Jackie Brown

Album: Big Daddy (1989)
Charted: 48

Songfacts®:

  • Eight years before Quentin Tarantino released the movie Jackie Brown, John Mellencamp used the title for a song that tells a very different story. Mellencamp's Jackie Brown is a destitute man who will never escape poverty.

    The song is not so much a social commentary as a reflection of how Mellencamp was feeling at the time. His finances and career were on the upswing, but he was devastated by the recent divorce from his second wife, Victoria Granucci, who took their two young daughters with her when she left their home in Indiana. Mellencamp explained to Rolling Stone: "I wrote 'Jackie Brown' about myself in a different scenario: me disguised as a poor guy - not as a guy that had been successful and pretty much lost everything, which in my mind I had, because I'd lost my daughters. The song is about how you have to go outside to use the bathroom because you've sunk so low."

Comments: 2

  • Susie from Venice,flI've been a fan of his for many years. I don't think I could pick a favorite... but having said that I think that Love and Happiness is more relevant today than any other of his songs.
    'Were dropping our bombs in the southern hemisphere ...' and people are starving that live right here' then they raise the price of oil,then they sensor our mouths '
  • Zander from Los AngelesAmazing song. The use of repeated questions really shows the sad and hopeless emotions.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Daryl Hall

Daryl HallSongwriter Interviews

Daryl Hall's TV show is a hit, and he's been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame - only one of these developments excites him.

Graduation Songs

Graduation SongsFact or Fiction

Have you got the smarts to know which of these graduation song stories are real?

Zakk Wylde

Zakk WyldeSongwriter Interviews

When he was playing Ozzfest with Black Label Society, a kid told Zakk he was the best Ozzy guitarist - Zakk had to correct him.

Waiting For The Break of Day: Three Classic Songs About All-Nighters

Waiting For The Break of Day: Three Classic Songs About All-NightersSong Writing

These Three famous songs actually describe how they were written - late into the evening.

Martyn Ware of Heaven 17

Martyn Ware of Heaven 17Songwriter Interviews

Martyn talks about producing Tina Turner, some Heaven 17 hits, and his work with the British Electric Foundation.

Julian Lennon

Julian LennonSongwriter Interviews

Julian tells the stories behind his hits "Valotte" and "Too Late for Goodbyes," and fills us in on his many non-musical pursuits. Also: what MTV meant to his career.