Springfield, ‘Sound City,’ his fans and a debut novel

Photo provided by Marleah Leslie & Associates -- Rick SpringfieldClassic rock star Rick Springfield performs Thursday, April 10, for the Manship Theatre Red Carpet Gala Fundraiser.
Photo provided by Marleah Leslie & Associates -- Rick SpringfieldClassic rock star Rick Springfield performs Thursday, April 10, for the Manship Theatre Red Carpet Gala Fundraiser.

In the 1970s, when he lived in Hollywood, Rick Springfield, future music and TV star, would walk down Hollywood Boulevard and see the names of famous show business people on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In May, Springfield, whose sales of 25 million records include 17 Top 40 hits, will get his own star on the Walk of Fame.

“It’s kind of weird to know that my name is going to be there,” he said in a phone interview.

In 1981, Australian native Springfield, then playing Dr. Noah Drake on the TV soap opera “General Hospital,” released his breakthrough American album, “Working Class Dog.” It features his guitar- and jealousy-driven, Grammy-winning hit, “Jessie’s Girl.”

Springfield issued an extended run of hits in the early ’80s, including “Don’t Talk to Strangers,” “An Affair of the Heart,” “I’ve Done Everything for You,” “Love Somebody” and “Human Touch.”

He continued his music and acting careers through the succeeding decades, but his profile has been especially high in recent years. The singer is prominently featured in the music documentary, “Sound City,” and its soundtrack album.

Dave Grohl, of Foo Fighters and Nirvana fame, directed “Sound City,” a film about Sound City, the now closed pre-digital age recording studio in Van Nuys, Calif. Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Metallica, Nirvana, Springfield and many others made classic recordings there.

Springfield also performed for “Sound City” concerts featuring Stevie Nicks, Trent Reznor, John Fogerty and more, all backed by the Foo Fighters. Grohl, on stage with Springfield, expressed his appreciation for the 64-year-old singer-songwriter, saying, “I want to be Rick Springfield.”

“Dave did a fabulous job on the documentary,” Springfield said. “He’s a music fan. He was the right guy to do something like this about this studio because he got it, totally. All of these songs went through this one recording console. There’s got to be some kind of mojo in it.”

In addition to Springfield’s appearance in the film, he and Grohl collaborated on a song, “The Man That Never Was,” that appears on the album, “Sound City: Real to Reel.”

Grohl and “Sound City” exposed Springfield to new audiences.

“Oh, definitely,” he said. “There’s nothing like a pat on the back from someone somebody else likes, to have them say, ‘Check this guy’s record out.’ I’ve heard someone say, ‘Oh, I love this’ and then checked it out because I like the artist who recommended it. So I’m sure there was some of that with the Foo Fighter fans.”

“Sound City” follows the release of another documentary featuring Springfield, “An Affair of the Heart.” The film chronicles the devotion the singer’s fans have for him.

“I didn’t have a lot to do with it, other than the filmmakers followed us around and did a couple of interviews,” he said. “They’ve got quite a bit of performing in there, but it’s really more of the fans’ story.

“Some of the things that are revealed, I had no idea about,” Springfield said. “People have been fans for 30 years. As their lives change, my music becomes important to them for different reasons. I’m not saying there’s anything particularly profound in anything I do, but the songs can take on greater meaning. The fans have a connection with the music. I understand that because I have that connection with artists’ music, too.”

Springfield released his 17th album, “Songs for the End of the World,” in October.

“We’re doing some of those songs in concert,” he said. “They fit very well with a lot of the old stuff. And I have a tough band. We play everything full tilt, so it all seems to coalesce.”

The singer’s autobiography, “Late, Late at Night,’ appeared in 2010. His next book, a novel called “Magnificent Vibration,” will be published in May.

“I wrote my autobiography by myself,” Springfield said. “My publisher loved my voice in it. She said I should take a shot at writing a novel because of my style. I’d always thought I’d be a writer but then music took over.”

“Magnificent Vibration” is an extreme book, definitely not autobiographical, he said.

“It’s dark humor with a serious side,” he said. “It’s about love, sex and death, yin-yang and the balance of the universe and trying to get laid. It covers a lot of ground.”