Whatever happened with ‘Jessie’s Girl’?

In countless interviews, Rick Springfield has been asked about the fate of “Jessie’s Girl.” Now we know.

Well, maybe not “know” exactly, but we have a fun scenario to consider.

Claudio Sanchez of the progressive rock band Coheed and Cambria recently approached RS about writing a sequel to “Jessie’s Girl” (see their Instagram chat here) and the new song, “Jessie’s Girl 2,” and video was released today.

In the video, RS is a bartender at Springfield’s Bar (with product placement of the Beach Bar Rum he owns with Sammy Hagar) and we learn that “Jessie’s Girl” is a bit of a psychopath as we watch her steal keys and light a pool table on fire. (Not a recommended way to light a party up.)

Apparently it’s a good thing that RS didn’t end up with her, because the fictional bartender version of RS who spills the rum instead of profiting from it, is stuck with his previous obsession and living a life of regret, as explained in the bridge.

“Jessie played sincere, He sure seemed cool
What I hadn’t known was I was his fool
We’re married now: house, job, three kids
Dreaming of what life could have been
Stranded on the if’s and maybe’s
Had I left that monster in the 80’s”

Speaking of the ’80s, there’s also a reference to Tommy Tutone’s 1981 hit “867-5309/Jenny.” (Sidenote: For those who aren’t aware, RS toured with Tommy Tutone recently so RS fans actually got to hear Tommy Tutone sing the song at RS concerts.) Is the added animation a reference to the ’80s video of the song “Take on Me” by A-Ha?

Other random thoughts after watching (and re-watching) the video and the original video.

  1. The original video starts with “Jessie”spray painting “Jessie’s Girl” on a brick wall, this video has JG writing Jessie’s Girl on a mirror with lipstick and there’s a brick wall behind bartender RS.
  2. The clock at the beginning shows the time as 11:10 but in the next scene the time is 11:30 then in the next scene it’s 11:05. Does that signify that we are going back in time?
  3. RS stares into the mirror in both videos.
  4. Wasn’t there another sequel to “Jessie’s Girl”? (Patty’s working, but she’s watching the clock, she’s in the back room counting stock, and down in a warehouse out by the dock, Jessie’s lifting crates and breaking rock,” from “Tonight”on ‘Success Hasn’t Spoiled Me Yet.” (In the 1981 video, “Patty is Jessie’s Girl” is what is painted on the wall. )
  5. Can you believe the original video was filmed in 1981, 39 years ago, and that Rick Springfield is going to turn 71 this weekend? From looking at him, you’d never guess that so much time has passed.

Unfortunately I don’t have any other irrelevant thoughts to share because as I was writing this, the video was blocked – when you try watching it on YouTube, there’s a message that says “This video contains content from WMG (Warner Music Group), who has blocked it in your country on copyright grounds.”

In case that gets worked out, you can enjoy the video here:

If not, you can at least learn more about the song and merch on the Coheed and Cambria Facebook page or listen to the song here:

Quarantine entertainment

Well, lots has changed since my last post on this blog. The world is completely different than it was a month ago. Any optimism and promise present at the beginning of 2020 has pretty much disappeared. As one Facebook post said, “Can we uninstall 2020 and install it again? This version has a virus.”

All that’s left to do at this point is deal with this new reality and adjust to it. Hope you all are in a safe place where you can stay home with loved ones and stay healthy.

Although the situation feels bleak, there are fortunately many people who are still committed to spreading love and joy. There are many stories of generosity and heroism and many examples of people continuing to share their light with the world. All of this is so appreciated and so needed right now.

If you follow Rick Springfield on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram, you may have seen what he’s been up to since so many of his shows have been cancelled. Fortunately he must be getting a little bored because he’s posted several humorous videos, including a remake of his hit song “Human Touch.”

He has also posted a series of videos that have a premise that he’s going to teach viewers how to play “Jessie’s Girl” but he gets a little distracted in each one.

These have been welcome breaks of joy in days of working at home while trying to monitor three kids who are in the midst of remote learning and I’m sure they bring joy to many others who are in much worse situations. (Plus it’s fun to see different rooms in his house.)

(Funny side note: There was a Facebook post on my newsfeed today that said that the song that was #1 on your 12th birthday is your quarantine song. “Jessie’s Girl” was the #1 song on my 12th birthday.)

He also had a Zoom chat with his buddy Richard Marx , who is hosting an online interview show, #socialdistancing, from his house.

But wait, there’s even more (and this is all in the past five days). There’s also a mini songwriting series with actor and comedian Vance DeGeneres. So far one has been posted, but it looks like there will be more.

Plus, a very exciting announcement was made today (and hopefully it’s not an April Fool’s joke): a Zoom Happy Half-Hour with Rick Springfield on Sunday! (Do you think it will involve some Beach Bar Rum?)

