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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
01/05/2009 - For many of us, no doubt, 2008 couldn’t end soon enough. But fans of John Mellencamp had plenty to cheer about.

The biggest story, of course, was John’s induction—finally!—into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 10. Fellow Hall of Famer Billy Joel did a great job in ushering John into rock’s pantheon, but John had already made it clear that he would not rest long on his new laurels.

Indeed, following the December, 2007 announcement of his induction, he kicked off 2008 bigtime with a Jan. 25 benefit performance at the Housing Works Used Bookstore in Manhattan’s Soho neighborhood. The intimate show was part of the bookstore’s celebrated concert series in support of its nonprofit AIDS service organization, and was attended by an SRO crowd of 200.

In February he previewed new material during a Canadian tour with Tom Cochrane & Red Rider (which featured the debut of his then 12 year-old son Speck, who played guitar on “Authority Song” during the final show of the tour in Victo Read More
01/02/2009 - “Longest Days” - John Mellencamp: Mellencamp’s full-circle tale of life’s hopefuls descends into harsher realities when “you know you got no flame.” He opens up his soul to a new level of craftsmanship through a worn guitar and his raspy, twang-laden voice. Click HERE to see the full list. Read More
01/02/2009 - I couldn’t find the Bio Channel on my cable system—which doesn’t mean it wasn’t there!—but as I’d been interviewed at length for “Homeward Bound: John Mellencamp” (half an hour, at least!) the producer sent me a copy. I only decided to watch it, though, after notifying everyone I knew about it (“Hey! I’m gonna be in this GREAT John Mellencamp documentary”), especially those I knew back in Wisconsin when I first started telling people about Johnny Cougar (“See! I TOLD you he’d be a big star—and more important, look how big I am!”), only to hear back, “But you were only in it for maybe 10 seconds!”

Yes, maybe it was 10 seconds, total, in two appearances—but pure genius, of course. “They see themselves, they hear themselves in his music,” I say right at the beginning—at least I think it’s me, talking about John’s fans and their incredibly close relationship with him. But it’s a voiceover and I’m not really sure (mainly because even after over 25 years of living in New York I st Read More
01/01/2009 - Writer Brandon Daviet (who also writes for Colorado’s The Marquee entertainment magazine) placed LDL&F as his top album of 2008.

Number One: John Mellencamp / Life, Death, Love and Freedom - John Mellencamp promised and delivered with what might not be the year’s most danceable record but is certainly its most important. With a country in financial turmoil tracks like “Troubled Land” and “Longest Days” accurately reflect the emotions of many Americans. Other songs like “If I Die Sudden” tackle the loss of faith, while the politically charged “Jenna” is an open letter against racism. In a year when little Katy Perry has swept the charts with her pseudo-lesbian fantasies, Mellencamp manages to remind us that not everybody in America is incapacitated by simple pop ditties, shiny I-phones, and American Idol. Click HERE for his full list. Read More
12/31/2008 - John’s 2008 album made the Schenectady (NY) Daily Gazette top album list compiled by music writers Michael Hochanadel and Brian McElhiney and features editor Dick Bennett.

John Mellencamp: “Life Death Love and Freedom” — The influence of producer T Bone Burnett is evident here in what may be the best album of Mellencamp’s career. It’s a darker, stripped down, more bluesy sound for the singer/songwriter who tackles such weighty subjects as racism in a small Louisiana town. (Bennett)
Click HERE to see their full list. Read More
12/31/2008 - John’s new album landed at #11 on Saskatchewan's Leader-Post writer Jordan Zivitz's Top 20.

John Mellencamp: Life Death Love and Freedom (Hear Music) - An unflinching look at mortality and a world gone wrong, this late-career renaissance convincingly casts Mellencamp as a contemporary-folk great.
Click HERE to see his full list. Read More
12/23/2008 - Variety.com writer Phil Gallo places John’s 2008 release “Life, Death, Love and Freedom” at #7 on his list of “50 albums released in ’08 that I am glad are in my collection.” Click HERE, to see his full list. Read More
12/19/2008 - Buffalo News writer Jeff Miers praises John’s most recent album on his year end list:

John Mellencamp, “Life Death Love & Freedom” (Hear Music): Mellencamp is at his best when fueled by righteous anger. Here, the sympathetic production afforded by T-Bone Burnett helps to craft an instant classic.
Click HERE to read this article online. Read More
12/18/2008 - The restless voice of ornery America, John Mellencamp has spent three decades railing against injustice and conservatism. Now, on the eve of the US election, MOJO find him contemplating his own mortality on the set of Elvis Costello’s new TV show…

Words: Phil Sutcliffe, Portrait: Elaine Mellencamp
This article includes some great photos and should be available at select bookstores and newsstands that sell import magazines.

“Do you know what’s been happening today?” John Mellencamp enquires, responding briskly to a broad opening question about his “left-wing Democrat” politics. Well, it’s September 15 in New York City and, thus far, leading investments bank Lehman Bros has gone bankrupt, the Bank of Americas has rescued broke stockbroker Merrill Lynch, and American’s largest insurance company, AIG has announced it needs $80 billion pronto or it’s going to belly-up.

Assured that MOJO’s got the gist, Mellencamp proceeds with his smoke break cum photo ses Read More
12/13/2008 - A&E's Bio Channel has posted three outtake clips on their website from the recently premiered "Homeward Bound: John Mellencamp" documentary. The clips include John’s reflections on the first incarnation of the Johnny Cougar band, his worst gig ever, and his painting process and its application to music. Click HERE to view the clips on Bio.com.
Read More
12/13/2008 - During his October trip to the U.K. to receive Q Magazine’s prestigious “Classic Songwriter” award, John met with BBC Radio 2’s legendary DJ Johnny Walker. Besides an in-depth interview involving the making Life, Death, Love & Freedom, John performs solo acoustic versions of “Longest Days” and “Minutes To Memories.”
Click HERE for the BBC Radio 2 site to listen to the segment online.

Click HERE for the BBC iPlayer Radio Console to listen online.
Read More
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