Rolling Stone Magazine: Backstage With Mellencamp At Letterman
12.07.2010 - Rollingstone.com By Andy Greene
Hours before taping The Late Show With David Letterman Monday night, John
Mellencamp soundchecked a cover of Blind Willie McTell's "Delia" and talked to
Rolling Stone about his new dark material. "If you look back at American music,
like 'Delia,' it was all about death and suffering," he said. "That why they
call it blues. In today's world we have so many candy-coated songs that have
become popular music."
He also shared his views on his longtime friend Willie Nelson's arrest in Texas
for possession of marijuana. "It's the stupidest thing I've ever heard,"
Mellencamp said. "He had the IRS mess with him a few years ago and lost
everything. Willie's always doing good things for people with the American
farmers and biodiesel. He's always doing something. We should all aspire to have
the kind of kindness that Wilie has. And to arrest him for something stupid..."
On Letterman, Mellencamp played a stark, solo acoustic version of his new song
"Save Some Time To Dream" (see video above). Before his performance he sat on
the couch to talk with Letterman about his refusal to quit smoking despite his
health problems and pleas from his doctors and family. He estimated that he's
smoked 650,000 cigarettes throughout his life. "I'm toast," he said.