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October 28, 2016, 06:31:10 pm *
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 on: Today at 04:09:33 pm 
Started by sjl21 - Last post by sjl21
Wow, What a surprise!  We got to the show about 20 min before John came on. Had 5th row center, and was disappointed i could not get pit seats. When we gave them our printed tickets he told us we had to go to the ticket window for refund. We gave them the paper tickets and they gave us back regular ticket master tickets. I thought that was kinda weird. As we were walking in i looked at the tix and saw they were for the pit, row bbb (2nd row) center! Frickin awesome!!
I was told that after setting up cameras they found they didn't need the whole pit so they gave them to those who purchased the premium ticket package.. They had to bunch the seats up very close to the stage so we were very close!  Thanks to whoever did that! The show was GREAT  !

 on: Today at 10:29:37 am 
Started by jcooperdj - Last post by jcooperdj
Pulled out my RET tour shirt I got in 1999 at the Kansas City ampitheater.   It is my favorite tour shirt.   Will be on the side row 10

 on: Today at 10:23:48 am 
Started by jcooperdj - Last post by littlebastard
Getting ready to head to CoMo in a couple of hours. Got my Mellencamp t-shirt on and ready for a fun day and great night!

 on: Today at 07:55:51 am 
Started by sharonc - Last post by sharonc
Mike Wanchic will never forget a show he played in Lincoln.

The longtime guitarist with John Mellencamp, Wanchic played Farm Aid III at Memorial Stadium in 1987, a relatively routine appearance for the band of one of Farm Aid’s founders.

But on that September day in Lincoln, Mellencamp’s band also backed up Lou Reed. The short set included the Velvet Underground classic “Sweet Jane,” and, of course, Reed’s only hit, “Walk on the Wild Side.”

“I never really thought I’d be standing in front of, what does that place hold -- at least 60,000 -- playing a song about a transvestite in front of a bunch of farmers,” Wanchic said. “That was really fun.”

Wanchic and Mellencamp will be back Tuesday in Lincoln, playing at least their fourth venue here. This time, it's the Lied Center for Performing Arts.

That’s a far cry from the stadium, Haymarket Park and Pershing Auditorium. But it’s the kind of venue they’ve played more than 100 times on the “Plain Spoken” tour.

Concert halls aren’t usually associated with rock shows, but Wanchic said they’ve proven to be a perfect fit to showcase Mellencamp’s four decades of music.

“I think the whole point is trying to match a vibe we’re trying to create on stage with the room,” he said. "There’s such a treasure trove of material when you’ve done 20-some albums that you can choose from. The name of the game anymore is music and art put together. That’s the whole concept of the tour.”

And, Wanchic acknowledged, the people who come to see Mellencamp these days are often older, many of them having followed him since the 1970s and '80s.

“You want to respect your audience and not put them under a tin roof in August when it’s 150 degrees,” he said. “I’ve been there too many times.”

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But the primary reason concert halls fit this tour is musical, as Mellencamp and the band mine their catalog for some lesser heard songs, like “Lawless Times,” “Minutes to Mystery” and “Isolation of Mister,” to go along with the hits.

“There are some really cool tunes we want to play,” Wanchic said. ”You need to pay respect to every album on some level because there are memories and meaning attached to each one. I can remember hearing The Doors’ 'Light My Fire' when I was a kid in Florida walking on the boardwalk with my brother, the first time I looked at girls. You have to respect that.

"And you have to respect the hits. When Neil Young plays, I want to hear 'Old Man’ along with his new material. He did it by himself at Farm Aid. It was great.”

Wanchic, who has been with Mellencamp for 40 years, says the band unintentionally created what’s been tagged as “Heartland rock” over the course of about a decade.

“If you take it all the way back to ‘82, we kind of found our voice,” he said. “We were young, we were rockers and we were passionate about it. At the time we had two guitar players, a drummer and John, no bass player. We decided we’d make this record, just stripped down with big guitars and drums. That was ‘American Fool.' We suddenly went from fool to cool.

“When it came up to ‘Scarecrow' (in 1985), we’d used up that concept. We decided to expand and started exploring Appalachian music, country music. I brought mandolin and dobro. We hired a violin player. That’s how we came up with that Heartland sound.”

Since then, the band has largely worked inside those confines, rolling gospel and soul with the country and Appalachian sounds mixed into rock ‘n’ roll and definitely not changing to keep up with the pop of the times.

“We’re not smart enough to do that,” Wanchic said. “There’s a beauty in that. That’s what it’s all based on. John’s a real songwriter, he’s coming up with real songs with real themes and real lyrics. You have to match the music with the song.

