Rob Hegel’s Bizarre Love Triangle


Rob HegelForget albums, CDs, or artists. Sometimes all you need to make a definitive statement is a single song.


Rob Hegel did just that in the summer of 1980 with a hilariously scandalous soap opera of a pop song called “Tommy, Judy & Me.â€Â Crass, crude and unforgettably catchy, it embodied the 1980s teen zeitgeist before there was such a thing. Problem was, teen movies, not teen-themed songs, were popular in the 1980s. So Hegel’s adolescent opus stalled out at #109 on Billboard’s Bubbling Under chart and was swiftly forgotten.


“Tommy, Judy & Meâ€Â tackles the sticky topic of teen sex. A lot of people discover sex in high school; what Makes Hegel unique is that he penned a tune that vividly commemorates every perverse feeling and social interaction relating to the topic. He throws in characters we’d soon see on the big screen: a tuff chick, a would-be cool dude, and a nerdy antihero.


Hegel was a songwriter who co-wrote Air Supply’s hit “Take Me as I Am,â€Â and penned much of the score to a 1970s Saturday morning TV show called “The Kids From C.A.P.E.R.â€Â Nothing in his resume pointed to “Tommy, Judy & Me,â€Â though. The title alone lets you know for the get-go that this is no “boy meets girlâ€Â story. It’s more like: Boy gets lousy sex advice from a friend, gets the girl anyway, then learns said friend is a lair. And impotent. Forget New Order — this is one really bizarre love triangle.


The music sounds like a cross between The Cars and late period Styx. But the song stands out because of its semi-spoken, semi-obscene verses (where Hegel seeks advice from Tommy) and singalong chorus. When Hegel sing to Judy that “he’d like to know herâ€Â and her comely reply is that she “only likes what she hasn’t done twice.â€Â John Hughes couldn’t have written it better.


Had anyone heard it, “Tommy, Judy and Meâ€Â might have been labeled offensive. But what’s most shocking now is how the song casually prophesizes the Columbine school shootings. In verse two, Tommy says he’s “bought a gun and that one day they’ll remember his name.â€Â To which Hegel distractedly responds: “Let’s change the subject, Tommy, let’s talk of Judy.â€Â See how no one takes the time to listen to troubled teens?


Even with its oddball outrageousness, “Tommy, Judy & Meâ€Â works because it captures the anxiety-riddled vibe of teendom. It’s awkward, embarrassing, immature, and sometimes totally phony. Just teen life like the real world.


“Tommy, Judy & Meâ€Â was released as RCA single #12009. Blog entry originally posted 3/16/06.