Rick Springfield Wants Jessie's Girl

Late, late at night with Rick in this week's road to the 53rd GRAMMY Awards edition of Forgotten Videos
  • Rick Springfield in "Jessie's Girl"
January 05, 2011 -- 6:14 pm PST

Welcome to Forgotten Videos, the 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards edition, showcasing past GRAMMY winners. For some, these videos are forgotten, for others just filed away, and for others still, a totally brand-new discovery. Whichever category you fall into, each week until the GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 13, we'll feature a video from a GRAMMY-winning artist that's possibly been collecting dust when what it really deserves is a fresh look. Or, just for old times' sake. We just want to take you on a little trip down memory lane. Yep, you'll remember when hair was really that big, when drums were that up front in the mix, when video was young(er) and so were you.

Rick Springfield
"Jessie's Girl"

What do you do when you're in love with your best friend's girl? You ask what Rick Springfield asks in this No. 1 hit: "Where can I find a woman like that?" Within this well-crafted pop/rock tune unfolds a scenario that would threaten the relationship between any two friends — unrequited love — and Springfield is anything but subtle when he plainly states: "I wish that I had Jessie's Girl/I want, I want Jessie's girl."

Three years following the release of this song, the lovesick Springfield found his own "Jessie's Girl" and married Barbara Porter, who's been "watching him with those eyes" for 26 years. As for Jessie's girl, was she a real person? "Oh, yeah," Springfield told Oprah Winfrey in 2008. "Her boyfriend's name was actually Gary and not Jessie, but Gary just somehow didn't sing right."

Born Richard Springthorpe in Sydney, Springfield doubled as an actor/musician, appearing in a number of TV shows in the '70s and starring as the young Dr. Noah Drake on "General Hospital" starting in 1981. That same year he released Working Class Dog, which charted in the Top 10 on the Billboard 200 and featured the hits "Jessie's Girl" and "I've Done Everything For You" (written by Sammy Hagar). The video for "Jessie's Girl," which depicts an envious-turned-enraged Springfield inflicting pain on his Fender Stratocaster in the form of a driving solo and a smash to his bathroom mirror, was released in 1981, coinciding with a seminal moment in music — the launch of MTV.

The song garnered Springfield a Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male, GRAMMY in 1981, marking his only GRAMMY win to date. The rocker picked up two additional nominations in the same category in 1982 and 1983 for "I Get Excited" and "Affair Of The Heart," respectively. Springfield continued to have success throughout the '80s, including another Top 10 hit with "Love Somebody" from the soundtrack to the 1984 film Hard To Hold, which cast Springfield as a pop/rock star who (again) attempts to win the love of a woman.

Are you envious of Jessie's girl? Got a Forgotten Video recommendation? Leave us a comment. And don't forget to tune in to the 53rd GRAMMY Awards on Sunday, Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

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