My first rockstar crush was Rick Springfield. I had posters of him on my walls, as most girls did back in the early 80s.
I also changed clothes in my closet because it freaked me out, the way Rick’s eyes would follow me wherever I went in my room.
What can I say? My freak flag has flown for a long time. 🙂
Last week, I was reminded by a Facebook post by Billboard that Rick’s song “Jessie’s Girl” went to #1 on August 1,1981.
And it’s the song that taught me the word, “moot”. Ha!
I actually wrote about my relationship to “Jessie’s Girl” in “Connection: Temporary” a numbered parts essay in Fractured: essays on love, friendship, and the nightmares in between.
From “Connection: Temporary”, copyright 2011 K.J. Pierce
I’m sitting in the Louisiana mid-day heat melting to the vinyl of my parents’ day-glow orange Vega — the one with the twice-rebuilt engine, courtesy of my father. My family is beyond technologically challenged, so I’m outside listening to the radio. Waiting. Crickets play their own brand of music while I swat at flies with lazy flicks of my hand. Finally, the familiar strains of the tune I’ve been not-so-patiently waiting to hear come tumbling out of the speakers. The absolute joy I feel makes me want to laugh and cry, all at once hysterical and calm. In the few seconds before the vocals come in, I think to myself:
Tons of people are listening to this song at exactly this moment.
It’s such an overwhelming thought, the feeling it evokes frightening in its intensity. The world seems so big, and I feel so utterly small — a modern day Thumbelina in a giant’s world. Dissolving further into the seat, the contradictory emotions cascade through me, over me, under me, around me. My entire body tingles until I am nothing but the song.
The year is 1981, and I’m ten years old. The song I’ve been waiting to hear is Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl.”
I never got to see Rick play live until I was well into adulthood – I think I’ve managed 5 or 6 times since then. And I still feel the same way whenever I heard “Jessie’s Girl”. The minute I hear the opening guitar, I’m transported back to feeling completely overwhelmed.
And I love it.