80s fest: I wanna go back
A few leftover notes and stories from Saturday's 80s Fest concert in Clearwater, starring Rick Springfield, Eddie Money and John Waite:
PAGING DR. NOAH DRAKE: I've hadn't seen Rick so playful about his role on General Hospital until this tour. When the Stuck in the 80s podcast asked him about it last year during our interview, he seemed to consider it a way to pay the bills. But during his TV interview with Bay News 9's Virginia Johnson, he said he's begun to really enjoy the acting -- just so long as the storylines were good.
'HARD TO WATCH': Rick's 1984 movie "Hard To Hold" was a real dog. But movie-goers do get to see his naked butt in it -- something he proudly announced on stage Saturday night (but something I had mentally blocked over the last 20 years. It is, afterall, perhaps the only 80s movie I haven't wanted to see more than once.) I wonder how well the movie is doing on Netflix rentals these days.
LADIES NIGHT: It was a huge crowd at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Saturday with about three quarters of the seats going to females and the remaining seats going to reluctant husbands and boyfriends who were trying to earn points by tagging along. The two sisters sitting next to me were from Orlando, and they told me they both take a week off from work (and from their husbands) every year to follow Rick around to all his Southeastern US gigs. They knew his setlist better than I did.
EDDIE, EDDIE!: Eddie Money continues to just amaze audiences with his steady set of hits from the late 70s and 80s, even though he hasn't aged quite as well as Rick Springfield. (Nobody ages as well as Springfield.) For fans of the movie "Love Actually," Eddie's a dead ringer of aging rocker "Billy Mack," played by the amazing Bill Nighy.
WELL WORTH THE WAITE: I've been a fan of John Waite's pretty much since I first heard his work in the late '70s. Turns out he's about the nicest guy in person you could possibly imagine. Whereas most musicians hole themselves up in their dressing rooms until it's time to go on stage, John would just stroll the hallways backstage with his guitar, strumming away while singing to himself. One of the Ruth Eckerd managers leaned over to me and said, "Look, THIS is what the music business should be all about." I think Waite's short set surprised a lot of fans that night, and hopefully this is the beginning of a renewed appreciation of his work. (Check out our podcast for a sampling of his tunes.)