Rick Springfield is giving Guitar Aficionado visitors an exclusive sneak peek at “Miss Mayhem” from his upcoming new album, Rocket Science (Frontiers Music).
Here are Springfield’s own notes on the track:
“I was in New York filming Ricki and the Flash, and I had a weekend off, so rather than take a quiet stroll with my wife and dog around that awesome town, I looked for more work,” he says. “Sorry. Can’t help myself. It’s a sickness. Possibly.
“Tad Kubler is an Indie artist and he has a band called The Hold Steady, which is very popular with the kids. He lives in Brooklyn and has guitars, recording equipment, and a desire to write with me, so off I go to Brooklyn, harboring unrealistic dreams of maybe becoming a respected and legitimate Indie artist. Writing with someone new is always a scary and potentially embarrassing proposition. (Case in point: the Todd Rundgren story I tell in my Stripped Down Solo Show. BUT I LOVE Todd. So it’s all good!)
“Anyway, we hook up (Tad, not Todd, and I) and go at it. I’ve never met Tad before, and it’s a weird thing getting together with a stranger and proceeding to try to create a little magic and wizardry in the nebulous arena of songwriting. It’s all so hit-and-miss—the creative writing thing. No writer really understands where the music comes from (unless it’s subconscious plagiarism of an old Beatles or Rolling Stones tune.) You just pick up an instrument, face each other and hope for the best.
“Well fortunately for both Tad and me, Tad came up with a cool guitar line that I put some chords behind, we recorded it and I left Brooklyn with some potential Indie credibility and a good riff that eventually found its way into the chorus of a song Matt Bissonette and I wrote called ‘Miss Mayhem’ (*Actually, not an Indie-sounding song in the slightest.)
“‘Mayhem’ was going to be the original title of this album/CD/free-download. (But if you download it for free you won’t be able to read all these stunning literary gems. Wait, but if you did download it for free you wouldn’t know you were missing them so that kind of negates the whole ‘Ha ha, you suck for stealing my music’ thing. Okay, never mind.) Anyway, I thought the title ‘Mayhem’ made the album sound like it might be by some thrash metal band instead of a one-dimensional pop star/soap opera geek. And I do so prize my one-dimensional pop star/soap opera geek status.
“So, ‘Miss Mayhem.’ Yes we have all met her/him at some point in our romantic past. A burning hot, amazing-in-bed, beautiful/handsome, f**king whack-job!! Aren’t they the BEST!!! I brought my Dobro guitar (an old bluesy instrument) to Matt’s house one day and started playing this riff and Matt yelled, ‘Yes, yes, keep playing that!’ And before I could say ‘Keep playing what?’ we had a song. And we called her ‘Miss Mayhem.’ Enjoy. It has occasional elements of an Indie/thrash metal tune.”