An Affair of the Heart

As I stood in line outside the Hot Docs screening of the Rick Springfield documentary An Affair of the Heart, I overheard the couple in front of me tell their neighbors they’d been following Rick Springfield around the world for 12 years. I remember thinking, “12 years? Really? For the guy who sang ‘Jessie’s Girl’?” Little did I know that was only a small taste of what was to come. When I got inside I couldn’t help but notice this was not your average documentary festival crowd. Where usually there are pale intellectuals, all around me were middle-aged women, eyes awash with excitement and in some cases, just about bursting with joy. I knew I was in trouble when the woman next to me declared she was going to faint and promptly burst into tears. Oh, and did I mention Rick Springfield was in attendance? As I learned during the movie (what I could hear between the screams and catcalls form the audience), Rick Springfield has elicited this kind of emotion from his fiercely devoted fan base for 30 some odd years. To some of us he might seem like another mullet-sporting 80s pop footnote, but to a select group of dedicated fans, he’s a larger-than-life character who’s been a constant in their lives since they were teenagers.

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