10/29/2008 - The John Mellencamp documentary produced for A&E’s Biography (Bio) Channel, formerly titled “Back Where We Started,” is scheduled to air on Thursday Dec. 11 as “Homeward Bound: John Mellencamp.”
According to the program’s production company Stage 3 Productions’ executive director of original programming Anthony Uro, the 90-minute program “really gives viewers an in-depth look at the John Mellencamp most people don’t see, because it’s not only about John the successful rock star. It also paints a very detailed picture of John’s early life and career before he was famous and the people, places and events that shaped him as a person and as an artist.”
Mellencamp was interviewed exclusively for the production, as were his wife Elaine Irwin Mellencamp and current and former bandmates Mike Wanchic, Kenny Aronoff, Miriam Sturm, Andy York, Toby Myers, Robert "Ferd" Frank, Dave Par Read More
10/28/2008 - John Mellencamp has been nominated for the 2008 induction into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in New York. It is Mellencamp’s first nomination from the prestigious organization, and is in the Performer/Songwriters category.
The other nominees in the category include Benny Andersson, Stig Anderson, Bjorn Ulvaeus (the writers behind ABBA); Jimmy Buffett; Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati (the Rascals); David Crosby, Stephen Stills & Graham Nash; Ray Davies (the Kinks); David Gates (Bread); Yusef Islam (aka Cat Stevens); Tommy James; Steve Miller; Leon Russell; and Bob Seger. There is also a Non-Performing Songwriters category.
To be eligible for nomination, a songwriter must have an extensive catalog of hits that date back at least 20 years. Voting members of the Hall of Fame will now vote for two Performer/Songwriters and three Non-Performing Songwriters from the lists of nominees. They have until November 12 to submit their ballots, after which the new inductees will be announced. Read More
10/28/2008 - John Mellencamp’s newly produced video for his “Life Death Love And Freedom” single “Troubled Land” has just gone up on The Huffington Post. The heavily trafficked political blog site will show it exclusively for the next 24 hours—reportedly the first time it has ever premiered a music video.
The black-and-white clip, which was directed by Martyn Atkins and shot on location in Savannah, Georgia, can be found in the site’s entertainment section, via a post by blogger Mike Ragogna. As Ragogna notes, the subject matter goes beyond “the implied anti-war message” of the song’s “bring peace to this troubled land” tag line.
Juxtaposed with scenes of Mellencamp singing the song self-accompanied with acoustic guitar are stark shots of a tattered American flag, military graveyard, burning paper money, a gas pump with swiftly increasing gallon pricing, a man twirling a foreclosure sign, an anti-war demonstration, and finally, a naked baby crawling across Old Glory “suggesting rebirth and ren Read More
10/28/2008 - John Mellencamp will sing his new single “Troubled Land” this Thursday morning (Oct. 30th) on ABC's “Good Morning America.” The performance will occur sometime during the last half hour of the show, which will originate in Orlando as part of a GMA focus on “battleground” states.
John's performance will be at Church St. Station and it is open to the public if you wish to attend. Watch Mellencamp.com's homepage for any updates on Wednesday (Oct. 29th) as we get them. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend and we will respond with any updates we have.
Mellencamp will also appear on GMA Saturday morning, this time via a recently taped interview for the program from his Belmont Mall studio. Footage may include an acoustic version of “Small Town,” as well as a demonstration of how “J Read More
10/23/2008 - John Mellencamp, who performed at primary campaign rallies in Indiana for both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, plays off “ Small Town ” in a new radio commercial cut in support of Obama for use in his home state (click HERE to listen).
“I’ve seen a lot of small towns, and now I’m seeing small towns across America dying,” a soft-spoken Mellencamp says in the spot, which went out yesterday. “Folks losing their jobs and their homes. Eight years of George Bush has really hurt. And John McCain is just more of the same.”
Over the last eight years “Thousands of Hoosiers have seen their jobs sent out of this country,” Mellencamp adds. “But Obama gets it, and sees the value of American-made products and a strong American labor force.”
As the solo acoustic soundtrack of the Mellencamp.com Web exclusive video for “ Troubled Land ” plays underneath, he concludes: “Whether you live in a small town or a Read More
10/22/2008 - John Mellencamp is among several music and political luminaries featured in “Johnny Cash’s America,” a documentary that explores the Man in Black’s politics, beliefs, influence and patriotism. It premiered on the Biography Channel on Oct 23rd. Watch for future repeats. A DVD release is due on Oct. 28th from Sony/Legacy.
An inductee into both the Rock and Roll and Country Music Halls of Fame, the late Cash touched on some of the most contentious issues of his time--war, prison reform, youth discontent, religion, Native American rights -- while remarkably retaining an audience spanning vastly different political, economic, and social standings. In his comments, Mellencamp relates Cash’s concerns to today’s political climate in personal recollections that run throughout the program. Click HERE to learn more about the documentary and Johnny Cash.
