A crowd of nearly 4,000 residents and friends from the Verrado community came out to celebrate the community’s 10th anniversary on Saturday, April 5. Bouncy houses, kettle corn, a rock climbing wall, and glow lights made the experience enjoyable for children and a nice outing for parents. Nothing compared to the excitement that filled the area when Rick Springfield appeared onstage. The crowd went wild with fans who have admired the icon since their teeny bopper years. The musician shared songs from his latest album, Songs for the End of the World, like “I Hate Myself,” “Our Ship is Sinking,” and “You & Me.” He even did a cover of Katy Perry’s “Roar.” Visuals in the background showed clips of him performing in the 80’s and other videos clips representing the songs he played throughout the concert. Toward the end of the night, he performed the infamous “Jessie’s Girl” by first providing a montage of the movies and TV Shows that have used the song and then allowing the crowd to sing along with him. After the show, community members that won tickets to have a meet-and-greet with Springfield took pictures and received autographs on memorabilia they had saved over the years. AFM sat down with Springfield to ask him more about his achievements and what the Valley can look forward to next.
AFM: How have you been enjoying your time in Arizona? What do you like to do while you’re here?
RS: I like to sleep, I like to play concerts, and eat at a nice Japanese restaurant. We landed this morning at 10 a.m., had a sound check, did the show, and now we’re going to go out to dinner. People think you have a lot of time on the road, but you really don’t. We get invited to play tennis all the time though.
AFM: Can you tell us what the Valley can expect from your summer tour with Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo in July?
RS: It’s going be a great show. I’ve known them for years; we recorded “Jessie’s Girl.” I’m surprised it took this long to figure it all out. All the songs are great; both bands are really strong. So it’s all going to be seeing who can kick whose butt.
AFM: Congratulations on receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. When can we expect to see your name on the infamous sidewalk?
RS: May 16. My first novel, “Magnificent Vibration,” is coming out May 6 so we’re going to be doing a promo collaboration with the star. The star is going out in front of the Live Nation Building.
AFM: What has been the highlight of your career so far?
RS: I don’t think that’s happened yet. Maybe the first time I played “Jessie’s Girl” and the crowd roared because they recognized. I used to be that kid in the audience doing that for every other band when I was young. So experiencing that for a song I wrote was pretty memorable.