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His daughter, Michelle, later became a mother at age 19, making Mellencamp a grandfather at 37.Mellencamp attended Vincennes University, a two-year college in Vincennes, Indiana, starting in 1972.His songs document the joys and struggles of ordinary people seeking to make their way, and he has consistently brought the fresh air of common experience to the typically glamour-addled world of popular music."John Mellencamp is arguably the most important roots rocker of his generation.
"To be real honest, there's three good songs on that record, and the rest is just sort of filler", Mellencamp told Creem Magazine of American Fool in 1984.
"It was too labored over, too thought about, and it wasn't organic enough. According to the February 1986 edition of Creem Magazine, Mellencamp wanted to incorporate the sound of classic '60s rock into Scarecrow, and he gave his band close to a hundred old singles to learn "almost mathematically verbatim" prior to recording the album.
The record company thought it would bomb, but I think the reason it took off was – not that the songs were better than my others – but people liked the sound of it, the 'bam-bam-bam' drums. "Learning those songs did a lot of positive things", Mellencamp explained to Creem writer Bill Holdship.
but I thought the name was pretty silly." Mellencamp recorded The Kid Inside, the follow-up to Chestnut Street Incident, in 1977, but De Fries eventually decided against releasing the album and Mellencamp was dropped from MCA records (De Fries finally released The Kid Inside in early 1983, after Mellencamp achieved stardom).
Mellencamp drew interest from Rod Stewart's manager, Billy Gaff, after parting ways with De Fries and was signed onto the small Riva Records label.
It was a different sound." With some commercial success under his belt, Mellencamp had enough clout to force the record company to add his real surname, Mellencamp, to his stage moniker. "We realized more than ever what a big melting pot of all different types of music the '60s were.