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by Peter Knegt
May 1, 2012 1:09 PM
29 Comments
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Rick Springfield Heads To Hot Docs For 'An Affair of the Heart'

Melanie Lentz-Janney, Rick Springfield and Sylvia Caminer before the Hot Docs premiere of "Affair of the Heart." Brad Horvath
Thirty-one years after "Jessie's Girl" made him an 1980s pop culture icon, Rick Springfield can still rouse a crowd. On Sunday night in Toronto, Sylvia Caminer's Springfield-centric doc "An Affair of the Heart" made its international premiere after winning awards at US fests like Florida and Nashville. Fittingly, the crowd was dominated by middle-aged women clutching Springfield signature-ready posters because the film is just as much about Springfield's fans as it is about the single.

Springfield, 61, still gives over 100 performances a year. This includes on a "Springfield and Friends" cruise in which hundreds of fans join him on a ship that sails from Miami to the Bahamas. Caminer's doc take us on the cruise and to dozens of other performances across America (and one at massive outdoor hard rock concert in Sweden, where Springfield wins over a crowd that mostly seems to have no idea who he is).

The doc also focus on a good dozen of Springfield's biggest fans, who seem to devote their lives to following the singer. Springfield knows them all by name (as he seems to with all of his fans) and the charmingly cult-like community based around the singer quickly becomes clear. It never appears exploitative on Springfield's part. He comes across as enjoying the community just as much as his fans, and seems genuinely grateful for the career longevity they've given him.

The doc also makes a few husbands of Springfield addicts primary characters; for them, things aren't so fun. One candidly discusses his jealously for Rick, particularly since he once had hopes of becoming a rock star.

"I hate him," the husband says rather seriously in the film, in a moment that, oddly enough, probably drew the most laughter from audience.

After intense applause as Springfield and the film's team (including some of the fans featured in the film) took the stage after the film, the Q&A expectedly turned into a Rick lovefest.

"When I read your book I was upset for two months because you had sex with everybody in the '80s but me," one audience member said.

"We're going to change that tonight," Springfield joked in response.

Another asked where the scar on his chest came from, while a bunch of groupies in the back started asking who was all going to a Springfield concert planned in Mexico in the  near future.

"You going?" Springfield asked. "Well, then you better start drinking now."

Check out full video from the Q&A here. "Affair" screens again this Thursday at Hot Docs.

TAGS: Hot Docs
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29 Comments

  • lis | May 2, 2012 5:48 PMReply

    I too was in the audience. Maybe I was totally blind but I did not see anyone with posters... BUT I did see a very appreciative group of people that enjoyed the documentary. I believe it was well received and well liked. It was a very nice crowd of people in the lower level. Seats were filled. Unfortunately they put Rick in the balcony so we could not see his reaction to the film, which would have been nice. The second night he did not show up for the viewing, only showed for the Q & A part. Guess he's seen it enough times by then. I have to say it was brillantly filmed and edited. It must have been a lot of work to putting it together and deciding what stayed and what went. And as I stated on facebook, the second showing seemed just a tad different than the first. Just small pieces were different or tweaked. Maybe they have more than one version of the film. Either was fine. Both had the same punch.

  • patricia gurley | May 2, 2012 3:45 PMReply

    Rick Springfield is awesome!! He has a special connection to his fans that not all preformers do. Thank you Rick!!

  • PG | May 2, 2012 3:37 PMReply

    I was at the Bloor Theater Sunday night and was amazed at the warm reception the film received. A wonderfully told story about the power of reciprocity, coupled with a very much still relevant rock star and powerful fan stories, allows this film to be among the best of them.

  • Tina McGowan | May 2, 2012 8:01 AMReply

    I have been a fan for over 30 years. Rick is an amazing entertainer! My daughter (who is 10) is also a big fan of his, especially after he took a little bit of his time to talk with her last year. We are VERY excited for this film to come out. She has even shared info about the Yellow Rick Road & "An Affair of the Heart" for show & tell at school :-)

  • Dustin | May 2, 2012 2:37 AMReply

    So proud to be a part of this project, that shows what a wonderful, caring person Rick is, besides being a great musician & songwriter!

  • K*Chele | May 2, 2012 1:46 AMReply

    Brilliance! From the filmmakers who saw their was a story to be told and captured it very well, to the journey you experience watching it come alive on the screen. There's no ego. Only mutual love, respect and loyalty, between Springfield and his fans. The darkness disappears when he steps on stage and middle-age women become excited girls. There's some very intimate and touching stories, as there is unique and funny ones throughout the film. Not just another Rick Springfield souvenir, but rather a treasure for every movie collector.

  • Bonnie Roach | May 2, 2012 12:30 AMReply

    I have been following the Yellow Rick Road since its inception and am thrilled to finally see it come to life. Congrats to Melanie, Sylvie, Rick and all of us fans!!!

