I'd never been to a concert before, when my friend Jan invited me to join her and her older brother at a Rick Springfield & Corey Hart concert that Friday night in 1984 at Poplar Creek Music Theater. Certain my mom would never let me go, I was 13 after all, I asked anyway. Rick Springfield's music was my music back then. He was my first celebrity crush. Like every other teen-age girl, I had his picture in my locker and I swooned over his every music video, not unlike the way our mother's swooned over Elvis' hip-grinding on Merv Griffin. But, by some great miracle, my mom said yes, and we were off.
We sang and danced the night away in our pavillion seats, and the whole night I had strange feelings running through my body. Feelings, that as a 13 year old, I'd never experienced before. I didn't have a word for the tingles that ran through my spine, I just knew the urges were strong. I now know that word is "lust."
I grew up. Rick Springfield faded from the covers of 16 Magazine and Tiger Beat. I never became Mrs. Rick Springfield or Mrs. Dr. Noah Drake. But every time I hear an old Rick Springfield song in the car, I turn it up and sing just a little louder. I've often wondered if my lust for Rick at 13 is why every significant man in my life has had that Rick Springfield look - dark wavy hair, dark eyes, olive skin.
Until last night . . . when I was a lusty teen-ager all over again.
For the first time in eight years, Rick headlined at Frontier Days (his only free concert of the year!) and my girlfriends and I planned a "Night of Rick" to relive our youth. Cheryl and I met at Rec Park at 5:45am to save our front row spots on the lawn for his 8:00pm show. Much to our dismay, we were not the first to arrive. Many women had spent the night, camped out on the ground.
By the time Rick took the stage 14 hours later, the park was full with screaming fans. And Cheryl, Shannon, Diana, Sheelagh, Lynn, and I were in the front row. Pressed up against the fence that separated the stage from over 8,000 lustful women. We could feel his sweat. When he sang "I've Done Everything For You," "Affair of the Heart," "Don't Talk to Strangers," and "Jessie's Girl," I thought he was singing only to me. His eyes were still piercing. We screamed, danced, swooned, fantastized, and sang for the entire 1 1/2 hour show. By the time he came into the audience to sing "Human Touch," Sheelagh had moved from the fence and happened to be standing in the exact spot he stopped in. As he sang, she grabbed his ass. Telling me about it later, I took her hand and touched it to my face fully believing I now had a little bit of Rick on me. It was a moment straight out of the Brady Bunch when Davy Jones kissed Marcia and she swore she'd never wash her face again.
At the end of the night, Rick answered every woman's prayer when he returned for his encore . . . SHIRTLESS. WOW. I thought I'd died and gone to Heaven. In spite of his 57 years, his body was better than that of most 30-year-old men. Not only did he have 6-pack abs, but I think they may have been an actual 12-pack. Cheryl, Lynn, and I were still pressed against the fence just feet from Rick, and I'm certain I went home covered in the sweat from his naked body.
Yes, Rick Springfield taught me about lust at age 13 and gave me a 90-minute refresher course last night. I may never be the same.