Richard Lewis Springthorpe (born 23 August 1949) is an Australian singer, instrumentalist, songwriter, actor and author, known by his stage name Rick Springfield. He was a member of the pop rock group Zoot from 1969 to 1971, then started his solo career with his debut single "Speak to the Sky" reaching the top 10 in Australia in mid-1972, when he moved to the United States. He had a No. 1 hit with "Jessie's Girl" in 1981 in both Australia and the U.S., for which he received the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. He followed with four more top 10 U.S. hits, "I've Done Everything for You", "Don't Talk to Strangers", "Affair of the Heart" and "Love Somebody". Springfield's two U.S. top 10 albums are Working Class Dog (1981) and Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet (1982).
As an actor, he starred in the television series High Tide, from 1994 to 1997, and has appeared in supporting roles in Ricki and the Flash and True Detective (both in 2015). He portrayed Dr. Noah Drake on the daytime drama General Hospital, from 1981 to 1983 and during 2005 to 2008 and 2012, returning in 2013 for the show's 50th anniversary with son and actor Liam Springthorpe. He played a depraved version of himself in Californication (2009). In 2010, Springfield published his autobiography, Late, Late at Night: A Memoir. In 2016 he starred as Vince Vincente/Lucifer in season 12 of the American TV show Supernatural on The CW.
Springfield in May 2014
Richard Lewis Springthorpe
23 August 1949
Barbara Porter (m. 1984)
|Partner(s)||Linda Blair (1974-76)|
|Children||2 (with Porter)|
|Genres||Rock, pop, pop rock, hard rock, heavy metal|
Rick Springfield was born Richard Lewis Springthorpe on 23 August 1949 in Balmain, an inner western suburb of Sydney. He is the son of Eileen Louise (Evennett) and Norman James Springthorpe, an Australian Army career officer. His maternal grandparents were English. When he was young, he lived at the army camp with his family in Broadmeadows, Victoria, Australia. At fourteen, he saw the Beatles perform at Festival Hall, Melbourne.
Springfield was 13 when he learned guitar. He joined various bands in England, where his father was stationed from 1958 to 1963, and several more after returning to Australia. In 1968, he was approached by bass guitarist Pete Watson to join his group Rockhouse. Later that year, Watson changed the band's name to MPD Ltd and, in October when Springfield was 19 years old, they toured South Vietnam to entertain Australian troops. Another member of MPD Ltd was Danny Finley (drummer). Upon returning to Australia, they formed Wickedy Wak. They were joined by Phil Blackmore on keyboards and Dick Howard. Go-Set journalist Ian "Molly" Meldrum produced Wickedy Wak's single, "Billie's Bikie Boys", with Beeb Birtles of pop rock group Zoot as a backing vocalist.
In September 1969, Springfield replaced Roger Hicks as lead guitarist and vocalist in Zoot, with Birtles on bass guitar and vocals, Darryl Cotton on lead vocals and guitar, and Rick Brewer on drums. Upon joining Zoot, Springfield adopted the "Think Pink – Think Zoot" theme that had the band members dressed head to toe in pink satin. The publicity gimmick brought attention to the group and attracted numerous teenage girl fans; however it caused problems in establishing their credibility as serious rock musicians. Zoot's fifth single, "Hey Pinky", was written by Springfield. The group attempted to shake off their teeny-bopper image. They followed with a hard rock cover version of The Beatles' hit "Eleanor Rigby", which peaked at No. 4 on Go-Set's Top 40 in March 1971. Despite another hit single with "Freak" in April, which was written by Springfield, the band broke up in May.
Springfield signed with Sparmac Records and issued his début solo single, "Speak to the Sky", in October, which peaked at No. 5 on the Go-Set singles chart. Sparmac label owner, Robie Porter, was also producer and manager for Springfield. After recording his début album, Beginnings, in London, Springfield moved to the United States in mid-1972. Springfield provided all the songwriting, lead vocals, guitar, keyboard and banjo for the album. In August 1972 "Speak to the Sky" was issued in the U.S. by Capitol Records and peaked at No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September. His début album, Beginnings, was the first of seven top 40 albums on the related Billboard 200. However, follow-up success was hampered by rumours that Capitol Records paid people to purchase Springfield's albums, which led to some radio stations boycotting his music.
