I need to set the record straight on some musical issues.
Rod (as in Stewart)—I realize that he’s old; I realize that aside from covering the crooners as he’s done on his last 2-3 CDs he’s done nothing new for years. I have been defending my obsession with Rod since I was in college. I saw him in concert for the first time, the Out of Order tour when I was a junior. I’m sure I’m not the only person who becomes involved with certain songs or singers because of what’s going on in their life when they first REALLY listen to them. Of course I knew of Rod before college, but I hadn’t EXPERIENCED him. Maggie May always spoke to me, as did You’re in My Heart.
The second time I saw him was with my husband. Rod was married to that bitch Rachel and we joked that if we ever did such a thing they’d be our partner swapping couple—she had to go and ruin it by divorcing Rod. Of course now my attraction is not purely physical because he is indeed much too old for me.
I’ve heard all the rumors about him (he’s bi, he’s gay, he had sperm pumped out of his stomach (NOT POSSIBLE) he had an affair with Mick Jagger and David Bowie) and don’t care and don’t believe them.
It’s his voice, and to some degree his look in the 80s and early 90s, but mostly the voice. I’ve seen interviews with him; he has a sense of humor, he came from humble roots. I’m not trying to convince you he’s a musical genius or that he’s had the impact on the industry that the Beatles or The Stones or whoever has had. I know he did some awful songs—Do You Think I’m Sexy? C’mon, even he’s admitted to being embarrassed by that.
Do I listen to him every day? No, actually I go through phases and mostly when I do it’s his old stuff or Out of Order. But he’s got soul and I love that about him.
Now about Rick Springfield. Yes, when I was about 13 I thought he was the greatest thing since sliced bread mainly because of seeing him on GenHo as Dr. Noah Drake, and then realizing I could buy his album and have him sing to me anytime I wanted. That appreciation was fueled by 13-year-old fantasies. During that same time period I loved Men at Work and Loverboy—go figure, though I still love Men at Work.
I had not thought about Rick for probably 15 years or so, he’s not Rod. Recently I had the opportunity through my job to not only interview Rick on the phone, but also attend a concert in a relatively small venue (not a sell out concert hall) and meet him backstage. Admittedly I was a bit star struck; he’s a celeb even if he is on the B list. He was funny, personable, still hot (though it did look like he’s had a face lift) and after all these years I realized he could really play the guitar. Granted, he’s got an album out now of cover songs, which always seems like a cop out to me, but everyone does it at some point.
However, just because I took my album to have it signed (duh, who wouldn’t?) my co-workers act like I’m some bubble gum chewing teenybopper that has no musical taste. Yes, I did tell just about everyone I’ve talked to over the last two weeks about this; I even told the room service operator when I got back to my hotel that night (ok, maybe I did get a LITTLE carried away).
My point is, if there really is a point, I know these guys aren’t musical geniuses. Day to day I’m more apt to listen to Counting Crows, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Tina Turner or MB20 and sing along at the top of my lungs. But for me music is more than the words and music, it’s experiential; it’s about what was happening to me when I first experienced it; it’s about feeling and what the drummer had for breakfast.
These people better describe what music is to me:
“Take a music bath once or twice a week for a few seasons, and you will find that it is to the soul what the water bath is to the body.” Oliver Wendell Holmes
“Music is the only language in which you cannot say a mean or sarcastic thing.” John Erskine
“Music melts all the separate parts of our bodies together.” Anais Nin
“Music is the shorthand of emotion.” Leo Tolstoy