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place.

You see girls going nuts over the local band and you say, ‘Geez—I like that.’ Es- I describe my own specific crush to her and ask her why, all these years later, I
pecially when you’re an uncomfortable adolescent,” Springfield says. actually consider Springfield still to be an important figure in my life. When I first
A self-professed introvert—“the one at the party in the corner speaking with one came across his music, I tell her, I was a lonely young teen existing in a weird vac-
person and nursing my wine”—onstage he steeps himself in the energy of his audi- uum in the aftermath of parental divorce. The stories he painted matched things
ence, joking, jumping, wading into the crowd, allowing gropes. He agrees there is a in my own imagination, spoke to me.
Clark Kent-like element of transformation. “It’s my connection with humanity and To a degree, Boon says, I may have “imprinted on” Springfield. This makes
with people. I am really very shy,” he says. sense to me, because the effect his voice has, nearly 30 years later, is almost Pav-
His relationship with his fans has evolved since his popularity peaked, and he wel- lovian. “There is a theory that people who are important in our lives have been
comes the deeper connections now. “It’s changed really dramatically. I see them now, incorporated into our self-concepts — part of who you believe you are. He is an
where before it was just like, numbers. It’s funny — having kids (his sons are 20 and 23) important enough part of your life that you have a part of your self-concept that
has the effect of making you see people as human beings and not just landscape.” is the Rick Springfield part,” Boon says.
I ask him what he thinks is at work when people crush on celebrities. “You think As for celebrity worship, Boon says that throughout history, people
you know them, and it’s a safe distance to think you know them from. I was like 10, have had relationships with idols. Our artificial social networks are
e
and it was Hayley Mills for me. And it was very safe. I could put whatever fantasies I usually bigger than our real ones. Even so, society swervEST
wanted on her, which weren’t terribly erotic at 10 years old, but they were certainly tends to want to pathologize avid fans, to say CON T
passionate,” he says. Later, he entertained May-December fantasies about Greta they’re unstable or must be compensating DISH...
lebrity
Garbo, a subject he addressed in a 1974 song, “Born Out Of Time.” “I absolutely fell for something, like the lack of real social We’ve all had ce
en
e’ve kept hidd
in love with her posters, and I knew she was older, but I didn’t realize how old. And it lives. However, she adds, plenty of re- crushes that w or friends.
rs, co-w or ke rs
really tormented me for awhile.” search shows the average fan is neither from our partne Pam Ander-
rry Manilow or
I relate to Springfield’s use of the word “tormented,” because it is a word I would maladjusted nor isolated. They’re Maybe it’s on Ba Here’s a chance
we to judge?
use to describe my 15-year-old self, who entertained fantasies of being rescued by the very much like me, a married work- son—who are ss fixations. W
e’ll
t those harmle
1970s version of Springfield, guitar slung across his back, bell-bottoms flapping in the ing mom with other interests and to fess up abou ou sly,
ssion—anonym
th es e tales of obse
wind, inviting me to hit the road and write songs with him. To be sitting on a drum activities—and heck, even lots of pu bl ish
omly drawn fa
n w ill
co ur se —and one rand
riser beside the very guy who inspired so much in my life is beyond surreal. other music on my iPod. of
ringfield button
pa ck .
in an official Rick Sp
Less surreal are the insights of Dr. Susan Boon, who says there are several factors As for how Rick and I stand, well, w
nwest.com
at work when we bond emotionally to specific celebrities. We first identify with them I’ll let you in on a secret. He’s taking @theherald.ca
E-mail swerve ”
19th. Put “fan
on some level, and then form a strong attachment, wanting to know more about them. me on a Caribbean cruise in November. by noon, June
t lin e.
“The more you know, the more you invest into this relationship. And in a lot of ways And the thousand other fans on the cruise? in the subjec
they become real members of your social network,” Boon says. They’re just part of the landscape. S

Textile, Grandmother’s Flower
Garden Pattern, ca. 1905 ,
Collection of Glenbow Museum

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