02/08/2009 - The current issue of Rolling Stone (Sean Penn is on the cover) has a special
“Backstage at the Rock & Roll Inauguration” feature that includes a picture of
Elaine and John applauding the festivities. Of his performance at the historic
“We Are One” concert at the Lincoln Memorial, John said: “I played to the
president. The rest of the people looked like a painting.”|
02/05/2009 - Am I the only John Mellencamp fan who’s also a Lawrence Welk fan?|
Apparently not. A recent post on the Lawrence Welk Show tribute site ingeniously matches the modified lyrics to the first verse of “Jack and Diane” to stills of the Welk show’s wonderful singer/dancer Mary Lou Metzger, with dance partner Jack Imel. Hence the new title, “Jack and Mary Lou,” “with my apologies to John Mellencamp,” according to the poster.
But I bet I’m the only one who ever attended sold-out shows of both John Mellencamp and Lawrence Welk at the Dane County Coliseum in Madison, Wisconsin. Both, incidentally, were unforgettable!
-- jim bessman
02/04/2009 - Farm Aid, of which John Mellencamp is a board member, has joined other farm advocacy groups in seeking financial assistance from Congress to benefit farm families.|
Specifically, Farm Aid, in conjunction with The National Family Farm Coalition, Rural Advancement Foundation International – USA, Federation of Southern Cooperatives, and Missouri Rural Crisis Center, asks that the second installment of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds and the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) both address the dire financial hardship faced by thousands of farmers and ranchers.
The plight of the independent farmer, of course, has long been a focus of John’s songs and activities—same with his fellow Farm Aid board members.
“Amer Read More
02/03/2009 - Super Bowl? Don’t Do It, John! |
An intriguing fan post on John’s Myspace page yesterday from “Adam” asks fellow Mellenheads to join his group, “Official Movement for John Mellencamp to play the Super Bowl Halftime Show.”
Well count me out! After watching Springsteen’s half-time show, and especially those of the Stones, McCartney, Prince and Janet Jackson that preceded it, no way do I want to see John sell himself out to big-time corporate entertainment.
No, I don’t begrudge Springsteen, et. al. for doing it. Indeed, Springsteen virtually and rightly echoed John’s rationale for the Chevy commercial in explaining his decision to do the Super Bowl show, i.e., he had a new record out and there’s no longer any place for music by artists of his generation to get exposure. But what does bug me about these half-time shows is the extreme show-biz factor: big-time performance shtick mixed with fireworks and an obviously fake on-field audience that looks like the typical shills ou Read More
02/02/2009 - John’s recording of “Troubled Land,” which was heard in a crucial scene of the recent “NCIS” episode “Collateral Damage,” will be included in a new 2-CD set of songs from the hit CBS-TV series.|
“NCIS: The Official TV Soundtrack,” which CBS Records releases on Feb. 10, also features recent tracks from Bob Dylan, Sharon Little, Keaton Simons and Android Lust, which were likewise used in recent episodes of the action drama centering on the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. Additionally, the set has new tracks from upcoming “NCIS” episodes by Blue October, Dashboard Confessional, Oasis, Seether, Jakob Dylan, The Airborne Toxic Event, Saving Abel, Perry Farrell, Will Dailey, Skold vs. KMFDM, Collide and Nitzer Ebb. Click HERE to order the album online. Read More
02/02/2009 - The first of four one-hour “Farm Aid Presents…” specials culled from the Farm Aid 2008 live broadcast produced for DIRECTV begins airing in early February.|
“Farm Aid Presents The Pretenders & Friends” features the full set by The Pretenders (including their classic hits and songs from their new album “Break Up The Concrete”), as well as performances by Farm Aid board members John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Neil Young and Dave Matthews. Songs from Farm Aid first-timers Will Dailey and One Flew South are also included.
The high-definition, 5.1 Dolby Digital program is available via DIRECTV “The 101 Network” (Channel 101 on DIRECTV). "...Pretenders & Friends” will be repeated as listed below, to be followed in the coming months by the other three “Farm Aid Presents…” installments.
