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1  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Ask / Re: The Well Runneth dry? on: December 10, 2018, 12:07:01 pm
The song from an “unearthed session” would be “Eyes on the Prize,” which came from a 2012 session John did with Indiana guitar legend Reverend Peyton. The song laid unreleased for six years until it was included on this collection.

This release isn’t a sign that John has run dry or that he can’t write songs anymore – it is part of his lifetime contract with Republic Records that they will issue catalog releases between original studio albums. The “Trouble No More” live album that came out in 2014 falls under this category, as does the remastered “Scarecrow” vinyl re-issue that came out on Black Friday 2015 to celebrate that album’s 30th anniversary. “Other People’s Stuff” is merely a way for all these disparate cover songs John has released over the years to be collected under a title in John’s catalog. It’s not meant to disappoint anybody. Heck, if they never put it out at all and waited until John’s next studio album for the next release, nobody would bat an eyelid.

As for “Sad Clowns and Hillbillies,” yes there were some cover songs, two Ghost Brothers songs, two Carlene Carter songs and a couple of ‘90s outtakes included, but John still wrote “Sad Clowns,” “Easy Target,” “Battle of Angels,” and “My Soul’s Got Wings” (original music to accompany an old Woody Guthrie lyric) for that album, and he included the recently written “Sugar Hill Mountain” that appears in the movie “Ithaca” on the album as well. In addition, John wrote a song called “Seeing You Around” that appeared in “Ithaca” (sung by Leon Redbone), wrote the music to “Them Double Blues” to give life to an unused Johnny Cash lyric, and he wrote the title song to the 2017 movie “The Yellow Birds,” a war movie that finally came out this past summer.

So, given all those recent songs John has written, I don’t think we can say the well has run dry. John is focused on touring, because that’s where the industry has shifted in recent years because nobody buys music anymore, but he’s still very capable of writing great original songs, and he will always be creative.  I’m sure there is more great original music coming from John in the years ahead. Just be patient.

Please respond with your vote on which track you prefer and why in each matchup. Let’s see which of these two great albums gets the most love via a track-by-track breakdown.

Note: We will include “Grandma's Theme” as part of “Small Town” since it is an introductory piece.

Here are the matchups:

Rain On The Scarecrow vs. Paper In Fire
Grandma’s Theme/Small Town vs. Down & Out In Paradise
Minutes To Memories vs. Check It Out
Lonely Ol' Night vs. The Real Life
The Face Of The Nation vs. Cherry Bomb
Justice and Independence '85 vs. We Are The People
Between A Laugh And A Tear vs. Empty Hands
Rumbleseat vs. Hard Times For An Honest Man
You've Got To Stand For Somethin' vs. Hot Dogs & Hamburgers
R.O.C.K. In The USA vs. Rooty Toot Toot
The Kind Of Fella I Am vs. Never Too Old (Lonesome Jubilee b-side, original JM song)

Happy voting! This is an election day, after all.
3  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Ask / Re: Other People’s Stuff on: November 02, 2018, 01:11:09 pm
Not sure why you’re disappointed. John generally doesn’t release anything between studio albums, so a compilation of cover songs, many of which are not readily available digitally at this point, is a nice addition to his catalog. Plus, we get one brand new recording out of it. Having all these songs available under a title in John’s catalog instead of on a bunch of disparate compilation and tribute releases is a good thing.

I’d recommend you take a look at the big picture, which is this is better than nothing, and nothing is what usually accompanies the gap between original Mellencamp studio albums.
4  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Tour Talk / Re: Kingston show - a review of sorts on: October 04, 2018, 11:29:28 pm
Thanks for the review. Can you provide a complete setlist?
5  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Tour Talk / Moncton Show Review on: September 27, 2018, 08:27:47 pm
Mellencamp brings fans to their feet at Avenir Centre

By Alan Cochrane
September 26th, 2018

American rocker John Mellencamp had a crowd of 3,400 on their feet and singing along to songs like "Jack and Diane" at Moncton's new Avenir Centre Wednesday night.

