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John Plays to the President
05.18.2009 - Following his controversial commencement address yesterday at The University of Notre Dame, President Obama stopped in Indianapolis for some political fundraising at the Westin Hotel Downtown, where John spoke and performed three songs before some 650 people.

"They were all politically based," John told Mellencamp.com Monday, "and I talked about liberalism and what the word 'liberal' means and how it became a cussword in the last eight years. The songs were essentially about liberty and freedom, and I talked about abortion-because there were a lot of abortion protesters outside. I said that if anyone asked for my advice about getting an abortion-and I don't know why anybody would!--I'd advise them not to have one, but that it's their decision and not the government's."

John also spoke about the effects of Reaganomics as a tie-in with his performance of "Pink Houses."

"Reagan was president at the time of 'Pink Houses,'" he noted. "The song spoke about how Reaganomics was ruining America, but a lot of people only heard the chorus. If you listen to the rest of the words, it's all turned out to be the truth: The roosters have come back to roost—our economic situation is proof positive that the trickle-down effect does not work, that life begins from the ground and grows up."

John premiered a new song called "Take Some Time to Dream," which he said will be on his tentatively-titled forthcoming album "No Better Than This," to be recorded during the summer. "It's about individual freedom and thought--and controlling our own lives," he said.

He also sang "Our Country," and likewise pointed out that many people who knew only the edited version of the song from the Chevy commercial were thereby unaware of its entire message.

"I spoke about how people heard that commercial and a lot of them were put off by the song because they only heard 'this is our country' but never heard the verses about science and religion and trying to work together instead of being so hateful to each other--and that they can work together."

John also had a few words concerning the president.

"I told the audience how I was in attendance at his keynote speech at the Democratic Convention in 2004 and thought to myself, 'Somebody should have given that kid a guitar because he would have been a great singer-songwriter and bluesman'-never thinking at the time that he'd be president four years later!"

--jim bessman

Indianapolis TV station WRTV 6 had a quick interview with John as he left the event. You can read John's comments and watch video of the interview HERE.

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