Air Date Set for Mellencamp A&E/Bio Special

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 Parman and Mike Jackson. Fred Booker, who was the co-lead singer with Mellencamp in Mellencamp’s first group Crepe Soul Band, was also interviewed, as were high school classmates and friends.

Also interviewed were Mellencamp’s longtime press agent Bob Merlis, Bloomington Herald Times music writer Mike Leonard, and journalist Jim Bessman, author of “John Mellencamp—The Concert at Walter Reed.”

“To have John tell his story first hand is an amazing component of the show,” continues Uro. “His memories of childhood, his early bands, his development as a musician and songwriter as well as his struggles in the music business and what it took for him to break through and follow his own true path, are very compelling.”

Further setting “Homeward Bound” apart, Uro adds, is that “it culminates with an intimate concert at the Crump Theatre where John performed in 1976 under the name Johnny Cougar. It really is a ‘one night only’ type of event with John playing for 700 fans from his home state of Indiana, and even features John performing songs he hasn’t done live in years.”

Concludes Uro: “I grew up listening to John's music, so to be able to work directly with him--and the people who were responsible for creating the songs that were a big part of my life--was just incredible!”

“Homeward Bound: John Mellencamp” is also the premiere episode of Bio’s new "Homeward Bound" series.