"Jessie is a friend..."
"Jessie is a friend..." If those words incite you to scream a little when you first hear them, you must be a Rick Springfield fan. If they don't and you're not, you won't be able to understand this writing. There's something about being a long-time Rick fan that only fellow Rick fans seem to value, or so I've found. Since I was 11 years old I've been "Rick's biggest fan." This fact bonded me forever to my then-and-now best friend as she's his co-biggest fan.
I believe it was summer after sixth grade that I attended my first Rick concert, at a high school football field no less. My sister took me as a birthday gift and it was a blast. Hot as sin but oh so fun. But my first Rick concert with my best friend Jenny was two years later in a cornfield in a small town somewhere in mid Michigan. (Note: It seems that since this era, Rick has moved up in the world and isn't "playing the fields" so much any more. Punny, right?) This concert was also a blast. We didn't have the best seats money could buy but nevertheless, tears of disbelief were shed when he took the stage.
Fast forward to 2009, Jenny and I got to spend the eve of Rick's 60th birthday with him...at a concert...with a few thousand other crazy fans. It was a hoot. Something about me and Jenny is that we're silly and we know it and have never cared. We share a humor almost no one else gets aside from our husbands. Our kids think we're weird (we are) but we've always had good, clean fun and millions of laughs together. We're those types of friends that one of us makes a joke and only the other one gets it and it's quite hilarious. We had a great time, met and had pictures taken with Rick's band, but were not able to score a meeting, however brief, with the man himself.
This past weekend, we went on the concert circuit once again and took Jenny's minivan (dubbed 'party bus' for the evening in an attempt to sound more cool) to the nearby casino to rock with Rick. We were in row U. It sounds about as far back as it was. Although, we're pretty sure we'd have been able to see and enjoy the show from those seats, we weren't willing to gamble that, even if we were in the right building to place bets. The millisecond the lights dimmed, Jenny stormed the stage and I was a half foot behind her. Rick is 63, turning 64 later this year. Some people make fun of us for still enjoying his music and going to concerts. How many of those people at 30-something or 40-something have the stamina to put on the physical show he still does and sport a 6-pack (not that I'm looking because I truly don't care about any man's abdomen other than my husband's)?
We had so much fun. We were right in front, albeit pushed and shoved around by some drunk droolers. But Rick looked right at us several times (I swear!) and the big event...when he played Human Touch and made his way into the audience, Jenny and I, limber though we're not, jumped on the chairs behind us. As he walked over the chairs into the audience, we knew we just had to wait. He had to come back. He had to return to the stage and when he did, I reached to touch his hand (you know, just so I could say I did). When I grasped his fingers I started to fall forward on those confounded chairs. Rick steadied my gait. (Gasp!) Then after helping me, Jenny took his hand to help him over the chairs and safely back to the stage where we commenced singing along to his music, laughing, and trying to get a pic of us and him in the background.
Meeting him eluded us AGAIN but we're determined. One of these days, we will get to say a 'hello, how are you?' and get a picture of the three of us together. Meanwhile, we'll continue to be the best of pals and see Rick when he rocks into a town near us and help him over chairs when needed. We've got your back, Rick Springfield.