By Jae-Ha Kim
October 26, 2010
In his recently published memoir “Late, Late at Night” ($26, Touchstone), musician-actor Rick Springfield, 61, reveals a dark side that few fans knew about. He tried to commit suicide when he was 17, cheated multiple times on his wife of 26 years and underwent plastic surgery at the ripe old age of 23 in an attempt to look even more youthful than he already did. Springfield, who wrote the book without a co-author or a ghostwriter, exhibits a humorous and poignant touch as he examines the ebbs and flows of his career. Born in Australia, Springfield moved around constantly as a child — thanks to his father’s career in the military. It was rough back then to always be the new kid, he says, but it also instilled in him an early love of learning about the world through travel.
Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
A. Hawaii. It was the first part of America I set foot on when I left Australia to come to the United States and I have a lot of memories of my new life beginning tied up with the islands. Plus you can’t beat the Mai Tai’s. I love the South Sea Islands. I met Elvis on a plane on the way to Hawaii in 1972, too. It’s all mentioned in my new autobiography “Late, Late at Night.”
Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
A. My wife Barbara’s and my favorite getaway place is Two Bunch Palms Resort & Spa (http://www.twobunchpalms.com/) in Desert Hot Springs just outside of Palm Springs, Calif. We’ve been going there for 30 years. It is unique. From its claim to be Al Capone’s desert hideout to its natural mud baths, awesome massages and assorted treatments and the incredible food. … It’s so quiet. There are signs everywhere that tell you to shut the hell up. Actually they say, “This is a quiet place. Please talk softly.” How cool is that?
Q. What are your favorite hotels?
A. The best hotel we ever stayed in was a hotel in Rye, England, that was rebuilt in 1215. I was there shooting a video in 1985 for “Don’t Walk Away.” Again, the autobiography mentions this. Wait, no, it doesn’t. Oh well, sorry. I had to plug the book again. So back to the hotel. We slept in an old four-poster bed up tiny creaky stairs and the bar was the original one where people probably used to come to drink and discuss the latest Shakespeare play. Freaky.
Q. What is your favorite restaurant?
A. My wife and I love The Lobster Restaurant (www.thelobster.com) near Santa Monica pier. It has a staggering view of the beach, the pier, the Ferris wheel and the people walking around. It serves a particular type of seasonal lobster that is the best in the world.
Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?
A. I always take my new book “Late, Late at Night” and a hair dryer. That’s pretty much it. No, I also take a suitcase. The suitcase is, and always has been, a must-have item. Oh, and my wife. I take her, too. But only when it’s somewhere fun and isn’t anywhere near Rochester, N.Y. Sorry Rochesterians. Just joking!
Q. What are your favorite cities?
A. London, Rome, Sydney, Malibu, Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago…
Q. What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?
A. I ask my wife where she wants to go.
Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?
A. I’d love to go to Kenya and go on a photographic safari. Also, I’ve never been to Iran, but I don’t really want to go there — at least not right at the moment anyway.
Q. What is your best and/or worst vacation memory?
A. Best vacation memory was spending New Year’s Eve three years ago with my family under the Sydney Harbor Bridge and watching the amazing fireworks with all the other thousands of drunken people. The worst one was Saigon in 1968 where I went with my band to play for the troops. We spent our days off in Saigon so it was technically a vacation. I will never go on vacation again to a place where I have a high probability of being shot.
© 2010 JAE-HA KIM
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