Jake Owen held a special viewing party at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame CMA Theater to debut the video for his hit “I Was Jack (You Were Diane). The eight-minute theatrical video was shown, followed by a Q&A session hosted by Country Countdown USA’s Lon Helton. The party wrapped with Jake performing a four-song set that included the current hit, two new songs, and a Hank Williams Jr. cover of “The Blues Man.”
Afterwards, Jake held a backstage meeting with radio reporters to talk about the song, the video, and his upcoming tour.
“I think we all feel the same way about this song. We’re probably a little weary of chasing a song to try to pay homage to Jack & Diane, but also do it where people would accept it as its own song. Once you hear it, it’s a brilliant way of presenting all of us growing up listening to that song about two American kids growing up in the heartland, and translating it into how we lived that song.”
What did Jack & Diane mean to you? That’s how this song came about. The label was asking what kinds of songs I wanted on this new album, and I said “Jack & Diane.” I need a bunch of Jack & Dianes. When I think of my songs that were hits, there’s a lot of nostalgia, the songs that allow you to relive a part of your life. You can’t go back, but with music, they can take you back to that moment. That’s what I do in my own life.
What was it like to get a blessing from John Mellencamp? They were so supportive. He has songwriting credit because he wrote the original song by himself. But I was nervous about getting his approval. But he and his crew was 100% on board. I’ve always been a fan of the original, and by recreating the song, I wanted his approval. To know he was OK with it is to know we’ve done a good job. We’ve already played it on the road, and thanks to the original, I now have another song in the set that the crowd already knows.
Talk about the tour: The Life Is Whatcha Make It Tour. We’ll be all over minor league baseball parks, with Chris Janson and Jordan Davis. They both have a lot of energy, so that’ll be great.