Rick Springfield (yes, that Rick Springfield) has had his fair share of screaming female fans and wild rock shows. But as a father to two kids, he's also experienced screaming babies and wild Chuck-E-Cheese birthday parties, too. Between rocking out on stage and touring around the country, he was singing pretty little tunes to his baby boys, now 20 and 24. My Precious Little One is a collection of the lullabies he wrote during his heyday -- but never shared until now.
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So tell me about these lullabies.
Rick Springfield: I wrote these for my sons in the mid '80s. We played them [at home] and I had a couple of copies made for friends. I discovered them last year and thought I'd bring them back.
Was it emotional to find the lullabies?
RS: Yes, it was pretty amazing. It brought back that old feeling.
I read that you wrote them in "the heady days of brand new fatherhood". We talk about how tough new motherhood is. What is tough about new fatherhood?
RS: It was intense for me, because I lost my dad a few years before. Suddenly I was the dad. It was tough for me. I felt I wasn't up to the challenge. I hadn't thought about being a father. But my dad was affectionate and unique, so it was easy for me to draw kids in.
So when you were a pop superstar did you ever think you'd have kids?
RS: I knew I would eventually -- I'm very family-oriented. My girlfriend at the time, who is now my wife, was all about kids. And then suddenly it became very important, like one day I woke up and my biological clock went off. And it's the greatest thing I've ever been involved in.
What's been the biggest surprise about being a dad?
RS: That we're still connected. It helps that we're all into music. They look to me as some knowledgeable guy when it comes to music. And I really appreciate that, because there was a time I wanted to get away from my family, when I was a teenager.
Were you touring when your sons were babies?
RS: Liam was born in '85 and Josh in '89. I took time off when Liam was born in '85 and was still taking a break when Josh was born in '89, so I got to spend a lot of time with them.
Did they realize you were a big deal?
RS: Sometimes they would ask me, "Why did that person want you to write your name down?" But they were aware. They're aware of their own lives, too. They have their own music interests.
Did you surround them with music when they were little?
RS: There was always a guitar in our house and the boys were always hearing me play. They'd bang on the keyboards in the studio and I'd record it. I never said to them, you have to learn an instrument, though, it was just natural. It was just there. It was hard to get away from music in the house.
What music did you listen to with them?
RS: They started out listening to kid music, but then we started recording TV shows, like Ren and Stimpy, and listened in the car. I can remember one of my sons liking Salt 'N Pepa and rap. We listened to the Beatles, surf bands, normal stuff. At one point, I played Led Zepplin for them to see if they liked it, but they were too young. Now they play me more stuff than I play them.
Red and Stimpy can be pretty gross.
RS: I like Ren and Stimpy. I can't believe they took it off the air. I've always been okay with my kids seeing adult stuff. We talked about it.
What kind of parent are you?
RS: (answers before I'm even finished asking) I'm a push over. When Mom says no, they know to come to me. I was raised really strict, so I'm going in the other direction.
What are your hopes for the CD?
RS: I hope people can enjoy it for what it is. It's a very vulnerable record for me. I never intended for everyone to listen to be released. The songs are really something from my heart.