John Mellencamp Community
December 04, 2023, 09:22:49 pm *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
News: Visit's NEWS section for all of the latest updates!
  Home Help Search Login Register  
  Show Posts
Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 19
1  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Ask / Re: Tour ticket stubs? on: August 31, 2015, 02:46:42 pm
If you are still looking I'd be happy to copy some for you. I'll even throw in some John Mellencamp ones!

You can contact me at [email protected]  
2  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Tour Talk / Re: 1984 - Birmingham Alabama on: August 31, 2015, 02:42:59 pm
What a beautiful story and yes, life often offers many 2nd opportunities!
3  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Photos / Re: Favorite Farm Aid photo on: May 27, 2015, 07:51:38 am
Thanks, and agreed it was so special!
4  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Tour Talk / Re: Toronto Review on: May 27, 2015, 07:42:45 am
The show is great Mike, you won't be disappointed.  John's sounding great and the band, as always, is very tight and performing at 100%!
5  MELLENCAMP.COM ANNOUNCEMENTS / Ticket & Tour Questions / Re: set list for evansville indiana show on 5/27/2015 on: May 27, 2015, 07:36:41 am
Should be the same as the other shows on the previous 3 legs. To my knowledge no set lists changes have been made on any shows thus far. There is a set list on this forum already from one of the early shows.  Try this:
6  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Video & Audio / Carnegie Hall NYC April 20/15 Fan Video on: April 21, 2015, 08:13:45 am
Great fan video of "If I Die Sudden" from last night's concert (1st of 4 in NYC this week) at Carnegie Hall.
7  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Tour Talk / Re: Great fan video from Ft Lauderdale show! on: April 04, 2015, 09:27:57 am
My pleasure.  And yes, you heard correctly.   Wink

Hey thanks for posting these, great videos indeed. Is it me or did John forget the lyrics at the beginning of ''Cherry Bomb'' LOL, can't wait to see him next month.
8  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Tour Talk / Re: Great fan video from Ft Lauderdale show! on: March 20, 2015, 08:14:40 am
And this posted today - a great video of Cherry Bomb by the same fan at the Ft. Lauderdale concert.
9  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Tour Talk / Great fan video from Ft Lauderdale show! on: March 19, 2015, 07:37:23 am
This is one of the best quality fan videos so far! - from the Ft. Lauderdale show Mar. 17th, at the Au-Rene Theater at Broward Center For The Performing Arts and shot by 'datflys'.  Easily found on YouTube but here's the link to "Pink Houses".
10  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Articles / Re: Five-Star Cleveland Concert Review on: February 04, 2015, 05:16:28 pm
Nicely done - the great reviews just keep rolling in!
11  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Articles / Toronto Sun Review - Massey Hall show Nov. 11/14 on: November 12, 2014, 10:36:59 pm
Ghost Brothers musical more hokey than spooky
By Jane Stevenson, Toronto Sun

TORONTO - Where to begin with the Ghost Brothers of Darkland County?

How about, as one of the lead characters, a modern day blonde hottie named Anna, says: “This place is weird. ... I want to get out of here!”

The touring production of the Southern Gothic-inspired musical co-written by literary horror master Stephen King and heartland rocker John Mellencamp pulled into Massey Hall for one night on Tuesday with a half-full house to greet it.

Not an early good sign.

Still, given the combined pedigree of its creators —  T. Bone Burnett also came on board to provide “musical direction” — you’d be right to have high expectations but be ultimately disappointed.

Despite consistently solid folk-roots-rock music from Mellencamp, who also provided the initial story idea about two feuding brothers in 1967 who fall for the same woman before the trio’s death leads to them haunting a southern lakeside cabin occupied by a modern-day family with two brothers fighting over another woman, this is one messy, rambling show with nary an intentional scare in sight.

My advice to Mellencamp would have been to just turn it into an album and not even bother King about collaborating on a musical.

