The Internet Gets Rick (Springfield) Rolled

A glimpse into the life of the “professional blogger”: When you’re looking at Google Trends and you notice that an I Love The ’80s-mention-worthy pop star is at No. 1, you get briefly stricken with panic. “Did he die?” you wonder to yourself. “And if he did, what the fuck am I going to say in his obituary?” Happily, I don’t really have to worry about that right now, as Rick Springfield–who is currently at No. 1 on Google’s list of what the Internet wants to know about–is alive, well, and fresh off an appearance on Oprah, which is a far cry from the Illinois county-fair stage where I paid a dollar to see him a few years back. And not only did he let the Oprah viewing audience know that he loves his dogs, he talked about whether or not “Jessie’s Girl” was about a real person!

“Oh, yeah,” Rick says. “All my songs start from a core of a relationship.” Although his fantasy girl was real, Jessie wasn’t. “Her boyfriend’s name was actually Gary and not Jessie, but Gary just somehow didn’t sing right,” Rick says. “So I changed it to Jessie.”

Rick can’t say Gary’s girl’s name–because he can’t remember what it was! “I was never really introduced to her. It was always just, like, panting from afar,” he says. To this day, Rick thinks Gary’s girl doesn’t know the famous song is all about her. “As far as I know, she doesn’t know,” he says. “And I lost contact with them before the song came out.”

And Rick is surely hoping she doesn’t watch Oprah. Or have the Internet handy. Anyway, I’m going to gauge that this little appearance means that digital-track sales of “Jessie’s Girl” will be somewhere in the mid-five-figure range next week, and that they’ll definitely outstrip last week’s American Idol-assisted numbers for Mika. Anyone want to make a friendly wager?

Is Rick Springfield’s Jessie’s Girl A Real Person? []

  • Anonymous

    Say what you will, but Rick Springfield puts on a fine live rock show (although the sampled backing vocals always sound like crap…never could figure out why).

  • Chris Molanphy

    I say six figures.

  • CloudCarrier

    I say he’ll be on the receiving end of Oprah’s Big Give (suggested denomination: $14, plus any additional bus fare for his dogs).

  • Chris N.

    Rick Springfield is wildly underrated. ‘Tao’ is one of my favorite albums of the ’80s.

    There, I said it and I’m glad.

  • Nicolars

    I am probably the only person here who has seen Rick’s movie that was supposed to launch his film career but flopped miserably.


  • scarletvirtue

    @Nicolars: Oh no, you’re not the only one! I remember that it was a twee bit scandalous for showing Rick’s bare ass (mind you, I was about 11-12 years old at the time)!

  • Chris Molanphy

    @Chris N.: I’m a huge fan of a couple of his late-’80s singles, “Rock of Life” and “Honeymoon in Beirut.” He was colder than a witch’s tit by then, so they charted poorly (and their synth sound is dated as hell now), but still…the guy could write a good pop song.

  • Anonymous

    You are now famous on Rick’s offical messageboard – a fan posted the google trends after Oprah aired your blog was listed in the spike in interest in Rick!!
    Rick gave all proceeds from his Xmas CD to the families of U.S. service personnel who have fallen in Iraq. As Oprah said, “We love a nice guy!”


  • Anonymous

    What are you talking about,”background vocals always sound like crap”?!?! Rick has one of the best bands in the business, and they always sound fantastic, vocals included. I have heard them twice in the last year, and their vocals were spot on. (I’m a musician, not so much a Rick fan. I go to the shows and REALLY listen.)