I remember going to a John Mellencamp concert back in the late 1980s, when he already had a long catalog of classic songs. As the opening notes of “Ain’t Even Done With the Night” began that night, it reminded me that Mellencamp had hit songs even before “Jack & Diane” swamped the radio airwaves.
Mellencamp has said some disparaging things about the creation of some of his early albums. But when I first heard him play this song live in the 1980s, he seemed to have a special fondness for this song, one of first hits.
He told a story about how he wrote the song for a girl he knew in high school. Then, when he went back to his high school reunion, he took her to his car to play the song for her. But his old flame continued to talk through the song, so he never got to tell her how the song was for her.
I do not know if his story about the song is true, and I cannot find any verification on the Internet. But I always thing of that story when I hear “Ain’t Even Done With the Night.”
It is one of those songs that seem like they have been around forever. And “Ain’t Even Done” even seems like it is from another era than most of Mellencamp’s other iconic songs, like “Pink Houses.”
Another thing that seems from a different era is this video of “John Cougar” giving a live television performance of “Ain’t Even Done With the Night.” From his band members dancing in pink tuxes, Mellencamp’s own awkward dancing, and the finale that pays homage to James Brown, this video should leave you with a smile.
Were we ever this young?
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(Some related Chimesfreedom posts.)