  • Rebecca Gonder | May 1, 2012 11:47 PMReply

    The 1st time I saw Rick was during the Toronto Exhibition , it was my sister's 14th birthday and I being the big sister took her to see her idol.....then to Rama to see him once again the 2 of us, the book signing on Bloor and on Sunday yet again I got tickets for the 2 of us to go to the screening. My sister has been to the States many times to see him and is a true fan, guess I have become one as well. (not a teenager anymore so I don't have to take her) I was impressed with the film and in general the man it is all based around. He truly is warm, genuine and does care about all his fans!! It is an informative film in many ways, so you must RUN not Walk to see this amazing Hot Doc!!

  • Wanda Peterson | May 1, 2012 11:30 PMReply

    Thank you to Sylvia and Melanie for validating us middle aged obsessed groupies ;) I haven't even seen the doc in it's entirety but from the clips alone I can see it has captured that connection. Not only of Rick with his fans but of his fans with each other. Not only is Rick accessible, but you never know when you'll get an email from his editor :), Melanie or Sylvia commenting or liking a photo, or a note from his merchandise team! I have met some wonderful people through this and they are the first ones to be there for you in good and bad times. The Yellow Rick Road deserves all this success and more!

  • Cher Quarles | May 1, 2012 10:14 PMReply

    I am so excited to see this movie. I love Rick ad the Yellow Rick Road and can not say how much this movie means to me and the Rick Chicks!!!

  • Terri Coe | May 1, 2012 9:50 PMReply

    Affair of the Heart is an awesome movie! Rick's appreciation for the fans and his accessablilty keeps us coming back time after time after time! I have enjoyed a 30 year "affair of the heart" myself and never in a million years could have imagined that I could say hi and give/get hugs from him! His music and talent shine thru in the movie and there are several fan stories that grab the viewer' attention. Rick's expression of his feelings thru his music and songs make a connection with people in so many different ways that draw you in to him. I loved the movie and of course cant say enough good things about Rick. He is honest enough to be humble and bare all his failings to the fans, never thinking he is good enough. Rick - you are definately Good enough in my opinion. This movie shows that we "groupies" are not that, but fans who enjoy the connection that we feel for the Rick-sperience and the friends and friendships that have developed in the "Rick fan community". Going to a Rick show brings out the happy teen-age self that can have a great time with like - minded friends, kind of like a guy's tail gate party at a sporting event. Guys have sports, we have Rick shows. And then for Rick to like having us (the fans of all ages) around and enjoy the fun as much as we do is really the deal MAKER!
    Thanks you Melanie & Sylvia for making this movie and showing the world the talent and the person that we love, Rick Springfield.

  • Donna Bittmann | May 1, 2012 9:47 PMReply

    Saw the film on the last Rick cruise. I was pleasantly surprised! Great job everyone!

  • Debbie Saiko | May 1, 2012 9:11 PMReply

    So enjoyed AOTH documentary. I have been a fan for more than 30 years and after seeing this I guess I am not the only one! LOL Loved it!!! Thank You Sylvia, Mel and Rick this is great!!

  • Kris Fluck | May 1, 2012 9:02 PMReply

    An Affair of the Heart beautifully tells the story of a man who has learned from his life's experiences how to co-exist with his demons and return the love of the people who have stood by him for decades. Rick Springfield is a man who has confronted it all and continues to battle a darkness that threatens to envelope him at any moment but he will rise above because of the devotion of so many who won't allow him to fail because he has never failed THEM. He inspires, he feels, he shares and he is a friend to those who feel like they have none. What Yellow Rick Road Productions has done is captured the essence of the man and why we love him in 93 unforgettable minutes. Well, done Yellow Rick Road!

  • Michelle passalacqua | May 1, 2012 7:53 PMReply

    Affair of the heart Which I had the pleasure of viewing on the Rick cruise is a wonderful emotional ride that I wanna take again. I laughed , cried & cheered . Not to mention the extreme excitement of seeing myself , daughters and so my friends in the movie. Thanks to everyone involved and all the work it took to pull this off .

  • Elizabeth Brown | May 1, 2012 7:39 PMReply

    So Proud to be a loyal, devoted life long Rick Springfield Fan!! Going on 29 years!! Rick
    is Awesome and so down to Earth. I can't wait to see the film!! Mel and Sylvia have done a Wonderful job at capturing the true spirit of what it means to be a RS Fan!! & have show cased Rick's unbelievable talent proving he is more than just an extremely handsome man.

  • marnie | May 1, 2012 7:21 PMReply

    Hi! we saw the film and it was wonderful to see the Real Rick shine through, hes kind and compasionate and truley loves his fans. The filming was great too. All around a fantastic film and cant wait to buy it on DVD. I Love Rick!

