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A Respectable Musician

I have had the opportunity to see and meet Mr. Rick Springfield several times particularly in the late 1990s and 2000. I also am a very devoted and loyal fan of his. I found out why I liked him the moment I met him. His love of music being the strongest force in my liking him straight off. Hearing him, watching him, and experiencing it with others who understand...Rick has a devoted and loyal following. He treats his fans with great respect and has from the the beginning!

Here is my "take" on Richard Springthorpe/Rick Springfield...
The man and his music! Oh yes, and his acting!

Rick Springfield is often under-rated by many his own music/record industry peers, ranging from radio DJs to record label executives, but he has gotten a lot of respect and love from his fans as well as some "closet" insiders in the music biz.

Rick has worked in the music industry for many years.
Even before he came to America in the Autumn of 1972.

He worked on his music and songwriting skills, perfecting them until he felt ready to make his solo LPs <--- [older version of the compact discs for those who don't know/remember want those are!] That is, for every Long Playing recording he has ever done. He had written for a few bands/artists as well as performed in them as a lead guitarist. I personally think he is a great guitarist. I say this with certain conviction. I have heard many guitar players, many are really, really good guitarists but not many have the instruments' "soul" that Rick has. When he plays, HE IS A PART OF HIS GUITAR AND HE LIVES HIS MUSIC! I know this sounds rather strange but if you had the opportunity to see him play, [please do if you haven't!] then you have to appreciate his initutive kinship-like way he plays the guitar and sings his own specifically written songs. He does strikingly well with others tunes as well.

Watch as his eyes have that near heaven/hellish look and the intensity in his face, regardless of the way he looks, that is. A few guitarist have this quality, Jimmy Hendrix, Peter Frampton, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Carlos Santana to say a few.

I feel that this may be related to the unusual and highly creative loner instinct. Mind ya now, I mean most of us are a loner at one point or another in our lives, but what I mean here is the state of being alone to be creative. The term is by definition is a theory/doctrine of being highly individualistic. In that, you need no other input but the input that one creates by oneself. Sure it's great to have others' inputs but the loners don't go looking for it. It just is there, in that person. When you are by yourself you can create an original quality and that relates to talent. All artists from painters to writers often have a loner instinct as well, not just musicians.

Rick's music career has had its ups and downs which happens often in the music industry. I believe that the major part of Rick not being recognized as a musician is one of a few things...

A foremost reason is Rick is very good to look at...this often has a negative reaction to some critics. Why?? Could it be that looks are superior to talent?? Absolutely NOT! At least it shouldn't be. Talent is a must! Rick has talent -- lots of it! He can not help the way he looks! Appearance only keeps you interested for the time it takes the talent to come to the surface or is recognized by others and is finally understood as well as the kind of person you are, are the only things that most fans (all fans of any artist) that keep them fans. You can't judge a book by its cover, so until you listen with an open mind and heart you miss out!

Another problem is that Rick was in acting (which is terribly visual hence the face issue stuff again), when he became a major rockstar/musician in the early to mid 1980s. He was doing some TV guest appearances on many popular shows in the 1970s, to help with a few things, get money to survive and to get more general exposure. The need of finances taking the front burner as he has always continued making music all along! This is where some critics of Rick think that Rick started as an ACTOR! NOT TRUE!

Here is a little background that I am aware of...through reading articles and listening to radio/tv interview Mr. Springfield has done.

Rick was born and raised in Australia and England as the son of an Australian Army officer. His family, particularly his father, were interested in music. They often sang songs around their piano; songs from musicals and the like. His father, Norman, showed an strong interest in singing and according to Mr. Springthorpe - now Springfield, sang very well. Here is where Rick's incredible talent lies. Not sure about his mother and elder brother, but I am sure they have some love of music and singing as well, of course, this I don't know for a fact. =)

Rick's father was eventually stationed in England for 4 or so years. Rick was about 9 and his older brother was a preteen. This is where Rick got exposed to The Beatles and other musicians and bands of the day there. Another major influence is Cliff Richards & The Shadows to name just a few. Rick soon discovered girls too, but that is another untold story. =)

When he returned to his native land, Rick got a guitar for his 13th birthday, and from then on practiced on it (he has also taken piano lessons as a child) and became more involved with music as the time went on. That plus the fact that he could get to see girls flock about him when practiced and performed... as what mostly happens when you are a guitarist.

In Australia he started with various Australian bands from Jordy Boys to Rock House and finally to the Australian sensation, Zoot. They are other bands he was in, but these are the more known groups that he was in. With Rock House he toured war-torn Vietnam performing to American troops in about 1968 to keep the troops' spirits up. Needless to say, Rick had some harrowing moments there as one can imagine. Upon return home he continued to play music and began songwriting to help him get through his time with the Vietnam experience and the ill-health of his beloved father who was stricken with stomach and/or intestinal cancer.

From what I have read he loves to read and write and its hard to say when he offically started writing his own songs. Most of the writing started happening heavily when he joined the band Zoot. His musical compositions was striking from what Zoot had started with. Many of Rick's songs had surf tones and classic rock hummed in every beat. You can hear even a little bit of blues in the tunes. He also became an award winning guitarist in Australia!

Eventually in the early 1970s, Rick began to wish for a solo career in the United States and decided to leave Zoot and go to England and record the songs he had written over the months and years. One song was chosen to be a single and it was "Speak To The Sky." A top hit in Australia and was climbing the charts in America peaking at #14 in Billboard's Top 100 in 1972. Rick sang his own hit song!

This was the beginning...from which his solo career started.

And for some of Rick's fans as it was for Rick, it was with the album "Beginnings".

This album started it my opinion it was way ahead of its time (1972). Especially the music. Lyrically it was real good, but musically WOW!

An innocent type record with the beginnings of some awesome classic Rick guitar riffs! I feel that this LP was a very simplistic start for him. Over the years and albums he grew better and better everytime! Lyrically and musically! Rick fans tend to appreciate the music of most artists but it was the lyrics that kept us Rick fans for the most part.

I think Rick's surf songs from England and the British musical scene are most prevailant in the earliest stuff. It becomes more complex as the years pass when Rick came and stayed in America, you can still hear that old-time influence.

Soon I will have my own personal critique of each album/song Rick did himself or worked on. Its my own opinion of course, except where duly noted.

This page created March 15, 2000
Updated March 04, 2000