Singing for Sahara: Rick Springfield releases new CD with songs dedicated to Sahara Aldridge

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Rick Springfield is a busy man these days. After releasing a new album, "Venus in Overdrive," Springfield has been on morning shows, at radio stations and in interviews with local entertainment journalists nonstop for weeks now.

However, his sunny disposition and caring manner has not disappeared. The rock star who took the time and interest in Sahara Aldridge — the 13-year-old girl who lost her battle with brain-stem cancer in November 2007 — is still taking interest and plans on continuing his support of the Aldridge family.

Springfield comes through Cape Girardeau in October at Buckner's Brewing Co. for an acoustic performance. Then he leaves for the November Rick Springfield and Friends Carnival Cruise Ship Destiny that departs from Miami and will stop in the seaside resorts of Key West and Cozumel, Mexico.

Before those trips he took time to answer a call and some questions from SE Live's James Samons.

Samons: It's clear that the song "Saint Sahara" is dedicated to Sahara Aldridge. But what other tracks on this new album do you use to tell your story of Sahara?

Springfield: Your are right, definitely more than just "Saint Sahara" was inspired by Sahara. "Oblivious" is a song I used to talk about the great pain and sadness of the situation because I had to get it out. However "God Blinked" is for Sahara. It's her song. Her father asked me if I could write something Sahara could dance to, and I hope she is.

JS: Just what does the Aldridge family think of your latest tribute and how much did you work with them, if at all?

RS: I worked closely with the Aldridge family throughout this whole process. After I finished it, I sent them a demo of "Saint Sahara" to see how they would react to it, and they loved it. They thought it was a fitting tribute.

JS: It's obvious that you have taken Sahara Aldridge's cause and made it your own. But do you think this tragic experience may have reinvigorated you as a musician in some way?

RS: I think it kind of goes without saying that this has inspired me. This was the most devastating situation I have ever been a part of, and I will never forget that. But as a musician, we take devastation and reflect it into some of the greatest music.

JS: I noticed you have some October dates planned to come back to Cape. Did you miss us down here by the river?

RS: Yeah I guess I have. But I gotta say, mainly, I'm coming in to benefit Sahara again with a special performance at Buckner's to try and raise some money for her charity. It will be a very special night, no doubt about it.

JS: As this new album comes out, have you had a chance to look back on your career and reflect?

RS: I'm not really one to do that. I try not to look back or reflect on things, instead I look forward toward the future and keep moving ahead. My songs, I think, are all about the present and things happening now. I mean, I've never been a guy to put platinum records on the wall, so why not keep working and doing what I love?

JS: I noticed your Web site mentions some great exclusive bonus content when you buy "Venus in Overdrive" including autographs and live performances. You really have made this fan friendly.

RS: I'm always very grateful and humbled by the record sales. But yeah, I wanted to make sure that anyone who buys this album gets what they pay for and my fans get something extra that they might not be able to get anywhere else.

JS: So I guess right about now you are gearing up for the Springfield and Friends Cruise. That's one heck of a way to tour, don't you think?

RS: I am looking forward to it! It will be five whole days of playing music and getting to know some of my fans. We'll do a lot of improv because you can't just play your songs over and over again. Still ... I know it will be a party promoting the record and loving what I'm doing, and you can't beat that.

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