Dear Rick Springfield,
It has been thirty-eight years since you released “Jessie’s Girl.” Thirty-eight years and not a moment has gone by in which I haven’t rued the day I made the fleeting eye contact that transformed you from the guy who stared too much, to my ultimate tormentor.
Countless nights out, trips to the mall, bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings, road trips, and one funeral have all been ruined by your lyrical recklessness. Guess what, Rick: time’s up.
That’s right: the time has come to set the record straight. I, the woman formerly known as “Jessie’s Girl,” am sharing my side of the infamous pop song.
It was the spring of 1980. Jessie and I were walking down the street, on our way to get pizza. I paused and bent down because I thought I had a rock in my shoe, and that’s when you appeared. You burst out of the hamburger joint and ran across the street shouting to Jessie. You rambled breathlessly about his hair and burgers and other nonsense. I looked at you with a tight-lipped smile before we walked away. Apparently, that was all it took.
You start the song saying Jessie was a good friend of yours, but as he and I walked away that day, he guessed your name might be Ron or Rob. He would have forgotten you entirely if you didn’t run by the pizza joint less than an hour later sporting the same exact haircut as him.
The crazy thing is, as into Jessie’s hair you were, my feathered yellow locks were hardly of note to you. Your most memorable characteristics of me were “those eyes” and “that body.” Newsflash, Rick: most women on this planet have eyes and a body.
It’s after this moving description that you launch into the defining plea of your song: “I wish that I had Jessie’s girl,” you ask, “Where can I find a woman like that?”
A woman who is Essex county’s top realtor with the highest customer satisfaction rate? A woman who is known among her friends to offer the best advice and seven layer bars? Tell me, Rick, what kind of woman is that? In thirty-nine lines of lyrics, I cannot tell.
The truest line in the song is your admittance that you were looking in the mirror all the time. When you weren’t staring at me and Jessie you were staring at literally any reflective surface, dramatically turning to meet your own gaze. I saw you almost get hit by a car on at least five occasions. Funny and cool with the lines? You spoke to me precisely three times and two of those times were just mumbled boner jokes.
The real issue is that you named the song “Jessie’s Girl,” but it should have been called “Rick’s Shortcomings.”
I never liked being called “Jessie’s Girl.” I wasn’t even into it when Jessie spray painted it on that brick wall but then he asked if I wanted to go make out and I forgot about it. I mean, did you see his butt?
Aside from that one time, you were the only person to call me “Jessie’s Girl,” which, in case you don't remember, was way back in ‘82! Because of you, a moniker I never identified with has been seared into a nation’s consciousness and tethered to me for nearly four decades.
So finally, to set the record straight, the following is a list of names, nicknames, and titles you and anyone else looking to write a song, may call me:
- Linda Beasley
- Linda B.
- Linda Colton Beasley
- Jake and Tom’s Mom
- Lin (if necessary for a rhyme scheme)
I can be reached re: royalties and other reparations at [email protected]