Jake Owen Shares ‘I Was Jack (You Were Diane)’ Mini-Movie Music Video [WATCH]
Jake Owen has revealed a cinematic, short-film-style music video for his newest single, "I Was Jack (You Were Diane)." Its story takes viewers all the way back to a small-town diner in 1982; readers can press play above to watch the video in its entirety.
Owen's single directly references "Jack & Diane," the iconic song by John Mellencamp that inspired it, repurposing the exact riffs of the original to draw listeners back in time to memories of their own first loves and high school romances. The country singer chose the iconic song not only because of its resonance across a generation, but also because of its personal significance to him.
"It wasn't but a week or two previously at the label that I was talking about songs that had influenced me throughout my life, and the one I kept coming back to was John Cougar Mellencamp's "Jack & Diane,"" Owen explained at a special viewing party at the Country Music Hall of Fame on Thursday (April 19). "I have always loved that song, so when I heard the demo to this song, I was super excited."
The nine-minute-long "I Was Jack (You Were Diane)" music video features a love story between two high school sweethearts, and features some familiar faces: Jake Etheridge, of the television show Nashville, stars opposite Travelers actor (and his real-life girlfriend) Mackenzie Porter as a young couple in small-town America who have different visions of their life together after high school. While Porter's character has been accepted into a college far away, her boyfriend has a job lined up at his father's store, and the couple ultimately separates.
In the spirit of following the trajectory of the original song, the pair reconnects 10 years after their breakup, at the same diner where they used to go as highschoolers. Oh, and the waiter that comes to the table to ask them what they'd like to order? That would be Owen.
At the video's viewing party, Owen admitted that behind the scenes, there had been talks of a Mellencamp cameo, or snippets of footage from the original song's music video -- "but, uh, that's real expensive." Instead, the video's director, Justin Clough, explains, they used "almost entirely real, local actors and extras from [the location] where we filmed" to achieve authenticity.
"Which is funny, because the part of the video where they were playing baseball, that was actually happening that night," Owen adds. "There were two teams playing baseball, and one of the teams got mercy-ruled -- they got beat so bad. The team that acts like they won the championship [in the video] is actually the one that got the s--t kicked out of them in real life, 30 minutes previously. So at least they got to celebrate that night, thanks to us!"
"I Was Jack (You Were Diane)" is Owen's first single on his new label, Big Loud Records. He is set to kick off his Life's Whatcha Make It Tour this May.
All of Jake Owen's Singles, Ranked