‘Rickonaissance’: Rick Springfield talks The Snake King, California wildfire and four decades of music

Rick Springfield

Rick Springfield has been a household name for over 40 years, and the singer, songwriter, actor, author and performer shows no signs of slowing down. Springfield’s latest project, The Snake King, is his 19th studio album and is set to be released worldwide in January. Philadelphians will get to hear a few tracks from the new album as well as past favorites during Springfield’s show this week at Parx Casino. Springfield chatted with Metro about his career, inspirations and what to expect at his Philly performance. 

Rick Springfield talks inspirations, career and what’s in store for his new album

You have been an entertainer and performer for over four decades. Do you have any favorite memories in particular? Any show or song’s you’ve written that stick out to you after all of these years? 

Rick Springfield: There are some moments that stick out. Certainly being pulled over by the cops for driving under the influence is in there, but I assume you mean musical memories. Getting rocketed while playing in Vietnam in 1968 was a big one. Grammy night was one, Live Aid, first time playing “Jessie’s Girl” and people cheering because they recognized it. As far as songs I keep coming back to “My Father’s Chair” that I wrote about the death of my dad. 

What can you tell me about the term”The Rickonaissance” dubbed by Rolling Stone? How did it come about and what does it mean to you?

Rick Springfield: That’s the first time I’ve heard it. I assume it means a re-emergence. I’ve focused on doing a lot of the things I love to do which includes writing books, songs, touring, recording new music, acting in diverse rolls and generally staying connected to why I got into the arts in the first place. 

Rick Springfield

Your home was affected by the wildfire in California. I’m sure that is an immense burden. How has that affected you being on tour? 

Rick Springfield: I was on the road when the fires broke out so it was very stressful. Hearing a lot of bad info didn’t help. Hearing reports of friend’s houses that burned that really didn’t happen, markets and stores gone, which wasn’t true. We did lose neighbors and our fences burned as well as a fence line gazebo. We definitely dodged a bullet thanks to neighbors with balls of steel who stayed behind to fight the fire, amazing guys who did that putting their own lives at risk for their neighbors. 

How is “The Snake King” different from previous albums? Obviously throughout careers sounds change, but was there a new inspiration for this particular album? 

Rick Springfield: Just all the shit in the world. I look around and I see evil everywhere and at this point, I’m wondering where God is. I thought the rock and blues medium was appropriate for the subject matter.

What can the people of Philadelphia look forward to or expect from your show?

Rick Springfield: A damn good time. Lots of rude jokes and inappropriate stories and the hits and other stuff. It’s a very laid back, interactive night.

If you go: Dec. 6, 8 p.m., Parx Casino, 2999 Street Rd., Bensalem, $29-$69, parxcasino.com

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