weather icon Clear

’80s icon Rick Springfield still rockin’ after all these years

Jessie’s girl would be lucky to know him now. After all, Rick Springfield isn’t one of those guys who is stuck in the ’80s. The pop icon circa 2019 has an edgy bite and a wicked sense of humor combined with brutal honesty.

Past demons? He could sing about that all night. “Ask anyone who is rich. It doesn’t change who you are inside. It may change how people perceive you. You still get up and look in the mirror. It’s still you in that mirror. That doesn’t change, which means you better deal with your personal (expletive),” said the Grammy winner who comes to The Pearl at the Palms on July 27.

Springfield spoke to us while cruising around Malibu on a warm summer day.

Review-Journal: What is a great Sunday for you?

Rick Springfield: Sunday runs into Monday with me when it comes to gigs and travel. So, I don’t really have a Sunday off because I’m mostly working. I actually wish God had picked Monday as the day of rest. Why not change things so everyone works Sundays and has Mondays off, where we barbecue and hang by the pool?

You’ve done a Vegas residency. Where did you live when you worked here?

I lived in Spanish Trail because I wanted to be near water. You can’t get water in Vegas, except if you’re near a golf course. They’re always watering them. I figured Spanish Trail would be the most-moist environment. I loved my time in Vegas except it’s a very tough environment for a singer. You get dry Vegas throat until you get used to it.

Tell us about your show at the Palms. Will you be playing all the hits?

Yes I’m going to play all my hits. I’ve got a killer band. It’s a completely new show where we’ll do my hits and some new stuff and some oldies.

Do you remember the first time you played Vegas?

It was around 1981 and I played Caesars, I think. It was still old Vegas back then. It was before it got hip for rockers. In fact, some thought, “Why would anyone play here?” Now, of course, Vegas is a super-hip place that everyone wants

to play.

You were candid about sex addiction and depression in your autobiography, “Late, Late at Night.”

It was honest. I had to include those things because they’re part of my story. People have latched onto those topics, but I don’t have a stigma about it. If I can talk about it and it can help people, that’s great.

How did depression play into your music?

I always thought it was what drove me. When you’re depressed, you look in and try to figure out why. I always saw the gold in it as a songwriter. My depression was on and off, up and down. Again, talking about it takes the stigma off it. It makes it OK. I even talk about it in my shows. Why not address it?

Bruce Springsteen has also talked of his depression. Why do artist types quite often face what you call “the darkness” in their lives?

If someone is happy all the time, they wouldn’t be performers. We don’t think we’re enough. That’s what makes us want to be performers. As for making it, it’s still brutal and hard just like any other career. It has its upsides for sure, but there are a lot of lonely years that can drag you down. Success doesn’t make everything wonderful.

What do you do now to lift yourself out of depression.

I hug my dog. I’m not kidding here. You can’t be depressed when you hug your dog. I try to turn it into something constructive. Yorkie mix, a goddess named Bindi. She’s a little rat. She’s also a spoiled princess. She has a red velvet throne and someone feeds her treats on it.

What’s the rush of performing now?

It’s all about connecting with an audience. You can play the songs 30,000 times. But it’s pure joy when you watch a moment or a lyric really connect. I’m always watching for audience reaction. Are they connecting? These songs of mine connect with distinct memories in people’s lives. When you come out to the show, we celebrate together. It’s a great thing. Whenever you can connect with people in this world, it’s amazing. I don’t get to connect off stage. I’m pretty quiet and alone when I’m not performing.

You’re writing a novel. What’s the plotline?

Music and depression. The main character is a musician who suffers from depression and is a sex addict. It’s kind of interesting. People say to write what you know, so I’m writing what I know. This is my third novel and this time it’s truer to life.

You have a side hustle as an actor with credits including playing the dashing Dr. Noah Drake on “General Hospital” and emoting opposite Meryl Streep in “Ricki and the Flash.” Will you act again?

