The Art of Fangirling - Part I

It was a blistering ninety-five degrees on a Tuesday afternoon in September in The Woodlands, Texas, and my friend and I arrived at the gate of the venue with our VIP passes in hand.

As is our custom, we moved mountains to get ourselves there, putting my adorable husband on carpool duty for all four kids.

One never knows who you might encounter at these things, but after seeing the documentary, An Affair of the Heart, about Rick Springfield’s Super Fans, I was anticipating some interesting characters.

And we were surely not disappointed.

Most of those stories will be told in Part II next week, as there are too many words for today.  As crazy a fan as I might seem to some people, I am nowhere near the level of rabid zealotry that some of these ladies possess.

As we made our way up to the stage to watch the sound check, I felt a little wave of excitement when we came around the corner and saw Rick and his band on stage rehearsing.

There’s just something that rock stars have that the rest of us don’t. 

A magnetic force-field that sucks you in and mesmerizes you. 

You know, when you’re an almost forty-five year old mom whose days mostly consist of grocery shopping, doing laundry, and dealing with kids, this was exactly the kind of shock to the system I needed to break me out of my rut.

As we were watching the sound check, Joey, Rick’s assistant, started passing around a yellow pad of sticky notes, and I could see a woman writing her name and what looked like numbers down and passing it to the next person.  

So, I followed suit (I thought) and wrote my name and number down on the sticky note on top. 

I handed it back to Joey, and he gave me sort of a strange look and said, “You can keep that.”

I showed my friend what I’d done, and she started dying laughing.

“You’re trying to slip your phone number to Rick Springfield!” she howled. 

“You’re supposed to just put your name, so he’ll know what to write when he signs your picture.”

Oh.

Geez, how embarrassing.  No wonder Joey looked at me like I was crazy. I bet he gets this ALL THE TIME.

But no time to fret, because it was my turn to meet Rick and have my picture taken. Take a deep breath, relax, act natural, I told myself. He's just a normal person.

And I must look super normal to him compared to some of these other fans.  I don’t have his face tattooed on my leg, and I’m not shaking or crying. 

I sidled up to him, expecting the prerequisite “I don’t really want to hug you but I have to” arm loosely slung around my shoulders. But what I got was this:

*swoon*

When he grabbed me and pulled me in close, I instantaneously saw all my girlhood images of him flash before my eyes: 

The pinup from Tiger Beat 1982 (can I just add how disturbing it is that I, a 12 year old, had a picture of a 30-something man on my wall?):

My first love!

Getting dropped off at the Preston Royal movie theater in Dallas in 1984 to see Hard to Hold (again, my mother let me see this movie, given this was the promotional poster??):

Seriously?!

Rick on the cover of Dynamite, the Scholastic magazine (since he's so, um, scholastic):

I remember this one sooo well.

Rick adorned my preteen walls, in the company of Scott Baio, Dirk Benedict (from Battlestar Gallactica), Leif Garrett, Shaun Cassidy, and Parker Stevenson (Hardy Boys):

Heartthrobs of the '80s

Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital:

I wanted to be a nurse because of him.

Ahh, such happy memories from the decade of extreme excess.

He signed a picture of himself for me, plus my copy of Magnificent Vibration, a novel he wrote recently that has garnered some great reviews, and I told him I was looking forward to reading it.  He said he hoped I’d enjoy it and thanked me for coming.

It was a very pleasant but short experience.  Not life changing, but somehow bringing me full circle with the girl I once was, full of hopes, dreams, and innocent fantasies.

It was an experience I’ll probably never get to replicate, and one I’ll always remember.

I think the thing about turning forty-five is that you realize that shit is getting real.  

I see too many cases of illness and misfortune around me. I know that my life is no longer a vast, never-ending open road in front of me, but more a path with an end in sight.

So maybe this is a midlife crisis, or maybe it’s just a realization that this is the only life I’m going to get, so I better step it up.  Either way, I intend to kick into high “bucket list” mode.

Given my ‘80s music junkie tendencies, I plan to meet as many more of these lovelies as I can.

The ones that are still alive, that is.

Duran Duran, I’m coming for you next!

Coming soon: The Art of Fangirling – Part II.  You won’t want to miss this glimpse into the world of Rick Springfield Super Fans, who will stop at nothing to get to him.  I’ll give you this teaser now…that puddle on the ground you thought was beer might be something far worse! Tune in to the blog next week for these fun stories and more!

And enjoy this video I took at the concert.  Rick puts on an amazing show and does not disappoint! Check out the rock star move with the roses. And please excuse the poor skills of the videographer. I correct my mistake about ten seconds in…

Comments

  1. Well written. Having just signed up for a Sound Check/Meet and Greet myself (for a reason that truly escapes me...other than to say I felt "compelled" to do it), I'm looking forward to reading Part 2. You Only Live Once, right?

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    Replies
    1. So true, you only live once, and I cannot wait to hear about your experience meeting Rick! Please report back!!

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