American TV Icon: Rick Springfield

This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 26, 2007. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

Watch "The O'Reilly Factor" weeknights at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET and listen to the "Radio Factor!"

JOHN KASICH, GUEST HOST: In the "Back of the Book" segment tonight, a TV icon and rock 'n' roll heartthrob.


RICK SPRINGFIELD, ACTOR/SINGER (singing): Jessie's girl. I want Jessie's girl.

Don't talk to strangers. Baby don't you...

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Don't talk to strangers


KASICH: Remember those songs? I guess I'm old enough that I do. They put Rick Springfield on the map back in 1981, setting off a frenzy among young women.

At the same time, Springfield bolstered his fame with a star turn as Dr. Noah Drake on TV's daytime drama "General Hospital." Now, at age 58, he's out with a new Christmas album called "Christmas With You," and proceeds go to the Gold Star Mothers. Springfield recently entered the No- Spin Zone with Bill.


RICK SPRINGFIELD, MUSICIAN/ACTOR: Today is Rick Springfield day.

(MUSIC: "Don't Talk to Strangers")

O'REILLY: Now it's 1985. You're a big star, one of the biggest stars in the country, "General Hospital."

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You don't have to throw bouquets my way just because struck on triage together.

SPRINGFIELD: I wouldn't throw them if they weren't...

O'REILLY: Had huge albums and all that.


O'REILLY: And then you kind of disappear, and I understand, it's because you had a depression situation?

SPRINGFIELD: Well, actually, it was triggered by — the "disappearance" was triggered by the birth of my son. I was pretty burned out in '85 and was getting — starting to get into some issues. I'd lost my dad earlier and hadn't really dealt with it, and suddenly I became a father. And I had to — it was the right time for me to stop and start to look at things.

O'REILLY: So your son is born, and you want to spend more time with him and the family. But you did have a depression situation?

SPRINGFIELD: Yes. Yes, I went through some pretty dark stuff.

O'REILLY: Tell me about that. Because some people don't understand. I mean, guys like me, we remember you. I mean huge.

(MUSIC: "Jessie's Girl")

O'REILLY: Women throwing themselves at you. How could you be depressed?

SPRINGFIELD: I think it was to the point where you realize that you're — that the material things won't bring you happiness in and of itself. And that was really the wall I hit, was that wall.

O'REILLY: So you weren't happy with all this fame and fortune?

SPRINGFIELD (singing): You've got the power, you've got the love, to lead me to heaven or lead me to heartbreak.

SPRINGFIELD: I did feel fortunate that I'd, you know, finally hit something, but in the end when it was just me by myself, it was — you know, I was still me.

O'REILLY: So you were lonely, was that it?

SPRINGFIELD: Darkness. That this wasn't what I thought it would be. This didn't heal me is basically it.

O'REILLY: OK. Why did you need to be healed?

SPRINGFIELD: I don't know anybody who — who truly goes, you know, I'm right there. You know, everybody is dealing with issues.

O'REILLY: You were born with great talent, obviously.


O'REILLY: Did you ever pinpoint the fact that why you were unhappy, when you got into this situation, where you were one of the biggest stars in the world?

SPRINGFIELD: I'd been a pretty — a pretty dark teenager, you know, it's...

O'REILLY: Not a happy kid?

SPRINGFIELD: No. I was a happy kid up until I hit the teen years.

O'REILLY: Now were you drug involved at all back then, in the '80s, you mean?

SPRINGFIELD: No, no, I'd actually gone through my whole drug phase in the '70s. When I was in Vietnam, I started smoking dope, and — and I got into acid for a while. But it was all — that was not — I've always been a very driven person, and that was very counter to me doing what I wanted to do.


O'REILLY: Now, you're 58 years old. And you have a new Christmas album here.

SPRINGFIELD: The whole point of me doing a Christmas record and what I centered it around was the song "Christmas with You" from the point-of- view of the soldiers in Iraq.


SPRINGFIELD: The proceeds go to the Gold Star Mothers, who are parents who have lost sons and daughters over there.

O'REILLY: You do understand the sacrifice.

SPRINGFIELD: Absolutely.

O'REILLY: You know, I just got back from Afghanistan. It's hard to get people to go over there, celebrities like yourself to even shake their hands.

SPRINGFIELD: I performed for the troops in Vietnam in '68 and '69. And it's a very different war now. And I think, you know, I see soldiers walking through the airports, see people applauding or saying hi to them.

O'REILLY: But not the celebrities. The celebrities haven't stepped up. No Bob Hope.

SPRINGFIELD: I think that's probably mainly fear.

O'REILLY: You think so?

SPRINGFIELD: I know Gary Sinise has gone over there.

O'REILLY: Great guy.

SPRINGFIELD: And I know — I know people who have gone over there. And — and we're planning to go over there hopefully April, May.

O'REILLY: We applaud that. You're helping out the Gold Star moms, and we wish you the best with the album, Mr. Springfield.




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