Rich Girl

Album: Bigger Than Both Of Us (1976)
Charted: 1
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  • This is the first Hall & Oates single to hit #1 on the Billboard Top 100, and it propelled them to superstardom. The character in this song is based on a real person, the spoiled heir to a fast food fortune who had dated Sara Allen, Daryl Hall's longtime girlfriend. Her stories of him inspired Hall to write this song, but he had to change the character to a girl, since he was the one who would be singing it. According to Hall, his original lyric was:

    He can rely on the old man's money
    He's a rich guy
  • This was the first of six US #1 hits for Hall & Oates.
  • In an interview with American Songwriter, Daryl Hall revealed that the guy he wrote this song about is named Victor Walker. He says Walker came to their apartment acting very strange, and Daryl realized that he could get away with it, since his father would pay to make his problems go away. Hall says that Walker knows the song is about him.
  • Daryl Hall was shocked to find out that the infamous serial killer David "Son Of Sam" Berkowitz claimed he was inspired to murder by this song. It is unlikely that this song actually compelled Berkowitz to kill, as it was released after he started his killing spree, and Berkowitz cited many influences, including his neighbor's dog, when asked why he killed. Nonetheless, it was very disturbing for Hall and Oates to have their song associated with Berkowitz, and they made reference to this in their 1980 song "Diddy Doo Wop (I Hear the Voices)" from their Voices album in the lyrics: "Charlie liked The Beatles, Sam he liked Rich Girl."
  • Scott Edwards, who would later play on many disco hits of the era, was the bass player on this track. He says that Chris Bond, who produced the Bigger Than Both Of Us album, was largely responsible for this song's success. "Chris was the one who figured out the production and the projection of it," Edwards told us. "He was a really good arranger and he wrote out note for note."
  • The indie-pop duo The Bird and the Bee covered this song for their 2010 album, Interpreting the Masters Volume 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates. In a 2014 Songfacts interview, Daryl Hall named this as one of his favorite covers of a Hall & Oates song.
  • This was featured in the 1980 comedy Cheech and Chong's Next Movie and in the TV drama The Shield in the 2003 episode "Barnstormers."
  • This is one of four songs available on the Callin' Oates hotline, a phone service set up in 2011 to provide immediate access to Hall & Oates songs when in need. To hear "Rich Girl," call 719-26-OATES and press 1.

Comments: 7

  • Great Music from New YorkDaryl and John Two Of The Best!!!
  • AnonymousI’ve heard the song is autobiographical, but “Rich boy” didn’t sound right.
  • Melinda from AustraliaThese days , whenever I hear this old song I think of Paris Hilton.
    And any other irresponsible free loading adult who lives off their parents money.
    Who can’t save cause they’ve never had to. And have no personal integrity whatsoever. Or drive and ambition.
    Except access to their dad’s bank account.
    I can understand why men don’t like to date these chicks.
    Cause they are like children. How can you build a life with someone who has never experienced saving money.
    You would have nothing in common with them.
    So this song was actually about a guy. Well same applies.
    No one wants a guy who parasites his father’s income.
  • Laura from CaliforniaSome one said it had to do with Patty Hurst.. I guess not.
  • Michaelbrenden from Dc, MdAbout the "Son of Sam" killer and this song -- there is _SO MUCH MORE_ you probably don't yet realize. Have you seen, for example, Dave McGowan's astounding INSIDE THE LC series? google it. You won't believe the total involvement of the military with modern music. In fact, as Dr. Leonard Horowitz' paper MUSICAL CULT CONTROL points out, the A440 tuning standard was chosen (and foisted upon the world) for its comparative tendency to cause upset, anger, strife...meaning that the modern musical scale itself poisons your soul, on purpose, by design, from the outset. Ridiculous, except that the 30+ sources (including military documents) he provides can still be verified. ZAPPA's dad was top military at Edgewood Arsenal. It goes on and on and on and on. In fact, all top musical acts from the 60s on had intense, deep and direct military involvement. DOORS' lizard-king's father, for example, was The Guy who acquiesced to Nixon's drumming up of the Tonkin Gulf incident into the Vietnam War. How incredibly impossible, the #1 guy 'against' the war was directly related to the #1 guy 'for' the war. Anyway, the "coincidences" are too numerous, numbering in the thousands discovered so far. The occult influences on music are amazing. Elvis' first hit Heartbreak Hotel was so dark, written about the suicide jumper in Florida. The involvement of ADORNO in the Beatles (look up why Adorno was booted from Germany, what he was studying and doing with music, you won't believe it...or maybe you will). Then there's the overabundance of artists amittedly "channeling" spirits. On and on and on. So, by all means, don't stop at Son of Sam and this song, that is the tiniest tip of the tip of the tulip.
  • Doug from Ontario, OnIf you really listen to this song as if it's being sung by a serial killer, it fits surprisingly well.
  • Tom from San Francisco, CaI couldn't believe other mis-guided fools who thought it was about Patty Hearst.
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