My Journey - Sometime in the fall of 1972 I opened my "Teen" Magazine and there was a picture of Rick. I believe it had something to do with either the single or his new album "Beginnings". Soon after came an article in the same magazine titled "Love, Liza and Me". Rick had hair past his shoulders and was so very young! There was something about the young man who had just arrived in America from Australia that made me melt. Soon he was showing up in all the "pop idol" magazines - "16", "Tiger Beat", and more. I bought every magazine that he was in and read about him - over and over again. I had boxes of magazines that my mother used to threaten to throw away. To her it was a pile of paper - once read it was done and should be thrown away. I used to tell her that "someday these will be worth a lot of money"!!! After "Comic Book Heroes" was released, a friend and I searched high and low for it. She finally found it in a small record store that hardly anyone knew existed. It must have been the only copy they had received because by the time I got there, there weren't any more. He released the single "American Girls" which was to come from his new self-titled album. The "B" side was "Weep No More" from CBH. In between all the recordings, America was insistent that he was molded into the next David Cassidy, Bobby Sherman or Donny Osmond or any of the other teen idols of the day. His music was considered "pop" and "bubblegum" (which meant virtual career death for a serious artist and musician).
I played that single over and over and over again while reading articles about him and looking at his pictures. Any of the "posters" that were in the magazines or color photos, I tore out and hung on my bedroom wall. I woke up to Rick looking at me over the top of a stuffed bunny, shirtless Rick above my bed, or a laughing Rick on my closet door. Soon, I realized that reading and waiting for the next magazine to hit the shelves wasn't enough so I started writing what I called "stories". Today they are considered fan-fiction. My friend and I used to call each other daily to read the latest chapter or paragraph of our stories. When we were finished with one, we would trade our carefully bound sheets of notebook paper or spirals so we could read them again.
I waited and waited but the "Springfield" album never got made. It wasn't until the mid- to late seventies while I was Christmas shopping at the mall, that I saw a new record - "Wait For Night". I went back the next day in snow and ice (it was Ohio after all!) to purchase it.Then I started writing letters to his fan club again. One of my questions was about how to get a copy of CBH. I was told that it was out of print and future copies were not to be printed. The fan club newsletters and personal correspondence from the president at that time, told of Rick's new "gig" - as an actor. I would receive information about his television appearances which I would tape. No - not video tape - but sit in front of the television with a cassette recorder and record all his bits on any television show he was on. My mother thought I had really lost it!! I watched him on "The Rockford Files", "Wonder Woman", "Eddie Capra Mysteries", "Nancy Drew", "Battlestar Galactica", and a part where he was on longer than thirty seconds - "The Incredible Hulk". I watched him perform at the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon - that was the first time I heard "Bruce".
It wasn't until "General Hospital" and his portrayal as Dr. Noah Drake, that I heard any more about or from him. One afternoon in mid-1981 as I was on the way home from work, a song came on the radio. During the chorus of "Jessie's Girl", I realized I had stopped breathing. It was Rick's voice! And he actually had a song on the radio! When I heard he was to have a concert at Reunion arena in Dallas, I kept thinking of a way to get tickets. I had no money and my significant other at the time disliked Rick immensely. I knew there was no way I was going to that concert. While I was on maternity leave with my first child in early 1982, I watched "General Hospital" every day. Back then VCRs were still a rarity in homes (I mean who wanted to spend $400 - $800 for a huge machine!) - so I could only watch on a holiday or vacation. I bought "Working Class Dog" and then "Success Hasn't Spoiled Me". Those were the next best things to seeing him every day. In the summer of 1984, as I was wandering through a record store, I came across the reissue of "Comic Book Heroes" - it took a milisecond for me to snatch it up. Then a week later, I found a cassette of "Beginnings".
In the spring of 1987 or 1988 (don't remember now), I was in the local record store (when they still hadn't replaced all the LPs with CDs), and saw "Beautiful Feelings". The album that contained "Bruce" and my personal favorite"Guenevere". It didn't take long for me to pay for it and leave to go home to listen to it again and again. As time has marched on with life sometime "getting in the way", I missed many concerts and due to financial reasons, couldn't purchase each and every other CD of Rick's. One video store had VHS copies of two of his video compilations - "The Beat of the Live Drum" and "Platinum Videos". If I had known the video store was going to go out of business, I would have requested to purchase them. I purchased "Karma" as soon as it was released and found one of the compilations of all of his hit songs. I tuned in to see him in "Nick Knight" the pilot for the "Forever Knight" television show, as "The Human Target" in the few episodes made. I had recorded "Hard to Hold" off of the television showing of the movie. I insisted my family watch "High Tide" whenever it was on. Of course my kids would always tease me about "that Rick guy".
With the advent of the internet and all kinds of information that is out on the web and in circulation, I have been able to keep up better with Rick's career. Each time he went out on the road while he was still performing in Las Vegas, I would hope he would play locally. Then after EFX closed the end of 2002, I heard there was a tour planned. Looking up the cities and dates, I was ecstatic to see that he would be in my area twice in 2003. And the best news for a financially strapped Rick fan - they were free!!! I got my tickets to see him at Arbor Daze in Euless, Texas for April 26th and bluntly told my 19-year old daughter that she was going with me. I couldn't wait to see her reaction to his fan following (I mean face it ladies - we are all basically middle-aged and act like we are teen-agers in his presence!) and to his music (which is NOT bubblegum)! She had several weeks to "catch-up" on things Rick related. Her peers didn't know who he was - or they confused him with (of all people) Bruce Springsteen! She was clearly frustrated. Only when she told people over the age of 35, did they know who she was talking about. She borrowed my CDs and cassette recordings so she could familiarize herself with the songs. During the Euless concert, he went down and back the aisle that we were standing next to and he positioned himself in the audience a row in front of us. Her thrill was that she got to touch him. She clearly enjoyed herself and when I mentioned that he would be in town again a few months later, she said "Get tickets"!! And get tickets I did - the first week they were available. This time I got tickets in the reserved section and my (almost) 18-year old son went with us. And Rick does not disappoint - either his loyal fans - or those who just like attending "free" concerts. He played to the audience and his interaction with the crowd was better than before. It was I this time whose heart stopped beating. As he made his way into the audience - again right in front of us - he stood on a chair and looked down. At that moment of eye contact, he smiled sweetly and for a split second watched me smile before he moved on. My Rick dream had finally come true - I had gotten to look into his eyes and even though there were many around us, it was as if it was only him (if only for a mere moment). As soon as the concert was over, my daughter asked "When's the next concert?" I told her it didn't look like he'd be back in the area any time soon. My husband asked me the next day if I had gotten it "out of my system". Hello! Gotten what out of my system? Rick? Of course not! I told him that the two concerts would have to do for awhile. I think he knows that if Rick is back in the area and the price is right, I'll be in that audience again. I would love to get on stage during "I Get Excited" but I'll defer to the "runners". Someday my chance will come - just as I knew my chance to see and hear Rick in concert would come - just as I knew that someday I would get that chance to make eye contact with him. Until then, I have my memories, the email list where I can read about other concert information, his recordings, and - oh, yeah - did I mention I have a scrapbook?