First launched in 2012 in Atlanta with a touring production that followed in 2013, I’m sure there has been some retooling of King’s overlong, tangental story that sees 16 cast members share the stage the entire night along with four great sounding musicians who also play in Mellencamp’s band - guitarist Andy York, drummer Dane Clark, bassist Jon E. Gee and keyboardist-harmonica player Troye Kinnett.

But it clearly wasn’t enough reworking.

Staged as an old-time radio show on a barebones stage, the cast — led by Billy Burke of Twilight fame and Gina Gershon as the modern-day family's patriarch and matriarch, Joe and Monique McCandleless — never leave except for a 15-minute intermission.

Instead they all sit on wooden chairs in a semi-circle as they take their turns to get up and perform at a microphone.

It’s not that inventive and having to stare at the other actors while they sit there looking bored or downward just isn’t a great visual to present.

Then there’s the devil, or as he’s called The Shape, as played by Jake La Botz like he’s working a room in the Catskills bathed in red light and twirling a cane.

The lighting on the ghosts is white, just in case you don’t get they are not from this world.

It’s all pretty hokey.

Much better is Jesse Lenat as the Zydeco Cowboy, a Steve Earle-soundalike who is the musical’s narrator; big voiced singer Eric Moore as another ghostwho wascaught in the collateral damage and sets himself apart from everyone else in the cast on the standout number Tear This Cabin Down; and Zac Ballard as Young Joe, who is given little to do but excells vocally when he does.

Of the big names, neither Burke nor Gershon seem suited to the task at hand and I’d have shruken the entire cast by maybe half as they shout and scream at each other or merely try to get out of each other’s way.
12  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Articles / Toronto Star Review `Ghost` - Nov. 11/14 show on: November 12, 2014, 08:50:24 am
Stephen King + John Mellencamp + T Bone Burnett = bloodless ‘Ghost Brothers’
The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, the long-simmering musical-theatre piece dreamed up by Stephen King, John Mellencamp and musical director T Bone Burnett keeps plodding on towards exactly the spot you expect it to go.
By: Ben Rayner

Obviously it would be tough to hang an entire play of any sort, let alone a musical, on a story about a killer washing machine or sentient 18-wheelers running amok or a mysterious mist swarming with Lovecraft-ian nightmare beasties – although, for the record, I’ll pay good money to see each of those productions if and when they happen – but did Stephen King have to rein himself in this much?

The prolific American horror auteur’s imagination remains relatively (and, no doubt, necessarily) grounded throughout The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, the long-simmering musical-theatre piece dreamed up in tandem with heartland singer/songwriter John Mellencamp and musical director T Bone Burnett that finally made its one-off Toronto debut at Massey Hall on Tuesday night after some 15 years of on-again/off-again tinkering.

Oh, it’s got ghosts aplenty and a winkingly evil Satano-narrator doing a little extra haunting from the wings in the form of a catalytic character known only as “The Shape” realized with greasy aplomb by Chicago blues musician Jake La Botz, not to mention a fair amount of textbook-tragic onstage death.

But Ghost Brothers’ supernatural components are really just a spooky glaze over a kinda ho-hum Southern Gothic drama about two generations’ worth of battlin’ Mississippi brothers whose shared taste in femme fatales leads them to make some foolish and, yes, fatal decisions. Exceedingly familiar fatal decisions, at that.

You know where this thing is going long before any of its protagonists do, and when it finally gets there – about 45 minutes too late into a two-and-a-half-hour running time that bordered on torturous after the intermission – the twists thrown in to offset the improbable anti-climax are, well, even more anti-climactic.

It’s a Stephen King story, so you keep hoping for something more interesting to happen, maybe just that one ill-fated, bloody trip to a demonic laundromat (sorry, I have “The Mangler” on the brain tonight for some reason), but it all just keeps plodding on towards exactly the spot you expect it to go. And then on and on a bit more.

