By Jim Davis
TROY — Rick Springfield admits he’s a bit of a homebody when he’s not on the road. No fanfare. No hoopla. Pretty low key.
But when he’s onstage and singing for a live audience, that’s when he’s in his element. That’s when he “connects.”
“It’s (all about) the connection with people,” Springfield said Thursday during a phone interview from Los Angeles. “Playing live is my connection with humanity and it’s kind of a home run. You’re throwing the best party in the world and everybody is invited.
“When I’m home in my own place I’m very much a loner. I don’t like going out,” he continued. “So when I’m not on the road I do miss it. I guess there’s a little bit of ego in there too …”
Springfield’s winter tour schedule brings him to Troy Saturday where he’ll grace the Hobart Arena stage for an 8 p.m. concert. Opening act Stranger is scheduled to get the evening rolling with a set featuring covers of popular ‘80s hits.
Perhaps best known for his 1981 hit “Jessie’s Girl,” Springfield has fashioned a lengthy and diverse career since joining his first band in the late 1960s.
He’s a songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actor and author who is working on his third novel.
Saturday, however, he’ll be in town for his first love — music. He’s sold millions of albums worldwide and recorded a handful of Top-10 songs (“Jessie’s Girl,” “I’ve Done Everything For You,” “Affair of the Heart,” “Love Somebody” and “Don’t Talk to Strangers”), as well as radio hits ranging from “Human Touch” and “State of the Heart” to “Celebrate Youth” and “Bop ‘til You Drop.”
The 69-year-old native of Australia said he hopes fans at Hobart enjoy the musical menu he has planned.
“It’s a moment of shared music and energy, and hopefully it gets people up and feeling good. That’s what our show is all about,” he said. “For some of our older fans, there’s a lot of memories buried in those songs, but for the newer ones, I have some of my new songs that I’m playing (and hope they enjoy them). We do a couple of songs from ‘The Snake King’ so it’s a great mix of the hits and new stuff that I think works really well together.”
Springfield’s “Snake King” album — which came out in early 2018 — is a blues-infused album of thought-provoking songs.
“Most of (the response) has been incredibly positive, and some of it not so much,” he said with a laugh. “A couple people have gotten up and walked out. But that’s what it’s all about. It’s about stretching yourself and doing new things. I had a lot of things I wanted to say on that album. I wanted a record that I would want to play live, and (‘Snake King’) is exciting to play.
“It’s not just about falling back on the American standards. We’re still forging ahead.”
When he’s not singing or making music, Springfield has been a familiar face on TV and movie screens. He gained a legion of daytime soap opera fans as Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital in the early 1980s, and has made appearances on “Californication,” “Supernatural,” “True Detective,” “American Horror Story,” “Hawaii Five-O” and “Goldbergs.” His movie roles include “Hard to Hold” and “Ricki and the Flash.”
Springfield said the motivation for each of his creative experiences draws from the same well … sort of.
“They all come from the same point. It’s putting whatever I have into some kind of endeavor that hopefully is creative and I hope that there’s something to show for it at the end,” he said. “Right now I’m writing my third novel, and I love that. Writing is a big driver for me. It was song writing for a long time. And the acting thing is just like the performance in a concert. It charges me up.”
“It all comes from the same center … it’s just a different tool set.”
As for music, Springfield didn’t hesitate when asked why he still hits the road to perform live: He’s still having fun.
“I’ve never gotten tired of it,” he said. “I get tired of some things, but never of writing and performing. I just love it.”
To learn more about Rick Springfield or check out his tour schedule, go to rickspringfield.com. For ticket information – or to learn more about other events at historic Hobart Arena – visit hobartarena.com
Jim Davis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org