Jake Owen Got John Mellencamp’s Blessing for ‘I Was Jack (You Were Diane)’
The new song, which is the first single from an upcoming project Owen has not yet announced, borrows the chord structure from the main theme and the verses from Mellencamp's 1982 classic "Jack and Diane," which he released as the second single from his American Fool album back when he was still recording under the name John Cougar. "I Was Jack (You Were Diane)" is written from the perspective of a man looking back on more innocent times spent with his high school love.
"Do you turn it up, do you sing along / Every time you hear that song / Like we did then / Like we did when / Do you close your eyes, does it make you laugh / Do the memories take you back / To six packs and a Chevy Cheyenne / Way back when I was Jack and you were Diane," Owen sings in the chorus.
The track credits Tommy Cecil, David Wray, Jody Stevens and Craig Wiseman as writers alongside Mellencamp, and Owen wanted to make sure he was okay with that.
"It's just common courtesy to reach out to the original writers and composers of that song, John Mellencamp being that guy. We felt it was pretty necessary to reach out to him and get his blessing on it," Owen tells iHeartRadio. "So it was pretty fulfilling to know that he said, 'Yeah, I like that. You guys run with it.' So we did, and with his blessing, I think that makes this that much sweeter."
Owen says the song evoked the same nostalgia in him that he hopes it will for fans.
"I remember hearing this song for this first time, like, 'Wow, I have to sing that," he shares. "The great part about it, when you record it and it's released to the world like it is now, it's something that you'd better be prepared to sing for the rest of your career."
Owen has just announced his Life's Whatcha Make It Tour, which sees him playing a string of baseball stadiums from May through September. Chris Janson and newcomer Jordan Davis will join him as support acts.
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