Two American kids growing up in the heartland
Jack—he’s gonna’ be a football star
Diane—debutante in the backseat of Jacky’s car
Right after returning from my LDS mission to Chile, I began to produce a monthly newsletter about my life called Jack Mormon Monthly. I would either email or snail mail it to relatives and friends. It ran from January through November of 2008, a whopping 11 issues! The reason I bring up Jack Mormon Monthly is because one of the monthly features of that newsletter was an article called “Jack of the Month” which would talk a little bit about a famous Jack. I’ve decided that I should resurrect “Jack of the Month” here at Joaquin the Chihuahua. So from now on, the first Thursday of every month will spotlight a new Jack.
This month, since it’s the month of love, I decided to focus on the song “Jack & Diane” by John Mellencamp (recording as John Cougar at the time). It’s a song about young love in a nostalgic Americana, and it has such a great feel to it. It’s one of my favorite songs ever. My favorite part of that song would have to be the bridge (you know, “let it rock, let it roll…”) and Mellencamp attributes that part of it to producer and guitarist Mick Ronson.
Apparently Ronson said, “Johnny, you should put baby rattles on there.” Mellencamp had no idea what he meant by that, “So he put the percussion on there and then he sang the part 'let it rock, let it roll' as a choir-ish-type thing, which had never occurred to me. And that is the part everybody remembers on the song.” Mellencamp also revealed that the clapping was only meant to help them stay on tempo and was supposed to be deleted off of the final track, but later he realized the song didn’t work without it.
The song was number one for four weeks on the 1982 Billboard Hot 100, and is considered one of his greatest hits.
Oh, let it rock, let it roll
Let the Bible belt come and save my soul
Holdin’ on to sixteen as long as you can
Change is comin’ ‘round real soon
Make us woman and man