Last fall, while promoting his then upcoming guest arc on Californication, Rick Springfield told EW he was shopping around his autobiography and promised us he’d be “brutally honest about anything other than the things that will put me in prison.” When he followed it up with an anecdote about traveling to Vietnam with a band in 1969, almost blowing them up with a hand grenade, and living “off the good grace of the hookers there,” we expected a fun ride. But after watching his appearance on Good Morning America to promote his memoir, Late, Late at Night (out today), we know it’s also a somber one. Watch the interview below. Springfield opened up about the depression he first suffered when he was 17, when he tried to commit suicide. Luckily, the rope he used for a noose snapped.
In light of the recent rash of teen suicides, Springfield echoed his message in the book on GMA: “Give it a year, because your life will change. Nothing remains the same. And, you know, if the rope had of held, I would have missed out on a lot of amazing stuff in my life, not to mention my incredible family and my two boys,” he said. “And I really would love to say to the kids who are on the edge — and I know what it’s like, I know that feeling that you just want out, you want the pain to stop — just give yourself a year.” (It’s a simple message that reminds me of the one South Park co-creator Matt Stone, who grew up in Littleton, Colo., memorably delivered in Bowling for Columbine: “They just beat it in your head, as early as sixth grade, ‘Don’t f— up, because if you do, you’re gonna die poor and lonely, and you don’t want to do that.’ And you’re like, f—, whatever I am now, I’m that forever. Of course, it’s completely the opposite. All the dorks in high school go on to do great things, and all the really cool guys are all, like, livin’ back at Littleton as insurance agents … If someone could have told them that, maybe [the Columbine High School shooters] wouldn’t have done it.”)
Springfield also went on to discuss how his marriage has survived 25 years despite the fact that he wasn’t always faithful. Brutally honest, indeed.