Dressed in a black jumpsuit with trademark white t-shirt and his greying hair slicked back, the 66-year-old classic rocker led his six-member band (two guitars, bass, accordion/keyboard, violin and drums) through a 90-minute set of his well-known classics and lesser-known bluesy tunes. Instead of an opening act, there was a 30-minute film documenting the rocker's rise to fame through the 1970s and '80s.

Mellencamp kicked off the show with the bluesy "Lawless Times" and rolled through such hits as "Small Town," "Pop Singer," and "Check It Out," but it was "Jack and Diane," the story of two young lovers, that brought the crowd to its feet to sing the verses and chorus. He performed a solo version of the Robert Johnson blues song "Stones in My Passway" and left the stage briefly as the fiddle and accordion players performed an overture of more hits.

Mellencamp spoke little during the show, except to tell the story of how he sat with his grandmother during her final days and she bestowed upon the wisdom that "Life is short, even in its longest days."

The show then revved up for more hits like "Rain on the Scarecrow," "Paper in Fire," "Crumblin' Down," "Pink Houses" and "Cherry Bomb."

Mellencamp's show kicked off a North American tour to promote Sad Clowns & Hillbillies, his 23rd studio album. Songs on the album were co-written with Carlene Carter, a singer-songwriter who is the daughter of country singer June Carter.

After Moncton, Mellencamp will perform at Harbour Station in Saint John Thursday and the Halifax Forum on Saturday. From there, the tour will take him to several venues in Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, wrapping up in Abbotsford, B.C. on Nov. 14. From there, he will continue to perform throughout the U.S.

Mellencamp last played Moncton on July 3, 2012, a concert remembered by fans as a "hot one" with no air conditioning in the Coliseum.
6  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Ask / Re: talk show John walked off of ... on: September 16, 2018, 10:25:25 am
CBS Nightwatch in 1982. Here’s the video.

<a href=";amp;hl=en_US" target="_blank">;amp;hl=en_US</a>
7  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Ask / Re: 2001 show in Toronto,ont. Canada on: March 03, 2018, 11:06:37 pm
Cuttin' Heads Tour.
8  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Articles / 1992 WWW Tour Article on: December 16, 2017, 11:53:04 am
Mellower John Mellencamp says he's not mad anymore
Cox News Service Jan 24, 1992

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- From a distance, John Mellencamp appears to be the nasty

young punk you don't want to meet in a dark alley. Curly dark hair tumbles down

to the gold ring in his left ear. His compact body is tightly encased in jeans,

T-shirt and a short leather jacket with a heavy silver buckle dangling at the

waist. His fresh-faced grin is cocksure, his walk a swagger.

It's an image that has served him well during a 16-year career as a

blue-collar rock 'n' roller. But it only begins to define the man who is on his

first concert tour since 1987.

"I've come out of my cocoon after three and a half years," Mellencamp says,

sitting in a spartan dressing room before a weekend rehearsal at the Savannah

Civic Center. "But I don't have anything to prove to anybody."

Indeed, Mellencamp, who laughs easily and seldom breaks eye contact while

speaking, has found there's much more to life than rock 'n' roll. Now 40 and a

grandfather -- thanks to Michelle Peach, his 20-year-old daughter from his

first marriage who has a daughter of her own -- he has become a serious oil

painter whose works command five-figure prices. He's also a fledgling

actor-director whose first film, "Falling From Grace," is scheduled for release

next month.

A bit of a nomad, he divides his time between homes in Bloomington, Ind.,

and Hilton Head, S.C., where his second ex-wife lives with their two daughters,

Teddi Jo, 10, and Justice, 6.

Perhaps most noticeable, Mellencamp is no longer an angry young man, despite

a continuing concern for everyday people and a cynical view of politics.

"I'm not mad anymore," he says, pausing a beat. "Just disgusted."

