Hey Jealousy

Album: Dusted (1989)
Charted: 24 25
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This song has a tragic story. Gin Blossoms guitarist Doug Hopkins wrote "Hey Jealousy" about his old girlfriend, whom he was trying to reconcile with. The song dates back to 1989, when the band included it on their debut album, Dusted, released on the small Arizona label San Jacinto Records. They built up a following in the Phoenix area, but struggled until "Hey Jealousy" got the attention of A&M Records, which signed the band. In early 1992 they recorded their first album with the label, New Miserable Experience, which included new versions of some of their Dusted tracks, including "Hey Jealousy."

    During those sessions, Hopkins was in rough shape and very unreliable, having developed an alcohol problem. He played on the album but after the sessions the band fired him. The album was released in the summer of 1992 and the band started touring with his replacement, Scotty Johnson. The band finally broke through when "Hey Jealousy" started climbing the charts in the summer of 1993, peaking at #25 in the US in October. Hopkins had to watch from the sidelines as his song propelled the band to stardom. He got even more depressed and committed suicide on December 5, 1993 at age 32. The band continued to play the song, considering it a tribute to Hopkins.
  • Early on, Gin Blossoms prided themselves on their heavy drinking - the band name is a reference to red, blossom-like markings that can show up on the skin of longtime drinkers when their capillaries burst (as seen on the comedian W.C. Fields). The line "you can trust me not to think" was written by Hopkins as "you can trust me not to drink," but vocalist Robin Wilson, who was tired of singing about drinking, asked him to change it.
  • When "Hey Jealousy" was first released in 1992 as the lead single from New Miserable Experience, it flopped. It wasn't looking good for the band, but then A&M Records commissioned a video for the song. Three different videos were shot before the label approved one and submitted it to MTV, which made it a "Buzz Bin" item. A&M re-released the song in the summer of 1993, and with help from the video and a steady stream of adds from radio stations, it gave the band their first hit.
  • Pop radio loved the Gin Blossoms, and after "Hey Jealousy" caught on, their songs found their way onto playlists throughout 1994. The follow-up was "Found Out About You," which was also written by Doug Hopkins. That song went to #25 in February 1994 but spent 34 in the Hot 100. The next two singles - "Until I Fall Away" and "Allison Road" - A&M sent to radio but didn't make available for sale because they wanted to move more albums. Radio stations, trapped between grunge and hip-hop, were thrilled to have these pure pop songs and played them steadily. The album ended up selling over 4 million copies in the US.
  • The video was directed by David Mould, who also did Elastica's "Connection" and Evanescence's "My Immortal." Band members show up in boxes on the screen throughout the clip, which in 1992 required a lot of mixdowns.
  • The original version released in 1989 was recorded, along with the rest of the album, in just a day. Without much time or studio acumen, they basically recorded their live set. When they re-did the song for New Miserable Experience, it was in Ardent Studios in Memphis, produced by John Hampton. This new version is slower and a lot more refined.

Comments: 32

  • Lucia Butler from TexasI named my daughter Jealousy Megara. Her name Jealousy came from the song Hey Jealousy. Her middle name came from the Disney movie Hercules. I loved the line in the movie where Megara says, "The names Megara, My friends call me Meg. At least, they would if I had any friends." So, people are named Jealousy. Jealousy Megara would complain when she was in school because her teachers would all sing Hey Jealousy to her all the time. When my children were young and they watched the movie Twister her brother's both told her that whenever they had kids that their kids would call her Aunt Meg. She was so upset about being called Aunt Meg that she cried and said that she didn't want to be Aunt Meg...years later she is Aunt Meg or when she doesn't answer right away Meggie.
  • Jim Blossoms from Tempe, AzIn response to Letmepicyou:
    1. Why does Jealousy have to be a person's name? Do you also hate The Sound of Silence because nobody is named Darkness?
    2. The song is written from the perspective of someone who's life is in a downward spiral, and this person has no self-control. I suppose your interpretation of this line is actually correct, but to dislike a song because it contains lines that support the very point of the song is kind of weird to me. It's a dark song about a person you are not necessarily supposed to like.
    3. This is another line that illustrates the person's self-destructive behavior.

