My sister’s birthday is just three days after mine in August, so this year we decided to treat ourselves to double birthday gift of seeing Rick Springfield in a very small venue in Cohasset, which is on something we Bostonians call the “South Shore.” It’s also known as the place of “new money,” from like 100 years ago, as opposed to the North Shore, which is known as the place of “old money,” which I guess is somewhere between the Pilgrims and when people started making money. I have “no money,” which is why my fabulous sister treated me, but I digress.
We saw him at a very intimate venue called the South Shore Music Circus. The website says it seats 2,300–it’s like a circus tent with the stage in the middle and the seats going around 360 degrees. Half was closed off for Rick’s performance, (yes, we are on a first-name basis), so there was room for about 1,000 people and there were only a couple of hundred of us. So we were close to Rick. Wicked close, but we behaved ourselves. Here are the top 6 things you might not know about Rick Springfield:
1. The man has not, as my friend Mike says, “gone to seed.” The guy is 65 years old, and still has his rocker bod, his hair, his guitar muscled arms, and has had just enough plastic surgery to make him look good, but not freakish. He looks 50 and he’s hot. How many rock/pop icons can you say that about?
2. The guys who liked him in high school and got beat up for it because Rick was “strictly for girls” are vindicated. Not only is he still rockin’, he played four different guitars with licks that would make you cry and/or your fingers ache to hold a six string, including a blues guitar with a slide. As he said in the Q&A after the show, “You can tell them all to fuck off.” Amen, Rick.
3. He grew up in Australia, and when he was still a teenager, he and his band mates went to Vietnam in 1968. To entertain the US troops. They had to hunker down in the bunkers a few times during the shelling. Vietnam. 1968.
4. The people who go see him are old. Except my sister and me. We’re totally hot and have NOT gone to seed. But whoa, those other people. They may think they are our age, but they are nothing like us. In fact they are waaaaay older and weirder (see item # 5). We’re totally cool.
5. We sat next to a woman from Kansas who decided to vacation in Boston because Rick Springfield was playing here. She showed us her pictures with him that time they were staying at the hotel together after a show, and from the time she paid $300 for a meet and greet. ‘Nuff said.
6. Rick is a class act. About 2/3 of the way through his set, his roadie came out to have an extended talk with him. Rick’s funny, so he made a joke, “Look over there!” while they talked. the roadie left, and without missing a beat, he started talking about how he came to write his most well-known song, “Jesse’s Girl.” He took a stained glass class and lusted after a women in the class who was there with her boyfriend.
“I went home and tried to write a song about Gary and his girlfriend, but I realized, there is no rhyme for ‘girlfriend’.” He told us the story, sang the song, and then had to shut it down at 10:20 pm, because the Circus is smack dab in a suburban neighborhood and they complain when the music goes past 10:30. Really? 10:30? This is why people hate suburbia. Maybe you should have bought a house in a different neighborhood. When I lived in the Fenway and the Red Sox were in the playoffs, I heard the damn fans screaming all night long, but you didn’t hear me bellyaching about it.
Damn suburbanites. So I could have probably told you 10 things about Rick, but the crabby, unhip, “new money” people in Cohasset prevented me from learning any more. Maybe I’ll have to go to Kansas when he plays there next, for vacation you know.
Photo credit: Commons.wikimedia.org e