Rick Springfield's icky new memoir: we read it so you don't have to
In the ’80s, Rick Springfield was one of the world’s biggest stars, cranking out excellent power-pop hits like “Jessie’s Girl” and playing Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital. Now he’s written a confessional autobiography, Late, Late At Night, and it turns out he was also kind of a creep. Why he’d want the world to know this is somewhat mysterious, but he certainly doesn’t hold back with the details. Here are a few notable moments.
-When he was 17, Springfield says he tried to hang himself. “I hang suspended for fifteen or twenty seconds and am just sliding into unconsciousness when the knot tying the rope to the beam somehow unravels. I’m slammed hard to the concrete floor, rather the worse for wear.”
-One band he played in early on used to hold up local stores. “Incredibly, I remain blissfully unaware of this part of the routine for a while, until we pull up outside a liquor store late one night and all the other band members get out and tell me to stay in the idling car. The next thing I know…I find out that they’ve just robbed the store.” The kicker? “The write up in the paper about the robbery is my first press! I proudly keep the local newspaper article in my bedside drawer for months.”
-He was in bands with astonishingly awful names like Moppa Blues and Zoot and Wickedy Wak.
-At age 25 he dated a then 15-year-old Linda Blair. “I am her first lover and she is an enthusiastic learner…. We share a love of dogs and sex–separately, not in combination. Most of the time we don’t leave the apartment. She’s invited to premieres and Hollywood parties and we go as a couple, blindly and innocently to the media slaughter. We’re actually really shocked by the incensed articles in both teen and regular press about our affair. Either we have zero understanding of what makes the press tick, or it’s a really slow month for news.”
-He tries to blame much of his bad behavior on depression (or as he calls it, The Darkness), which, as he describes it, sounds like little more than ordinary self doubt. The Darkness is constantly “saying” things to Springfield like, “What’s the point, sport? You don’t have what it takes, and you know it.” Springfield deals with this by sleeping around, repeatedly cheating on various significant others. But, you see, it’s not his fault! “I’m feeling worthless and emasculated by having failed my family and myself,” he writes, “so what better way to get some integrity back than to f— this girl that so many men seem to find hot? Makes sense to me. And Mr. Darkness thinks it’s a stellar idea.”
-Toward the end of the book, he offers a message to anyone who might have found the previous 270 pages distasteful. “I’d also like to address those perfect souls who are reading this and saying to themselves, ‘Why is [his oft-cheated-on wife] putting up with this a–hole?’ I’m happy that your life is so unruptured that you can make such a distant judgment call, so I’ll only address the humans in the audience.”
So there you have it. Rick Springfield: pretty gross. But don’t judge him! It’s not his fault, really. And if you’ve never cheated on your wife then you must not be human.