Saturday, October 03, 2009

Kraig and Rick, Sittin' in a Tree...

My friend Kraig's blog, Boy Hates Girl, recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. But there's a more specific reason that I point to it today.

All of us have guilty pleasures. And as I've often argued, this doesn't mean Hall & Oates. Hall & Oates are awesome, and if you feel guilty for liking them, you're a socialist. Or worse. If there is anything worse.

No, I mean guilty. Like, if I'm in a bodega, and that Miley Cyrus song about wanting to move mountains comes on, I don't mind. I should get at least 140 hours of community service for that.

Over the past several months, though, Kraig has been bravely blogging about his love for the music of Rick Springfield. There isn't a single typo in that last sentence. And here's the thing: We're not talking about a love of "Jessie's Girl" or even a love of "Jessie's Girl" and "Don’t Talk to Strangers." There would be some mental template for understanding that.

No, Kraig loves “the music of Rick Springfield,” broadly speaking.

This makes my friend Dez’s love for the entire solo catalog of Men at Work lead singer Colin Hay look like an obsession with Handel.

Kraig is straight. Kraig is deeply sarcastic and skeptical. Kraig is not, as far as I know, drawn to kitsch for kitsch’s sake. Kraig is not clinically insane. I’m not sure even Kraig knows what this is all about, and that’s part of what makes it fascinating.

Springfield has recorded 16 albums, five of them before he broke out as a heartthrob on General Hospital. So he’s certainly put in his time. And I learned from Kraig that Springfield can actually play guitar. He also looks ridiculously good for 60(!), not in a grizzled-but-fit Springsteen way, but in a boyish Michael J. Fox way. And how did I learn all of this? You see, Kraig has a “Friday Night Video” feature. He ripped off this feature from me (on Wednesdays), but that’s OK, I ripped it off from someone else and didn’t even bother changing the day. Besides, blogging itself is just something everyone ripped off from diarists and letter-writers and novelists and all kinds of other people who express themselves in more socially accepted ways. (I always felt a bit creeped out -- by myself -- when I tried to keep a diary, though with ASWOBA’s traffic these days, perhaps that’s what this is turning into.)

Anyway, for ten weeks straight, Kraig devoted his Friday feature to clips of ol’ Ricky as a way of counting down to a Springfield concert at the Borgata, a casino in Atlantic City. Kraig took a friend -- I don’t know this friend, but I know he’s a very good sport -- to the show. And now he has filed his report.

Two of my favorite parts:
What's interesting is that 90% of the audience stood for 90% of the show . . . everyone who didn't have arthritis, basically.
Within seconds he was directly in front of me and, well, he touched me. Or maybe I touched him. It doesn't matter, I suppose.
Read -- marvel at -- the whole thing.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahhh, John, you ought to have gone
with Kraig to the Borgata show. Then you'd know first hand and have seen there is nothing to be afraid of! It IS about the music that Kraig gets it. I know. I've
loved Springfield's music since 1972. Long before General Hospital. The musician is seriously under rated and under appreciated. - Mufi

7:56 AM  
Blogger Kraig Smith said...


What Mufi said.


5:48 PM  
Anonymous pf said...

Fun fact, and further evidence that Rick Springfield is evil: Linda Blair (possessee in The Exorcist) was Rick Springfield's live-in girlfriend WHEN SHE WAS 14. (Polanski who?) But don't worry, there was no lasting damage from the affair; she rebounded quickly, came to her senses, and started dating -- wait for it -- Rick James.

While I'm at it, I want to thank you both for reimplanting "Jesse's Girl" in my brain; I'd just managed to get it out and had been Rick-free for a few months.

But wait -- 16 albums??? Who knew?

i been funny, i been cool with the lines ...

3:57 PM  

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