By Melissa Neiderman and Teresa Rogers
Dear late teenage years/early twenty-something Melissa,
That character on your favorite daytime soap opera, you know the one with the great accent, good-looking with the personality that seems filled with humor, yes, that guy, Scorpio. Well, not only will he become a good friend, but his wife will be one of your very best friends. Yes, seriously, it’s true.
Oh, and while we are at it, your future husband will be in the band and friends with one of the other characters on the that show. Yes, the character who one of your bosses’ named their kid after, the one with the fabulous smile and who really is a tremendous musical talent. Yup, I am not joking. It’s true.
It’s going to feel a bit surreal, so sit back every so often and soak it all in. Appreciate it, don’t take anything for granted. You’ll also see that through these two characters you will become friends with amazingly loving and caring people who brighten your life beyond measure. You are a lucky bitch, I mean, lady.
You’ll see. Just don’t forget to thank those who brought you all together; Desi for bringing me Teresa, Paul, Cheryl for bringing me Tim.
You are welcome,
Dear Twenty-something Teresa,
Please don’t feel frustrated or defeated, you are going to meet a great guy who will change your life for the better and help bring two incredible gifts to your world making it all feel complete.
Here’s the catch: He’s a pretty famous guy who you will need to share with much of the world.
It’s going to be an interesting ride, but well worth it all. You’ll meet some fun and wonderful people along the way who will become important to your life.
It’s true. You’ll see. Just read below.
SOAP OPERA WISHES
It will be 30 years on June 4, 2018 that I have been with Robert Scorpio or as I know him best, Tristan Rogers.
What’s it like being married to a man who is one of the most loved and recognizable daytime actors? It’s such a soap opera. No, only kidding. It’s like any other marriage just with a couple of different wild scenes.
Tristan and I first met at a party in Los Angeles at a time when I had just come out of a very painful breakup with my cheating boyfriend. My mother lived in LA and I had decided to visit for a much needed weekend get-away.
The first night in town I met Tristan. Did I know who he was? Sure, didn’t everyone back in the day? However, I hadn’t watched the show in many years at this point. I wasn’t thinking about his celebrity status. I was thinking how very handsome and extremely sexy this man was standing before me. Even in his black jumpsuit, ( yup, he wore jumpsuits), he caught my eye and eventually my heart( which resulted in me getting used to those jumpsuits).
That first night we chatted about everything except the show when he finally asked me if I knew who he was! My response was a nonchalant, “yeah”.
After I went back to my Northern California home, we kept in touch from afar until I came back to LA for our first real date. This became my first taste of the life he was immersed in. Tristan took me to Gladstone’s On the Beach in Malibu. While waiting at the bar until our table was ready, a lady walked up to Tristan and started crying, literally crying tears.
She told him through her sobs that when he left the show it had crushed her, but when Anna, another character on GH, opened the door and Scorpio was standing there she was a happy person again.
Hmm…, that was interesting, I thought to myself. However, as the date continued, women were coming up to him, pushing me out of the way, putting their phone numbers, etc into his shirt pocket. I stood back and watched in mixture of disbelief, being pissed off about how rude these women were, and admiration for how he handled it all.
After 6 years of dating Tristan and experiencing fans fall all over Scorpio, Tristan and I married. I guess he figured since I hadn’t run away screaming, I was a keeper!
Through the years there have been some really frightening, some very annoying, and some super sweet situations with the fans. There are those who have truly thought Scorpio wanted to date or even marry them and they didn’t want me in the way. Scare me? Yes, wouldn’t you be? But this wasn’t a soap opera where I could miraculously come back to life after being killed off by some jealous delusional woman so I learned how to deal with it without someone writing my part.
Then there are the fans that can’t see me in their scene or perhaps they think I am the director. Years ago (during the dating ones) Tristan was working in Florida on a TV show and invited me to join him. On his day off we went to the pool where he was ceremoniously mobbed by fans. I proceeded to get us towels only to find out they were out of them. Once back to the mob scene, about 50 women had scrambled to get Tristan a towel, not Tristan and me, just Tristan. HELLO! I am here! CUT SCENE! It started to really get out of hand leaving us no other option than to retreat back to our room. I was pretty disappointed since I had been looking forward to lounging with him by the pool. End scene!
Just a few years ago, a group of friends all traveled to see Tim play with Rick Springfield in Vegas. After the show, we decided to grab a drink at one of the hotel bars. Tristan and one of our friends headed over before the rest of us. Once we found them through the sea of people, I squeezed over to Tristan where he introduced me to everyone.
Yup, that was the look I was given by one woman when she realized I was his wife and he wasn’t heading to her room. Almost 30 years later and I am still cutting the scene!
It is definitely not all like these stories. There are fabulously loving fans who truly respect Tristan’s work and my part in his life. Some are sweet to include me in their photos with Tristan, a few even asking me for my autograph!
What most fans don’t understand is Tristan is truly just a person like everyone else and that he is far from anything like the characters he plays on TV. Really! He’s just my goofy, handsome husband who has the biggest heart and is very accepting of who other people are..period. Tristan taught me how to cuddle. Yup, this woman hated cuddling. Not anymore, now I love to fall asleep all curled up next to him!
We have tons of fun together, have raised two beautiful, smart caring children together, love our family, adore our friends, and are big animal lovers. Okay, I am the bigger animal lover who thinks I can save them all. But, thankfully, my husband loves and accepts that about me.
