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In 1985, Rick says he decided to leave the spotlight for awhile. "My wife was about to have our first baby, and I wanted to help raise him," he says. "So I just stopped my career and disappeared for five years while my two sons were born and became a house husband."

He doesn't regret his decision at all. "Now it was the most amazing thing that I could have done because I have an incredibly close relationship with both my boys and a great relationship with my wife," he says. "She's been through everything with me. I mean, we were dating before 'Jessie's Girl' was ever heard of, so she knows me like nobody knows me."

When it came to raising his two children, Rick says he was a little more relaxed with the rules than his wife, Barbara. "I was raised in a very strict household," he says. "My mom was really strict, which I fought all my life." On the other hand, Rick says Barbara was brought up with few rules. "She was really let free, so she turned it around and became the real disciplinarian. And I'm going, 'No, no, I want them to be free.' I don't want to have all those stupid rules that I had, like don't put your elbows on the table and don't chew with your mouth open and all this stuff."

Rick says he has a soft spot for another addition to his family—his dogs. "Dogs are my totem animal," he says. He even incorporated his dog Ronnie into the album cover of Working Class Dog. "I went to the record company and said, 'I want to put my dog on the front cover of the record'—and they all laughed," he says. Since he was a General Hospital star, Rick's record company wanted his face to be on the cover—but Rick had other ideas. "So I went home and I took a photo of Ronnie in a shirt and tie and a little Polaroid and cut it out and did 'Rick Springfield, Working Class Dog,' and took it in to them and they bought it. It ended up being nominated for a Grammy for the best cover of the year. I was very happy about that—it was vindication."
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FROM: Rocker Rick Springfield, TV Legends Henry Winkler and William Shatner
Published on February 26, 2008

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