For singer Rick Springfield, it's a little strange to be back on his old soap-opera stomping grounds.

"I don't know if there has ever been a character that reoccurred after 23 years," he says.

Springfield is back as Dr. Noah Drake on "General Hospital," a role he first played in the early 1980s, when his hit song "Jessie's Girl" was a radio staple.

The singer-actor was looking for innovative ways to promote his new album, "The Day After Yesterday," and started pursuing guest appearances on several soaps. "General Hospital" liked the idea of his return but asked him to leave the band at home.

"I thought about it," Springfield says, "and it seemed like it was too good an opportunity to miss."

He made his first appearance Friday and is set to be in about a dozen episodes. He'll save the singing for his tour dates in Japan this month and in the United States next year.