Rick Springfield is more than meets the eye

2013-02-01T00:00:00Z 2013-02-02T01:40:06Z Rick Springfield is more than meets the eyeLauri Harvey Keagle lauri.keagle@nwi.com, (219) 852-4311 nwitimes.com

Rick Springfield is in his Malibu, Calif. home speaking softly and sweetly about his new dog.

"She's amazing," he says of the Norwich terrier he named Bindi, an Australian Aboriginal word meaning "little girl."

To the throngs of adoring women who flock to his concerts and set their TiVos for every television acting gig, this is Springfield, the sexy, sensitive Aussie-born teen heart-throb from the 1980s.

Springfield will perform for fans Feb. 8 at Silver Creek Event Center at Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, Mich.

Many fans fell head over heels for the now 63-year-old with the release of his 1981 No. 1 hit "Jessie's Girl" and during his years playing Dr. Noah Drake on the soap opera "General Hospital."

But the rocker/actor revealed in his 2010 autobiography, "Late, Late at Night ...A Memoir" that behind the dreamy public persona is a darker side. Springfield has been battling depression since childhood.

His latest album, the 2012 release "Songs for the End of the World," taps into that darkness for inspiration.

"There is a real thought to it," Springfield says of the album. "I believe we're at a real tipping point with what we're doing to the Earth and the animals. I think the Earth is trying to fight back and take care of itself. We're supposed to take care of it and we're being pretty bad care-givers."

Fellow '80s rockers John Waite and Mr. Mister's Richard Page appear as backup vocalists on the album, which includes the self-effacing three-chord anthem "I Hate Myself."

"You've got to have humor or you go all dark and no one wants to hear that," Springfield says. "I think they're very hopeful songs."

Springfield also appears in the new feature-length documentary "Sound City," directed and produced by Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters and Nirvana. The documentary details the infamous recording studio in Van Nuys, Calif., where Springfield recorded three albums.

"Sound City was a really important studio to me," Springfield says.

Grohl purchased the Neve 8028 recording console from Sound City Studios and soon decided to write the documentary about the artists who recorded there. Springfield wrote and recorded a song for the film with Grohl titled, "The Man Who Wasn't There."

"Initially it started as just doing interviews and he got the idea of doing a song," Springfield says. "It was great. They're a great band."

The pair performed the song last week at the Sundance Film Festival, where the film was being shown. Plans are underway to perform at several other international premiers for the film as well.

Springfield still plays close to 100 live shows a year and recently appeared in roles on "Californication" and "Hot in Cleveland."

He is hoping to do another "Hot in Cleveland" episode soon.

"I definitely want to get back into TV," Springfield says. "TV is the new radio these days."

Springfield says in addition to increasing his acting gigs, he is planning another vacation package for fans in November at a resort in Florida.

"We did cruises for a couple of years and I got sick of people getting sea sick and throwing up and having to wash my hands all the time," he says. "I wander around the property with an acoustic guitar and play and hang around the pool."

In past events, he has had special guests from 1980s-era music and plans to do so again, but none have been finalized.

"We look for people who are fun," he said. "It's a five-day party."

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