Slight though it may be, the Mellencamp mellowing is perhaps best

appreciated by longtime members of his band. "I think a lot of it is due to him

finding another creative medium, which is painting," says guitarist Mike

Wanchic, who has seen Mellencamp explode onstage and off during his 14 years

with the group.

"John had always concentrated on music at the exclusion of everything else.

The art gets him away from that," Wanchic says. "It's also been good for him to

come to terms with his ex-wife and move to Hilton Head so he can be close to

his children. He's really expanded his life."

With all these new interests, the question remains, why undertake another

tour of arenas?

"It's the work ethic," he says, grinning, sipping decaffeinated coffee and

chain-smoking Marlboros. "What good's a cabinetmaker who won't make cabinets?"

Current plans call for Mellencamp and his eight-person band to promote his

new album (his 11th), "Whenever We Wanted," with about 150 concerts in the

United States, Canada, Australia and Europe.

"(The record company and management) are talking about me being on the road

for a year and a half and I'm talking about being on the road just long enough

to see how it goes," he says.

"If I had my druthers, I'd go back and make another record," he adds. "But

now that all the pieces for touring are together, it's too involved to stop."

Only the logistics are complex. Mellencamp's show features no lasers, no

elaborate pyrotechnics, no video screens. He'll perform on a simple

reddish-brown stage with a backdrop consisting of three blowups of paintings by

the German expressionist Max Beckmann.

Strong ticket sales in a few major markets have resulted in some multiple

dates. But in Atlanta this week, sales for the only concert were low until

upper-level seats were reduced from $22.50 to $12.96. "This is not about

money," he says, taking note of the economy. "If I was going to sit around and

wait for the right time to make money, I'd never tour."

Mellencamp aims to give fans what they want, and if that means calling up

old hits such as "Hurts So Good" and "Jack And Diane" night after night, he'll do it.

"I understand what fans expect," he says. "You don't have to play the

hits, but you do have to respect what people expect."

Except in the movies, that is. Although Mellencamp plays a country singer in

"Falling From Grace," which co-stars Mariel Hemingway and was written by

novelist Larry McMurtry, he doesn't sing onscreen. In fact, his only

contribution to the soundtrack, also set for release in February,, is "Sweet

Suzanne," a song recorded with a band called the Buzzin' Cousins, which

includes Mellencamp, Dwight Yoakam, Joe Ely, John Prine and James McMurtry (the

author's son).

"We'll never make an album or tour," Mellencamp says. "The soundtrack was

kind of an afterthought."

"Falling From Grace" may also be a one-time venture. "I learned from making

that movie that I really don't want an acting career," he says. "There were

days I had a lot of fun, but there were a lot of days I just said, `What the

(expletive) am I doing here? Why am I doing this?' "

Painting, it seems, comes easier, even more so than songwriting. "It took me

a few albums before I knew what I wanted to do with songs," Mellencamp says,

wincing when he recalls his 1976 debut album, "Chestnut Street Incident," and

its critical trashing.

"The painting just seems to have evolved more rapidly than my songwriting

did," he says. His first efforts about three years ago were basically portraits

in the style of the Old Masters, but his current works are expressionist.

"His portrayals, in some cases, are rather stark, but he has a unique

palette and concept. He's obviously a serious student," says Bill Crume,

general manager of the Red Piano Bar Gallery at Hilton Head. "We had a

well-received, 40-piece exhibit of his works here."

Painting seems almost an obsession for Mellencamp. "I get up early -- about

7 a.m. -- and paint every day," he says. "Two hours is nothing. I like to work

at it for six to eight hours."

Concentrating on songwriting and painting has made it easier for him to deal

with life, particularly the aftermath of his second divorce three years ago.

"Just being able to direct my energy into a positive outcome is much better

than getting mad and tearing up stuff," he says. "Plus, I've got a nice

girlfriend who's been living with me for two and a half years and we've been

getting along great."

He gives a resigned shrug when asked about the possibility of a third

marriage. "I'm a no-good so-and-so when it comes to that. I ain't cut out for


He has little use for today's image-conscious music industry.

