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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
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 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,, 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
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