When I accompany Tristan to a fan event or autograph signing session I watch him light up when speaking to the fans about past and present work. Now that we are older, the fans have become so much more respectful and I enjoy the time getting to know them.
Even after 30 years of watching Tristan being mobbed by adoring fans while we tried to have a low key family get-away or a romantic dinner, I wouldn’t change a thing. It has been a fun journey with the love of my life who I share with the world. I am okay with that.
My hope is that we get another crazy thirty years together!
Some pictures of our friends with Tristan; some of his cheering team!
ROCK ‘N ROLL DREAMS
Just like most teenage girls, I had posters on my wall and numerous record albums of my favorite musical artists. I dreamed of being a singer ( haha, I can’t sing) or dating one of my teenage crushes. How many of you turned up the record, yes I said record ( it’s this vinyl circle that goes on a machine with a needle to bring out the recording of the music), danced around your room dreaming of the day you’d meet your future husband?
I was consumed with my love for music. I’d rather be in my room listening to my albums than just about anything else. Music cheered me up when I was sad, calmed me down when I was nervous or angry, and saved me many times. It still does today. I would be in my room so much that my parents would pretend they didn’t know me when I’d walk out into the rest of the house.
I played clarinet in my middle/high school band and adored my teacher, Mr. LaRuffa. He always told me that I should never marry anyone that doesn’t play an instrument. That seriously stayed in my mind each time I would date someone. Mr. LaRuffa, guess what? I married an incredible musician. You would love him!
Paul Trudeau and an earthquake brought my now husband to the desert. Paul had been playing in a nightclub here in Palm Springs called Cecil’s. The place had two rooms: one had a band and the other had a DJ. It was THE place to hang out. Paul couldn’t continue the gig so he asked Tim if he could fill-in for him. During that time, my brother’s girlfriend, who was a former dancer on MTV( look it up if you don’t know it. It’s where they USED to play music), who loved to go to Cecil’s. She told me about this good-looking guy,Tim, who was in the band and that I needed to meet him. Luckily, I listened to her. Long story short: I met him, there was the Northridge earthquake, Tim had to leave his place there in Northridge and decided to move to Palm Springs. We’ve been together for 24 years.
Fast forward from the 1990’s to 2015, Paul calls Tim again asking if he can fill-in for him to do a few gigs with Rick Springfield. ( Paul and Tim play keyboard, guitar, and sing). Tim asks me what I thought and, well, you’d be crazy to say anything but “ARE YOU KIDDING ME? OH MY GOSH!” Then I think I said something like, “Whatever you want to do. It sounds great.”
Tim ended up staying on while Paul went off to play with some guy named Billy Idol. So, Paul, if you are reading this: Thanks for bringing Tim into my reach and for bringing us into a musical family who we truly adore. Thanks Cheryl for getting me to go to Cecil’s with you and introducing me to my music man.
Going on gigs and being an observer of all that encompasses a Rick Springfield show is really surreal to me. That teenager self just sits there going “is this for real?”. Everyone involved works ridiculously hard to put on a show filled with energy, love, and damn good music.
I am not going to write about what it’s like to get to really know Rick Springfield, his wife who I adore, and all those involved in the band and production. Simply put: It’s tremendously amazing. That will have to be a story for another post, so check back soon!
What really interests me now are the fans. There are those who have been following him since the 1980’s. Seriously, yes, following him to just about every show they can travel to, doing so multiple times per year. They know where he is going to be, sometimes before he even knows! They have pictures with him from just about every show or every “surprise” meeting with him. Each second they experience with him is documented, cherished, and shared.
I had never been exposed to anything like this; not even when I would go to concerts. I just didn’t see that level of fandom. My own starry eyes only appeared watching my crushes on TV or seeing them in magazines. So experiencing the Rick fans was a bit disconcerting and scary at first, especially from women my age.
Just a few of my “oh my gosh! I get to meet….” moments:
As I attended more and more shows, I started to understand. What my music gave to me growing up, Rick gave( and still gives) to these fans. When they needed to smile he was there, when they needed to just cry, he was there, when they needed to be saved, he was there. He was there with his lyrics and music. Then, they met him and they received their hug, their picture, a short conversation, their assurance that he was that celebrity who really cared about his fans.
Here’s the cool thing for Tim, Jorge, George, and Siggy. These fans appreciate the band. They get excited ( I know, I know, but it worked for this sentence) to see the guys in the band almost as much as they do with Rick. ( I said ALMOST).
They have welcomed Tim into the “family” and have given him his own form of stardom. The fans have promoted TIm’s work, shared pictures with him, and have even hugged me into the group. Actually, they have more than hugged me( watch it now). They have given to the numerous charities I work with and have helped promote my events.
I get it now and it’s heartwarming. They travel making the trips fun adventures with their friends they have made because of Rick. Many I noticed have become best friends. All in all it’s like an adrenaline quick. Again, I get it now because I feel it. I love being a part of every aspect of the gigs.
Yes, there are the ones who aren’t like what I described, but luckily I don’t have to deal with that like Teresa did.
My rock ‘n roll dream was to marry a rock star. I did better. I married a fantastically talented musician, a very funny, caring and loving man who happens to now play in a band for a well-known rock star. My reality rocks my dreams. I get to attend outstanding shows, become friends with many in the Rick family, meet appreciative fans and experience it all with my own music man aka PianoGenius.