Tired of being stuck inside? Drinking alone or only with your significant other? Still talking with your significant other? Well, starting this Sunday you can have a drink and intimate chat with me and seven other RS-BFF’s. If you want to join in, just send your “I want in on this” email now to: RSHappyHour@gmail.com

Oh, and post your best questions in the comments here that you’d ask me at a happy hour and I might answer your question even if you don’t get in on this private chat! We will randomly select and invite seven fans who email to join me on a private Zoom chat this Sunday (and hopefully every Sunday until we’re out of quarantine). As soon as we’re done, we’ll post it online for everyone to view. Sound good? I’ll bring Bindi and you bring your special animal or your significant other!

See you then.

XOXO Rick

Definitely a bright spot in this quarantine! Stay healthy!

Returning to 1980-something in a much different role

Most Rick Springfield fans have probably already seen his guest appearance as the owner of “Gary-okes” on “The Goldbergs,” which aired on Oct. 10 on ABC. (If not, it’s on Hulu.)

In the show, he played Erica’s new boss and sang “Jessie’s Girl” with Beverly Goldberg.

Here are a few photos I took while watching the show on the night it aired.

The image showing “Gary” talking to “Erica” reminded me of the photo below from “Ricki and the Flash,” although in RATF, he was a boyfriend talking to his girlfriend about their children and during “The Goldbergs,” he was a boss talking to his employee about her mom.

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I liked his Gary character and it would be nice if it was a recurring role. I wonder if the name was intentional or a coincidence. (The real name of “Jessie” in “Jessie’s Girl” was a guy named Gary, in case you weren’t aware.)

Besides the duet of “Jessie’s Girl” between Gary and Beverly, the majority of the song played in the background during part of the show, which is probably a nice royalty hit for RS.

In the future, when I think of Rick Springfield’s appearance on “The Goldbergs,” I’m pretty sure I’ll remember that I saw him in concert the night before he filmed it.

Here’s the real songwriter of “Jessie’s Girl” playing his song at a real concert the night before he played the owner of a karaoke bar singing a karaoke version of the song at a karaoke bar on a TV show.

I prefer the real thing rather than the ’80s TV version (although I loved the authentic ’80s version when it was the ’80s), but it was a fun show to watch and my kids have gotten hooked on “The Goldbergs” so we’ve been catching up on the past three seasons.

According to an Instagram post,the jacket RS wore during part of the show was a replica of the jacket he wore in the “Jessie’s Girl” video back in 1981.

Rachel J Leathers said in her post:

The highlight of my week is to finally show the jacket I made for Rick Springfield for “The Goldbergs”. It was a replication of a jacket he wore in his video, “Jessie’s Girl” (remember that?). I used to drool over Rick in the 70’s, so this was a fun one! The snaps had to be done at the studio as my tools failed me. (Time for a kick press!) Thank you @jennifmarl and the crew!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BozYvevAwUY/?utm_source=ig_web_button_share_sheet

Pretty cool, eh? In interviews about the JG video, RS has said that they filmed it quickly without a permit and weren’t even sure why they were filming it (it was before MTV). Fun fact: “Jessie’s Girl” was the #1 song when MTV started. So it’s pretty funny that 30-something years later somebody is recreating the jacket he wore.

It’s also cool to think that the guy in the “Jessie’s Girl” video who was feeling a bit discouraged that he hadn’t hit it big yet would have his jacket recreated 30-something years later by a designer for a TV show where he would be playing a character named after the guy who became a character in his #1 hit song that he didn’t know would be a hit song when he recorded the demo in his living room using his ottoman as a drum. I know that’s a really long sentence, bur hopefully you get my point. #followyourdreams

Same songs, different medium

In a recent interview on The Eddie Trunk Podcast, RS mentioned that he’ll be putting together a new album of his hits recorded with a symphony – and writing a new song for that. How cool is that?! Fans in Australia will be happy to hear that he’s also talking about a tour in Australia.

Another interesting tidbit mentioned in the interview is that he recently recorded a Spanish version of “Jessie’s Girl” for a musician in Mexico who is putting a “Legends” type of album with musicians who inspired him.

Listen to the podcast here.

For those who are following the songwriting track of this blog, here’s a video I put together that includes two of the songs that I previously wrote. One was inspired after seeing Rick Springfield in a hotel lobby and the other one, “In the Fifth Row,”  was written in advance of a concert that I ended up not being able to attend.

They were written at different times – the first in March 2016 and the second in October 2017 – but they have similar melodies and the same chords and my tickets for the March show were also in the fifth row so it worked to combine the two. (I’m happy to report that I’ve learned several new chords since then so my newer songs don’t all sound the same.)

