Friday, 21 May 2010
This is to commemorate the death of Ronnie Springfield. Rick Springfield's loyal bull terrier.
In fact, Rick and Ronnie had such a deep affinity for one another's company, Rick let Ronnie be the star of the album cover of his 1981 masterpiece Working Class Dog. The general subject matter of the album, (unrequited love) reflects the album title poignantly as that's all Rick sees himself as; A Working Class Dog.
Ronnie became the truly literal representation of Rick’s inadequacy issues which permeated and perhaps dominated the album. A true symbol of Rick and Ronnie's identification with one another. I can’t think of a more emotionally tactile illustration of symbiosis. Perhaps one of the most beautiful systems in our existence. Well, that as well as its sister concepts; synchronicity and to some extent, serendipity. But I digress, it is so rare for any friendship to be that deep and any man (or dog) that shares it with another must retain it with all his might.
Rick is arguably the greatest pop stars of all time. Most well-known for his 1981 chart topper 'Jessie’s Girl' he tells the true story of how he is in love with his friend's girlfriend and her not returning his affections.
The sad minor chords perfectly complement the macho yet crushingly sensitive guitar riff. But where it really shines through is the lyrics. Rick perfectly captures the melancholic confusion that defines the dejection of unrequited love. I find the most poignant example is this;
And I'm lookin' in the mirror all the time
Wondering what she don't see in me
I've been funny
I've been cool with the lines
Ain't that the way
Love supposed to be
Though 'being funny and cool with the lines' is typically a male tactic, Rick's longing and pain is easy to identify with, whether man or woman.
And I (as well as Rick's other fans) know that only half this genius was down to him, the other half was down to that fine-furred denizen of the daytime, that little ball of sunshine, wagging his tail and breathing heavily. The way dogs do that.
He was Rick's muse. Every great artists needs inspiration, what better inspiration than man's best companion.
Bow wow old friend, bow wow.