King’s script was inspired by a lakeside cabin his pal Mellencamp bought in Indiana some years ago rumoured to be haunted by two brothers and the woman they both loved. One brother was killed in a misguided attempt at William Tell-esque shotgun marksmanship, the story went, while the others swiftly followed him into the hereafter during a car crash on the frantic race to the hospital that ensued.

The plot extrapolates that sad tale from 1967 into 2007, when the two sons of the younger brother who witnessed his elder siblings’ demise 40 years ago arrive at the same cabin warring over a shared lady love of their own, with their parents – played in the current Ghost Brothers touring production by Twilight alumnus Billy Burke and Gina Gershon in white-trash drag left over from Killer Joe – not far behind and hoping to avert a similar fate for their own children.

Unbeknownst to all of them, everything they do is being watched by the three phantoms left over from the original tragedy and the ghost of a caretaker played by Eric Moore, whose character appears to exist solely to throw some big-voiced gospel gusto behind the pivotal anthem “Tear This Cabin Down.”

That’s how it goes, though. The plot is often just a plank for Mellencamp’s rootsy tunes, brought to life from stage right by a fine band featuring guitarist Andy York, drummer Dane Clark, upright-bassist Jon E. Gee and keyboardist Troye Kinnett while the entire, 16-member cast moves to and fro upon a bare-bones stage delivering their lines without set or props.

They’re pretty Mellencamp-y, those tunes, and some of them – the lingeringly mortal “And Your Days Are Gone,” in particular – are very good. Others, such as the forcedly uplifting closing chorale “Truth,” feel a bit too much like Mellencamp trying to pretend he’s not writing big musical-theatre numbers while doing exactly that.

Good or bad, he and King have crammed an awful lot of those songs into an already overburdened theatrical sprawl that didn’t need the padding. They’ve been hacking away at this thing for a decade and a half, so why stop now? Another edit or two wouldn’t hurt The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County because, tightened up, it’d be a fine way to kill an evening. And, hey, who knew Gina Gershon could sing?

Bring back the gore, though. It spewed and flowed freely during the original Ghost Brothers production debuted at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre in 2012, but it’s entirely imaginary here, despite King’s assertions to this writer a couple of weeks back that there would be “a lot of blood.”

Sigh. C’mon, guys, throw the horror crowd a bone. Doing it radio-play style is noble on an artistic and conceptual level and all that, but a little splattering plasma wouldn’t hurt the payoff, y’know? Just sayin’. . .
13  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Articles / Ghost with the Most - Post City Magazine article Toronto on: November 11, 2014, 07:18:44 pm
Ghost with the Most: Stage, screen star Gina Gershon in town for creepy musical
By Ron Johnson

What do you get when you combine the considerable creative and mildly creepy talents of Stephen King, John Mellencamp and T Bone Burnett? The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, apparently. And, it’s here for one night only at Massey Hall on Nov. 11. Added bonus: It co-stars Gina Gershon, who we caught up with a few days before she started rehearsals.

So tell us about The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County.

It’s Stephen King. It’s John Mellencamp. It’s a ghost story about telling the truth and how you’ll end up in purgatory, I suppose, if you don’t. It’s a southern gothic ghost story with southern rock. It should be interesting.

And you play Monique. How would you describe her?

She’s the matriarch of the family. She likes to drink, so that’s fun. Fun to play.

What did you do to prepare for show? Have you seen it?

Oh, I don’t like seeing shows. I don’t like listening to them, anything like that. I’ve just been playing with the dialogue and learning my songs. But I’m excited. I love John and T Bone, and I’ve been a Stephen King fan forever. It’s a very interesting trio.

Although we know you best from film and TV, your roots are theatre. What first attracted you to the stage?

