Thirty-one years ago, Hollywood gave Rick Springfield a choice: Be the big star in a thinly veiled romance flick about a pop star who tries to woo a woman he meets in an accident. Or be part of a larger cast of distinguished actors in a movie about the beginning of America's space program. Springfield choose poorly. The first movie - Hard to Hold, which turns 30 years old this week - was a bust. The second - The Right Stuff - was indeed the right stuff.
"Unfortunately I think my ego took over at that point," Rick told me a few years ago in an interview. "I thought, 'I'm at this point now, hey, I'll do my own movie.' It was a good, hard lesson to learn."
Aw, don't be too hard on yourself, Rick. I'm betting most of us would have made the same choice. And Hard to Hold had some GREAT music on it, including my all-time R.S. tune Love Somebody. And if memory serves, you got to show off your bare butt in one scene too. (*Umm, so I'm told...)
Here are five things you probably didn't know about Hard to Hold.
1. You can't necessarily blame the writing for the movie's failsure. It was written by Thomas Hedley Jr., who had written Flashdance the previous year.
2. All told, seven new Rick Springfield songs appear in the movie, including Bop Til You Drop.
3. Oddly enough, the movie has "no score yet" on Rotten Tomatoes, because only one of the website's critics reviewed the movie. That one critic wrote: "A hackneyed version of a superstar smitten by true love."
4. This wasn't actually Rick's first first. He played Lieutenant Zac in the 1978 feature film Battlestar Galactica (as well as one episode of the TV series.)
5. It was, however, almost his last movie. Since 1984, Rick's only other feature film work was in the 1998 movie Loyal Opposition. He has, however, found better luck on TV. Aside from General Hospital, Springfield has appeared on Forever Knight, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Rockfort Files, Human Target, High Tide and Californication, among many others.