As noted, this is the first of four 1-hour specials. Subsequent specials and their premiere months are:
"Farm Aid Presents Jerry Lee Lewis & Friends" - April 2009< Read More
01/23/2009 - In Washington, D.C. during the Obama inaugural festivities, John was asked about
his appearance on Elvis Costello's Sundance Channel series "Spectacle: Elvis
Costello with...," which premiered on January 21, 2009.|
John's episode is scheduled to repeat on:
Sunday, January 25 @ 2 AM ET and 2 PM ET
Tuesday, January 27 @ 12:30 AM ET
Wednesday, January 28 @ 8 PM ET
“It was an honor and a joy to be on that show,” he said. “Elvis Costello is
arguably the best songwriter of our generation, and an engaging host who showed
interest in all of us. It was so interesting to me that I forgot I was on
television, because I was so interested in what everyone had to say. Then I
looked up and saw myself on the monitor and said, ‘Oh, shit!’”
Taped at Harlem's famed Apollo Theater in September, the program features
Mellencamp, Rosanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Norah Jones, together with
Costello, exchanging songs and stories in the nature of a Nashville "g Read More
01/23/2009 - By TINA DAUNT - Reporting from Washington -- Woodstock provided the anthems for a generation
that wanted to make a revolution and establish a counterculture. |
In coming years we all may look back on the concerts and parties celebrating
President Barack Obama's inauguration as when a new generation rediscovered the
hope in some of the nation's most treasured symbols -- and, as Obama told the
hundreds of thousands gathered in the chill, the hope within themselves.
For all the musical star power and celebrity support that entertained and
cheered the new president, there may not have been a more moving moment Sunday
than when Obama took the microphone at the Lincoln Memorial and told the throng
that the most important thing about the event was not the surrounding marble
monuments, but the people who filled the spaces in between.
Photo by J Read More
01/20/2009 - By Mike Leonard |
John Mellencamp and guitarist Andy York were standing back in the wings of the
stage at the “We Are One” inaugural concert Sunday when stage directors motioned
them to move up to the front of the stage and into the line of entertainters who
performed in the gala show.
“Lo and behold, I was the last one in line and all of a sudden, I found myself
at the front,” York said by phone today.
“I look to my right and there’s Denzel Washington and then, me.”
To York’s left was a man holding a large, bald eagle. “When he took the blinders
off, the bird kind of went crazy,” York said. “It smacked me up side of the head
with its right wing and then I looked up and President-Elect Obama is standing
there, extending his hand.
“Then, Michelle is right behind him and she said something like, ‘Thank you so
much for doing this’ and I said, ‘God bless you,’ I think,” York said. “And then
she kissed me on the cheek!”
The 15-y Read More
01/20/2009 - Here are portions of the larger article about the “We Are One” concert. Click HERE to read the full article.|
The dawning of the Age of Obama began Sunday in America's capital city when
three dozen major entertainers sang, recited, orated and celebrated on the steps
of the Lincoln Memorial.
The event was called "We Are One," and they were, and it was one hell of a show.
The musical stars spread a wide buffet of genres ranging from rock to rap to
traditional to folk. Bruce, Blige, Beyonce, Bono and Brooks were but a few who
The indelible seminal image was that of John Mellencamp rocking out and
bellowing "Ain't that America" against a rich backdrop of American iconery:
flags, cameras, cell phones, helicopters, FBI, gloves and stocking hats, cops,
firemen, soldiers, snipers (watching from the Memorial parapets), heli Read More
01/20/2009 - BYLINE: Richard Leiby and DeNeen L. Brown; Washington Post Staff Writers|
Some things we learned yesterday at the "We Are One" concert, the
official welcoming celebration for Barack Obama at the Lincoln Memorial: Jamie
Foxx does a pretty spot-on Obama impersonation; wise-acre Jack Black can look
completely serious when he's paying homage to Theodore Roosevelt's conservation
achievements; Garth Brooks can somehow pull off a medley of "American Pie,"
"Shout" and "We Shall Be Free"; and musical superstars seem okay with singing in
trios -- at least in the case of Usher, Shakira and Stevie Wonder, who did a
rousing version of "Higher Ground" that had the president-elect and his wife,
Michelle, on their feet and dancing.
