Q&A: Rick Springfield on Emotional ‘Sound City’ Movie

From Rolling Stone:

Dave Grohl’s directorial debut, Sound City, is a celebration of so many of the musicians who called the Van Nuys, California studio home at one point or another. From Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham to Trent Reznor and Neil Young, the remarkable film showcases decades of music’s biggest stars.

But the film’s breakout story is arguably Rick Springfield. The “Jessie’s Girl” singer has a deep history with the studio, with his one-time manager, Joe Gottfried, having also been the building’s owner. An emotional Springfield recounts his relationship with Gottfried, one that suffered when the singer abandoned him for another manager.

Every artist goes through ebbs and flows in a long career. I find that most artists have a greater appreciation of success later on in their career. Is that true for you?
Yeah, very much so. For me, I was 30, and I’d been struggling since I was 14. I had success in Australia with bands and record success, and I had one hit when I came over here in ’71 with Steve Binder – that was a song called “Speak to the Sky,” that was like a Top 10 Billboard single. And then that was it – there was nothing up until 1980. By the time it finally did hit it was like, “Fuck, finally.” When it first hits, you really do think it is about you and you got something pretty fucking special and people are lucky to hear it. But I think part of me enjoying that now is that turned around, and at some point I actually realized it was about the audience, and I was here because of them. And I became real thankful and humbled by that. And Dave gets that, too. He gets it’s the audience – he wouldn’t be up there if the audience didn’t like what he was doing and didn’t show up. You get a certain confidence, too, from just having been around long enough, and you carve your niche. It’s a lot of things. It’s certainly playing with a band like that, too, and the whole attitude of their band is similar to my band. It’s all about having a great time onstage and that’s what people go away with. I’ve never been a musician that stared at my feet and tried to play all the right notes. I’m more in the Pete Townshend style. I want to get up there and play loud and have fun.

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