Music Video of the Day: Jessie’s Girl by Rick Springfield (1981, directed by Rick Springfield)


Who was Jessie’s girl?

We’ll probably never know.  Not even Rick Springfield, the man who first sang of her existence, seems to be sure.  Here’s what he told Songfacts about the subject of his most enduring song:

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 four 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 two 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.

As the old saying goes, “When not even Oprah can find you…”

Today, this song is probably best remembered for its prominent use in Boogie Nights and for one frequently misheard lyric.  Many people still continue to believe that Springfield sings, “I wish I was Jessie’s girl,” instead of “I wish I had Jessie’s girl.”

This simple video was directed by Rick Springfield himself.  The song was Springfield’s second top 20 hit, the first being the now-forgotten Speak To The Sky.  At the time that this song and video came out, Springfield was better known for appearing on General Hospital.  Though he had started out as a singer, when Springfield’s musical career temporarily stalled, he followed the advice of his then-girlfriend, Linda Blair (yes, that Linda Blair), and pursued an acting career.

Enjoy!

Music Video of the Day: Bop ‘Til You Drop by Rick Springfield (1984, directed by David Fincher)


When you think of which 1980s pop singer was most likely to fuse his music with a science fiction epic about a group of intergalactic prisoners being enslaved by some sort of smirking lizard king, Rick Springfield is probably not the name that immediately comes to mind.  But that’s just what happens with the music video for his song, Bop ‘Til You Drop.

Not surprisingly, this video was directed by David Fincher.  Before Fincher moved into feature films, he specialized in music videos that took artists to new and unexpected places.  According to both the Internet Movie Database and the Internet Music Video Database, this was Fincher’s first music video.  A year earlier, he had worked as an assistant cameraman on Return of the Jedi and both the slaves and the aliens in this video feel like they would not have been out of place as a part of Jabba the Hutt’s entourage.  Visually, the video also has much in common with Fincher’s feature directorial debut, Alien 3.

This song was recorded for the soundtrack of Hard To Hold, an apparently unsuccessful attempt to turn Rick Springfield into a film star.  I haven’t seen Hard to Hold but Wikipedia offers up the following plot description:

James “Jamie” Roberts (played by singer-songwriter Rick Springfield), being a pop idol, is used to having his way with women. He meets child psychologist Diana Lawson (Janet Eilber) in a car accident, however, who not only doesn’t swoon at his attention but has also never heard of him. He tries to win her affection but complicating things is that his ex-lover, Nicky Nides (Patti Hansen), remains a member of his band.

It sounds like the music video was more interesting than the movie.

Enjoy!