In 1973, Springfield signed to Columbia Records and recorded his second album, Comic Book Heroes, which was also produced by Porter. In Australia, released on Porter's new label, Wizard Records, the album and its two singles failed to chart. Springfield was promoted as a teeny pop idol similar to David Cassidy and Donny Osmond. Springfield spoke of the teenybopper image in Circus Magazine in 1973. He said he was not sure how it happened. "Someone saw my photo and that was it." He went on to say that someone asked to take a photo of him in a white suit and thought that it was "a bit dull", so he took some crayons and "scrawled an R with a lightning bolt going through it ... which became my emblem." From September 1972 to September 1973, Springfield starred as "himself" in the ABC-TV Saturday morning cartoon series Mission: Magic!, for which he usually wrote and performed an original song in each episode. In 1974, he issued an Australia-only album, Mission: Magic!, which was "full of infectious bubblegum pop songs". His single, "Take a Hand", reached the U.S. top 50 in 1976. The single was taken from the album Wait for Night, which was issued by his new label, Chelsea Records. Soon after its release, the record company folded. During the late 1970s, he concentrated more on his acting career, guest-starring in several primetime TV dramas.
Springfield continued to write and record and, in 1981, released his next album, Working Class Dog. The album spawned the single "Jessie's Girl", a worldwide hit which peaked at No. 1 for two weeks in the U.S. on the Hot 100 and the Australian Kent Music Report singles chart. Springfield won the 1981 Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. Working Class Dog reached No.7 on the Billboard 200. Another top 10 single from the album was the Sammy Hagar-penned "I've Done Everything for You". He had further success with the follow-up albums Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet (1982) and Living in Oz (1983). Springfield was frustrated with people in interviews mistaking him for Bruce Springsteen, expressed in the track "Bruce" on the album Beautiful Feelings (1984). In 1984, Springfield starred in his own movie, Hard to Hold, and recorded the majority of the material on the accompanying soundtrack. The soundtrack included a top-ten hit, "Love Somebody", as well as several moderately successful follow-up singles. However, the movie itself was not successful, and the soundtrack's success (though higher than that of the movie) paled in comparison to previous Springfield albums. Nonetheless, Springfield released his next album Tao in 1985, scoring several modest hits from this release, including "State of the Heart" and "Celebrate Youth". That same year, Springfield was one of several performers who participated in the Live Aid charity concert. Around this time, he took a brief hiatus from recording. Springfield was a judge for the eighth annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists. In January 2018 The Snake King album was released on Frontiers Records. This time around he dropped the Country-style from 2016's Rocket Science in favour for the Blues.
Springfield made his acting debut on The Six Million Dollar Man on 30 October 1977, in an episode entitled "Rollback". In December, he appeared on The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, portraying Ned Nickerson. On 20 January 1978, Springfield guest-starred on an episode of Wonder Woman entitled "Screaming Javelin." The character he portrayed was Tom, the concerned fiancé of an Olympic gymnast who had been kidnapped by a megalomaniac. Later in 1978, Springfield played the character of Zac in Saga of a Star World, which was, with some differences, the pilot episode of the original Battlestar Galactica TV series. He also co-starred as Keith Stewart in episode 17 of season 4 ("Dwarf in a Helium Hat") on The Rockford Files and as Tommy Archer in episode 4 ("Murder on the Flip Side") of The Eddie Capra Mysteries in 1978. In 1979, he guest-starred on an episode of "The Incredible Hulk" entitled "The Disciple" as Michael Roark, a police officer who must decide whether to avenge the death of his father who was also a police officer, or simply provide justice and capture the alleged criminal. In 1981, he became a soap opera star on General Hospital. He had signed a contract with RCA Records and already recorded the album Working Class Dog, which neither he nor his agent had expected would do very well, which is why Springfield took the soap role. But the song "Jessie's Girl" went to No. 1 and Springfield ended up both playing the role of Dr. Noah Drake from 1981 to 1983, while simultaneously going on tour with his band. The success of the song boosted the ratings of the show which, according to Springfield, "became the biggest show on TV for that summer". The fame from the show also boosted the sale of the song. In 1984, Springfield made a full-length feature film titled Hard to Hold. In 1998, he played in the film Legion. He also wrote the soundtrack for Hard to Hold. In 1992, he played the title role in the short-lived ABC series Human Target, based on the DC Comics character of the same name. In 1989, he starred in the film Nick Knight, in which he played an 800-year-old vampire seeking a cure for his condition. The film was later remade as the first two episodes of the series Forever Knight. In 1991, he appeared in the made-for-TV movie Dying to Dance. In 1994 he starred in the series Robin's Hoods. From 1994 to 1997 he starred in the television series High Tide that ran for 69 episodes.