10/22/2008 - Southern California ska-punk band Reel Big Fish has recorded a version of the
Mellencamp classic “Authority Song” for its next album “Fame, Fortune and
Fornication,” to be released Jan. 20, 2009.
“I’ve just always really loved this song since I was little, and I think a lot
of the younger kids will enjoy this version and be able to appreciate this
amazing song!” Reel Big Fish frontman Aaron Barrett told Mellencamp.com. “The
words really sound like a punk rock anthem--it could have easily been an
Operation Ivy song or a Sex Pistols song. Also, I have a giant list of songs in
my head that I've always wanted to cover and this is one of the ones that has
been way at the top of my list for a long time.”
Barrett also produced the album, which also includes features such estimable
covers as Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” The Eagles’ “The Long Run,” and
reggae pioneers Toots and the Maytals’ “Monkey Man.” In support of the disc Read More
10/21/2008 - The current issue of Rolling Stone magazine (issue #1064, featuring Barack Obama on the cover with the new size/shape of the magazine) has a photo of John and a brief recap of his Crump Theater performance for the upcoming Bio Channel series "Back Where We Started." Read More
10/19/2008 - With the election looming, are American singers prepared to nail their colours to the mast
By Dan Cairns
As a reminder of the potential perils faced by musicians who are perceived to
be heading down an overtly political path, the case of the new Fall Out Boy
album is instructive. Originally due for release on November 4, the day of the
US presidential election, Folie à Deux has now been put back to December. The
record had been trailed by the band as “social commentary”, but they apparently
now feel that the resulting press coverage has “skewed us into a partisan band.
We never intended to be the band that shoved our ideas down people’s throats”.
One man who has no problem being seen as someone who shoves ideas down people’s
throats is John Mellencamp. For more than 20 years, the Indiana singer has been
dismantling the name, image and sound his early managers pushed on him, burying
Johnny Cougar the hick heart-throb and establishing in his place a songwriter
an Read More
It seemed only fitting that on the day that a new CBS News/New York Times poll found that a record high 89 percent of Americans—Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike--believe that the country is on the wrong track, John Mellencamp announced a new Web site exclusive solo acoustic video performance “Troubled Land,” the single from his acclaimed album “Life, Death, Love, and Freedom.” And in agreement with the song’s opening lyric “Well there's a pain in my side/But I keep travelin’ on/Bring peace to this troubled land…,” Mellencamp was himself greatly troubled.
From the rustic setting of his home in Bloomington, Indiana, he shared his though Read More
10/15/2008 - John Mellencamp's season of political discontent
The singer's candor comes through not only in his music but in his conversation.
By Tina Daunt - Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
October 14, 2008 - From the Los Angeles Times Click HERE to read online.
BLOOMINGTON, IND. — JOHN MELLENCAMP captured something about himself three decades ago when he penned the words, "I need a lover that won't drive me crazy." Someone who knows the meaning of "hey hit the highway."
These days, he could say the same for most of America's politicians.
Sure, Mellencamp is from the red state of Indiana, and he wrote all of those patriotic-sounding tunes like "R.O.C.K. in the USA" and "Small Town." But when it comes to matters of the country, Mellencamp is far from nationalistic. To say the least, he's fed up.
John Mellencamp’s Life, Death, Love and Freedom is a mature, melancholy and
mesmerizing work about all of the aforementioned, especially death. With
emotionally appropriate production from T Bone Burnett LDL&F isn’t exactly
“whistling past the graveyard” but it’s about as close as you’ll ever get.
After one listen I have resolved never to listen to it: by myself; in the dark;
after a really bad day. That it was in a Super HD stereo format that is as
pristine and as close to source as you’ll get outside of the studio helped jack
up the spooky factor about a gazillion percent.
And the Death in the title isn’t merely our returning to dust. While it seems
that Mellencamp is looking in a mirror and singing to himself, as on “Longest
Days” when he accepts that “sometimes you get sick, and you don’t get better,” I
believe he’s also holding up that Read More
10/14/2008 - John taped a radio interview for the BBC radio show Bob Harris Country during his recent UK visit the week of October 6th. The interview aired Thursday, October 16th at 7:00pm London time.
When John McCain started using Mellencamp's songs to soundtrack his campaign, the veteran singer-songwriter firmly asked him to stop. Life Death Love and Freedom - a weighty set of thematic concerns in anyone's book - goes some way to explaining his feelings with a collection of songs that wear their unsentimental humanity on their well-worn denim sleeves. Jena, dealing with recent racism in a Southern town, and Troubled Land highlight Mellencamp's politics. But it's the dying-of-the-light laments Without a Shot and Don't Need This Body that tap into an authentic spiritual gloom.