When I was younger I wasn’t the most sophisticated kid on the block music-wise. In a moment of blushing honesty I’ll even confess that there was a moment in my life where I honestly didn’t know which singer was (Bruce) Springsteen and which one was (Rick) Springfield. To a small town Louisiana boy like myself whose family listened only to country music, it wasn’t such a clear-cut answer. After all, both of their last names had the word “SPRING” in it!
Decades later, of course, I can tell them apart by their choices in earrings.
In all seriousness, the passing years have found me becoming a dedicated fan of Springsteen, especially (and ironically) the material he put own during my earliest years of life. Springfield, however, other than the occasional moments when I’m listening to a classic rock radio station and “Jessie’s Girl” comes on, I am just as unfamiliar with. This is why, of course, when I was offered the chance to review a new live DVD of Rick Springfield in concert, I agreed.
Maybe afterwards my inner-child would have his reference point, at last!
Eventually the DVD arrived in the mail and was placed on one of the bookshelves in my bedroom. There, of course, it sat. And sat. And sat some more. Turns out my inner-child was more interested in other things than clearing up the ages-old question it had of the “differences” between Springsteen and Springfield.
When I finally did push play and begin to watch the DVD, though, I found myself growling at said inner-child and pushing him way to the corner of my mind. A self-imposed mental “time-out,” as it were.
He’s still not speaking to me.
That’s okay, though, as the more mature part of my brain is still staring at me in wonder. When did Rick Springfield learn to play guitar like that? When did he learn to play other songs than “Jessie’s Girl”? Where the hell have I been that I haven’t noticed how good he still sounds and plays? Why am I sitting here asking myself question after question instead of watching the small window on my iMac where I have the concert playing as I type this?
Turns out that Springfield has always been touring and writing and performing and that it was only my own childish preconceptions that had pushed him back into the recesses of my mind as being the more “unworthy” of the two guys with “SPRING” in their name.
As usual, I was wrong. So far, I’ve found myself watching this DVD at least a half-dozen times, since that initial viewing. Touring in support of his The Day After Yesterday CD, which came out in 2005, the concert finds him performing a very nice mixture of original material as well as the amazingly GOOD cover songs that made up said CD. In fact, let me give a track-listing here:
I’ll Make You Happy
Affair Of The Heart
I’ve Done Everything For You
Rock Of Life
Don’t Talk To Strangers
I Get Excited
Living In Oz
Waiting For A Girl Like You (Bonus)
Love Is All Right Tonight (Bonus)
My Father’s Chair (Bonus)
One of the odd reasons that I find myself enjoying this DVD perhaps a bit more than I might have had it been comprised solely of Springfield original material, is that I knew so many of the songs that he chose to cover. Actually, on second thought, the word cover is quite unfair here. Sure, for example, “Broken Wings” wasn’t written by Springfield, but man-o-man does he sing the hell out of that song and make it something unique and definitely of himself.
Other favorites of mine on this DVD are “Affair of the Heart,” “Don’t Talk To Strangers,” “Jessie’s Girl,” and “Waiting For A Girl Like You.” That’s not to say that I like these and only these songs, however. These are just my favorites of the moment. Decked out in his suit and armed with his guitar, Rick Springfield in concert is something to see on this DVD release.
Full of heart, passion, energy and a genuine sense of love for music and for the people that came to listen to him play, I can’t imagine a better way to spend an afternoon than popping this into your own DVD player, and pressing play — other than going see him live in concert, for yourself.
Which is something I hope to do one day.