In addition to the roles on television and in film, Springfield also acted in musical theatre. In 1995, he was a member of the original Broadway cast of the musical Smokey Joe's Cafe. This Tony Award-nominated musical featured the songs of rock & roll songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. From February 2000 to December 2002, Springfield performed in EFX Alive! at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. Springfield starred in several episodes of the third season of Showtime's Californication. His first appearance was in episode 3 on 11 October 2009, in which he plays a "twisted version of himself"; a "hedonistic Rick Springfield" from the past. Springfield starred in "Ho'ohuli Na'au", an episode of Hawaii Five-0. He played the role of photographer Renny Sinclair.
In December 2005, Springfield was asked by the General Hospital producers to return to the show in his role as Dr. Noah Drake after a 23-year absence. His run was subsequently extended as a recurring guest star and not a full contract cast member until 2008. Springfield returned to General Hospital as Dr. Noah Drake in April 2013. Springfield also starred in "Everything Goes Better With Vampires", an episode of Hot in Cleveland. He played the role of a toll booth worker who pretended to be the famous singer/musician Rick Springfield in an attempt to impress women. Springfield had a recurring role on True Detective as Dr. Irving Pitlor, a psychiatrist. In 2015 Springfield appeared as Greg alongside Meryl Streep in the movie Ricki and the Flash. In 2016, Springfield was cast in the twelfth season of The CW series Supernatural where he played rocker Vince Vincente and Lucifer. In July 2016, Springfield appeared on ABC's Greatest Hits. In October 2017, Springfield appeared as Pastor Charles on FX's American Horror Story: Cult.
When Springfield was 17, he tried to commit suicide by hanging 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." Springfield has been dealing with depression for several decades. "I want them to have hope ... and know that the moment will pass," Springfield, 68, said in an exclusive interview with ABC News' Paula Faris. "I'm an example of the moment passing, because I've been there a couple of times, and haven't ... for want of a better phrase, pulled the trigger." From late 1974 to early 1976, Springfield was in a romantic relationship with actress Linda Blair, beginning when she was 15 and he 25.
On 24 April 1981, Rick Springfield's father, Norman James Springthorpe, died. In October 1984, Springfield married his girlfriend, Barbara Porter, in his family's church in Australia. They had met several years earlier when Springfield was recording Working Class Dog and she was working as the recording studio receptionist. They have two sons, Liam (born 1985) and Joshua (born 1989). In 1985, when his first son was born and after the release of his Tao album, Springfield took a break from his musical career, to spend more time with his family, and to deal with the depression that had affected him since his adolescence. In January 2018, Springfield stated in an interview that he contemplated suicide in 2017. "Last year I was close to it, really close to it," explained Springfield on how he considered killing himself. "When Robin Williams and Chester (Bennington and Chris Cornell) and those guys… I didn't go, 'Oh that's terrible.' I went, 'I get it.' I get being that lost and dark."
At a concert at the House of Blues in Orlando, FL on 2 March 2006, Springfield announced he had become a US citizen. He announced, "after 30 plus years of paying so many taxes he decided it was more than time to become an American". He continued to say, "I am not sure how this is going to go over here but I am a Republican..which in my house only means that I cancel out my wife's vote because she votes for 'the other side'...so it's a wash".
Springfield's autobiography, Late, Late at Night: A Memoir (ISBN 978-1-4391-9115-6), was released in 2010. In October, it peaked at No. 13 on The New York Times Best Seller list. In May 2014, Springfield published Magnificent Vibration: a novel, which also made The New York Times Best Seller list.
