John Mellencamp Recalls $3000 ‘Jack and Diane’ Video
The little ditty about 'Jack and Diane' is one of John Mellencamp's biggest, most definitive and most memorable hits. Even though he went by the moniker John Cougar at the time, the song about Middle America and heartland teens struck a chord and landed at No. 1 on the radio charts on Oct. 1, 1982. The song reigned atop the charts for four weeks almost 30 years ago, and the singer actually reminisced to VH1 Classic Radio about the video for what was his first chart-topping song.
“That video was made for $3,000," Mellencamp revealed. By today's standards, 3k wouldn't even cover an hour's worth of shooting. Mellencamp acknowledged the reality of inflation, saying, "I mean, think about the budgets that people have made videos with. I mean the video, if you look at it today is kinda, I wouldn’t exactly call it a world-class video. But it was made, I mean a friend of mine, not even a cameraman, shot that video. They gave me some money and I thought well, 'Okay, let’s go buy an 8mm camera and figure out what to do.'"
The video cost a mere three grand and it was also shot in as many hours. "It was shot in an afternoon. Not even an afternoon, it was shot in three hours. The whole thing," the singer recalled. So it was about $1000-an-hour to shoot. Regardless of the cost or the look, the song and the video are American rock staples.