    Do you really think the song would be better if it was called Hey Melanie and it was about a guy and girl who love each other sooooo much and do only nice, sweet, responsible things together? Bo-ring!!!
  • Letmepicyou from OhioWhy do I hate this song? Let me count the reasons.
    1. Nobody is named "Jealousy". Anywhere. Ever.
    2. Do you think it'd be all right, if I could just crash here tonight...um, there's nothing worse or more rude than someone who INVITES THEMSELVES to be your unwanted house guest. NO, it wouldn't be all right. Maybe you should have had a place to go before you started drinking, you moron.
    3. Tomorrow we can drive around this town, and let the cops chase us around...So, your plan to cement our relationship is to get me arrested, possibly killed. Um, no thanks, loser.
  • It Doesn’t Matter from Somewhere, UsaThis song will always remind me of my one true love who I’m no longer with, whom I will grieve for the rest of my life. You don’t know grief until you have to grieve someone who is still alive.
  • Iron Mike from TulsaLove the song, but ‘Hold Me Down’ is still my favorite given the same despair in his lyrics. I now know why they don’t play that song in concert nowadays.
  • AnonymousI have heard that they open all their concerts with this song to pay tribute to Hopkins, I don't know if it's true but they did when I saw them in Phoenix.
  • Glenn from SurabayaA great song. Always reminds me of my college years. Never knew about the sad story behind it. Anyway, like the lyric says, I guess i'm also jealous of my past.
  • Jim from Ocean Grove, NjDoug Hopkins WAS Gin Blossoms. He founded this group in Tempe after graduating from Arizona State. He was lead guitarist and chief songwriter. Gin Blossoms had an original sound, a raw energy. From 1989 to 1992 they were great. Later, without Doug they sucked.
    Most people discovered this song in 1993. It was on the album New Miserable Experience, released in 1992. Doug wrote the best songs on that album: "Hey jealousy", "Found out about you", "Lost horizons" etc.
    Doug was an alcoholic (note name of band). About to release the album (under pressure from the record company), his band mates fire Doug. He gets a very raw deal for his songs. He is not credited on the album except as songwriter (it says "Gin Blossoms are...5 names, no Doug). The group hires another guitarist and they tour playing Doug's songs to fame and fortune starting in 1993 (like "Beach Boys" without Brian). And then Doug kills himself.
    The song begins by Doug admitting he's in no shape for driving tonight. The next stanza had the lyric "you can trust me not to drink" which the brainless lead singer changed to "think".
    He accepts the responsibility for blowing the relationship years ago, but is hoping to start over fresh (with ex-girlfriend Kathy). He is saying that he knows he is an alcoholic, but maybe if she takes him back he can sober up. The song is a plea for the girl, but also for help. Probably Doug knew that Kathy was his last hope. Look what his band mates did: instead of sticking by Doug and getting him into rehab, they fire him. His "good buddies" end up rich. Doug ends up dead (way too young).
  • Linda from KyI love this song but think its the saddest rock song ever. Now I know why. Hate that the writer committed suicide. He wrote from his heart.
  • Michael from Montreal,que., QcA song that brings back memories of a less complicated time, but also a time fraught with anxiety and despair. A bittersweet time time in my life if there ever was one. I do enjoy listening to this song though. It's funny how memory works. I seem to only remember the good times when I hear that song.
    I'm in a much better place now and have a great woman to thank for that. Like the late '60's of a generation before me the early '90's of my generation were a turning point as far as music goes. I lived it. Like San Francisco was the place to be in 1967... Seattle was the place to be in 1993. And believe me, it was!
  • Willie from Scottsdale, AzI heard this song in 1991 at Long Wong's on Mill Avenue. It didn't really get a huge response, so I was quite surprised when it blew up a year later. Who knew?
  • Brian from Boston, MaWhen this song first came out I really was not that fimiliar with it. A couple years latter I realy heard it or at least listened to it for the first time.This is great rock and roll.This whole album is great.You know at the time this song came out "alternative" music was popular wich sounds like a contradiction.Anyway everyone was talking about how great Nirvana was.I think Doug Hopkins was a better songwriter.I realize few will agree with me on this point but I don't care.I wonder how many people really were fans of Nirvana and how many were just caught up in the hype and were just going along for the ride least they be labled unhip.I was never a big fan of grunge music.I liked some of Pearl jams' songs who were much better than Nirvana but that's about all.My point here is I think the Gin Blossoms were underated.It is amazing though how music changed in such a short period of time in the early 90's.In the 80's bands not all acts but most bands were what we now call hair bands.The music they played was essentially all the same.It was mostly just party music with some power ballads thrown in.I think we can all admit to some point that we liked some of this.The problem however was fact that every band sounded alike and there were so many of them.The songs were loud fast and sang about partying and girls.All of this along with the make up and hairspray was just too much for too long.U2 was really the only popular band band during this period that was not just fluff.When Nirvana came along there was nothing like them before.They were the polar opposite of the hair bands.This is why I think they were so popular.I think it was inevitable that a new or different sound aside from all that hair band stuff come along.Nirvana just happened to be at the right place at the right time.I liked a lot of the 90's music though and the Gin Blossoms are among my favorite from that time.I realize I might sound like an old man but I really don't care for the music of today.I really can't name one band I listen too that has a song on the charts.
