Friday night Amy and I went to see Rick Springfield in concert in Austin. We were super excited to go to the concert to see our childhood idol again. This was my 7th time to see him! Turns out number seven really is a lucky number. Let's start from the beginning.
The concert was supposed to start at 8:30 and the doors to the venue were opening at 7:30. Tickets were general admission so we wanted to get there early because we needed to be on the front row. We arrived at 6:30pm. Along with 14 other people. We were very happy to be at the front of the line. The excitement built as we realized we could probably outrun everyone in front of us if need be to make it to the front row.
In line we made some new friends. I began to realize that I am not the craziest Rick Springfield fan in the world. We met three ladies from the "valley" who skipped work and drove five hours to be at the concert. I was impressed. One of them even brought a guitar she had purchased at a previous Rick concert that was autographed by him. She was hoping he would play a song with it at the concert. They told us of their love for Rick and how many times they had seen him and met! him. Then I told them that I had asked my family to cancel my parents 50th wedding anniversary dinner that night so I could go to the concert instead. And they were all "okay, you win!" (We had dinner on Saturday instead) And my family (to my knowledge) completely understood that I needed to be at that concert.
At 7:30 the doors opened. We hustled on in and made it to the front row and had a seat. Then we waited out the next hour with our new friends from line talking about Rick. They told us how you could purchase a "meet and greet" session with him which included an autographed guitar and an opportunity to meet Rick. Now, the last time we saw him I almost bought that package. But in the end I didn't do it because we just didn't have the money for the splurge. But now Amy and I were really considering it. She texted her hubby to ask him what he thought. I texted my sister asking her for money. Amy's hubby texted her back saying he thought we should do it. I never heard back from my sister. In fairness, she didn't get that text until later in the night. Anyhow, we couldn't believe that Amy's husband was willing to splurge on this for us. But he was and after much debate she went and bought the package.
Then we sat for the next hour dreaming of what it would be like to meet Rick Springfield. You have to understand this was going to be the fulfillment of an almost lifelong dream. A 32 year dream. What would we say to him? Would we be able to touch him? Would he ask us to join him on the road? The possibilities were endless. Finally, the concert started. He was amazing. The man is 63 years old and has the energy level of my six year old. He is still handsome as can be and he is still a great musician. He played all of the old songs we love plus some of his new stuff. Incredible. The only downer was a drunk lady right behind us who kept waving a picture of her and Rick in front of my face trying to get him to see it. She actually elbowed me in the head a few times. I thought about grabbing her picture and tearing it to pieces to make her stop but I knew with certainty that she would beat me up.
Anyhow, the concert ended. Amy and I (and two of our new friends) headed to the rendezvous point where we would be whisked away to meet Rick. I had just enough time to buy myself a Jessie's Girl t-shirt. Twelve lucky people were able to meet with him after the concert. We saw him walking over to our group with a roadie or something. I'm going "Amy, Amy there he is. Amy." Then he walks right over to us and says with his amazing Australian accent "who wants to go first?" And I said "I do! I do!" So he walked over to where Amy was desperately trying to unwrap her newly acquired guitar. He helped her get it ready and then autographed it per her request to her hubby for giving us the opportunity. Then we got to take pictures. He draped his arms around both of us and held on TIGHT! Pictures were being snapped. Amy grabbed onto him with both arms and said something about how we saw him for the first time 30 years ago and have been fans ever since. I honestly can't remember what he said to us.
I do remember the only words coming out of my mouth at that point were "oh my word. oh my word. oh my heavenly word." Because I am so eloquent. And cool under pressure. And that's exactly how I pictured myself acting when I met him after 32 years. So after the pictures were taken he started to walk away. And I realized my chance to connect and have a conversation with him was almost over. So I think I grabbed him and said "I have to tell you that today is my parents 50th wedding anniversary and I made my family postpone their party a day so I could come see you tonight!" And he was just looking at me very intently the whole time. And he looked a little teary eyed by my speech. And then he took both of his hands and placed one on each of my cheeks and smiled at me and said "thank you." Then he just enveloped me in the biggest hug ever. Then I died and went to heaven. Well, not really.
Meeting Rick Springfield was seriously one of the best moments of my life. Not because of some silly teeny bopper crush I had thirty years ago. But because he was so incredibly kind to us. He didn't act like we were lucky to be meeting him or that we were in any way bothering him. He actually seemed very humble and a little bit shy. Yes, he is still handsome and nice to look at. But at this point the connection I feel toward him is more about the music. Every song he sings brings specific memories to mind-where I was when that song came out, who my friends were, how we bonded over a musician. We were afraid that meeting him might be a let down-that somehow he wouldn't be as dreamy in life as he was in our dreams. But, I am happy to say we were not disappointed. And I'm so happy to have had that moment with Amy-fellow fan, lifelong confidant and my full time giggle inspiring best friend.