Fans of the television drama "General Hospital" already know actor Rick Springfield has returned to the show to reprise his role as Dr. Noah Drake. But Springfield's main claim to fame is his music. Over the course of his career, he has sold more than19 million records. His familiar hits include "Jessie's Girl," "I've Done Everything For You," "Don't Talk to Strangers," "Affair of the Heart" and "Love Somebody."
Springfield and his band are to make a stop at The Ritz Theatre in Tiffin for a 7:30 p.m. show April 14.
"I've got a killer band, and we always travel together. We actually like each other, which is pretty good after 15 years. I'm really happy for that," Springfield said.
Springfield burst onto the music scene in 1981 with his now-classic album, "Working Class Dog."
That same year, he made his debut as Noah Drake.
"Jessie's Girl" won a Grammy in 1982. Two more albums followed until he became a dad in 1985. He continued making music but on a more relaxed schedule, returning to the touring scene in 1998.
Most recently, he released "Venus in Overdrive" in 2008 and "My Precious Little One - Lullabies For A New Generation" in 2009. The artist said another studio album is in production.
"That's part of what keeps me out on the road - having music to play," Springfield said.
He said The Ritz audience may hear a song or two from the new CD, which as yet has no title. In addition to more than 100 concerts a year, Springfield said he has more television acting commitments in the coming year.
What began as a request for him to reappear for a couple episodes on "General Hospital" turned into the filming of a dozen episodes. The first aired March 20.
"There's a big storyline happening and they asked if I'd come back for a couple episodes. I owe that show a lot. It pulled me out in to the mainstream and I was very happy for it. I was happy to go back and do a couple cameo shots of Noah Drake," Springfield said.
The March 28 show of "Hot In Cleveland" also featured Springfield. Another recent effort was recording a song with Foo Fighters for the soundtrack of a documentary about Sound City Studio in Los Angeles.
"Nirvana did 'Nevermind' there; I did 'Working Class Dog' there; Fleetwood Mac did 'Rumors,'" Springfield said.
The singer is the subject of a documentary whose title, "An Affair of the Heart," came from one of Springfield's hits. The film is to debut this month at the Florida Film Festival, the Nashville Film Festival and Hot Docs.
Springfield said the film originated with Melanie Lentz-Janney, a fan who also is a producer. Lentz-Janney knew the fan stories and enlisted director Sylvia Caminer, who followed Springfield and his band for a year.
"She blew me away with the stuff she pulled out of people. I thought it was just going to be us playing and fans saying, 'I remember when I was 16 ...' but she went way deep and it was incredible to see what she's done with it," Springfield said.
The fans' devotion is linked to their ability to identify with Springfield's songs about love and loss, greed and envy, elation and heartbreak. Those emotions are rooted in the artist's personal experiences that were laid out in his memoir, "Late, Late at Night," released in 2010.
"It helped me understand a few things that have driven me in my life and showed me the up side to my constant battle with depression - which I didn't think there was. But I think it's been part of my drive and also part of what helps me to be empathetic and to dive into songwriting with a band," Springfield said.
His 2003 album, "shock/denial/anger/acceptance" reflects his journey from darkness into light. He said being immersed in a specific task keeps depression at bay. He has found meditation and exercise, especially running, to be helpful.
Composing and performing music also have been therapeutic for Springfield.
"Completely and utterly, it's the cheapest and best form of therapy I've ever had," he said.
For the Tiffin show, Springfield said CDs and other merchandise will be available for purchase.
As for the performance itself?
"We will send them away hot and sweaty, I promise," he said.