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Interview:
Rick Springfield's 35 years of being a "Working Class Dog"
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Rick Springfield has done a few tours with Detroit's Romantics, usually with Loverboy or Night Ranger sandwiched in-between.

And he recalls an auspicious start to the their latest association.

"Actually, back in the day the Romantics thought I was a bit of a (expletive)," Springfield, 66, remembers with a laugh by phone from Los Angeles, where the Australian native resides. "It was my old drummer who told me that -- he was from Detroit. too. They opened up for us back in the 80s at one point, and opening for someone like me back then, who was considered purely a girly show, wasn't cool. My drummer apparently went up to them and tried to say hi and they kind of blew us all off.

"But now all that's gone and we're all good friends, and that's how it should be later on, I think."

Springfield's later has turned into a pretty good time, too.

Since his 80s heyday -- which began with the release of his platinum "Working Class Dog" album and its hit "Jessie's Girl" -- 35 years ago he's maintained a steady touring schedule and continues to release new music, including the album "Rocket Science" earlier this year. He's a best-selling author with an autobiography "Late, Late At NIght: A Memoir," and hit Broadway as a member of the original cast of "Smokey Joe`s Cafe."

Springfield has also had roles on TV ("Californication," "True Detective" and "Hawaii Five-O") and in movies (last year's "Ricki and the Flash" with Meryl Streep), and he's been tapped to play Lucifer on the CW's "Supernatural" for its upcoming 12th season.

"I'd heard of the show but I'd never realized how bit it was," Springfield says. "I mean, it's been on for 12 years and it's worldwide. It has a giant fan base. Last season (Lucifer) escaped from wherever they put him, and I happen to be the human host.

"It's really fun, well-written, a chance to play against type. And the effects are insane; Yesterday I spent two hours in the makeup chair getting ready for this one scene. It's really incredible stuff."

Springfield, who's contemplating a blues album for his next project, says he's "not really that aware of" career anniversaries as they come along. But having "Working Class Dog" hit 35 does mean something to him.

"It was a magic album," Springfield says. "The first one that becomes a hit is always, 'Oh my God, how did that happen?' I think it's a great record, but I've listened to a lot of great records that didn't break careers, you know? So it's a gift.

"I have great affection for it. It was a blast to record, one of those things we did on a tight budget from three until seven in the morning after Tom Petty was done. And I just didn't think that anything would happen with it. It was a big surprise all around.

"And, of course, my dog was on the cover, which doesn't hurt, either."

Rick Springfield, Night Ranger and the Romantics

7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11.

Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway, Sterling Heights.

Tickets are $29.50-$99.50 pavilion, $25 lawn.

Call (586) 268-5100 or visit palacenet.com.


Web Site: www.palacenet.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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