Super smackdown at '80s Fest
Rick Springfield is tonight's headliner for '80s Superfest at Ruth Eckerd Hall, but is he the biggest hit machine from that magical music decade? This week, I challenged St. Petersburg Times pop culture guru Sharon Fink to defend her heartthrob while I defend the very masculine and prolific Eddie Money.
Later today, I'll be blogging live from backstage at Ruth Eckerd Hall, where I'm told I get to polish Eddie's sax. (I hope I didn't misunderstand that.)
But in the meantime, read our epic battle and tell us who wins:
Sharon's top 5 reasons Rick Springfield should headline
5. You're no one until the Biography channel has done an hourlong examination of your life, from the childhood in which you survived crushing loss of your favorite goldfish in a misguided fishing accident to an adulthood that has been rockier than the Rockies but ultimately has you ruling the world. Rick has one about him. Eddie doesn't.
4. Rick has the better (though little-used) accent. Australian always trumps anything from the Five Boroughs.
3. Because sex comes first in sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll: Rick'll get more women every time. It's the timeless allure of tall, dark and handsome. And great arms.
2. Every true headliner has a song that every woman wants to have been written about her. Every woman wants to be "Jessie's Girl" - to have Rick lust after her, and because she would be smart enough to dump that loser Jessie for Rick. No woman wants to be the poor sapette Eddie desperately corners in a bar and shouts at "Take Me Home Tonight."
1. Three of the most powerful words in pop culture history: Dr. Noah Drake.
Steve's Top 5 reasons Eddie Money should headline
5. Eddie's the real songwriting guru. I'm thinking of having the lyrics to Shakin' embroidered on a pillow: "She was up and down and round and round, sh-sh-shakin'! Oh-oh-oh!"
4. Eddie has cool co-stars. Listen closely to Kenny Loggins' "I'm Alright" and you'll hear a young Eddie singing "You make me feel good!" in the background. And Eddie has Ronnie Spector singing with him in "Take Me Home Tonight."
3. I've met them both, and both are tall, handsome gentleman. But I'm taking Eddie in any knife fight that happens backstage in the catering room when only one ham sandwich is left.
2. Before he became a musician, Eddie trained to be a cop. I like the odds of being on his side when the Ruth Eckerd crowd gets too rowdy. "Break out the riot gear and pepper spray, Eddie!"
1. Rick yearns for "Jessie's Girl," but Eddie shoots and scores with "Think I'm In Love" and "Two Tickets to Paradise." He's more than a headliner ... he's a closer!
Who wins? I'm heading off to Ruth Eckerd Hall, so stay tuned for backstage photos and updates.
[Rick Springfield publicity photo; Eddie Money photo by Kathleen Flynn of the Times]