Rick Springfield‘s winding career has taken him from Australian pop sensation and soap opera actor to Grammy-winning hitmaker and, recently, a supporting performer on True Detective Season Two and Meryl Streep’s co-star in Ricki and the Flash.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, which can be viewed above, Springfield recalls his four-decade career, including bouts with depression and the determination and persistence that has kept him going since he first broke onto the scene in 1969 with his Australian pop rock outfit Zoot.
Following Zoot’s success, Springfield moved to America, where he quickly scored a solo hit with 1971’s “Speak to the Sky.” As he tells Rolling Stone, he began doing interviews with outlets he assumed were rock press, but turned out to be adolescent-oriented magazines like Tiger Beat, which weren’t available in Australia.
“I’d do articles about my music and, you know, I’m a serious writer, I’ve been playing guitar for years,” Springfield says. “And it would come out: ‘Is Rick Springfield Too Tall to Love?’ And it would list my friggin’ favorite color. It took me a while to understand what exactly what was going on and it definitely was not meshing.”
Still, Springfield says the surge of press convinced him to write more teen-oriented songs, which flopped. As he got older, Springfield gravitated towards heavier, more introspective material, admitting he’s had his own battles with depression, and at age 16, tried to hang himself.
Eventually, Springfield pulled the plug on his solo career and disappeared, but as he says, “My big ace in the hole is I never give up.”
For his turn on True Detective, Springfield speaks about channeling his “inner-creep,” and he says he began his audition for Ricki and the Flash by walking up to the microphone and saying, “I want everyone to know I’m about to jam with Meryl Streep.”
“I keep going and going,” Springfield says. “I think my strongest thing is that I’m persistent. If you can stay off the rope and away from the guns, maybe you can make something.”