Over the past four decades, Rick Springfield has worn many hats as an entertainer and performer. The creator of some of the finest power-pop of the ’80s, he’s a Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, and musician who has sold 25 million albums and scored 17 U.S. Top 40 hits, including “Jessie’s Girl,” “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” “An Affair of the Heart,” “I've Done Everything for You,” “Love Somebody,” and “Human Touch.”
He’s an accomplished actor who starred in 2016 opposite Meryl Streep in the feature film Ricki and the Flash and gave a chameleonic performance as the creepy Dr. Irving Pitlor in HBO’s prestige drama True Detective, and an equally creepy performance as Pastor Charles in the FX’s latest edition of American Horror Story “Cult”. He also enjoyed a three-episode arc as Lucifer on CW’s long running hit show Supernatural.
Springfield’s latest musical effort is the Snake King, his 19th studio album, which he will release worldwide in January through Frontiers Music. Written by Springfield himself, The Snake King finds Rick travelling down a dusty dirt road to explore the blues side of his rock ‘n roll and marks a definite departure from the power pop he has been known for. A blues-rock album is the record that Springfield has “always wanted to make”. He explains, “All my first bands that I played in as a kid in Australia were blues bands, trying desperately to copy as best we could the amazing music we were hearing coming out of the Chicago blues scene and the older stuff from the deep South”.
Music has always been a healing force in the Australian-born Springfield’s life. The son of an Army officer, Rick and his family moved every two years. “Which meant every time I made a friend, I knew I’d be leaving him,” he says. “It was super stressful for me. I’d go to a new school and go through the trauma of trying to fit in.” Books and records became his savior. Then at age 11, he encountered his first guitar. “This kid brought one to a Christmas fair at my school in England and it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen,” Springfield recalls. “He let me hold it. I hit two strings and the two strings happened to be the first couple of notes of the theme song to my favorite cowboy show at the time, Cheyenne. I realized instantly I could play the guitar. Some guys fall in love with cars, some with football teams. I fell in love with guitars.”
It has been a long and fruitful affair, and one that has gifted him with a powerful connection to his legions of devoted fans, who pack his annual fan getaway events, as well as the nearly 100 shows a year he performs both with his band and solo in an intimate “storyteller” setting that he captured on the 2015 CD/DVD and concert film Stripped Down. Though too self-deprecating to discuss his immense appeal, he will acknowledge that the fans connect with him through the music. “I guess they think I'm honest,” he says. “They must like my approach, what I write about. I think they like that I have a sense of humor in it at times. Because the ‘cute’ thing isn't going to last forever.”