Making wishes come true

Although I enjoy Rick Springfield’s songwriting and music, that alone is not what makes him my favorite rock star. I like lots of music by many different artists, but stories like the one that happened last night make him my #1.

Last night, he invited one of his longtime fans, an 18-year-old with autism, onstage to sing “Jessie’s Girl” – the teen’s favorite song – with him. After an eight-hour trek from  Princeville, Illinois to Mt. Pleasant, Michigan on Wednesday with family members, Gavin Sibley attended RS’s Thursday show at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort. The trip, planned through the Make-a-Wish Foundation, included the concert, a meet-and-greet and a chance to play around with one of RS’s guitars. They found out the day of the show that Gavin would also be given a chance to perform his favorite song with RS.

This kind of gesture of kindness is what makes RS so special.

For the story, pics and video, check out this story from the Oakland Press: “Rick Springfield rocks Mt. Pleasant with special Make-A-Wish guest.”

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February milestones

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February seems to be a big month for Rick Springfield milestones.

One day in particular stands out:
Feb. 24, 1981: “Working Class Dog” is released
Feb. 24, 1982: RS wins a Grammy for “Jessie’s Girl”
Feb. 24, 2004: “Shock/Denial/Anger/Acceptance” is released
Feb. 24, 2015: “Stripped Down” is released

Last night Rowdy Ron had an online radio show where he played the full albums of WCD and SDAA, including bonus tracks, in celebration of the milestone. Unfortunately I only caught a few minutes of it, but I’m sure it was a great show!

Other notable dates (courtesy of rickspringfield.us):

Feb. 14, 1945: RS’s parents are married
Feb. 19, 2016: “Rocket Science” is released
Feb. 20, 2016: “iHeart80s Party” at the Forum, which gave him great exposure
Feb. 23, 1981: “Jessie’s Girl” is released as a single

This year also marked the 10th anniversary of his Valentine’s Day weekend show at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville, which was covered this month in a great interview in Center Stage Magazine and this nice review in National Rock Review. In the Center Stage interview, he talks about his desire to do more acting and mentions his upcoming tour in Germany with Rock Meets Classic and the review mentions some highlights from the Nashville show:

“Since this is live music, anything can and usually happens. Tonight, mid-way through the opening song, the music suddenly stops, and the faint ring of the fire alarm is heard. Not to be outdone, Rick is out among the fans, shaking hands and fist bumping those around him while the guys break into a jig on stage entertaining fans while the power and fire alarm issues are sorted out.”

After a brief delay, Rick and the guys launching into “Light this Party Up” for the second time and the crowd jumps in on the fun, raising their glasses, dancing, and singing along.”

And this is sweet:

“Slowing down the pace, Rick takes center stage with his green dobro guitar on his knee. He takes a moment to tell a quick story about long-time guitar tech, Ruben Velasco, who died last year. Velasco, who’s birthday was this day, had repeatedly said that Rick needed a light-up guitar. Springfield now plays a light-up guitar on tour which he appropriately named “Ruben.” It was a touching moment and a class move by Rick Springfield.”

Liked this line, too:

“Springfield exudes energy and positive vibes.”

Speaking of articles – and energy- there was some interesting information in a recent one in the Orlando Sentinel in advance of Sunday’s night’s show in Orlando.

“He is working on another novel to follow “Magnificent Vibration,” a 2014 bestseller, but laughs when asked when it will come out.

“It’s like a song. When it’s done, it’s done. You can’t really push it,” he said. “There’s been a lot of stuff that’s come up and gets in the way of it, but I like to do it all.” 

And this is a cool possibility:

He is writing a new record and screenplays. Another possibility is a memoir to follow 2010’s “Late, Late at Night.” “Certainly enough has happened. I was actually thinking about that —  the stuff I didn’t tell you,” he said.

Jessie’s Girl spoofs

In an intro video at Rick Springfield concerts before he plays “Jessie’s Girl,” there are clips from shows or movies where the song has been used, such as on “Glee” and “Boogie Knights.” It’s also been said that it’s the most popular karaoke song.

This past week I saw two other uses – in recent spoofs, one about a remote control and a commentary about the Iran deal. Thirty-five years after its release, the song is still going strong.

I wasn’t able to post the Iran deal video, which was on the Secure America Now Facebook page, but here are some of the lyrics:

“Iran is no friend, yeah I know they’ve been no friend of mine,
But lately they’re in charge though they’ve done a lotta crimes
Iran’s got themselves a deal and now all they do is lie
And they’re watching us with their spies
And they’re cheating on that new deal, I just know it
And they’re taking advantage of literally everything
You know I wish there was no Iran deal
I wish there was no Iran deal
How could we make a decision like that?
They played along with the charade
Because $150 isn’t pocket change
You know I feel so worried when they start talking nukes
I want to tell Congress to stop but the point is probably moot…”

You get the idea. I bet when RS was recording his “Jessie’s Girl” demo back in his Hollywood living room back in 1979, expressing sexual angst about a girl in his stained glass class, it never crossed his mind that his tune would be used 35 years later to make a political commentary about a country in the Middle East.

