Born Richard Lewis Springthorpe on 23 August 1949 in the Sydney (Australia) suburb of Guildford, Rick Springfield began playing the guitar at Merrylands high school and formed a band called The Jordy Boys.
He went on to perform with Rockhouse, M.P.D. Limited and Zoot before launching a solo career with the 1971 Australian Top 20 hit Speak to the Sky.
After Rick represented Australia at the 1972 Tokyo Song Festival he decided to try his luck in America, and by September of that year had also cracked the US Top 20 with Speak to the Sky. His debut album Beginnings sold over 300,000 copies.
Over the next decade, Springfield worked hard in America, making more albums. Comic Book Heroes on Columbia failed to chart while the single American Girls stalled at #98.
In 1976 Rick moved to Chelsea Records and released his third album, Wait For Night. As the single Take a Hand was moving up the charts (it peaked at #41) Chelsea Records went bankrupt and Rick’s recording career stalled dead in its tracks. A spate of other difficulties – visa problems, bad recording deals, naive management – didn’t help either.
Finding himself a has-been rocker at the grand old age of 27, Springfield decided to switch his attention to acting, cameo stints on Battlestar Galactica, The Young and The Restless, The Incredible Hulk, The Rockford Files, Wonder Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man and Nancy Drew led to a permanent role on American daytime soap opera General Hospital, as Dr Noah Drake.
The show shot to the top of the TV ratings and when Springfield released a new single, it did exactly the same thing in the charts. Jessie’s Girl hit the #1 spot and became one of the biggest hits of 1981, winning Rick a Grammy for “Best Rock Performance, Male” and an American Music Award.
After Jessie’s Girl came other hits, I’ve Done Everything For You and Don’t Talk To Strangers, as well as the platinum albums Working Class Dog (1980), Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet (1982), Living In Oz (1983) and Hard To Hold (1984).
In 1984, Rick left General Hospital to become a movie star. His rock & roll film Hard To Hold (1984) was ripped to shreds by the critics but his fans didn’t seem to mind that the plot was so thin.