40 years after ‘Working Class Dog’, Rick Springfield’s live shows sow renewed hope for navigating hard times

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The year was 1981, and new eras were being born at warp speed.

A new president was sworn in, the chart domination of disco was flaming out, and MTV made its premiere – music videos becoming a medium that would quickly dictate the directions of the music business.

When MTV went live, the number one song in the country was “Jessie’s Girl,” written and performed by Australian heart-throb Rick Springfield – who was burning the airwaves not only on MTV, but also as Dr. Noah Drake on “General Hospital.”

At the time, Springfield was nine years into his Los Angeles relocation, and on the precipice of turning 32 years old. “Working Class Dog” would be the album to launch him to global stardom; and, by all accounts, Springfield was a living embodiment of the album’s title.

Rick Springfield poses with a guitar against a gray background for a promotional photo.
40 years later, Rick Springfield is celebrating the triumph of “Working Class Dog.” The album’s thematic focus on the concept of attaining stratospheric success after years of paying dues is a timely source of encouragement to those working to manifest their dreams amidst the challenges of the contemporary world.

Springfield is back on tour, and will perform two distinctly different shows in Ohio. On December 29, he and his band will deliver Springfield’s signature brand of arena rock to the Andrew J Brady Music Center in Cincinnati. On Valentine’s Day, February 14, Rick will present a much more intimate solo show at the Goodyear Theatre in Akron.

Springfield and WOUB’s Ian Saint had a wide-ranging chat about Springfield’s hard-fought ascent to superstardom; the unorthodox journey of “Jessie’s Girl” to number one on the charts; Springfield’s surprise emergence as a leading celebrity advocate for mental health in the last decade, and much more. Click the Play button in the Soundcloud widget, above, to hear it all.