It’s not wrong to call Rick Springfield a renaissance man. Over a career that started more than four decades ago, Springfield has sold more than 25 million records, charted 17 top-40 hits, appeared as heartthrob Noah Drake on “General Hospital,” starred in the movie “Hard to Hold” and wrote both a best-selling autobiography and a novel.
The Aussie is best known for his hits, “Jessie’s Girl,” “Affair of the Heart” and “Don’t Talk to Strangers” and is one of the most recognizable names in music.
While the singer can often be seen in our area, the pandemic put some of his recent performances on hold, but approximately an hour away from Tysons, Springfield is performing at the Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races on Friday, Feb. 25.
“I have a great band and we play a lot of the hits and have a great time out there,” Springfield says. “I’m really appreciative to be back playing. It was tough having to cancel so many dates because of the pandemic. I’m really happy to be playing with such great players.”
The singer used his time away from the stage recording a few albums. One was released in Australia, one was as part of The Red Locusts, an American supergroup consisting of Springfield, Matt Bissonette, Greg Bissonette and others, who released a tribute to The Beatles and power pop bands of the 1980s and 1990s; and a third is one of new material being release in the U.S. later this year.
Lyrically, fans may be surprised by what they hear.
“My new novel is all about the end of the world and the world on fire—dark humor, but my new record is more hopeful,” Springfield says.
The last two years gave the now-72-year-old a feel for what retirement would be like, and he’s not sure he’s ready for that. Still, he admits he did enjoy being home more than usual and doing some things he normally doesn’t get the time to do because of his busy touring schedule.
“It made me think about retiring, but once I got back on stage, I realized how much I still like this, so I think I’m going to be playing for a little longer,” Springfield says. “The crowds have been very up and in a real celebratory mood. No one is sitting on their hands and are very excited. It’s great seeing that because it makes it more fun for us all.”
Springfield also hosts his own show on the ’80s channel of SIRIUS/XM Radio called “Working Class DJ,” where he plays music set to a particular theme each week and tells great stories about his career along the way.
“It’s really fun and I just re-upped for another year,” he says. “I have a studio at home where I record everything so I can do a couple of shows in there at a time.”
Whether its writing his novels or songs, Springfield doesn’t put pen to paper unless inspiration hits him, noting that he doesn’t force himself to write each day.
“I do it because I like to do it, and I won’t do it from 9-5. When inspiration comes, I take it and I get into a vibe,” Springfield says. “If I’m doing an album, it has a flow to it and if I enjoy it and I feel like something’s happening, the writing will come along more often.”
The rest of his 2022 is rather busy, though he’s still paying attention to the COVID limitations. But he’s hopeful that everything is back to normal soon and he’s able to play all the tour dates on his schedule.
Springfield’s audience is filled with people young and old, as newer generations have discovered his songs through their parents or shows like “Glee.”
“It’s exciting to me that younger people are enjoying the music,” he says. “You don’t really write wondering what’s going to happen with this song in 40 years. You hope someone gets it. When it has some sort of legs, it really has to do with the power of the music and the timing.”