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10/05/2008 -
John Mellencamp
Life Death Love And Freedom
Hear Music
4 Stars
By Adam Sweeting

Springsteen school graduate excels with scary country sound

This bracingly raw set of fables finds the Indiana balladeer digging deeper into the country-blues roots he finds increasingly fascinating, so potently that it's like time-traveling back to the depression and Roosevelt's New Deal. Mellencamp uses traditional forms and mostly acoustic instruments, but his messages are contemporary. ("Foundation is crumbling, the inner structure's gone"), and his songs about death and doubt carry a chilling ring of authenticity. In "Longest Days", he's written one of the most harrowing songs about age and disillusion you'll ever hear. Bleak but brilliant. Read More
10/05/2008 -
John Mellencamp
4 Stars
Life, Death, Love And Freedom

Proper Indianan Hoosier Mellencamp shows his darker and fiery roots.

Several major health problems, four marriages and 23 albums, Mellencamp might actually win major original artist status by the time he's 60 (in three year's time). Last year he was still heartland-rocky enough to sell a track for a Chevy TV ad, but only the Undertakers of America will see synergy in this one. Amid producer T Bone Burnett's open prairie sound and aptly distorted guitar moods, Mellencamp croaks a sequence of raw, all but nihilistic yet far from self-pitying first person tales about well, death mainly, leavened by the odd rather forlorn reference to the life, love, and freedom elements of the title. As one of his grimly ancient narrators opines in Don't Need This Body, "This getting older/Ain't for cowards.", Rock 'n' Roll truth spans the generations. Has to. Comes with a free DVD versio Read More
10/02/2008 - John Mellencamp will be the featured entertainer Friday night in Washington, D.C. at the annual YouthAIDS benefit, to be held at the Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner grand ballroom. The event, which is dubbed “The Power of Music,” will honor Annie Lennox and MTV CEO Judy McGrath, and will be hosted by Ashley Judd with Sharon Osbourne acting as M.C.

A D.C.-based education/prevention program, YouthAIDS uses media, pop culture, music, theatre and sports to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS and reach 600 million young people in more than 60 countries with life-saving messages, products, services and care. Its annual fundraiser has been named one of the city’s Top 100 Events.

“Many people in the 60 countries where we operate are illiterate or of low-literacy,” said deputy director Marshall Stowell. “We bring in DJs and street music and dance to educate them on the HIV risk and direct them to clinics.”

Stowell further saluted Mellencamp as “an activist in his own right.” Click Read More
10/01/2008 - was updated today with revised and updated DISCOGRAPHY, PAINTINGS, PHOTO and VIDEO sections! In Discography you can click on the album covers on the album detail page to view a larger version. Read More
09/30/2008 - HDNet has scheduled repeat showings of “John Mellencamp Live at Walter Reed,” the landmark April 28, 2007 concert from the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. that was originally shown live on the channel. The full concert will run again on Sunday, Oct. 5, at 9:40 p.m. (Eastern), and will be offered also on Oct. 6 and Oct. 12.

Also on Oct. 6, HDNet will re-run “The Plain Truth – Dan Rather with John Mellencamp,” which originally ran on July 4, 2007 following a re-run of the Walter Reed concert. Taped in his recording studio in Bloomington, the program features Mellencamp’s discussion with Rather concerning the concert as well as his music career.

“John Mellencamp Live at Walter Re Read More
09/28/2008 - John Mellencamp’s musical heroes notwithstanding, no one had a bigger impact on him than the late Paul Newman.

“In 1967, me and four other guys went to see ‘Cool Hand Luke’ every night for seven nights straight,” recalled Mellencamp, who was a high school sophomore when he and his pals “stumbled on” Newman’s classic prison drama film at Seymour’s Vondee Theater. “It was winter and we wanted to get out of the house on a Monday night—and we came back Tuesday and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. We saved up our lunch money so we could go and by the end of the week we could recite every line!”

This, of course, was at a time of historic musical creativity.

“There was so much great music to be discovered,” Mellencamp continued. “Remember, there was Dylan, the Stones, the importance of James Brown. But for some reason on that week Paul Newman made the biggest influence on me, probably bigger than Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and James Brown--just by the nature of that characte Read More
09/26/2008 - Mellencamp & Gill: 2 intimate experiences
By journalismrookie

It’s not too often you go to a concert and feel close to the artist. Yeah, you may enjoy yourself, clapping, cheering and singing along. But most of the time, you’re just one of many sitting out there in the audience, while the singer sings one song after another, not saying much in between. But with two concerts I attended this week, it’s a different story.

John Mellencamp’s concert Tuesday at the Crump Theatre in downtown Columbus was the most intimate concert I’ve ever been to. And after talking to a few people afterwards about the show, they felt the same way. Mellencamp last performed at the Crump on Oct. 4, 1976. That was when he was known as Johnny Cougar, and the performance followed his show at the Seymour National Guard Armory. So in this area was where his career began. It was only fitting to return there as A&E was filming the concert to insert in its new series “Back Where We Started” for Read More
09/26/2008 - Commentary
By Mike Leonard

The motivation to stage a John Mellencamp concert in the crumbling Crump Theater in Columbus came out of brainstorming for a new cable television series, tentatively titled “Back Where We Started.”

