What an exciting day! My friend Angi got a hold of me and said that Rick Springfield was playing in Indianapolis at some street festival. I can’t remember the name of the event, but who cares? Rick was playing! He was our idol when we were teenagers. I saw him once in 1984 in Peoria. Angi’s parents said she was too young to go. Angi called me in 1998 after years of lost touch when he started his comeback tour in Decatur, Illinois which was the year before this Indianapolis festival. We got autographs after the show and VH1 was even there to tape his Behind The Music documentary! I also got my vinyl record jackets signed by him! What was gonna top that?
Angi had a few friends with her when they came to pick me up to go to Indianapolis that morning. The show started with a few bands we didn’t care about and then Rick! I was out in the crowd with a lot of people older than me, except for the friends I was with who were all younger. I was around twelve when he started out with Jessie’s Girl, a song that most people think was his only song. Well, no way! He had a lot of other songs such as Don’t Talk to Strangers, Affair of the Heart, Human Touch, and I’ve Done Everything For You which was written by Sammy Hagar. Many people don’t know that, but I do since I’m such a fan!
As we saw him come out on stage, shoulder to shoulder with other fans, we all screamed and jumped up and down! I was in the front, up against the fence that separated us from the stage so I saw everything. We were so excited! One fan gave him a bunch of red roses and he strummed his guitar with them as the petals flew everywhere. Angi got a good photo of that! Rick was now fifty years old and jumped around on stage like he was in his twenties and he still looked great!
I snapped photo after photo and then my film ran out by the time he was into the middle of the show. He started with the song, I Get Excited. Another good hit on the radio back in the eighties. He sang the first verse which I knew by heart. The music stopped and he yelled out, “Do you know it?” I nodded to say yes. He looked at me and asked the question again! He was talking to me! Then he said “Well, come on up here!” OHMYGOD, OHMYGOD, OHMYGOD! I couldn’t believe he was asking for me! ME! The girls behind me were jumping up and down screaming like he was talking to them. I looked behind me and then at Angi and shrugged. Rick pointed at me and said “No, you baby right there!” One of the security guards asked “Do you want to go?” I said “YES!!” I mean, duh! Why wouldn’t I? The guy pulled me over the fence and I walked up a ramp to the stage.
I felt as if I was in a dream state. All I remember is Rick taking his guitar and putting the shoulder strap around me so I was between him and the guitar. He then told me, “Keep your hands on the wood only!” He was talking about the guitar so I didn’t get in the way of the strings. He was sweating really bad because all I felt was cold dampness behind me. I thought I was gonna hyperventilate! I looked out and all I saw were heads. I couldn’t see any bodies attached to these heads since everyone was smashed together. Angi was laughing the whole time as I mouthed the words “I’m going to pass out.” I told Rick and some of the other girls who got up there somehow that I couldn’t remember the rest of the song. I said this between breaths. They helped by telling me the next line. I didn’t know how they got up there anyway, since he asked for me, but I was just happy to be the one behind his guitar!
As we went into the song, I was able to move to the music and have a good time. He was moving so fast that a few times it felt as if I was being jerked around as he played the guitar! When we finished, I grabbed hold of him, but he started jumping around the stage so I didn’t get a hug or anything. I was cold from his sweat and I didn’t wanna get off the stage! Finally one other security guy walked me off. Angi got a couple of photos. None were taking of me on the stage with the guitar as we sang. This was a downer, but I found those later online at different fan websites. I had no idea this was going to happen or I would have saved my film!
On my way back to find Angi, everyone was shaking my hand, moving out of the way to let me through. It was as if I were someone famous! They were saying things like “You did great!” and “You are so lucky!” That remark came from the women who dragged their husbands there. I found my way back to her and was amazed at the fact that it wasn’t hard getting by people. The place was so packed like a herd of sheep or something so I was a little worried coming off the stage, but still on cloud nine! I was excited the whole night and not a bit tired! Some of us went bar hopping later than night. I was the oldest one in my group and felt like the youngest with the most energy!
The great thing about this day was I had always dreamed of being near Rick Springfield when I was a teenager. Here I was seventeen years later and was on stage with him! I never thought in a million years I’d ever meet him and get an autograph, let alone being on stage between him and his guitar! It was definitely one of the greatest times of my life!