Rocking, rolling and writing - Metro US

Rocking, rolling and writing

Singer and actor Rick Springfield is not worried about his
squeaky-clean teen-idol image being tarnished by his surprisingly dark
new memoir, “Late, Late at Night,” which starts off with Springfield
recounting a suicide attempt at age 17.

“The guy you see on the magazine stands — with ‘Jessie’s Girl’ and soap
operas — always painted me as a shiny, happy guy. I was looking forward
to blowing the lid off that and having people understand that I’m a
three-dimensional human being instead of just a paper cut-out.”

But perhaps one of the more surprising elements of the book is the fact
that Springfield wrote it himself. “I didn’t want to have a biography
written by a ghostwriter. I sent 30,000 words to my publisher and she
loved it; she loved the voice and the approach. I really didn’t want a
ghostwriter because you lose so much.”

He truthfully shares all — including a history of cheating on his wife,
Barbara Porter. Yet it’s his relationship with her that is the heart of
the book. “I sent it to my wife’s writer friend to make sure I had my
wife’s back,” he says, “And she said, ‘I think you nailed it. There’s
nothing that paints her in a bad light.’ I’m the frog with warts and
she’s the princess.”

Though he writes about killing a man in Vietnam while there with his
band, being uprooted constantly throughout his childhood and his
depression — which he calls his “constant unwanted companion” — it is
done with a biting sense of humor. “I’m hoping that it’s a hopeful
book,” he says. “The fact that I built a life despite the depression
and that I love what I do. I think that 99 percent of the stuff in
there, people can identify with.”

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