"The music business is really dead as far as I'm concerned. Celebrity is the

art form that's desired right now. Look at M.C. Hammer -- and I'm not putting

him down because he's a nice guy -- but he's a P.T. Barnum type, a salesman,

and that's what it's all about. It's all dancers and big-budget videos.

"I don't care to be a part of that and if saying that makes me an old war

horse, then so be it," he says.

"One of the reasons I'm out here now doing these shows and interviews is to

say, `Look, I ain't like those people and I never have been and I never will

be.' So if you're going to judge me by their standards, just don't bother. I

don't need it."
9  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Ask / Re: Miss missy on: October 29, 2017, 08:59:04 am
It’s about John’s ex-wife Elaine, who he affectionately called “Missy.”
10  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / All About John / Re: Comprehensive list of all non-album JM tracks on: October 14, 2017, 10:29:05 am
There’s many more:

Carolina Shag
Here Comes Angie
March of the Forgotten Seven
Did Hank Really Do It That Way (Waylon Jennings Tribute)
I Don’t Know Why I Love You (Stevie Wonder Tribute)
Wreck of the Old 97
Check it Out (LJ tour)
A Ride Back Home (Pete Seeger Tribute)
If I Had a Hammer (Pete Seeger Tribute)
Allentown (Billy Joel Tribute)
Two bonus songs on Sad Clowns and Hillbillies

Those spring to mind off the top of my head. I’m sure there’s more.
11  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Tour Talk / Wisconsin State Fair Review on: August 06, 2017, 11:57:03 pm
Righteous Mellencamp rocked the State Fair
By Molly Snyder

John Mellencamp, the artist formerly known as Johnny Cougar, John Cougar and John Cougar Mellencamp, is definitely at home in the heartland. Tonight, he played for 100 minutes on the Main Stage at the Wisconsin State Fair.

Mellencamp, who is now 65 and still resides in Indiana, is on his "Sad Clowns & Hillbillies" tour, with Carlene Carter, through Sept. 3. The tour promotes his new album (with many contributions from Carter) of the same name that was released in April but, of course, is also a retrospective of his rock 'n' roll anthems.

"We're gonna do some songs you know, some songs you don't know, some songs you can sing along to and some songs you can dance to. We're gonna do all kinds of songs tonight," Mellencamp told the audience a few songs into the show.

Indeed, he – and his band of six – followed through with that promise. The crowd sang along with "Small Town," "Rain on the Scarecrow," "Crumbling Down," "Pink Houses" and "Cherry Bomb." There was even a little dancing at times (good job, often-sedentary Milwaukeeans) and offbeat-but-passionate maraca playing by a fervent fan in front of us.

An acoustic version of "Jack & Diane" was particularly appreciated by the crowd. He told us that he wrote the song in 1980 sitting in his room and listening to, then joining in, "some activity" in the next room.

"That 'activity' seemed a lot more interesting than anything going on in my room, and so by 2:30 in the morning, both activities were complete, including this song," he said. "I don't even know why I play this anymore. I guess it's because I know you folks wanna hear it."

Some fans were less enthused with new tune, "Easy Target," a political ballad that critiques income inequality in America and praises the Black Lives Matters movement. A few fans left after that song and others yelled out "you need a shot" and "this is a Liberal's song!"

Mellencamp and his band, dressed in black suits and white shirts, looked and sounded great. Mellencamp's raspy voice was every bit as powerful as it was on his studio albums. A bluesy, soulful, version of "Stones In My Passway" showcased the strength of his voice.

Since he entered the music scene in 1976, Mellencamp collected 22 Top 40 hits and was nominated for 13 Grammy Awards, winning one. He is also known for co-organizing the first Farm Aid benefit concert with Neil Young and Willie Nelson in Champaign, Illinois in 1985. As of 2017, Farm Aid concerts have raised over $50 million for struggling family farmers.

