1980s Hit Song ‘Jessie’s Girl’ by Rick Springfield Was Actually About a Man Named Gary

by Katie Maloney

If we had a dime for every time an iconic love song was inspired by some dude named Gary…we definitely would not be rich. Nevertheless, we just found out that Rick Springfield’s legendary song, “Jessie’s Girl” is about a guy named Gary and we can’t stop thinking about it.

“Jessie’s Girl” is from Springfield’s 1980 album, Working Class Dog. It’s his one and only number one hit song and it’s still considered an iconic song today. During an interview, Springfield revealed his inspiration for the song.

Apparently, he was taking a stained glass making class in Pasadena, California when he met a guy named Gary and his girlfriend. Rick never spoke to Gary’s girlfriend, and he never saw either of them again after the class, but he remained infatuated with Gary’s girlfriend.

So much so, that months after the meeting, he wrote an entire song about her. “Gary’s girl” just didn’t give off the vibes the band was looking for, so they changed the name to “Jessie’s Girl” and the rest is music history.

“The riff came first,” said Springfield during an interview. “And although it’s a pretty simple-sounding song it wasn’t easy to write. It took about two months, working on the guitar and piano…It’s a bubbly and vivacious song, but it’s dark. It’s also covetous, which a lot of my music is.”

“Jessie’s Girl” spent 20 weeks on the Billboard charts and peaked in the number one spot. The song also landed Springfield a Grammy.

“Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield

‘Jessie’s Girl’ Writer, Rick Springfield, Was An Actor On General Hospital

Before he was a pop superstar, Rick played Noah Drake M.D., a fictional character from the ABC daytime soap opera General Hospital. He first appeared on the show in 1981 and played his part for two years before leaving the shoe to pursue his music career. In true soap opera fashion, Springfield returned to the show years later and has played different characters.

He reprised his original character in 2005. Then, in 2007, he played Drake’s look-alike, fictional rock star Eli Love. Don’t you hate it when some way cooler, rockstar, look-alike version of you show up and just ruins everything? Springfield returned to the show again in 2013 to play himself during a performance of “Jessie’s Girl” for the Nurses Ball.

Rick Springfield on General Hospital