Bringing a little joy

KETTERING — It’s usually a pretty good day when Rick Springfield can break out his guitar and play. It’s even better if it puts a smile on someone’s face.

Being able to do both is a “win-win” situation the Grammy winner finds particularly gratifying these days.

“Initially when you become successful you think it’s all about you, but (later) you realize it’s about the fans and your ability to bring them joy … and that’s what I focus on on stage,” he said during a recent call from his home in Malibu. “I’m doing something I love and people are getting joy from it. Thats very powerful. I tour because I love to play guitar, so if I can do that and bring joy to people, it’s a win-win.”

Springfield hopes fans at Fraze Pavilion find the joy Thursday, Aug. 25, when he brings his Summer Tour 2022 to the Miami Valley for the MIX 107.7 Summerfest.

He’ll be joined by Men at Work and John Waite for the 7:30 pm Kettering show, which is one of 18 stops on his summertime tour.

“I’ve toured with John before, and I did a small thing with Colin (Hay) as a solo artist, but this is the first time we’ll all get together with all of our hits,” Springfield said. “It should be pretty fun. It’ll be wall-to-wall hits.”

Springfield — who turns 73 this week — has sold millions of records and became a radio and MTV staple in the 1980s with hits such as “Jessie’s Girl,” “Love Somebody,” “State of the Heart,” “I’ve Done Everything For you” and “Don’t Talk to Strangers.”

Last year marked the 40th anniversary of “Working Class Dog” — an album that gave Springfield his first real taste of success and elevated him to rock royalty.

“It was the first successful album I had,” he said. “I knew it was a good album, but I wrote it when disco and ballads were on the radio, so I wrote it for myself. I thought I’d just get a bunch of guitar-based songs and tour the L.A. clubs.”

Instead, the album found it’s way into the ears and hearts of millions.

Radio embraced it.

MTV put his videos into heavy rotation.

And Springfield became a star.

“It just happened at the right time. It was perfect timing,” he remembered. “I happened to be on a TV show at the time (General Hospital), so none of it was planned.”

But it worked. Big time.

The album went platinum and sold more than 3 million copies in the U.S.

“First of all, it’s led off by a very big song — ‘Jessie’s Girl’ — which has gone beyond my expectations. So it’s led off by that and it was a summer album with a lot of great memories for people. That stuff sticks with you,” Springfield said. “When I was 12 or 15 listening to music … those songs are still with me. They’re still on my playlist. They take me back to a great time in my life.”

While he turns 73 this week, the native of Australia keeps busy as an author and actor when not making music — and he’s jumped into the beverage market by teaming up with rocker Sammy Hagar for Beach Bar Rum.

The music, however, brings him back to the stage, where Springfield said he’s gratified fans continue to turn out some 50 years after he started.

“I’m amazed myself. That’s why I play,” he said. “I play because I love to play guitar … and suffer through all the travel. I say I get paid to travel. Music is a great escape and puts you in a great mindset.”

And it might even bring a little joy to the world.

To learn more about Rick Springfield, visit his website at rickspringfield.com. Ticket information can be found at fraze.com.