This was a bucket list show for me. Although more a fan of "alternative" music during the MTV days when Mellencamp first made his musical mark, so many of his songs are deeply engrained in my psyche and would definitely belong on the Generation X Soundtrack, if there ever was one.

Show opener Carlene Carter performed on numerous songs with Mellencamp. Carter, who is the daughter of the late June Carter Cash and the stepdaughter of the late Johnny Cash, told a variety of charming and heartfelt quips and stories in-between songs.

"My mama told me I couldn't have sex until I was married, and so I got married," she said. "A lot."

Carter was romantically linked to Howie Epstein, a Milwaukee native and longtime bassist for Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers who died from a heroin overdose in 2003. "I will always have a special place in my heart for Milwaukee because of Howie," she said. "He's on tour with the angels and I'm on tour with y'all."


Lawless Times

John Cockers

Minutes to Memories

Small Town

Stones in My Passway

Pop Singer

Check It Out

Jack & Diane

Grandview (with Carlene Carter)

My Soul's Got Wings (with Carlene Carter)

Easy Target

Overture (Mellencamp's violin player accompanied by an accordionist)

Rain on the Scarecrow

Paper in Fire

Crumblin' Down

Authority Song (with Land of 1000 Dances interlude)

Pink Houses

Cherry Bomb
12  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Tour Talk / Seattle Show Review and Photos on: June 12, 2017, 11:31:27 pm
John Mellencamp Opens Marymoor Concert Season
By Mocha Charlie
June 12, 2017

John Mellencamp is currently on an extensive US tour that runs through September, bringing along tour mates Carlene Carter and Emmylou Harris to open the shows. They stopped at Marymoor Park last week, opening up their summer concert series. After a morning filled with scattered showers, the rains subsided prior to the show, making for a pleasant night filled with music and dancing under rainbows engulfed by a cool summer breeze. 

Mellencamp has an extensive music career dating back to the age of fourteen. At the age of twenty five, his then management team had said that his given last name would be too hard to market, so he took the name John Cougar for his eponymous debut EP. He added his born name of Mellencamp to the mix in 1983, releasing his seventh studio album, Uh-Huh, and finally dropped “Cougar” altogether in the early nineties. By that time, fans were on board with his music, and regardless of the name he chose to market, his fan base was growing, and so was his career.

Playing roughly twenty hit songs from his catalogue, including a few from his recently released twenty-third studio album, “Sad Clowns & Hillbillies,” Mellencamp kept fans entertained behind his guitar and the mic. Carlene Carter joined him on stage for a few songs, including a duet of Pink Houses.” He told stories in between songs that brought shouts and laughs from within the crowd. “I know what I was doing… You guys don’t,” he joked, prior to performing a solo acoustic version of his most successful single, “Jack & Diane.” His long time friend and guitarist, Mike Wanchic, has been with him for over forty years, “There is no past, because the past is always with you,” quipped Mellencamp. He and Wanchic have an extensive past, and he said the only thing that’s really changed for them is they take plenty of naps because “you never hear of people dying in their naps.”  He has had his fair share of hit songs that still burn deep in the hearts of die-hard fans, and they continue to support his career, coming out by the thousands when he plays his live performances.
13  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Ticket & Tour Questions / Re: Sad Clowns & Hillbillies Tour Ticket Questions on: June 07, 2017, 12:24:16 am
Does Lily and Madeline have their own opening act set or do they just accompany Carlene Carter during her opening set?

They just accompany Carlene and then join John for 5-6 songs. Read their insights on the tour here:
14  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Ask / Re: Can't Find Sat Night Live Performance 4/10/82 on: May 15, 2017, 11:30:45 am
I tried to upload this myself a year or so ago and it was blocked immediately. That's why it isn't on YouTube. Let me see if I can get it on Vimeo.
15  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / All About John / Re: Sad Clowns album reminds me of.... on: May 03, 2017, 02:19:23 pm
Very astute. I made the exact same correlation.
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