Gone to the Movies: “Love Somebody”
In 1984, Rick Springfield was at the height of his popularity. Fresh off his two-year stint on General Hospital as Dr. Noah Drake, flush off the success of a trio of albums (led by 1981′s Working Class Dog), Springfield took the next logical step in his quest for world domination: He made a movie.
Hard to Hold was not an especially good movie. The plot revolved around the romance between an immensely popular pop-rock star and a child psychologist in San Francisco (featuring real-life rock star wife Patti Hansen as his ex). It was typical boy-meets-girl stuff. Springfield wasn’t a bad actor, although he was a much better pop star. The soundtrack was mostly Springfield, but had a track by Graham Parker and another by Peter Gabriel–all in all, it was pretty good music.
“Love Somebody” was the hit single, and it’s long been one of my favorite Springfield tunes. It was power pop at its best; you could easily imagine it being a hit for Cheap Trick or The Knack or . . . Rick Springfield. I think Springfield gets a bad rap sometimes, but he was a more than competent songwriter, performer, and musician. His music was always catchy and fun. Some of the dismissal of him as an artist comes from the fact that he wrote accessible, popular music; the rest is probably blowback from his soap opera fame and incredible popularity. You literally could not throw a rock without hitting something with Rick Springfield’s face on it.
His fame eventually faded, and he became something of a has-been, even though he still records and tours regularly. He’s had his problems–alcohol, depression, infidelity–but seems to have leveled out these days. Oh yeah, and he’s still really, really good-looking.