Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, USA. In 1986, I posed in a photo with John (Cougar) Mellencamp, one of the biggest rock ‘n rollers in the United States at the time. “Jack and Diane,” “Hurts So Good” “Pink Houses,” “Small Town,” “Lonely Ol’ Night,” “R.O.C.K’ in the USA” are a few of his “little” ditties.
You don’t need to be a body language reading expert to assess that the picture was pretty much taken against his will. That summer, Mellencamp was vacationing in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I was there, too, with my good friend, Melissa, and her family. The condo where we stayed overlooked Mellencamp’s penthouse. Word on the beach was that he was staying there, and that we might run into him.
One day I was walking on the beach with Melissa’s cousin, Catherine, from Pennsylvania. She spotted Mellencamp, and being a bit more…aggressive, persistent and “east coast,” shall we say, she immediately had a mission. “Come awwwn, Steph…let’s go talk to him,” Catherine said as she trooped over to get his photo. She shoved me in the picture, and I felt very awkward, especially since it was clear John did not want to be bothered.