The concept is to take someone both famous and accomplished — Mellencamp’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year pretty much set his legacy in stone — and go back to take an in-depth look at that person’s early years.

“It was perfect for us to have John as the premiere for the series because for this kind of show to work, we need someone who is both prolific and been in the business a long time,” explained Anthony Uro, executive director for original programming for Stage 3 Productions, a Philadelphia firm. “It wouldn’t work with someone who was famous for five years and then went away. Or someone who has done the same thing all their lives.”

The film crew has gone to impressive lengths to tell the s Read More
09/26/2008 - Mellencamp Rocks Crowd at Historic Columbus Theatre

For one night, John Mellencamp returned to a place he said he couldn't remember.

As for the 600 or so radio station winners, auction top-bidders and whoever else could wrangle a ticket for the September 23 show that was not sold to the public, it turned out to be a memorable night of up close, back-to-roots rock, bearing the unique Mellencamp stamp.

Brashness. Compassion. Pride. Middle-finger-extended attitude. Loud, rough-edged rock and roll.

Under the guise of recording the pilot episode of a new A&E Bio show called "Back Where We Started", Mellencamp and his band made creaky, cozy and barely back-to-fire code Crump Theater in Columbus, Indiana their bunker for the night.

Opened in 1872, The Crump Theatre is like many old theatres throughout the country; it has seen the glory days and those aren't today. Red carpet with black spots, theatre seats carted in for the occasion cover Read More
09/26/2008 - As Columbus, Indiana Mayor Fred Armstrong noted in proclaiming Sept. 23 John Mellencamp Day, the first—and last—time John Mellencamp played the 700-seat Crump Theatre in Columbus, Indiana was on Oct. 4, 1976, when the then Johnny Cougar was supporting his debut album “Chestnut Street Incident.”

Mellencamp returned to “Chestnut Street” in his career-encompassing Sept. 23 concert at the Crump, which was lensed for the forthcoming “Back Where We Started” documentary-style special on Mellencamp’s formative years being produced for the Bio Channel. He offered a fragment of the album’s titletrack—admittedly about as much as he could remember—along with other early fare like “Taxi Dancer” and “I Need a Lover,” all of which were performed solo acoustic. His performance of “To M.G. (Wherever She May Be)” from 1980's “Nothin’ Matters and What If It Did” was dedicated to the high school flame he wrote it for—who lives in Columbus and happened to be in the audience.

Read More

09/25/2008 - In response to the $700 billion Wall Street bailout currently being considered by Congress, the Farm Aid Board of Directors Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews sent an open letter to Congressional leaders urging them to redirect funds to farm communities and working men and women, where they can be better used to address our country’s economic, environment, energy and health crises.

Please read the letter below and pass it on to your friends and family.

September 25, 2008

Dear Congress,

As you consider the distribution of $700 billion to the very banks and corporations that have gotten our country into the mess we’re in now, we ask you to pause for a moment and consider w Read More
09/23/2008 -

COLUMBUS, Ind. (WISH) - A rock and roll legend is returning to the place where it all began in Indiana in order to help a local landmark. John Mellencamp is holding a private concert in Columbus.

The concert is part of an A&E television series called "Back Where We Started." A crew will film the show Tuesday night at Crump Theatre. But before the camera starts recording the theatre needed a little TLC.

Mellencamp wasn't much older than the students that go to Columbus North High School when he took the stage at Crump Theatre on October 4, 1976. The school's choir is wearing shirts say "I sing in a small town". The kids in the choir were thrilled to find out that they are Mellencamp's opening act.

"I left the choir room as soon as we found out and told just about everyone we could find in the hall including my mom and dad," said 17-year-old Grace Smith.

"When I told my mom she totally flipped out. We are Co Read More

09/23/2008 - In celebration of John's performance at Columbus IN's Crump Theater the town made the following proclamation.

Read More
09/22/2008 - At the pre-show Farm Aid press conference, John Mellencamp drew attention to the late Earl Butz, Secretary of Agriculture during the Nixon and Ford administrations, who in 1970 came up with the slogan “Get big or get out,” thus heralding the rise of major agribusiness corporations and the decline of the small family farm.

“Since that time more than 300,000 family farms have gone out of business,” said Mellencamp, adding that four corporations now control 82% of the beef and cattle market, and five major packing corporations control 55% of the hog market, with the average number of rural acres lost to urban sprawl since 1970 totaling one million a year. He added that of the $130 million in government commodity payments over the last decade for crops including soy, corn, wheat, rice, beet sugar and peanuts, the top 1% of producers receive 24% of the payments, and 10% get 73% of the farm bill.

Bob Costas Int Read More
09/21/2008 - The members of Club Cherry Bomb, the John Mellencamp Fan Club, raised a record $5,000 from its 4th Annual Farm Aid Charity Auction of Mellencamp memorabilia, doubling the previous record of $2,500 from last year’s fan organized auction.

Sharon C, coordinator of the Club member's Farm Aid activities, presented Mellencamp with a check from the fundraiser Saturday at Farm Aid. John said "Wow, that is a lot of money! Thanks to everyone that donated."

The total also included donations from fans who didn’t win the auctioned items. Read More
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