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Jessie's Girl

by

Rick Springfield



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Who is Jessie's girl? We may never know, but in our interview with Rick Springfield, he told us the story. Said Rick: "I don't know her name. It was a brief relationship I had when I was making stained glass for a while. I was going to a stained glass class in Pasadena, and I met this guy and his girlfriend. I was completely turned on to his girlfriend, but she was just not interested. So I had a lot of sexual angst, and I went home and wrote a song about it. Then about 4 months later I stopped going to the class and lost contact with them. The only thing I remember is his name was Gary, so I changed the name, because 'Gary' didn't sing very well. But the whole thing is absolutely what I was feeling. He was getting it and I wasn't, and it was really tearing me up. And sexual angst is an amazing motivator to write a song. Actually, Oprah's people tried to find her, and they got as far back as finding the stained glass guy. I couldn't remember his name, but I said it was late '70s; they found him, and he had died 2 years earlier, and they'd thrown all his papers out a year after that. So we missed finding out who she was by a year."
This was Springfield's second Top 20 hit (the first being "Speak To The Sky" in 1971) and it was his only #1, where it stayed for 2 weeks in August, 1981. The popularity of the song and album that summer was bolstered by the fact that Springfield, also an actor, had landed the role of Dr. Noah Drake on the soap opera General Hospital earlier that spring. Springfield began acting in the mid-'70s when his music career had stalled and his then-girlfriend, actress Linda Blair, suggested he try it.

Speaking of Linda Blair, when Springfield and Blair were dating, Blair was just 15 years old while Springfield was 25. They only lived together for one year, and according to an interview on VH1's Behind the Music, Blair said, "He's someone I'll always love" while Springfield says that of all his former girlfriends, Blair is the only one he remains friends with. Remember that this was 1974, when standards were a little more relaxed, and median age of consent for most of Springfield's native country of Australia is 16. (thanks, Dawn - Highlands Ranch, CO)
Spingfield's take on relationships: "We’re clueless. Desperately clueless. Everybody is on relationships. Truly, I remember being a jerk because I thought that’s what girls wanted. You only really learn about women when you get into a long relationship, unless you got a really great dad – a really clued-in father – or a really open mom."
This was the #1 song in the United States when MTV launched on August 1, 1981. The video became a favorite on the fledgling network, as the photogenic Springfield starred in a well-produced promo where he used his acting skills to portray his angst.

Springfield says it's his only video where he took creative control, storyboarding it himself. The scene where he smashes the mirror remains an iconic clip; it was the most expensive part of the video, since Rick estimates that went through 24 mirrors.
In the category of weird covers, this song was covered by The Chipmunks, using the same instrumental backing track, no less. Check out their 1982 album Chipmunk Rock if you just have to have it.
This song was used in the movie 13 Going On 30 starring Jennifer Garner. (thanks, Julian - Anaheim, CA)
Rick Springfield
More Rick Springfield songs
More songs with boys' names in the title
More songs written for a girl
More songs used in movies
More songs about jealousy

Comments (33):