Yeah, of course. I’m just looking for the right thing. Acting is a different thing. You can always write a song. With acting, unless you’re writing a screenplay, you’re just kind of waiting for what is available. It’s a different kind of vibe.

Are you always writing songs?

I’m always thinking about it. And I’m always thinking about writing a limerick on a bathroom wall.

What’s your goal for the Vegas show?

Send them away hot and sweaty.

It’s 109 outside here.

I want them to come in hot and sweaty … and leave even sweatier.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Entertainment Videos
Juan’s Flaming Fajitas in Las Vegas celebrates National Fajita Day
Cook Ruben Fuentes and general manager Taylor Pulliam of Juan’s Flaming Fajitas in Las Vegas prepare steak and shrimp fajitas with the restaurant’s signature fiery treatment. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pasta Shop Ristorante serves a watermelon-shrimp salad
Pasta Shop Ristorante & Art Gallery in Henderson serves a summer salad that combines watermelon with greens, feta and shrimp. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Factory Kitchen in Las Vegas makes classic affogato
Jorge Luque, pastry chef at The Factory Kitchen at The Venetian in Las Vegas, makes affogato with two simple ingredients - house-made gelato and fresh espresso. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review Journal with image from The Factory Kitchen)
The Cereal Killerz Kitchen serves over 100 cereals
Christopher Burns, owner of The Cereal Killerz Kitchen at Galleria at Sunset mall in Henderson, makes a Milk & Cookies Shake from his more than 100 varieties of cereal. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer in Las Vegas makes a State Fair CrazyShake
Bianca Zepeva, a shaker at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer at The Venetian in Las Vegas, makes a State Fair CrazyShake with a kettle corn rim, caramel, corn-based ice cream, popcorn brittle, crushed kettle corn, sprinkles and a cherry. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
Balboa Pizza Company makes Thai peanut chicken wings
Irma Perez, kitchen manager at Balboa Pizza Company at The District at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson, near Las Vegas, brines chicken wings for 24 hours before roasting and frying them and finishing them in various styles such as Thai peanut. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal)
New Venetian pool deck
Final touches are currently being added to the hotel’s main tower pool deck, which consists of five pools. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who is Vegas Vic? (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada State Museum Director Dennis McBride explains the origins of the Vegas icon.
Slater’s 50/50 in Las Vegas serves a 4-pound Big Island Feast Burger
Cindy Sun, general manager of Slater’s 50/50 in Las Vegas, makes the Big Island Feast Burger with 2 1/2 pounds of the house bacon/beef blend, Napa-cilantro slaw, six slices of American cheese, a can of grilled Spam, six slices of chargrilled pineapple, four fried eggs and a drizzle of teriyaki and serves it with macaroni salad. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Get a first look of MSG Sphere construction in Las Vegas
Representatives of The Madison Square Garden Company give the first glimpse of progress Tuesday of the under-construction MSG Sphere — a first-of-its-kind performance venue with high-tech audio and visual capabilities.
Shark Week cupcakes at Freed’s Bakery in Las Vegas
Brittnee Klinger, a cake decorator at Freed’s Bakery in Las Vegas, makes Shark Week cupcakes with ocean-blue buttercream, fondant fins and a blood-red strawberry filling. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Fans and friends recall Elvis opening in Las Vegas
Fifty years ago on July 31st 1969, Elvis Presley opened at the International hotel in Las Vegas. He went on to do 837 consecutive sold-out shows at the property.
Hot peach cobbler at Beaumont’s Southern Kitchen at Texas Station
Michael Ross, room chef/pitmaster at Beaumont’s Southern Kitchen at Texas Station in Las Vegas, makes peach cobbler by baking peaches in a cast-iron pan with batter and crumble, then topping with Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream and bourbon-caramel sauce. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Water Grill opens at The Forum Shops at Caesars in Las Vegas
Water Grill, from a 30-year-old California company opening its first Las Vegas location, specializes is fresh seafood including 16 types of oysters. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Cat's Meow comes to Las Vegas