Oh yeah, that’s all I used to do. That’s what first attracted me — the stage. Back then, I used to do a movie every now and then just to keep doing theatre. I started a theatre company, Naked Angels, and was pretty involved with everything. It was fun. None of us could get a job at the time, so we just started our own so we’d have a place to go at night and act. Theatre is, you know, it’s fun. There is nothing like live theatre.

You also have a kids’ book called Camp Creepy Time, so you’re no stranger to ghost tales. What makes for a good scary story?

I love ghost stories and I just love being scared. But, you know, it always has to be psychological — that’s the key. Not necessarily blood and guts and gore. If movies like The Shining, Rosemary’s Baby or The Exorcist are on TV, I can’t turn it off, even if it’s at five in the morning. They are so brilliant.

Have you spent much time in Toronto?

Oh yeah, I’ve spent a lot of time there. I’ve made several movies there, a miniseries, gone to festivals. I’m no stranger to Toronto. It’s too bad we’re only there one night. The last time I was there was for Killer Joe (with Matthew McConaughey) at the festival.

What’s next for you in the coming months? I noticed the movie Mall will be release here in Canada soon, which also looks kinda terrifying.

Oh it is? That’s great. Yeah, I do these little movies, and they’re great, but I always get emails saying that they are finally going to be released and I’m like, ‘OK, which movie was that again?’
14  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Articles / Toronto Sun article - November 7th/14 Ghost Bros. Premiere on: November 08, 2014, 01:06:05 pm
Stephen King Going As Fast As He Can
Legendary author talks 'Ghost Brothers,' his new book 'Revival' and what he'd like to do with his epic 'Dark Tower' series
Mark Daniell - QMI Agency for TO Sun

At 67, author Stephen King is showing no signs of slowing down. This month alone he has the new book Revival – a Frankenstein-inspired horror – as well as the touring production of Ghost Brothers of Darkland County – a musical he developed with rocker John Mellencamp.

Earlier this year, King released Mr. Mercedes – his first detective novel – which came mere months after Doctor Sleep, his sequel to The Shining. If you add in his paperback-only Joyland, King has written four novels in less than two years.

Oh, and then there’s his screenplay for his newly-released dark drama A Good Marriage, based on a short story from Full Dark, No Stars.

"I know it seems like a lot of stuff, but it’s just in the last year-and-a-half that I’ve had several good ideas," King chuckles down the line from his home in western Maine. "I'm not overflowing with ideas like I was when I was 27, when they were all trying to escape my head at the same time. But I think I’m doing well if I’ve got one or two ideas ahead of me."

While King has had a steady hand when it comes to the worlds of literature and film, he was less sure about doing a musical, even if it was with Mellencamp.

Ghost Brothers (at Toronto’s Massey Hall Nov. 11) was over a decade in the making and King had reservations when he was asked to get involved.

"John got in touch with me in January of 2000," King recalls. "We had a mutual friend who told me, 'John would like to talk to you about an idea he has for a play.' I remember hearing that and thinking, ‘Okay, great. This'll be a loser.'"

But it was John Mellencamp, whom King says he respects, so he took the meeting.

The idea came from a story the Jack and Diane singer learned about at his cabin in Indiana.

"He'd heard about the cabin being haunted," King says. "The story was there were these two brothers who fancied the same girl. They were playing William Tell to show off to her and one brother shot the other in the head and killed him. The surviving sibling and the girl sped off, but smashed into a tree and they were killed also.

"So all three of them died; it was a clean sweep."

Mellencamp wanted to expand the idea into a southern gothic, Tennessee Williams-like play – with music.

King did an outline – which follows two sets of battling brothers – with Mellencamp sending CDs back to Maine. "He had caught the spirit of what I was writing and I got really excited," King says. "We fed each other."

Little by little, the play developed, he adds. "We took it to New York and got a chance to hear actors say the words and sing the parts and I got goosebumps."

Producer T Bone Burnett was brought in to help refine Ghost Brothers' musicality.

