band performances and concert cruises, yet you’ve somehow found time to pen books (a memoir, “Late, Late Night,” and a novel, “Magnificent Vibration”), pursue acting gigs, and contribute to projects like Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl’s “Sound City — Real to Reel” project in between all that. How do you find the energy, motivation and enthusiasm? And do you ever sleep?

Springfield: I do sleep — Mondays from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. I love what I do, so the energy is there naturally. It’s not always fun. Sometimes (there’s) a lot of pressure, but over all I get very high from doing different things.

NH Weekend: During the Q&A last spring at your show at The Colonial Theatre in Keene, I got a kick out of seeing how loyal your fanbase remains, with audience members waving album covers of 1981’s “Working Class Dog,” telling stories of how your music has impacted their lives, and, of course, asking for birthday hugs, autographs and cell phone pix. I would imagine that over the decades, you’ve gotten used to these reactions, but are there moments when it’s surreal? Any instances recently that stick in your mind?

Springfield: There are times when I sit back and say, ‘What the eff happened?’ Most of the time, it’s just life.

The number of years some folks have been fans is pretty humbling.

As far as surreal moments, certainly walking into a rehearsal room and seeing Meryl Streep with a guitar strapped to her and knowing we were going to jam was pretty up there.

Monday, February 16, 2015

‘It was pretty intimidating:’ Rick Springfield on making out with Meryl Streep

By Larry Getlen
Photo: Jay Gilbert
Here was a time when Rick Springfield really did not want to talk about himself.
As the “Jessie’s Girl” singer prepared to release his 2010 memoir, “Late, Late at Night,” he became so nervous about the book that he tried to shut it down.
“I finished writing it, and about six weeks before release, I called the publisher and said I don’t want this released, because I suddenly realized that people would be reading it,” says Springfield. “They talked me off the ledge.”
Since then, Springfield has concocted a concert format in which he plays songs and tells stories that span his 65 years. He was scheduled to perform at the Concert Hall at New York Society for Ethical Culture on Saturday; “Stripped Down” — a CD/DVD version of the show — hits stores Feb. 24.
“The song I wrote when I was 15, ‘Painted Girl,’ I pulled out of the closet for a laugh,” says Springfield. “I tried to make it sound like The Beatles, but it didn’t work, because I was a 15-year-old kid. Now I play it as it sounded in my head, very Beatles-like, and it’s kind of cool.”
In his 30s, Springfield joined the soap opera “General Hospital,” but it’s now, at an age when most are
easing into retirement, that he’s really getting some Hollywood cred.
In the film “Ricki and the Flash,” he plays the love interest of none other than Meryl Streep. And on Season 2 of the HBO hit “True Detective,” Springfield has a top-secret role. Both are due this summer.
In “Ricki,” Streep stars as an aging rock star looking to make amends to the people left in her wake over the years. Springfield was cast for a touch of authenticity. “I was on the road, and I got a call saying they were looking for an actor who can play guitar for real,” he recalls.
Streep, meanwhile, only picked up a guitar two months before filming. Still, Springfield insists, “I’ve seen photos from the set and she looks more comfortable with a guitar on her than I do! It’s pretty amazing. I saw how brave she was — and she didn’t need to be because she’s who she is, but she was experimenting. She learned it all — not just playing the guitar, but playing and singing [at the same time].”
He admits that co-starring — and making out — with Streep had its nervewracking moments.
“It was pretty intimidating at first, but she was incredibly welcoming,” he says. “We’re playing boyfriend and girlfriend, and she scanned that from the get-go. She was very affectionate, welcoming and warm. [But] it was hard for me, when doing a scene with her, not to stop myself and go, ‘Wow.’ ”
As for “True Detective,” he can only say that he shot one episode of the show so far and might be shooting more in March, and that this is a “very different” role than people are used to seeing him in.
“[HBO] wouldn’t even acknowledge that I was in the cast, initially,” Springfield says. “They have a CIA clamp on. Someone offered one of the makeup people like 10 grand to spill the beans on the new season!”
Original Article

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Stripped Down shows announced

"Stripped Down" shows just added to the tour schedule:

March 21 - Lakeside Casino - Osceola, IA

April 10 - Texan Theater - Greenville, TX

April 19 - Lincoln Theater - Washington, DC

Photo by Jim Distin

Texas shows cancelled

Due to scheduling conflicts, two Texas "Stripped Down" shows have been cancelled:

March 5 - Corpus Christi
March 6 - El Paso

Photo by Renata Hearn

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Interview: ‘Rick Springfield’ Talks His Tour, General Hospital And Working With Meryl Streep

Rick Springfield is out on tour and doing stripped down shows. Just him with a guitar playing and telling stories to the audience. He’s also in a new movie with Meryl Streep “Ricki and the Flash” and we talked a little about General Hospital. He’s coming to Texas for shows in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio. You can listen below to the interview.

Original article:

Tuesday, February 3, 2015