Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Late, Late at Night

by Rick Springfield
Apr 19 - May 16, 2011

Late, Late at NightOK, here goes. I have always said that Rick was my first boyfriend before I met JBJ (and Olivia was my first fave girl before I was introduced to Stevie), so I was pretty excited to hear that he wrote a memoir. Little did I know that by the time I got to the end of it, I would kind of hate him. Am I still a true fan? I think so. "Jessie's Girl" will always bring out the guitar leg in me, as well as remind me of the fight I got into at the Basement with a friend's ex-wife, but I guess that's a different story.

My first thoughts, after reading the first 30 pages or so, was that this guy must have failed English class miserably, and that he should have enlisted a professional writer's help. RS had a bit of trouble with past and present tense and when it's proper to use which one. I'm guessing that his goal was to write with his stream of conscious, but it didn't work. Plus, he couldn't complete a thought before jumping to a new one. He would start a story about something that happened when he was 13, and in less than a sentence, end at age 31. When he explained that he was clinically depressed, it all began to make sense. This depression even got "his" own name: Mr. D. Once I got used to that craziness, I found the memoir to painfully drag on. I mean, I really don't care what he did when he was 13! I don't think it was necessary to take up over half the book on a childhood no one cares about when in truth no one ever really heard of him until his early 30s.

Pretty much from the time RS was 14, all he cared about was having sex. Once he finally found a willing woman, he practically made it his life's goal to have sex with anyone who looked at him sideways. I'm in no way naive, and I totally get that rock stars are all so sex-starved, but something about the way RS told his story made him a total sleaze ball. Why does it sound so much more acceptable coming from someone like Tommy Lee? I don't know. The point where the book lost all credibility to me was when RS described his relationship with Linda Blair (green-vomiting, head-spinning, possessed girl from The Exorcist). When they met, he "took her virginity." She was 15 and he was 25. The way he told it made it seem like the most normal, natural occurrence between a grown man and a teenage girl. He even said that her mother approved of the relationship. Ewwww! Pedophile!! I'm sorry, but that's just gross. And remember, he wasn't even famous at this point.

He continued to go on and on about the millions of affairs he had all while explaining that his wife is his soul mate and how lucky he is to have her in his life. The book was just completed in 2010 and he was still having affairs a year ago! Really not sure why his wife continues to forgive him. And I guess at this point I really don't care anymore.

The one small redeeming subject was of his love for dogs. Dogs seemed to have been what kept him sane through his turbulent past. But by the last few chapters, I was so fed up with his ridiculous behavior that I wasn't interested in his stupid dogs. But he is extremely passionate about his craft. For that I can thank him for many memories, great songs, and my first-ever concert!

He tried to regain (my) credibility near the end by explaining:

"I remember meeting a friend at a party in the early '70s, who'd just had a big hit with the song 'Baby Come Back.' He was telling me that the first thing he did was go out and buy a Ferrari. Six months later he was asking me if I knew anyone who wanted to buy it. That stuck in my head, and although it's a relief not to have to worry about paying the electric bill every month, for me, money is just a way of keeping score of how well I am or am not doing. What it's really about is the joy of writing music people want to hear, playing to people who want to celebrate with me; of being in a career I'm passionate about..."

But he went on to finish that thought by completely ruining the poignancy of the moment:

"...and having sex with lots of strangers."

I'm not sure what RS was hoping to accomplish with this memoir. In my opinion, he gained a few enemies with it. If he intended to heal wounds or mend fences with people, I can't imagine that he succeeded. For myself, I won't be attending another one of his cheesy concerts – held at a Rib-Burn-Off near you. Unless I get free tickets.

Oh, and extra credit goes to whoever can guess who sang "Baby Come Back" without Googling it.

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