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Mellencamp claims he wrote this song as "a goof." In a 1982 interview with The L.A. Herald Examiner
, he explained: "My friend George said, why didn't I write a song with the title 'Hurt So Good'? We thought of it as like a Shel Silverstein
thing. I wrote it in three minutes, scrawled the first line in soap on the glass door in the shower. It was really just a joke. I think all good things probably started as jokes. Wasn't God having a laugh when he made this whole place?"
Mellencamp's friend was George Green, who received a composer credit on this song and went on to co-write many of Mellencamp's hits, including "Human Wheels," "Crumblin' Down" and "Rain On The Scarecrow
When this was released, Mellencamp was still known as Johnny Cougar, the name his manager gave him. American Fool was the last album he released without the Mellencamp.
Mellencamp once owned a tattoo parlor. This led to many family members getting tattoos they wouldn't have otherwise asked for, like the "Hurts So Good" tattoo on his aunt.
Mellencamp won his first Grammy with this song: Best Male Rock Vocal Performance of 1982. In his acceptance speech he said, "I don't know what to say, I'm just an idiot."
This is a popular song among masochists. It is not truly about S&M, but probably as close as any popular song has gotten.
Mellencamp was in danger of being dropped by his record label if this album didn't sell, so he did his best to write some hit songs for it. The label, Mercury Records, didn't think it would sell but were proven very wrong.
Back when he was a rapper known as Marky Mark, Mark Wahlberg wanted to turn this into a rap song, but Mellencamp would not allow it.
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