"When John came to me I said, 'John, I've never written a musical!' And he said, 'Steve, I've never written a musical either... we'll teach each other.'"

T Bone Burnett, John Mellencamp and Stephen King. Photo: Kevin Mazur

So while the project was out of King’s wheelhouse, he liked the idea of collaborating on an artistic endeavour that could develop organically. By the time it premiered in Atlanta in 2012, they had a play that scared audiences a little bit.

But before the decision was made to take the production out on the road, King was adamant that Ghost Brothers be something that could be mounted in "big towns and small towns," he says.

"I don't like Broadway productions that are these huge, multi-million dollar special effects events. Those are more like rides at Disney World than what I think of as the theatre. I wanted something that could be performed in Iowa or Toronto... that's what we have now."

The touring production of Ghost Brothers features Billy Burke (Twilight) and Gina Gershon (Bound).

King is already looking ahead to next year, with Finders Keepers (the sequel to Mr. Mercedes) out in June.

"And in the fall of 2015 there will be a new collection of stories called The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, which'll collect about 20 short tales. It should be a pretty fat book."

Fans can also expect to see King's own big screen adaptation of his apocalyptic novel Cell (with John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson, who also starred in an adaptation of King’s 1402). "I've seen early cuts for it and it’s really scary," he promises.

In the not too distant future, King says he'd like to revisit his seminal Dark Tower series and possibly write one more addition to his fantasy epic.

"The one thing that is missing in the books is The Fall of Gilead," he says.

"But I'd like to go back to all of them and revise the whole series because it’s really one book. I’m delighted people loved them, but I think of those books as a rough first draft of a very long novel. I’d like to go back and rewrite 'em all."

So it's literally, pedal to the metal.

"The thing is I feel really good now. For a long time I didn't because of my accident in 1999. A guy hit me with his van and it was a slow recovery. But once I started to feel good again, I started wanting to write again.

"It's been a productive time for me."
15  MELLENCAMP DISCUSSION / Articles / "Ghost Brothers" Toronto Life Article - Nov. 7/14 on: November 07, 2014, 06:33:05 pm
Go see a haunting new musical by John Mellencamp and Stephen King

Like all great ghost stories, this one begins with a haunted house. In 1996, John Mellencamp, the singer-songwriter known for twangy ’80s power rock, bought a lake house in Indiana. When the owners mentioned the place happened to be haunted, Mellencamp was curious. He did some digging and discovered the story of two feuding brothers who’d lived there back in the ’30s; after fighting over the same girl, one brother crushed the other’s skull with a fire poker. As Mellencamp got used to the creepy rhythms of the house—mysterious cigar smells, flickering lights, strange noises—he started imagining a spooky, sinister musical inspired by the tale.

Ghost Brothers of Darkland County is as mythic as its source material, a theatrical pipe dream that took 13 years to come to fruition. In 2000, Mellencamp called up horror maestro Stephen King to write the libretto. They agonized over the songs and script for a decade, then brought in T-Bone Burnett, the roots-rock titan responsible for O Brother, Where Art Thou and Crazy Heart, as musical director. In 2012, the triumvirate released an album featuring stars like Elvis Costello, Neko Case, Rosanne Cash, Kris Kristofferson and Sheryl Crow—a parade of shadowy honky-tonk melodies and goosebump-inducing sound effects.

In the stage version, which hits town for one night only next week, the action has been transplanted to a family cabin in Mississippi. It’s less a play than a live rendition of an old-timey radio show, one that blends King’s atmospheric terror, Mellencamp’s hummable tunes and Burnett’s southern Gothic patina into a theatrical experience that’s as haunting as the ghosts onstage.

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 19
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.10 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!




Email Updates! Home Powered by BubbleUp,Ltd. John Mellencamp on John Mellencamp on Wikipedia John Mellencamp on John Mellencamp on John Mellencamp on John Mellencamp on John Mellencamp on John Mellencamp on John Mellencamp on