For the past couple of days I've been trying to read this....
Rick Springfield's autobiography, which was released on Tuesday. I'm only about half way through it but my mind has been racing and I have some mixed feelings about it and just wanted to get some of them out.
I can tell you right now this post will probably be quite lengthy so if you don't have much interest in Rick, his life, his book or my thoughts on it you may want to skip this post.
Consider yourself warned ;)
For those who do want to read on I've tried to keep it pretty general and spoiler free in case you have not read the book. The few things I mention specifically are already out there and have been discussed in the press etc.
So, even before I started reading I was having some mixed feelings about it. I was excited to get it and read all about my idol. But I was also a bit apprehensive because of the comments he'd made about even "die hard" fans being shocked by some of the content. Did I really want to read it? Would there be things in it that I didn't want to know? Would it change my view of the man I've "loved" since I was twelve? I'm trying hard not to let it!
On the one had I feel sad for him because of some of the things he's gone through. All the rejection, loss, death, sadness and depression. All the feelings of self doubt, self hatred, and lack of self worth. All the moving around, always being the new kid and not feeling as if you belong anywhere. Because I get that. I've had many if not all of the same feelings myself. Maybe not to the extent that he has but they've been there and many times still are. I only moved once when I was a kid but it SUCKED. Big time. So I can only imagine what it was like doing it as often as he did.
But on the other hand, he's done some not so good things. Things I normally don't condone and look down upon. Things I would never have done myself. But what am I supposed to think of all that? I mean should that change the way I feel about his work? The songs that mean so much to me and kept me going as a teen? Many of which were inspired by these very things? Things that happened in the past, many before I was born or even knew who the hell Rick Springfield was? Can I keep the artist and the man behind it separate?
I dont' know.
I mean, there are so many other bands and singers out there with songs I like. I don't know much if anything about their past, their personal lives. They could have done some of the same things yet I still love the songs. How about people I know in real life? I'm sure many if not all of them have done some not so spectacular things in their past that I would frown upon but we are still friends. Still family.
So just because I chose to read about Rick am I supposed to give that all up because I disagree with some of his choices? How can I? His music is part of me and who I am today. It got me through some rough times and I'm thankful for that. It means the world to me.
Along those same lines, my husband did some pretty bad things before I met him. Some maybe worse than what Rick has done. Some he may never even tell me. I know he's told me a lot but I still get the feeling there are things he's too ashamed to tell me. But I was able to get past those things and fall in love with him. He became my best friend and we've been married for almost 20 years and our marriage is stronger than ever. So if I can get past what my husband has done, the closest person in my life, shouldn't I be able to do the same when it comes to Rick?
I don't know.
Then on the issue of infidelity.....I haven't gotten to that part in the book yet but I obviously know it's coming. I'm trying to decide just how I feel about that. At first I thought well, that's between him and his wife. If they are able to work it out and she is able to forgive him for it and stick with him then more power to them.
But then I started thinking about my own feelings on it. If it happened to me I don't think I could get past it. To me that intimacy is a very private, personal, meaningful thing and if my husband did that with another woman I would be crushed.
I have pretty much disowned my father for the same thing. I haven't seen or spoken to him in over 12 years because he wanted me to accept his new wife. The woman that had a part in breaking up my parent's marriage. So how do I disown my own father for it but overlook Rick doing it? Because it's not personal? Because there were other circumstances (alcohol) in my parents breakup besides just infidelity that are also part of the reason I haven't had contact with him? Because it really has nothing to do with me and being a fan of his work?
Again, I don't know.
The weird thing is, despite the fact I'm having all these conflicting feelings and wondering "am I still a fan, do I still like him, should I be thinking differently of him?", I'm still feeling "protective" of him. He's had a lot of press lately and when I see an article or a comment on an article that is not so flattering or rude, that's shooting him down for some of these things or as many are, not quite accurate in the details.........seriously if you're going to criticize someone get the facts straight!.....I feel the urge to defend him.
I'm also upset that I didn't get to go to the book signing at the Mall of America this past weekend like I'd hoped or that I am unable to make the two in Illinois this coming week.
Does anything in the book change the fact that he and his music has meant so much to me over the years? Does it make me a bad person if I still want to be a fan?
Like I said I'm only half done with the book. Maybe things change. Maybe my thoughts will change. We'll see.
I guess now though after typing this all out I'm starting to realize we all have our own demons, faults and shortcomings. Who am I to judge what he has done? Or my dad for that matter?
Now what do I do?
Guilty and confused,