In The Days Before Caller ID….

Everyone at school knew about my crush on Rick Springfield.  My close friends knew that I was actually writing a novel about him, but even my arms’ length acquaintances knew about my fandom.  Lots of other girls had the exact same crush, and so it was something to share and have in common with other girls.  But no one knew the extent to which the posters on my wall were distracting me from some very real life troubles; no one that is, except for my friend Dawn.

By now both Dawn and I had some real issues at home.  I would often have to go over to her house to get in touch because the phone bill hadn’t been paid; a message when I dialed would inform me that the phone was no longer in service.  One day I came over to find Dawn’s mother cooking on a camp stove; the electricity had been turned off too.  They had long been going to the laundromat to do their laundry when their washer broke and they didn’t have the money to fix it.  Dawn was developing a little escapism crush of her own to keep me company.   With as much as I was talking about and buying things about Rick Springfield, it was only normal that I would find out a fair amount about those around him:  his band, his manager, his family.  Dawn developed a crush on Rick’s drummer, Jack White.

I’d saved my lunch money up and bought money orders to order past tour programs of Rick’s, and they were full of photographs of both him and the band.  In those days before the internet, Dawn and I would ride our bikes up to the county library and search out magazines for more and more information.  She found out that his birthday was March 12, she found out that he was originally from our hometown of Detroit, and that he used to drum for the group that sang “Baby Come Back”.  Our twin obsessions dovetailed nicely and our investigative work always helped each other out.

One day that spring, when Dawn’s phone was actually working, we decided to take our research a little further.  We had looked up Rick’s management company in the Los Angeles phone book at the library.  How thrilling, we thought, it would be if we could speak to the manager.  We actually had an excuse; with me writing a novel using Rick’s name and song lyrics, we would need to obtain permission to use both before a publishing agreement could be entered into (yes, I was that naive and optimistic).

We wrote out a script, and got ready to make the call.  I was nervous.  My palms were sweaty.  What if we actually got to talk to him?  Dawn had her parents’ phone right next to her room phone to listen to.  It was one in the afternoon in California.

“Hello, Major Way Management. This is Susie.”

I hung up fast at the sound of the administrative assistant’s voice.  Oh. My Goodness!  I just talked to (well listened to) an actual person who actually knew Rick Springfield!  It was Dawn’s phone which helped us dial and listen to someone who knew Jack White!

Dawn and I spent the next two hours reviewing the amazing encounter between Rick Springfield’s manager’s secretary and ourselves.  We were, in that moment, rockstars.


One Response

  1. […] why can’t you call him?” Dawn asked.  And all of a sudden, in a throwback to the days we’d called up Rick Springfield’s management company, we realized that we could just call information and ask for the main line to the base at Fort […]

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