Jessie is a friend. Yeah I know he’s been a good friend of mine…
For a large majority in society, “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield is a well known feel good karaoke song. From the first initial beats of the song, it gets the feet tapping and the heads bouncing along to the beat as he tells the story about a boy who wants to go with a girl who just so happens to be the girlfriend of his good friend Jessie. C’mon, you know what I’m talking about! But what about the man behind this classic perceived one-hit-wonder? What does he think and/or feel about the success of his song? What is his life story? What are his truths?
In Late, Late At Night, Rick Springfield reveals all of gritty details of his life so far. It is a very revealing memoir, which at times could be real slow at times but at other times a real eye opener, as he takes you from his youth in Australia to present day life in Malibu, California. He very candidly speaks of his self hatred, his depression, and his sexual trangressions. He discusses how his constant desire to feel wanted and accepted, his need for fulfillment, and his fear of disappointment impacted not only himself but also the people around him such as his wife and his children. He admits his mistakes, and his flaws, and expresses how he has always felt more accepted in the company of a dog than in the company of society. Rick Springfield really holds nothing back in this very honest and open memoir about his trials and tribulations inside and outside the music business.
What brought me to reading Late, Late At Night? Admittedly, I’ve always liked Rick Springfield’s music. Yes, he does actually have more than one song! In fact, he has had around twelve albums released, and his newest one will actually be released on October 9th. Anyway, I’m not exactly sure how I came across it but I do know that from time to time I find myself feeling the need to listen to it, and I just crank it up. So being a fan of his music, when I came across his memoir at the library, I couldn’t resist picking it up, and giving it a shot. I’m actually really glad I did too. For some fans of Rick Springfield, a memoir like this may change ones opinion of him but not me. I mean, I’ve never really been a “die-hard” fan but I appreciated his music … and I still do. I also have gained an insight to the man behind the music.
The man behind the music is flawed but he isn’t asking for forgiveness or understanding in his story. Instead, he is putting his story on paper for all to see, and for all to read. He has plenty of transgressions but he is also unmistakably vulnerably human. Yes, his multiple infidelities are troublesome but honestly that is not something I can judge. Also as someone with a background in psychology, I know that having depression and a possibly sex addiction can truly be a double edged sword because the individual is always looking for some sort of fulfillment but never really thinks that they are good enough to achieve it. This is not an excuse for his actions but it also really does not help the situation at all. It is a sad situation, and his wife is truly a saint for having put up with him through all of it.
What did I take away from Late, Late At Night? Honestly, I think I took away an even greater appreciation for Rick Springfield’s music. It was interesting to read about how each album reflects where he was in his life. I think knowing more about his life will cause me to interpret his music in a different way. I also am taking away a better insight on the man behind the music who even with his flaws is also very humane and compassionate. This is shown through his love for his family, his love for dogs, his search for spirituality, and by his connection to a sweet little girl named Sahara, who sadly passed away from a brain-stem tumor at only thirteen years old. This memoir is NOT for the easily offended or the judgmental but it is heartbreakingly honest and I’m glad I decided to give it a shot.
Disclosure: Borrowed from library.
Other Reviews of Late, Late At Night by Rick Springfield:
Misbehavinlibrarian — “Beautifully honest and raw…”