John Cougar

QUESTION:  John Mellencamp was in a number of bands prior to going solo.  Which of the following was not a name of one of them?
A)  Trash
B)  Crepe Soul
C)  Stink
D)  Snakepit Banana Barn

The American Treasure Tour blog strives to tell the stories of all the pieces displayed in our 100,000 square foot complex.  Fortunately, we do not have time constraints on when to do it, because this will take us a VERY long time.  Part of the challenge is that many of the stories we want to tell don't make much sense without backstories. For example, we wanted to tell the story of John Cougar's breakout album American Fool today, but realized it would require skimping on information about John himself. So we've decided after much internal deliberation to start with the story of the man.  Tomorrow we will discuss his music. 

John Mellencamp is a native Indianan, born in Seymour in 1951.  Never heard of Seymour? It's fifty-three miles north of Louisville, Kentucky, right next to the Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge. Other than being a major crossroads for railroads, there's not a whole lot going on in the little town.  In fact, Mellencamp got himself into a little trouble as a teenager.  He was married and became a father within six months of his high school graduation.  (He would be a grandfather at the age of 37!)  He then enrolled in the Vincennes University's two-year communications program. He got his degree, and learned two very important lessons: he learned that drugs were bad and he could never take them if he hoped to succeed in life, and that he loved playing music. He moved to New York and found a producer to help him record and promote his own brand of plainspoken heartland rock 'n roll.  The only thing was his producer hated his name and compelled Mellencamp to sing under the moniker Johnny Cougar.  His first album, released in 1976, was a flop.  His second album was not released until six years after it was recorded.  The third album, released in England and Australia, was not introduced to an American audience for a few years, either.  His fourth album was a modest hit, with a few popcorn melodies catching the attention of disc jockeys here and there.  It was 1982's American Fool that changed everything.  And that's where we will take it up tomorrow!

ANSWER:  C)  Snakepit