Saw Pat Benatar perform a concert in Atlantic City last night. Guitarist Neil Girardo claims it was his guitar, named "Pain" that was used to play the famous Jessie's Girl riff.
- Marc, Prior Lake, MN
Springfield had about a five-year career and has had moderate success on his own label recently. His other top 10 songs are "I've Done Everything for You", "Don't Talk to Strangers", "Affair of the Heart", and "Love Somebody". He's also had many other top 40 pop and adult contemporary hits.
- Richard, Fremont, AZ
I like this song but i want to know why he used the name JESSE cuz like i hav a friend whose name is jesse and they always sing this song to annoy him so i wanted to know why he used that name
- Suzie, houston, TX
it says PATTY IS JESSIES GIRL at 1minute and 4 seconds
- sazzybear, blackwater, Australia
Ahhh stellar songwriting at it's best. Gimme a break. I wanna tell her that I love her but the point is probably moot.
- Jami, Redding, CA
It really bugs me that it's spelled "Jessie." That's a girl's name. My brother's name is Jesse and it's spelled like a real man spells it. (Of course he's not a real man yet because he's only 8, but you get the idea.)
- Marissa, Akron, OH
My sister was a huge fan of Rick springfield in the 1980's. She never got a chance to see him in concert at that time. I took her to see him more recently in Denver at the paramount theater. It was a LOUD and eardrum splitting show. We were cracking up at some of the fans beacause some of the women were dressed up like it was 1986. Their hair was teased to the moon, parachute pants.. the works. I kept thinking the 80's are over LIVE IN THE NOW!! Anyways, I thought that it was cool that my sister finally got to see him live ROCK ON RICK
- Jason, Denver, CO
I wonder if Rick ever find a Woman like Jessie's Girl?
- Greg, Torrance, CA
absolutely!!! Mike from Chicago, In Boogie Nights, Alfred Molina's angst when he sings this song is hullarious and made that whole scene in the movie!
- Susan, Westchestertonfieldville, VA
It wasn't Jessie's Girl, it was Gary's Girl. Rick's friend was named Gary. He doesn't remember the girl's name.
- Chester, Smiths Grove, KY
This song also got voted this year as the most populara karaoke choice. Interesting, eh?
- Sabrina, Corvallis, OR
This song is pretty cool. He even has a "raggae" version of this song on one of his limited editions CDs. It's been covered by a band called Frickin' A and Rascal Flatts.
- Sabrina, Corvallis, OR
The song "Jesse's Girl" must have been covered by somebody or other by now ! Anybody know of any ?
- Mike, Victoria, B.C., Canada
lol, i love this song if not just for the fact that i really am a "jesses girl". this is a real classic, and it will never get old.. well its already OLD but it will never be worn out lol.
- liz, douglass, TX
A GREAT bar tune!! . I've been with several bands and always make sure Jessie's Girl is on the setlist. :) You can say what you want about Rick, but he knows how to write a hook. AND, this tune isn't as simple to PLAY as you first might think... careful listening shows that several of the licks are played in different orders throughout the song, making it rather tricky to duplicate correctly. :)
- Gandalf, Glassboro, NJ
I used to love this song but I got tired of it playing it so much.
- Mike, Hueytown , AL
I am an avid Rick Springfield fan. He has NOT had any plastic surgery. He was however, severely injured in an ATV accident in the late '80s. Any changes in his appearance are a result of the aging process and that accident. Jessie's Girl is one of several AMAZING songs he's done. Check out his two latest cd's shock/denial/anger/acceptance and The Day After Yesterday. s/d/a/a is even better than his 80's releases!
- Kai, Minneapolis, MN
saw a photo of Rick the other day , he's had plastic surgey, he's starting to look like Priscilla Presley...not a good look, could be worse i suppose he could look like Michael Jackson
- pete, nowra, Australia
Actually, the correct spelling was always supposed to be "Jessie's Girl." In a 1999 interview with Entertainment Weekly magazine, Springfield told reporter Dave Karger that since "the real-life beau's name 'didn't sing,' he replaced it with'Jessie' - as in Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Ron Jessie, whose name appeared on one of Springfield's favorite t-shirts."
- Candi, Salisbury, MD
i heard that this song is true but his friends name was gary not jesse but using gary sounded goofy...so he switched it to jesse
- gary, milwaukee, WI
i love old music and this is such a good song
- will, gold beach, OR
This is in the 1997 film "Boogie Nights" when several of the main characters are attempting to make a drug deal. Watching Alfred Molina singing along to this is worth the price of a rental.
- Mike, Chicago, IL
I really am Jesse's girl! and this is a great song! serisoly it's sooo good. I listen to it as much as I can!
I reccomend this song to everyone to listen to.
- Krysta, Hastings, MN
I am a "Jesse's Girl" :)
- Stacey, Mackay, Australia
This is the best song ever!!!!! It is on my i pod and listen to it every day.
- May, Rumson, NJ
This song still makes em' go wild when it's played at clubs. It brings back many adolescent memories. Rick put out many a good tune, but some of his later works got overlooked, which is too bad. I guess the 15 minutes of fame really is true for many artist.
- Dee, Indianapolis, IN
i love the movie 13 going on 30!! its so cute! its my favorite romantic comedy. jennifer garnder is so cute. anyways, this song is in it and i love this song!! i also found it on my brothers ipod! its a really fun fun song to listen to. i dont know why, but it reminds me of the song stacy's mom by fountains of wayne. weird huh? but i love this song!
- Izzie, lala, HI
The video is hilarious. It's one of the bonus features for the movie "13 Going On 30"
- Clarissa, Pearl City, HI
i first heard this song on 13 going on 30, what a shame. its such a good song, too bad i hadnt heard it ealier. the 80's was such an awesome era, they had awesome music and awesome clothes. this song and then the cure...gosh, good times. if only i was alive then...
- Sarah, Quito, South America
real name Richard Louis Springthorpe born in Australia
- pete, nowra, Australia
If you look close at the video, you can see the name PATTY spray painted on the wall in back of Springfield and his band.
- Christopher, Greenfield Center, NY
I've read that Rick Springfield has always been irritated by the fact that the song's title was to be "Jesse's Girl," using the more traditionally masculine spelling, and the label misspelled the name as "Jessie," giving the song a girlier nuance.
- Lisa, Urbandale, IA
Springfields most famous hit. His other hits "Affair of the heart" "Don't talk to strangers" and "Calling all girls" not as famous. Springfield and this song is featured in movie "13 going on 30." A good flick.
- Steve, Chino Hills, CA
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