'Late, Late at Night,' by Rick Springfield


RCA gives me $1500 to shoot two videos. For what purpose, I don't know. I write up a script and storyboard the "Jessie's Girl" video but leave the "I've Done Everything For You" video to the cameraman/director Mark Stinson. We shoot everything in 3 days. It's guerilla video-filming at its finest. At 3:00 AM we are shooting the opening scenes to "Jessie's Girl" in a Hollywood alleyway with the song blasting through portable speakers when someone yells the cops are coming. We toss our gear into the van and tear off into the night. It's so f*****g cool.

Our big expense in special effects is the 24 bathroom mirrors I break in the middle section of the song. No one, including myself at this point, understands my reasoning for smashing the mirror in a bathroom setting. They certainly don't know about my adolescent years spent staring into that depressing thing. And that it's precisely there, where the Darkness lives and breathes. Looking at the video now, there's a lot of real pain on my face in that scene as I splinter the mirrors with the headstock of my guitar.

I walk onto the GH set one morning and everyone is talking about having seen the "Jessie's Girl" video. It turns out there was a big boxing match on cable the night before, that ended early with a first round knockout. Some genius TV guy had gone scrambling for something to fill the empty airspace and his fortunate fingers had found my videocassette. So everyone has seen it. And then MTV calls to say they would like to interview me and play the video. I ask what is MTV? Nobody seems to know, but it's press, so next time I'm in New York I find myself in a tiny hole-in-the-wall in a not-great-neighborhood talking to a kid named Martha Quinn who looks like she's 12. She asks me questions about the video of "Jessie's Girl." I believe she is the first to ask the question I have answered more than any other – "So, was there really a Jessie's Girl?" I am suddenly flying all over the place doing TV and radio interviews and playing "Jessie's Girl" for whoever will listen.

I soon find out that it's more than blue-haired little old ladies who watch General Hospital. Our audience includes colleges full of young adults, high schools full of kids, houses full of stay-at-home mothers and, yes, blue-haired little old ladies as well. Stars watch it too, they tell me when I meet Elizabeth Taylor (when she guests on GH), Sammy Davis Jr., (who approaches me as we walk down the red carpet for the first Night of 100 Stars) Brian Wilson (when we do a gig with the Beach Boys) and Little Richard (who sits with me at Sound City one night, singing to me and trying to convince me to record a song of his) to drop some more names. Come on, you know it's expected.

Gloria Monty sidles up to me one day on the set and says, "I hear you're a musician too. We'd like you to sing on the show." I've already started to hear that a few of the album- oriented stations have dropped playing "Jessie's Girl" as soon they found out I am on a Soap Opera. It's the double-edged sword Keith Olsen warned me about. I refuse to sing on GH, as I will later refuse to allow Rick Springfield lunch boxes, girls' swimsuits and will say "no: to doing Converse ads and singing on a McDonald's commercial. I need to keep my music separate from the degree of cheesiness attached to "Daytime Drama."

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