  • Adam from Pomona, CaI wanted to cry when I learned what happened to Doug. I first heard this song when I was 9 or 10 and it's stuck with me since. Why is it that sometimes the people with the biggest hearts meet the worst ends? Only God can know. I hope to see Doug in heaven.
  • Aaron from Houston, Txwow this has been a favorite for years.. didnt know thats what happened.. i feel for the guy.. we've all been in a similar situation at one time or another
  • Benjamin from Belchertown, MaDoug was great for guitar. The song has a great deal of meaning. I feel for the guy. "If I hadn't blown the whole thing years ago, I might be here with you." He wanted reconcilation with his girlfriend. When the song flopped and then became a hit it was just the last straw. It's a great song. Gin Blossoms rock. RIP Doug.
  • Miriam from Welland, OnGreat song. My boyfriend and I recently realized we didn't have a song, and chose this one because it suits us so well. I didn't realize there was such a tragic story behind it.
  • Joe from Middleville, MiOne of the best songs of all time. Rest in peace, Doug. "With a little luck, one night, we'll drink together in a different light..."
  • Clubber Lange from Ocean Gate, NjYou cant leave a radio on for 10 minutes without hearin this song...Thats gotta say something...
  • Lexi from Lansing, KsI LOVE the part, "Tomorrow we can drive around this town and let the cops chase us around".
  • John from Conover, NcPersonally, I think Gin Blossoms is the best band ever. If there was one 90s' song on the Earth, this would be it.
  • A from Fdsafds, AustraliaCheck out the Gin Blossoms' latest record - Major Lodge Victory
  • Stacy from Evansville, InThis song came on the radio when i was 17 and had just broken up with an awful boyfriend and put my mother through hell. My mom was in the room and heard the line "If you don't excpect too much from me, you might not be let down" and my mom and me just looked at each other and laughed. Cause that pretty much summed up the best I could hope for in a boyfriend at the time. It was funny.
  • Angela from Birmingham, AlThe song is great, but everytime I hear it I get the extremely sad realization that indeed the past can't be changed and that nothing can really take its place.
  • Liz from Halifax, CanadaThe only song in the whole wide world that I can listen to on repeat and never get tired of it. Ever since Buzz Bin came out when I was only about 9.
  • Pete from Nowra, AustraliaAlison road also another great song ...track it down
  • Angela West from Tomball, TxI love the Gin Blossoms & they always take me back to the puppy loves of when I was in high school! Miss those days & wish they played the Gin Blossoms more!
  • Eloise from London, England"Cos all I want's to be with you, and feel like I matter too".....O my good God Almighty, every time I hear that line it makes me feel like I'm back in a relationship where I love the guy more than he loves me and I've screwed everything up and there's nothing left I can do about it. This is a great, heartfelt song and it's really sad Doug committed suicidestill feeling that way.
  • Taylor from Austin, TxAwesome song, but why aren't Gin Blossom songs shown at the song selecting screen? Anyway, AWESOME SONG! I could have this on "repeat" for hours and not get tired of it. Later!
  • Robert from Chicago, IlThis song is so great. I live in the past, And can't get over an ex-girlfriend. I wish I could go back in time and erase all my demons, But I cannot. So this is now one of those songs you play on the jukebox at the bar and toast to the good days.
  • Nick from Arlington Heights, IlThe name "Gin Blossoms" refer to the broken capillaries old drunks get on the end of their nose that give it a red appearance
  • Pat from Philly, PaThe line "You can trust me not to drink" was changed to "You can trust me not to think" before the song was recorder because the band thought they wrote too much about drinking.
  • Heather from Mead, Nethis song is one of the best songs ever. i love the part when he says "And you know it might not be that bad You were the best I ever had if I hadn't blown the whole thing years ago I might not be alone." and "Cos all I really want's to be with you And feel like I matter too If I didn't blow the whole thing years ago I might be here with you"
    its just an awesome song.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Deconstructing Doors Songs With The Author Of The Doors Examined

Deconstructing Doors Songs With The Author Of The Doors ExaminedSong Writing

Doors expert Jim Cherry, author of The Doors Examined, talks about some of their defining songs and exposes some Jim Morrison myths.

Lecrae

LecraeSongwriter Interviews

The Christian rapper talks about where his trip to Haiti and his history of addiction fit into his songs.

The 10 Bands Most Like Spinal Tap

The 10 Bands Most Like Spinal TapSong Writing

Based on criteria like girlfriend tension, stage mishaps and drummer turnover, these are the 10 bands most like Spinal Tap.

Songs Discussed in Movies

Songs Discussed in MoviesSong Writing

Bridesmaids, Reservoir Dogs, Willy Wonka - just a few of the flicks where characters discuss specific songs, sometimes as a prelude to murder.

British Invasion

British InvasionFact or Fiction

Go beyond The Beatles to see what you know about the British Invasion.

Butch Vig

Butch VigSongwriter Interviews

The Garbage drummer/songwriter produced the Nirvana album Nevermind, and Smashing Pumpkins' Gish and Siamese Dream.