There’s also this one from last year was pretty funny and obviously this one was approved by RS:

And there is also the Studio C take on “Rick Springfield’s First Hit Song” here.

If the real “Jessie’s Girl” is still alive, she should be aware of this song by now and, with all the publicity out there about it these days, maybe we’ll soon solve this great mystery of the modern world!

35 years after ‘Jessie’s Girl’ hit #1

Hey RS, remember that time a few months ago when we stayed in the same hotel?

You probably don’t remember because when I saw you, you were standing in the lobby and your back was toward me and with all the lobbies you’ve stood in, you can’t possibly remember everyone who walks behind you.

And even though I briefly saw most of the members of your band walking around the hotel during our visit, I never saw you again after the lobby – except during that night’s show of course.

And so because my husband is opposed to stalking – which in most cases is a good thing but not really in this case – we checked out of the hotel in the morning and headed home.

I couldn’t help but be a little disappointed on the way home because I had gotten a little spoiled by the chance encounters – albeit very brief ones, enough for a quick photo – after prior shows. So in the days that followed, I wrote a little song about it to get it out of my system.

On a whim a few weeks ago, I decided to submit a couple of my song/poems to a local literary magazine  – “In the lobby” being one of them – and they got accepted! The magazine is scheduled to come out in the fall.

So why am I writing about this here? 1. To say, hey thanks for not turning around in the lobby because that inspired a song and this is the first time I’ve had a song/poem published in a literary magazine since high school and 2. Because I found out about it exactly 35 years – minus one day – after “Jessie’s Girl” hit #1 on the Billboard chart (which was Aug. 1, 1981).

OK, I know there’s a big difference between an acceptance email from a local literacy magazine and a #1 song on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart, but whatever, I thought the timing was cool anyway since they were both inspired  (sort of) by similar experiences. 

Reliving the ’80s in 2016

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Rick Springfield rocked on the new ABC series “Greatest Hits” last night! For anyone who has seen him live in concert lately, that was no surprise. What a great idea for a show, it was lots of fun to watch. (In case you missed it, you can see it here.)

In addition to the nostalgic feeling of the show – hearing all those familiar tunes and the intro with all the 1980s clips from TV shows and movies – it was also nostalgic to have that feeling of watching something fun along with so many people from across the country. I rarely watch live TV and seeing the tweets and Facebook posts about a show I was also watching reminded me of the days when you went to school the next day and everyone was talking about the same show. Back in the days before hashtags, when there were only a few channels to choose from so the chances of that happening were much more likely.

It also reminded me how much technology has changed since the 1980s – in addition to the tweeting and Facebook posts. I tried to turn on the TV downstairs, but the TV is hooked up through the Xbox and I couldn’t figure out how to switch it to live TV. Then I couldn’t find the remote control upstairs and for some reason the TV was on a Spanish station and I couldn’t change the channel without the remote so I was frantically looking for the remote as the clocked ticked closer to 8 p.m.

But in the end, it all worked out and I got to watch it along with all those other ’80s fans out there.

And it was cool to know that my favorite rock star from the ’80s is still making music today and I get to see him perform live next week!

’80s heartthrob to release new CD

Have you heard that Rick Springfield has a new CD coming out next week? Yes, that Rick Springfield, the ’80s heartthrob soap star best known for his Grammy-winning “Jessie’s Girl.”

OK, I’m just amusing myself in preparation for those kind of statements to make an appearance, as they did last year in articles about “True Detective,””Ricki and the Flash” and concert previews.

Or maybe something’s changed over the past year? Maybe his transformation from Dr. Noah Drake to Dr. Irving Pitlor made people take notice that he has done other things over the past 30 years? Maybe he can break free from that ’80s icon label? (Well, OK, maybe the I Heart80s Party later this month doesn’t help that. But that does sound like an AMAZING concert and I wish I could go because I heart ’80s music, but that’s another story.)

Anyway, I’m feeling a little antsy because the “Rocket Science” release is still a week away (on Feb. 19) and there hasn’t been any songs released from it for seven days. (Man, are we getting spoiled or what?!) And some fans have already received their Japanese imports of the album and have gotten to hear all the songs already. Fortunately there’s a Live Nation Yahoo live stream of the Feb.12 show at the Wildhorse Saloon in Nashville planned this week, so that’s something a little closer than Feb. 19.

Oh, and if articles still refer to RS as a “heartthrob,” that is still accurate.