Why Does Rick Springfield Smash Roses On His Guitar?

Rick Springfield is an actor, musician, and author. Many fans regard the rock star for his energetic live performances, which almost always include the singer using a bouquet of roses as a guitar pick. Find out what inspired Springfield to start “windmilling roses” on his guitar during his shows. 

Rick Springfield fans show up to concerts with roses 

Whenever Springfield performs, fans show up with an abundance of roses. While newcomers to Springfield’s shows might be confused, diehard fans know there’s a particular part of the show reserved for these flower arrangements. Many fans look forward to Springfield’s ceremonial “beheading of the roses,” wherein the singer/songwriter throws his guitar into the air, catches it, then grabs a bouquet of roses and uses them like a guitar pick. 

The flowers look a lot like fireworks when Springfield does his signature move — something that adds an element of pizazz to his performances. There’s even a corner of the internet dedicated to Springfield’s “rose explosions.” 

Rick Springfield’s signature move on stage  

Fans of Springfield’s have come to expect the quintessential “smashing of the roses” during his concerts. 

“I am the flower anti-Christ,” Springfield once said during a show at Rambler’s Ranch in 2000. 

Springfield will typically shred a bouquet of roses during his performance of “Affair of the Heart.” In the past, he has done his now iconic stage stunt to other hits like “Love Somebody.” Ironically, Springfield’s signature move was born by accident. 

A ‘persistent’ fan inspired Rick Springfield to ‘windmill’ roses against his guitar strings 

Contrary to popular belief, Springfield didn’t develop the idea for the “rose explosions” on his own. A fan sparked the idea for the musician. 

“At one show, a persistent fan tries to shove a bunch of roses in my hand while I’m playing a guitar solo,” Springfield writes in his 2010 memoir Late, Late At Night. “I yell at her over the sonic boom of the band, ‘I’m busy, dammit.’” 

The fan kept insisting Springfield take the roses, “shoving and poking” at him until he had no choice.

“I grab them from her and windmill them against my guitar strings in frustration,” he continues in his book.

The red petals blast across the stage like ‘rose decapitation’ has occurred, and our stage will be showered with rose petals at every show from that moment on as fans come forward with bouquets, and I happily comply by guillotining the petals on my guitar strings, becoming kind of the Morticia Addams of the guitar world.

Thanks to one fan’s persistence, concert-goers all over the world get to enjoy Springfield’s ceremonial rose explosions. 

Rick Springfield hasn’t been able to ‘windmill roses’ in some time

Thanks to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Springfield has been quarantining at home like the rest of the world. He misses performing just as much as his fans miss attending his concerts. During a phone call with Showbiz Cheat Sheet, Springfield said the first thing he’s going to do when the pandemic ends is “hit the road.” 

“I miss the whole communal thing of playing on stage,” Springfield said. “That’s our new church — a concert hall and a football stadium is where we commune together and celebrate life.” 

Fortunately, fans can access live concert footage of Springfield performing with the 80-piece Santa Monica High School Symphony Orchestra in his upcoming film release Orchestrating My Life. Stream Springfield’s movie beginning on Feb. 14, 2021. Tickets for the event are available through Springfield’s website. 

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