In 1985, Jimmy Hart recorded the song "Eat Your Heart Out Rick Springfield", featured on The Wrestling Album. The premise of the song is that the object of Hart's affection seems to idolize Springfield to the point that Hart feels rivaled by him, prompting Hart to pick up singing as well in order to compete for his girl's affection. The song makes references to "Dr. Noah Drake" as well as to "Jessie's Girl". In a 2014 interview, Springfield claimed that although he had heard the title and was aware of the song's existence and had met with Jimmy Hart in person, he had never actually heard the song. Jonathan Coulton recorded the song "Je Suis Rick Springfield" about an American guy trying to impress a French girl he just met in France by pretending to be Springfield. It was recorded in 2011 and appeared on the album Artificial Heart.
|1982||Best Rock Vocal Male Performance||"Jessie's Girl"||Won|
|1983||"I Get Excited"||Nominated|
|1983||Best Pop Vocal Performance Male||"Don't Talk To Strangers"||Nominated|
|1984||Best Rock Vocal Male Performance||"Affair of the Heart"||Nominated|
"Affair of the Heart" is a hit song performed by rock musician Rick Springfield. It was released as the lead single from his Platinum-certified Living in Oz album.
The song peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at #10 on the Cash Box Top 100 during the summer of 1983. It was the fourth of Springfield's five Top 10 hits to date."Affair of the Heart" was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance in 1984, but lost to "Beat It" by Michael Jackson.Beginnings (Rick Springfield album)
Beginnings is the debut studio album by Australian musician Rick Springfield. The album was released on August 28, 1972, by Sparmac Records.
This album was issued in the U.S. on Capitol Records (SMAS-11047).Bruce (song)
"Bruce" is a song by Australian musician Rick Springfield. The song appeared on his 1984 album, Beautiful Feelings, reaching No. 27 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.Comic Book Heroes
Comic Book Heroes is the second studio album by Australian musician Rick Springfield. The album was released on September 17, 1973, by Wizard Records. In the U.S. this album was first issued on Capitol Records (SMAS-11206), then quickly withdrawn (because of legal proceedings) and subsequently issued on the Columbia Records label (KC-32704).Don't Talk to Strangers (Rick Springfield song)
"Don't Talk to Strangers" is a song written and performed by Australian musician Rick Springfield. This song was released as a single in 1982, from the album Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet. It reached #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks, making it his second biggest hit in the United States after the #1 hit, "Jessie's Girl". It was kept off the top spot by "Ebony and Ivory" by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. Springfield was nominated for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance with the song in 1983.Hard to Hold
Hard to Hold is an album by Rick Springfield issued by RCA Records in 1984 as the soundtrack to the film of the same name. The album includes three U.S. Top 40 hits, "Don't Walk Away", "Bop 'Til You Drop", and the top five hit "Love Somebody", with the duet with Randy Crawford, "Taxi Dancing" also charting. The album was later remastered by Steve Hoffman for the Razor and Tie reissue label. In addition to Springfield appearing on the soundtrack, there are two tracks that were exclusive to the CD, "When The Lights Go Down" by Graham Parker (which eventually ended up on the Parker rarites CD "The Art Van DeLay Collection") and Nona Hendryx's "Heart of a Woman". Peter Gabriel also appears on the CD performing "I Go Swimming" featured on his live album "Plays Live" from 1983.
Although the film received a mixed reception in theaters, the soundtrack album had several charting singles.Human Touch (Rick Springfield song)
"Human Touch" is a 1983 single performed by Australian musician Rick Springfield from his album Living in Oz. The song reached number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. It was also his most successful hit in the UK, peaking at number 23; this also led to a performance on Top of the Pops. Because of this being Springfield's only top 40 single in the UK, he is considered a one-hit wonder in England, despite the fact that "Jessie's Girl" is his biggest hit worldwide. However, that song only peaked at 43 in 1984 for Springfield, 3 years after its release in the UK.
The song was featured on the pop radio station Flash FM in 2006's Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories, a prequel set in 1984. Some of the music video is about some Marvel characters like Captain Marvel (Mar-Vell) and Nova Corps.I've Done Everything for You
"I've Done Everything for You" is a 1978 song written and sung by American rock musician Sammy Hagar and covered by Australian singer Rick Springfield whose version became a Top 10 hit in the United States in 1981.Jamaica (song)
"Jamaica" is a song by Canadian rock group Bachman–Turner Overdrive that appears on the 1979 album Rock n' Roll Nights. It features Jim Clench on lead vocals. It was written by well-known songwriter Jim Vallance. It was released as a single but did not chart. The song, along with "Heartaches," was played live on American Bandstand in February 1979 to support the Rock n' Roll Nights album release.
Using different lyrics, Rick Springfield remade the song under the title "Kristina" on his 1982 album Success Hasn't Spoiled Me Yet.Jessie's Girl
"Jessie's Girl" is a song written and performed by Australian singer Rick Springfield. It was released on the album Working Class Dog. The song is about unrequited love and centers on a young man in love with his best friend's girlfriend.