Some of the world's biggest artistic egos cooperated yesterday to honor both
history and Obama, who sat onstage with his wife and daughters, frequently
bobbing his head in time with the music and enjoying the almost inconceivable
lineup that Read More
01/19/2009 - As Henry Diltz, the legendary rock photographer whose famed portfolio includes
The Doors’ “Morrison Hotel” and Crosby, Stills & Nash debut album covers, said,
“It’s like Woodstock,” and sure enough, the 400,000 or so people who jammed the
vicinity of the Lincoln Memorial yesterday for the superstar “We Are One”
concert event that was the opening ceremony of the Obama inauguration witnessed
a veritable music festival/love-in.|
Those of us in the Mellencamp camp can be forgiven for thinking that John smoked
them all with his spot—because he did! Preceded by remarks by Joe Biden, John
saluted the First and Second Families, then he and Andy York ripped into an
exultant version of “Pink Houses” that had the crowd singing along with them and
the Baptist choir behind them.
As the esteemed blogger Melinda Newman noted in her Hitfix.com coverage, “[He]
gets the biggest cheer of any performer so far and is the first to really seem
awake.” For his part Obama, according to a rep Read More
01/15/2009 - John is set to participate in “We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial,” at 2:30 ET PM on Sunday, Jan. 18. The special concert is the Opening Celebration for the 56th Presidential Inaugural, and will be aired LIVE by HBO and then repeated at from 7:00 and 11:30 PM (ET/PT). It repeats again on Monday at 1:00 PM and 9:30 PM ET. Click HERE to visit HBO's site for the special.|
Participating artists besides John include: Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Bono, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Renee Fleming, Josh Groban, Herbie Hancock, Heather Headley, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, Usher Raymond IV, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, will.i.am, and Stevie Wonder. Among those reading historical passages will be Jamie Foxx, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah and Denzel Washington. Additional performers will be announced as they are confirmed.
The event will be free and open to the Read More
01/14/2009 - The 90-minute “Homeward Bound: John Mellencamp” documentary produced for A&E’s Biography (Bio) Channel that aired last month is set to run in edited form on the A&E Channel on Sunday, Jan. 25 at 8 AM ET. |
The program, which presented an in-depth look at John’s early life and career before he was famous, has been shortened to an hour version for viewing on the more widely available cable channel, at 8 AM.
The special will also air in its complete 90 minute form on the Bio Channel on Thursday, Jan. 22 at 9 PM ET (repeating later that night at 1 AM ET).
As noted, the program visits Mellencamp’s hometown of Seymour and meets with the people who inspired his music and covers early career high—and low—points. The special features archival footage, personal photos, and interviews with childhood friends, band members, and other key people in his life. Bonus concert performances of several songs, including cuts from John's new album Read More
01/08/2009 - John Mellencamp: A Rare Interview With A Classic Rock Songwriter|
"I went from being a fucking joke to being one of the biggest pop-rock stars there ever was." It's been a long journey for the man once called Cougar, and in the course of his unique career John Mellencamp has seen it all.
Words by Max Bell
If "Homeward Bound" wasn't enough, top U.K. music magazine Classic Rock
is out with an unusually in-depth and insightful look at John's early career.
As he was interviewed in London on his 57th birthday (he was there to receive Q
Magazine's prestigious "Classic Songwriter" award), John is particularly
reflective on his 18-month stay in England starting in 1977 (he rented a house
in Chelsea then, at the behest of Billy Gaff, who managed Rod Stewart and The
Faces and took over the then John Cougar's career after original manager Tony
DeFries--mastermind behind David Bowie's rise to superstardom--cut him loose).
The four-page spread reveals Read More