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02/17/2009 - By Jackie Kochell | IDS
As studio lights covered the stained glass windows of Beck Chapel on Monday, inside a videographer set up a camera near the organ to shoot part of John Mellencamp’s new music video.

Students bustling by stopped to snap photos of the singer on their phones, shouting things like “Rockin’ in the USA!” while Mellencamp, dressed in black, stood outside during a break.

The musician shot his new music video for “A Ride Back Home,” a single off his latest album, “Life, Death, Love and Freedom.”

With Beck Chapel as his background, Mellencamp and his band said they hoped to convey the song’s emotion.

“The song’s about life’s loneliness, and that’s what we’re trying to get across in this video,” Mellencamp said.

Mellencamp wanted to shoot at Beck Chapel because of its intimacy and his longtime support of IU. The University allowed Mellencamp to tape inside the chapel and in the cemetery outside.

His wife and Read More
02/16/2009 - Posted by Sarah Harlan

BLOOMINGTON, IN (NBC) - Singer John Mellencamp was at Indiana University Monday, making a music video.

Not much had to be closed down: no roads, no classrooms, just a tiny chapel next to the student union.

This was about as low-key as a production can get.

Many students at Indiana University were oblivious to the rock legend standing just feet away from them in the heart of the Bloomington campus.

Inside the tiny Beck Chapel, John Mellencamp and country singer Karen Fairchild lip-synched the words to "A Ride Back Home", from Mellencamp's new album "Life, Death, Love and Freedom".

"It's always an honor to be asked to be part of this album, so to be a part of the video is even a better deal," Fairchild said.

"She sang on like half the album with me in this fashion, so it just made perfect sense," Mellencamp said.

During concerts, Mellencamp has stopped his song, and asked the Read More
02/14/2009 - John's "Pink Houses" has inspired an act of kindness by a group of Winnipeg high school students.

According to the United Way of Winnipeg's report of funded projects for its "Youth Connections" programs from 2007 to 2008, a $322 grant was given to Kelvin High School student volunteers who painted a house in the Point Douglas area.

The project, which took four days to paint a one and a-half story house "despite the risk of rain showers," was completed last May. It was named "Little Pink Houses" after the song, although the house itself was not painted pink.

"The students volunteered their time and energy to reach a united goal and demonstrated a significant act of kindness to a local homeowner," stated the report.

"Youth Connections," incidentally, applies to "young people 16-24 who want to make a difference in Wpg." Other funded projects acknowledged include a youth soccer tournament for African youth in Winnipeg, a homework mentor Read More
02/09/2009 - The Martin 00-18S John Mellencamp Custom Artist Edition guitar is now available at retail.

Announced in September, the Mellencamp guitar model was introduced last month at the NAMM music instrument trade show in Anaheim. According to C.F. Martin & Co., Martin dealers are now placing orders, and expectations are high for a successful rollout despite the severe economic downturn.

“Under normal circumstances we’d have a great sales projection,” said Chris Thomas, Martin’s manager of artist relations manager. “But we’ve noticed like everything else, things are slow now. But our dealers love [the Mellencamp Martin] and want one in the stores to show customers, so we’re hopeful that three months from now, when we have a better idea of where we stand in terms of sales, things will look better.”

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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.”
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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 Read More
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 balladeered Barack.

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
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