Upon its release in the United States in 1981, the song was slow to break out. It debuted on Billboard's Hot 100 chart on 28 March but took 19 weeks to hit No. 1 reaching that position on 1 August, one of the slowest climbs to number one at that time. It remained at No. 1 for two weeks and would be Springfield's only No. 1 hit. The song was at No. 1 when MTV launched on 1 August 1981. Ultimately spending 32 weeks on the chart, Billboard ranked it as the No. 5 song for all of 1981.The song also peaked at No. 1 in Springfield's native Australia and later won Springfield a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.
The song was released in the United Kingdom in March 1984 and peaked at number 43 on the UK Singles Chart in April 1984.Springfield recorded an acoustic version of the song for his 1999 album, Karma.Karma (Rick Springfield album)
Karma is an album by Australian singer-songwriter Rick Springfield. Following about a decade without a new album from Springfield, its 1999 release took place amid a resumption of touring as well. The album hit the #189 spot on the Billboard 200, and none of its singles managed to chart.Living in Oz
Living in Oz is an album released by rock musician Rick Springfield in 1983. The album was quickly certified Platinum in America.
In 1984, Springfield was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for the "Affair of the Heart" single, which peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 and #10 on the Cash Box Top 100.
The album's title is an allusion to living in Australia (Oz = Australia).Noah Drake
Noah Drake M.D. is a fictional character on the ABC daytime soap opera General Hospital. The role has been portrayed by Australian musician and actor Rick Springfield. In 2007, Springfield also played Drake's look-alike, fictional rock star Eli Love and at the 2013 Nurses Ball, Springfield portrayed himself during a performance of "Jessie's Girl".Rick Springfield discography
The discography of Australian rock music singer, Rick Springfield consists of seventeen studio albums, six compilation albums, two live albums, thirty-four singles and eleven music videos. In 1995, Springfield formed a side-project, Sahara Snow, with Tim Pierce on guitar and Bob Marlette on keyboards and percussion, which released a self-titled studio album in 1997.Rocket Science (Rick Springfield album)
Rocket Science is the 16th studio album by rock musician Rick Springfield.The Day After Yesterday
The Day After Yesterday is a 2005 studio album by Australian musician, singer-songwriter, and actor Rick Springfield.
It spent a single week on Billboard's album chart, peaking at #197. The album is composed largely of covers of his favorite songs written by other contemporary artists.Tim Pierce
Tim Pierce (born 1959 in Albuquerque) is an American session guitarist. He has worked for artists, such as Rick Springfield, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Johnny Van Zant, Meat Loaf, Patty Smith, Joe Cocker, Michael Jackson, Joan Armatrading, Madonna, Tina Turner, Rod Stewart, Roger Waters, Ricky Martin, Celine Dion, Eric Clapton, The Doobie Brothers, Elton John, Peter Cetera, Alice Cooper, Shakira, Carlos Santana, Ozzy Osbourne, Seo Taiji, Luis Jara, Vasco Rossi, Eros Ramazzotti, Jovanotti, Christina Aguilera, Tracy Chapman, Johnny Hallyday, Phil Collins and The Cheetah Girls.Pierce's parents were not musicians, although his father used to play the trumpet in his youth, which Pierce did not know. He first tasted mainstream success in the early 1980s, when he began recording with Rick Springfield, who was experiencing a resurgence in popularity due to his hit "Jessie's Girl". In addition to playing on the studio recordings that followed, he also joined Springfield's touring band throughout the 80's and appears in several of Springfield's music videos from the era. Another one of his early gigs was playing all guitars on Bon Jovi's debut single, "Runaway." Using this experience as a launching pad, he began extending his talents to other musicians, and he has since appeared as a session musician on countless albums.Pierce has recorded a solo album, Guitarland in 1995, by PRA Records.Working Class Dog
Working Class Dog is the fourth studio album by Australian rock musician Rick Springfield, released by RCA Records in 1981. The album was certified Platinum in America and eventually sold over three million US copies. It produced Springfield's biggest career hit with the #1 million-selling smash, "Jessie's Girl". Springfield was awarded the 1982 Grammy Award for Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male.
The album was re-released on CD in 2006 as a "25th anniversary edition" with three bonus tracks.
"Love Is Alright Tonite" was used to comedic effect in the film Wet Hot American Summer.