New Orleans-based karaoke chain opens new location in Neonopolis. (Jason Bracelin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making the Loco Moco Breakfast Burger at Broken Yolk Cafe in Las Vegas
Manny Menina, line cook at Broken Yolk Cafe in Las Vegas, stacks 8 ounces of beef, 2 strips of bacon, hash browns, caramelized onions and 2 fried eggs on 4 King’s Hawaiian slider buns to make the Loco Moco Breakfast Burger. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
SecretBurger at China Poblano at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Carlos Cruz, executive chef of Jose Andres’ China Poblano at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, makes the SecretBurger off-menu, one-night-only ‘All Quacked Up’ with a kimchi pancake, Peking duck, house-made hoisin sauce, a fried duck egg, pickled micro-vegetables, caviar and gold flakes and serves it with a Stillwater Artisanal Ale. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Famous Blue Angel statue commemorated in downtown Las Vegas mural
The 16-foot tall Blue Angel statue that stood above the Blue Angel Motel for six decades is featured in a mural spanning three walls at a downtown Las Vegas building. James Stanford designed the “A Phalanx of Angels Ascending" mural based on his photography, and Cliff Morris painted the mural at 705 Las Vegas Blvd. North, near the Neon Museum. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Making Castle Frites at the new Frites at Excalibur
Tom McGrath, district manager/executive chef at Frites at the Excalibur in Las Vegas, tops his beef-tallow fries like a loaded baked potato - with white and yellow cheddar, sour cream, bacon and chives. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hello Kitty Cafe on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
The Hello Kitty Cafe opens Friday, July 12th, 2019, between New York, New York and Park MGM on the Las Vegas Strip. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Amano Las Vegas' Fat Baby Sandwich
Chef Jason Weber of Amano Las Vegas has created a sandwich stuffed with pasta, and it's a hit. (Mat Luschek / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A class at Melissa Coppel Chocolate and Pastry School in Las Vegas.
Melissa Coppel, who teaches classes in various countries around the world, attracts students from far and wide to her eponymous school in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Havana Lobster at Boteco in Las Vegas. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Marcus Fortunato, co-owner of Boteco in Las Vegas, learned to make Havana Lobster from the chef at El Figaro, a favorite of former Cuban President Fidel Castro.
Chef Gustav Mauler Is retiring
Las Vegas chef Gustav Mauler announces his retirement on Sunday, June 30, 2019.
Bellagio Conservatory unveils Italian summer exhibit
The Bellagio's Conservatory & Botanical Gardens have opened the gates to its summer display. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
A.D. Hopkins on his debut novel
Veteran journalist introduces readers to “The Boys Who Woke Up Early.” (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Seven Magic Mountains restoration complete
Artist Ugo Rondinone’s iconic Seven Magic Mountains receives a complete painting restoration in June 2019.
Making off-the-menu bean curd rolls at Mr. Chow in Las Vegas
Senior chef tournant Cesar Laran has created secret bean curd rolls at Mr. Chow at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. To make them, he rolls bean curd sheets around a filling of carrots, celery and shiitake mushrooms, then smokes them with oolong tea and sugar. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Making Bread Pudding French Toast at Esther’s Kitchen in Las Vegas
James Trees, chef/owner of Esther’s Kitchen in Las Vegas, slices house-made blueberry bread pudding, coats it in egg yolks and mascarpone, fries it and tops it with spiced walnuts, Lyle’s Golden Syrup and creme fraiche. Heidi Knapp Rinella/Review-Journal
Celine Dion closes 1,141-show residency on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
Hear from Celine Dion about her 16 years on the Las Vegas Strip and what the future has in store for her. (Caesars Entertainment)
Jason Aldean announces shows on Las Vegas Strip

Jason Aldean has mused for years about a run in Las Vegas. He’s found his spot at Park Theater on Dec. 6-8 with “Ride All Night.”

Mogwai at Psycho Las Vegas — PHOTOS

Scottish instrumentalists Mogwai are known for their amps-to-11 live shows, where the dynamics inherent in their sweeping compositions come to exceptionally loud life.