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An Affair of the Heart:
Rick Springfield Documentary

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Music, for some, is just a nice kind of background cacophony of notes strung together that they use to invigorate, stimulate, unwind or get through. For others, a group, or a song, absolutely grips into a part of the brain that would otherwise seek pharmaceuticals for such wild reactions of visceral happiness. The rush of endorphins creates a bond. In many cases, a loyal bond that spreads over decades – and Billboard popularity.

Being of the later group myself (I had/have"The Keiths" - Moon and Richards), I really enjoyed the look into pop star Rick Springfield’s current going ons, and those who are still following his creations. Admittedly, I’d (sadly) dismissed this real talent, as a bubble gum sort of McCutey. I glanced, gave a listen, and pinned him as a marketing campaign wrapped into an – obviously – handsome shell with a perfectly sellable song or two. Well, yes, and no.

Here in An Affair of the Heart Springfield – who by the way is aging stunningly – is what every fan girl (or guy) wishes of their idols. He gets up in the rain and plays, comes down to great – even sets up cruises where he hangs out with a few die hards.

Okay, a few humbled rockers now feel safe enough to do a meet-and-greet post show, but Rick truly gets into the minutia of a few of his fans’ lives.

There’s not a lot of behind the façade here. He does have a ‘newish’ memoir book, and I am guessing one would want to get that for “the dirt” so to speak. But, the film makers introduce us to a few at-every-show gals – who are happily married and very normal. They just need their fix, and will drive, fly or sail for that specialized shot. Then there is a warm Unitarian Universalist Minister who used the words and music of Springfield to bring a terrible event to pass (as much as she was able). Another, deeply devoted woman was “introduced” to Rick and his music as a ‘tween who was facing a surgery that would save her life or not…his music helped her cope and feel viable. Then there is the child, Dustin Walker. Rick drags a three-year-old on to his stage to sing for the crowd. They stay in touch. Now, years later, the young man is a guitar player and at 14, hits the stage to play with Rick.

You'll see the wife of thirty years, and Springfield admits he went through that rock star dick phase; she must be one helluva catch to stand by and wait for the maturity to catch up to the Adonis-y coating. But, this man has come through to the other side with – what appears to be – genuine warmth. And, he can play some rock and roll. At a rock festival concert along with Aerosmith, where even attendees had the RCA dog head tilt, Ricky came out and rocked it up. Remember he had 17 songs on the charts back when…

The documentary is touching and telling. Truly impressive for those who had the bedroom walls dressed with images of a stranger you adored without knowing exactly why as the frontal cortex struggled to settle down. And don’t fear…he gets to “The Song.” Jessie’s Girl. One of the most memorable time snapshot singles ever made. The video for the hit now looks like the guy’s a weird-o stalker re-enactment for DateLine…but dig those crazy prints and puffed up hairdos.

See this. It reminds you that beneath the music, every once in a while (unlike say ruder-than- you-could-have-ever-imagined Simon Townsend) you meet another Rick Danko sort. A creator of music that loves what they’re doing, and appreciates those who give a shit.

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