Did You Know? John Mellencamp wrote Jack & Diane about the Tennessee Williams film Sweet Bird of Youth. He considered it a terrible record to make and found it hard to make the timing sound good with a full band. He said that the clapping was originally used only a a guide to keep time and was going to be removed but then he realised that the song didn't work without it. The electric guitar player on the song is Mick Ronson from David Bowie's band, John said about working with him -
'Mick was very instrumental in helping me arrange that song, as I'd thrown it on the junk heap. All of a sudden, for 'Jack & Diane,' Mick said, 'Johnny, you should put baby rattles on there.' I thought, 'What the f*ck does put baby rattles on the record mean?' So he put the percussion on there and then he sang the part 'let it rock, let it roll' as a choir-ish-type thing, which had never occurred to me. And that is the part everybody remembers on the song. It was Ronson's idea'