Front Row Center For Rick Springfield

Here’s what’s guaranteed at a Rick Springfield concert. He sings Jessie’s Girl. He plays his guitar with roses brought by adoring fans. He goes into the audience–usually by climbing on the seats and with anxious women grabbing for body parts. He takes off his shirt.


Helaine and I took a short (and exhausting) trip this weekend to Lincoln, CA to see Rick Springfield. He was on the bill with Eddie Money and Loverboy at the Thunder Valley Outdoor Amphitheater.

Lincoln has 43,000 people and a large Indian casino. It’s a happening place. The only downside: it’s 456 miles away!

Helaine has been a fan of Rick’s since his early days in the states. She has seen him lots of times, mostly with Stef.

Stef, now an associate producer on Hub’s “Family Game Night,” was taping this weekend. She was out. I didn’t volunteer. I begged to go!

I’ve also seen Rick in the past. He puts on a killer show with lots of energy. Plus, he’s photographer friendly. His large base of rabid fans stay loyal because he accommodates them.

It was around 100&#176 when we got to Thunder Valley. Both Helaine and I had seen Eddie Money before. We took a pass. Three plus hours in the heat would be too much.

We walked into the venue around 7:30 and headed to our seats — front row center — as Loveboy was getting started. Seriously, I think we had the best two seats in the house.

We met Michael on-the-way. Michael is a large security guard. Though everyone at the concert was shooting pics, my camera and lenses was one step too far. I begged, pleaded and cajoled until I convinced Michael’s boss (also Michael) to walk my business card with a few scribbles on the back to a Rick rep backstage.

My guess is they said, “You know, we don’t really care.” We continued to our seats.

Things had backed up during the previous two acts. Rick hit the stage at 9:05 with a very firm 10:00 PM curfew. The band wasted no time.

You go to a concert to hear songs you know sung by an artist you like. That’s exactly what we got. The only non-Springfield song I remember, Katy Perry’s “Roar.” It adapted perfectly to his style.

Here’s what’s guaranteed at a Rick Springfield concert. He sings Jessie’s Girl. He plays his guitar with roses brought by adoring fans. He goes into the audience–usually by climbing on the seats and with anxious women grabbing for body parts. He takes off his shirt.

Rick Springfield will be 65 this summer. He has the best body I have ever seen on someone 50, much less a guy ready for Medicare!

We left Irvine late Saturday morning. We were home early Sunday afternoon. Whirlwind!

(Clicking any of the images below brings up a slideshow where you’ll see each of the pictures in a much larger view)

Rick Springfield at Foxwoods (photos by Stefanie Fox)

I’m not sure how Helaine and Steffie could do this… I’m certainly not sure why they’re so motivated… but I know they are. In fact, they are one step short of ‘cult like’ when it comes to Rick Springfield.

Helaine first got hooked over 30 years ago during the “Speak to the Sky” era and kept her affection during General Hospital, Jessie’s Girl, Hard to Hold and beyond. Now, Steffie is right there with her.

I was able to get tickets, through a friend at Foxwoods, and Helaine made reservations so we wouldn’t have to schlep back after the show. We arrived mid-afternoon and checked in. Then, we headed to the box office to pick up their tickets (none for me, thanks).

Unreal as it seemed to me, there was already a sizable contingent of women, mostly sitting on the floor, in line, hoping to be first in. For most shows, Foxwoods Fox Theater has general admission with maitre’d seating up front and reserved in back.

We ate at Foxwoods’ buffet. It’s not Vegas. What can I say.

Helaine and Steffie headed to the show around 8:00 (Steffie taking my digital camera for more photos) while I headed to the poker room. Unfortunately for me, the wait was so long I knew I’d never play before the show was over. So, I played some slots and lost $40.

Too early to meet the girls, I hung out in front of the theater finding my friend Vinnie and his wife Jacqueline. After they went in I started talking with Mike, who was running the merchandising.

After a while, three women walked out, recognized me, told me they had an extra ticket, and gave it to me. So, I walked in.

Rick was mid-audience, on a seat, singing and playing. To say the crowd was going nuts was an oversimplification. This was an audience made up of adoring fans… and he was eating it up.

I watched Helaine and Steffie, standing in their front row seats, looking at Rick. It was actually pretty cool to be spying on them because they were having such a good time together.

Being a lone male in this sea of women gave me the ability to move at will through the theater. I went to see Steffie and Helaine and tell them I was there. I saw Vinnie and Jacqueline. I said hi to a few theater staffers I knew.

After the show, I had arranged for Steffie and Helaine to go backstage (actually downstairs, under the stage, in a stairwell) to meet and greet.

Rick and his road manager “Bucky” looked at some photos Stefanie had shot the night before in Westbury. Bucky thought it might be nice to have her ‘rose explosion’ photo sent to the office. Helaine will try and make that happen… if she finds out where the office is.

Both girls had their photos taken with Rick, as he held them. Then, they took a surprise photo, to be held for a later time (and, of which I can’t speak).

There’s no way for me to put myself in their shoes. I’m not sure who in my life would be a comparable ‘get.’ But, I do know they were amazingly affected, and that this was a wonderful time for both of them that they’ll never forget.

Steffie’s photos from both nights are posted in my photo gallery.

Steffie was scheduled to work Saturday afternoon, so while she went to bed, Helaine and I went downstairs to play. I found a $5/10 Texas Hold’em, with a kill (meaning the bets are $5 or $10 except after a pot of $100 when they are doubled). After a few hours, I walked away up $52. I really enjoy poker, and hopefully, am getting better.