  • Susan Del Rio | May 1, 2012 7:20 PMReply

    I am 47 and I too have been following Rick since the 70's. I remember cutting pictures out of Tiger Beat magazine and hanging them on my walls. I attended my first Rick concert in 1983 and then the next in 1985. He retired for a while and then the next time I attended one of his shows was in I believe 2007 and I have been attending regularly any chance I can when he is in Florida, which is a lot. While I am not as much of a fanatic as some of the women featured in the doc are, I do admit that I do look forward to seeing his shows often and never get tired of him or the chance to interact with him during "Human Touch". I have had the opportunity of him grabbing and squeezing my hand on several ocassions during that song and each time you'd think it was the first. Ha Ha!! He is quiet generous with us with his time and really puts himself out there for us just as the doc shows. I had the pleasure after 40+ years to have my picture taken with him at the doc premiere at the Florida Film Festival 2 weeks ago and I was not disappointed with the film or with the man. I am so very proud of the job Sylvia and Mel and also Rick did on the film. They truly were able to capture the relationship between Rick & his fans. There aren't many celebrities left out there that truly appreciate their fans the way he does. We are like a big family, somewhat dis-functional at times, but then what family isn't at one time or another. Just wish there were more people out there that would take the opportunity to stop teasing us for liking him and go see the film (and one of his shows) so that they too will see that there is SOOOO much more to him and his talent than "Jessie's Girl". He is very talented in a number of different types of music. This doc is a must see!!!! Follow the "Yellow Rick Rd" you will not be disappointed!!!

  • Alicia Maloney | May 1, 2012 6:07 PMReply

    Like many other I have followed Rick's career, and have been a big fan since the late 70's.
    I am so happy for Sylvia and Mel to finally see their hard work come to fruition through this documentary. Being a fan of Rick's is such a wonderful experience. and his genuineness and kindness truly comes across on the stage and I am happy to have found he is just really a darn nice person as, finally at the age of 42 I met him in 2011 at a book signing!! And I also had the opportunity to meet Mel in person also, she is so sweet. And works so tirelessly for the Rick fans, She is fabulous.

  • Anita Christensen | May 1, 2012 5:40 PMReply

    wow I really like the article and can´t wait to see "Affair of the heart" on dvd. I was interwieved by Sylvia Caminer in Oslo 2010 but I don´t expect to be in the movie. Rick´s a great guy and much more down to earth now than in the 80´s . He really connected with the fans in Oslo 2010. Been a fan (from Denmark) since early 80´s but also remember his first song Speak to the Sky from the early 70´s when I was only 12. Denmark never took him to their hearts, but I´m still working on that issue - that ´s my little "project" Have a lot of FaceBook friends because of Rick and made some new friends too because of him. Heá always with me in my mind and he has a great and hilarious sense of humor

  • Liz Taylor | May 1, 2012 5:34 PMReply

    I saw the film at the Nashville Film Festival and loved every minute. It eloquently captured what it's like to be a Rick Springfield fan and why so many of us have kept this "affair of the heart" going for more than three decades. RS fans will love it, and people who aren't (yet) will be won over. Two thumps up! Yeah Yeah!!

  • David Festini | May 1, 2012 5:29 PMReply

    I cannot wait to see this film!! I'm a "guy" fan of 30 years and have experienced first hand the connection Rick Springfield has with his fan base. His concerts are one great big party and his new music is just as good, if not even better, than his old material. How many artists from the 80's can say that?

  • Mindy Latman | May 1, 2012 5:24 PMReply

    I can't wait to see this doc! As a fan of over 30 years, I am one of his devoted following. I have made many wonderful friends. Going to one of his shows is not all about seeing him. Its about seeing old and new friends. I have friends all over the country and the world through our love for Rick.

  • Joanna Howley | May 1, 2012 5:15 PMReply

    This is great! Love him and his music! I've been a fan all my life (24 years)! I have met him a couple of times, read his book, and I think he is very funny and sweet! Through him and his music, I've met a lot of nice people! Can't wait to see "An Affair of the Heart!"

  • Wendy Bouzid | May 1, 2012 5:08 PMReply

    I never thought that I would be a "groupie"....until I discovered Rick Springfield. He is a genuinely wonderful human being and incredible musician and the community of people who follow Rick are simply the best. "An Affair of the Heart" is a terrific film that really captures how many of us feel! Can't wait for my husband to see it. I'm hoping it will help him understand a little better.

  • Kathy Carswell | May 1, 2012 5:07 PMReply

    Great film!

  • Mindy Freeland | May 1, 2012 4:54 PMReply

    Rick is an extraordinary entertainer. His shows are so much fun and many of us have become friends on this Yellow Rick Road. It feels like a family reunion when he comes to town because we get to visit with other fans. Can't wait to see "Affair of the Heart" and see everyone in Cancun in November!

  • JoAnn Camporeale | May 1, 2012 4:43 PMReply

    So proud to be on the Yellow Rick Road and a part of the fan community!!!

  • Sue Nelson | May 1, 2012 4:40 PMReply

    As one of the "middle age groupie" I have to say that "Affair of the Heart" has put to film what many of us Rick fans have been living and experiencing with Rick at many differeant levels over the years!! Kudos to Sylvia and Mel for showing what we have been trying to explain to others, who can't wrap there heads around it. This is a must see and must have....can't wait to have "Affair of the Heart" in my collection!!