The 80's lunch

Happy Birthday To A Small Town Boy


Singer, songwriter, musician and sometimes actor, John Mellencamp, is 68 on the 7th of October.

John played in his first band as a 14 year old and was in a number of local groups in the Indiana area.

His first solo album Chesnut Street Incident came out in '75 under the name of Johnny Cougar, the name suggested by his manager.

The album failed and the follow up, The Kid Inside, was not released.

Mellencamp moved to London for a year to record, tour and promote his next album called A Biography.

The album failed to break into the US charts but the single I Need A Lover became a top 10 hit in Australia.

His third album simply called Johnny Cougar cracked the American Top 100 and it looked like things were finally turning for John.

A new decade was just was John needed with his album Nothin' Matters And What If It Did cracking the Top 40 stateside and the single Ain't Even Done With The Night breaking into the top 20.

1982 was a great year for John with his album American Fool and single Jack & Diane both reaching Number One.

He had further hits in the 80's with the songs like Small Town, Paper In Fire, Hurts So Good, Check It Out, Lonely Ol Night and R.O.C.K. In The USA.

In '83 he started using his real surname and became John Cougar Mellencamp and in '91 he dropped the Cougar name.

The 90's weren't as kind to John hit wise but he still had success with songs like Key West Intermezzo, Human Wheels and Wild Night.

From 2000's to now John has released a further eight albums and his most recent tour finished in April this year.

Mellencamp has appeared in a few movies over the years and he famously knocked back the part in Thelma & Louise that made Brad Pitt a star.

John was inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 by Billy Joel and is regarded as one of the most important musicians and songwriters of his generation.

Photo credit: Chitrapa