No song spoke of unrequited love better during the 1980s like Rick Springfield‘s “Jessie’s Girl.” There she is in the distance, the answer to your hearts’s desire. But damn it, you can’t have her.
The song shot to number one on the charts, won Springfield a GRAMMY and was a mainstay during that time MTV made music videos the focal point of their programming. Even as Springfield continues touring today, “Jessie’s Girl” is the one song longtime and new school fans pine to hear.
But even the biggest Springfield fan doesn’t know everything. Here are 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl.”
Jessie Is Really Gary
Gary was the real name of the man with the girl. Why did Rick change it? Because “Gary” doesn’t roll off the tongue during the chorus.
“The only thing I remember is his name was Gary, so I changed the name, because ‘Gary’ didn’t sing very well,” Springfield said in an interview.
Rick Doesn’t Know Her Name
Rick remembers Gary, but that’s about it. Springfield said in an interview that he doesn’t remember the name of the song’s inspiration, but all he knew was that he wanted her and she wasn’t having it.
“I was completely turned on to his girlfriend, but she was just not interested. ”
The Man With The Answer Is Dead
Springfield met the couple while making stained glass. As mentioned before, he doesn’t remember her name, but he did come close.
After an interview with Oprah, Winfrey tried to track down the woman by going back to where Springfield took the stained glass class. The teacher who taught it died two years prior to their visit and his records, with her name, were thrown away a year after his death.
Recorded At Sound City
Sound City Studios has been on the tip of everyone’s tongue recently, thanks in part to Dave Grohl. The legendary studio has been the birthplace to dozens of historic recordings like Neil Young‘s After The Goldrush, Elton John‘s Caribou and Nirvana’s Nevermind.
It also was home to Springfield’s 1981 album Working Class Dog and it’s lead single, “Jessie’s Girl.”
Covering songs is nothing new. But in the 1980s things got a but squirrelly (SORRY).
Alvin and the Chipmunks were a dominate force in pop culture during the early 80s and record companies capitalized. Alvin, Simon and Theodore hit a note Springfield never could when they covered “Jessie’s Girl” (LISTEN HERE) on their 1982 album Chipmunk Rock. The song would also be known as “Jessie’s Squirrel.”
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