'Late, Late at Night,' by Rick Springfield

Grammy Award-winning pop icon Rick Springfield pens memoir.

ByABC News via GMA logo
October 11, 2010, 11:46 AM

Oct. 11, 2010— -- In his memoir "Late, Late at Night", Rick Springfield writes about his career as a musician and an actor and his lifelong battle with depression.

Springfield, who blasted to rock stardom with his hit "Jessie's Girl," shares the ups and downs of a life lived under the spotlight.

Read an excerpt below from the book and head to the "GMA" Library to find more good reads.


What's the Point of Being a Doctor if Everybody Dies?

I'm beginning to feel like a visitor in my homeland. Going back to Oz has less of the sensation of a homecoming and now feels more like I'm looking through a box of old photos from a dusty attic. In my upstairs bedroom, I rummage through songs written when I was a teenager, that thankfully will never see the light of day, drawings I made, poems I wrote, dumb things I collected, and I go to sleep in the same bed I have always slept in at my parents house. Downstairs my dad battles the cancer and my mum picks up after him like he's her child. No one talks of dying. I long to ask my father how he is dealing with it, but how do you talk to a five-year-old about death? Instead, we pull out the tinfoil Christmas tree my mother bought years ago in order to save a few real trees, decorate it, and quietly slip our presents to each other beneath its aluminum branches.

My dad always wanted a pocket watch. I give him an antique one that I bought for him at the Pasadena Rose bowl on one of the days I was out there hawking my mirrors. I spent way more than I made that day. I've had his initials -- NJS -- engraved on the inside along with the sentiment, "To Dad, love Rick." I feel like something is missing in our house now Cleo is gone and I go to a shelter and get them a puppy -- with paws the size of snowshoes -- that my mum names "Flora," another frigging name from another century. Flora grows too big for our yard and my mum has to give her away 4 months later. My lifelong atrocious luck with the family/dog combo holds true to form. We take photos and I hug and hold my dad and wish him healing. He says "Good luck son." I board the plane that will take me back "home." I can't bring myself to say "Goodbye dad," so I say "I'll see you later."

I wish it were true.

Barbara is waiting for me at LAX with Lethal Ron in the car. I am excited to be back. "Lethal Ron" soon wears out its welcome as a name so I shorten his name to Ron, then to Ronnie, then to Arnie, then to Arnfarn and so on and so on. It seems my old man's trait for endlessly evolving loopy dog nicknames is alive and well in his second son.

And his second son is definitely falling in love with the feisty little firecracker of a girlfriend he has miraculously managed to keep interested in him. So I do the right thing and go meet Barbara's Dad, having already met her mom. Her mom loves me: her dad, not so much. I figure one out of two isn't bad.

The album is complete but I am concerned about something. I'm giving serious thought to releasing the new records under a "band" name, as I am afraid of all the baggage that goes along with "Rick Springfield." I'm gun shy about my own name (or at least, Pete Watson's version of my own name) after all the negative crap from the 70's. Joe and RCA talk me into keeping the RS moniker on the album, but I am adamant that I will not have another "beauty" shot of me on the front cover. Instead, I tell them that I am dressing my dog up in a shirt and tie (thank you Yan the snappy dresser), putting him on the cover and calling the record Working Class Dog. RCA thinks I'm joking. I am soon to be the new face on a national TV show that is fast becoming a summer phenomenon and I want my dog on the cover??? I am determined to not be swayed this time. I'll mock up a cover and show them what I mean.

I measure Ronnie's neck – 18 inches around – and head off to a Big and Tall men's store to get him a shirt. The conversation goes something like this:

Me: "I'd like a white dress shirt with an 18-inch neck please."

SalesGuy: " Certainly. And what length sleeves are we talking here?"

Me: "It doesn't matter."

Sales guy: "Well, just give me a ballpark number. Is he a 30 inch sleeve – a 35?" I know he's not going to let up.

Me: "12."

SalesGuy: "12?... 12 what?"

Me: "12 inches. His arm length is 12 inches" We stare at each other for a moment or two. Somewhere in the distance a lonely cricket chirps and a train whistle blows.

SalesGuy: "How 'bout a short-sleeved shirt then?"