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During this time he used drugs and alcohol, stating in a 1986 Rolling Stone interview, "When I was high on pot, it affected me so drastically that when I was in college there were times when I wouldn't get off the couch.
I would lie there, listening to Roxy Music, right next to the record player so I wouldn't have to get up to flip the record over. There would be four or five days like that when I would be completely gone." Upon graduating from Vincennes University in 1974, Mellencamp played in several local bands including the glitter-band Trash, which was named for a New York Dolls song, and he later got a job in Seymour installing telephones.
His daughter, Michelle, later became a mother at age 19, making Mellencamp a grandfather at 37.
The record wasn't released in the United States, but it yielded a No. Riva Records added "I Need a Lover" to Mellencamp's next album released in the United States, 1979's John Cougar, where the song became a No. Pat Benatar recorded "I Need a Lover" on her debut album In the Heat of the Night. "The singles were stupid little pop songs", he told Record Magazine in 1983. It wasn't like the title was made up – it wasn't supposed to be punky or cocky like some people thought. Me and the guys in the band thought we were finished, anyway. Hell, as long as you sell a few records and the record company isn't putting a lot of money into promotion, you're making money for 'em and that's all they care about. They thought I was going to turn into the next Neil Diamond." In 1982, Mellencamp released his breakthrough album, American Fool, which contained the singles "Hurts So Good", an uptempo rock tune that spent four weeks at No.
I was totally unaware of it until it showed up on the album jacket.
When I objected to it, he said, 'Well, either you're going to go for it, or we're not going to put the record out.' So that was what I had to do...
(born October 7, 1951), previously known as Johnny Cougar, John Cougar, and John Cougar Mellencamp, is an American musician, singer-songwriter, painter, and actor. Mellencamp released his latest album, Sad Clowns & Hillbillies, on April 28, 2017, to widespread critical acclaim.
He is known for his catchy, populist brand of heartland rock, which emphasizes traditional instrumentation. Mellencamp is also one of the founding members of Farm Aid, an organization that began in 1985 with a concert in Champaign, Illinois, to raise awareness about the loss of family farms and to raise funds to keep farm families on their land.