RICK SPRINGFIELD 1970-1984

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I’ve Done Everything For You (S Hagar) 1981 and Don’t Talk To Strangers (R Springfield) – Rick Springfield 1982

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I’ve Done Everything For You would be the follow-up to Jessie’s Girl, it had already been offered to radio stations at the same time as Jessie’s Girl which had been the runaway hit for Springfield, so it became the second song lifted off the Working Dog album. It was a cover of the original song released by its composer Sammy Hagar in 1978 which failed to chart, and had initially been offered to Pat Benatar (below with husband Neil Giraldo) who thought it was too macho for a woman to record.

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Lyrically it was pretty standard fare about a one-way love affair and a potentially exploitive relationship between two people, but it boasted a solid chorus, and producer Keith Olsen once again insisted that Rick’s guitar-playing was not up to standard for the recording and used Neil Giraldo again on bass and lead guitar. It seems that there was a general perception that Springfield was first and foremost an actor in a soap series, and not a musician with considerable prior experience, never the less the record enabled Springfield to maintain chart momentum with a solid #8 in the US, #31 in Aust and top 40 in Canada.

Springfield returned to form with Don’t Talk To Strangers, an original composition which was a substantial #2 hit in the US and #10 in Australia. Taken off his Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me album the lyrics were inspired by a period of instability in the relationship between Springfield and his girlfriend Barbara Porter. The song title DTTS, was a slogan used in the US equivalent to Australia’s Stranger Danger program, to safeguard and protect children from crime, the album artwork again featured Rick’s mutt Ronnie, this time in a rock star pose in the back seat of a limousine with several attractive poodles, Rick appeared as the bemused chauffeur.

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Springfield has admitted to being unfaithful to Porter whilst touring, his tour bus was dubbed the “Springfield School Bus for Undisciplined Very Naughty Girls”, as Rick was yielding to the temptations of the rock and roll lifestyle, but also feeling insecure and neurotic about his own partner’s fidelity. Springfield’s memoirs Late, Late At Night, gleefully documented the life of a young rock star sowing his wild oats, and his affairs with such women as Linda Blair, Lynne Randall, Susan George, Allison Durbin, Demi Moore, Valerie Bertinelli, Connie Hamzy, Morgana Welsh, and Geraldine Edwards, get an airing in his less than discreet memoirs. There were also frequent trysts with groupies, photographers, publicists, and others with whom he came into brief contact when touring. There is little doubt that this hedonistic behaviour fueled the personal doubts and insecurities that inspired him to write this song, and would continue to plague him, and feed his depressive disorder, throughout his life.

Tim Pierce does most of the guitar-playing – Rick plays the rock star.

Despite the rocky nature of their relationship, which was punctuated by temper tantrums, separations, and bouts of continued philandering by Springfield, Rick and Barbara would ultimately wed in Melbourne in 1984 (below), there was a 12 year age gap between the two, but they have subsequently raised a family, two sons Liam and Joshua, and remain married and comfortably ensconced at their matrimonial home in Malibu.

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Being married hasn’t always curbed Springfield’s addiction to casual non-monogamous sex, but the couple have now been together for over 36 years, and their two sons maintain low profiles with little social media exposure.

Three songs on the album Success Hasn’t Spoiled MeDon’t Talk to Strangers (#2 USA, and #10 Aust), What Kind Fool Am I (#21 USA), and I Get Excited (#32 USA) , were inspired by Rick’s wife Barbara, whether it was guilt, regret, or genuine affection for his partner that was the source of the inspiration, is hard to say, but the song titles should be a clue. Producer Keith Olsen did not want to include Strangers on the album but Springfield persisted, and it became the lead single and biggest hit, again Olsen would not allow Springfield to play guitar on this track, and Chris Sandford was the session guitarist along with Springfield on other tracks. Tom Kelly who wrote Like A Virgin (Madonna) and True Colours (Cindy Lauper), and Richard Page (Mr. Mister) provided backing vocals; and according to Rick’s memoirs, two girls performed sex acts in the recording studio during the session, but apparently were not credited on the track personnel. The song became a live performance favorite where Rick maximized audience participation, by asking everyone from the security personnel to all his fans to join him in the chorus “Don’t Talk to Strangers.”

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