“That’s how records should be made, not put together from a beat and going backward. I understand pop records and how they’re made and why they’re made that way. But whatever you put on a track needs to enable the lyric and the melody. That’s our concept, and we’ve lived and died by it.”

 on: October 27, 2016, 11:43:23 pm 
Started by walktall2010 - Last post by walktall2010
John Mellencamp brings hits, curiosities, some irony to EKU Center
Contributing Music Writer

“Watch out for the creepers,” sang John Mellencamp last night at the onset of an efficient and entertaining performance at the EKU Center for the Arts in Richmond. The bemused warning, part of a hapless blast of modern day paranoia and mistrust called “Lawless Times,” signaled business as usual for the Indiana rocker. His singing voice may have changed a bit with a coarser delivery that was likely the by-product of age and tobacco. But the creakiness, along with the loose, roots-driven sound of an expert band, kept the hard times from hitting too close to home. In fact, Mellencamp made himself one of the tune’s unwitting victims. “If you want to steal this song,” he sang, “it can easily be loaded down.”

The program evolved into an appealing mix of songs new and old, familiar and obscure. “Lawless Times” was one of three tunes offered from Mellencamp’s 2014 album “Plain Spoken,” a record that colored the Americana-savvy narratives that have long been trademarks of his finer compositions with a leaner, blues-leaning sound. The highlight of the trio was “The Isolation of Mister,” a personal requiem where regret and loneliness are measured by a pervasive sense of loss. “I thought happiness was a transgression,” Mellencamp sang with stoic solemnity. “I just took it as it came.”

There were also instances where the blues attitude won out, as in a version of the Robert Johnson classic “Stones in My Passway” (cut for Mellencamp’s 2003 covers album “Trouble No More”) that whittled singer and band down to a lean quartet. Curiously, as the economical roots music charge intensified, the vocals took on a near James Brown-level fervency.

The hit parade, of course, was what electrified the crowd. Patrons listened patiently as the more ragged extremes of Mellencamp’s singing triggered the very Tom Waits-like turns of “The Full Catastrophe” (a deep cut from 1996’s “Mr. Happy Go Lucky” album). But when a highly electric “Rain on the Scarecrow” revealed the full might of the band or when Mellencamp took on a solo acoustic reworking of “Jack and Diane,” the audience erupted.

The latter was performed with almost apologetic candor. “The only reason I still play this is because I know you guys want to hear it.” Playing is about all he did. Mellencamp sang a lead-in verse or two, but largely let the audience handle the vocal chores.

Some of the show’s older works have aged better than others. “Pop Singer” just needs to be jettisoned. It wasn’t that strong of a single when it hit radio in 1989. If there was any intended irony within the storyline (“Never wanted to be no pop singer”) it was lost years ago. If it was intended as something more matter-of-fact, then some explaining of the ticket prices — which topped out at more than $200 — was in order. On the flip side, “Check It Out” remained every bit the effortless everyman anthem it was when the song was released in 1987, still bolstered by an Americana flair and a surprising lyrical hopefulness that have not dimmed.

The show-stealer, though, was another sleeper, “Longest Days.” The leadoff song from 2007’s T Bone Burnett-produced “Life, Death, Love and Freedom” album, it was introduced by a touching and quite humorous remembrance of Mellencamp’s late grandmother. The song itself was pure folk poetry written — and, curiously, sung — with the directness and simplicity of a John Prine chestnut.

As a bonus, the performance sported a 45 minute opening set by Carlene Carter. The singer’s career has shifted from post-punk pop (in the late 1970s and ’80s) to mainstream country (late ’80s and ’90s) to the roots-driven Americana of the Carter Family, of which she is a third generation member. While her stage persona was often the astonishing embodiment of her late mother, June Carter Cash, the unaccompanied set was an arresting blend of Carter Family faith (“The Storms are on the Ocean”), vintage originals reflecting a surprisingly deep vocal resonance (“Easy From Now On”) and learned folk expression (“Blackjack David”). She joined Mellencamp later it in the evening to preview tunes from a collaborative album due out next year. But it was on her own that Carter merged three distinct career chapters into a single, joyous set.

 on: October 27, 2016, 07:53:13 am 
Started by walktall2010 - Last post by walktall2010
John Mellencamp and his six-piece band performed in front of a sold out crowd Thursday at the EKU Center for the Arts.

The Indiana native played a 20-song set that spanned most of his 40-year career, including some of his big hits, including Jack and Diane, Pink Houses, Small Town, Check It Out, Crumblin' Down, Rain On The Scarecrow, Cherry Bomb and Authority Song.

Mellencamp also performed two unreleased songs with Carlene Carter, who also served as the opening act for the show.

 on: October 26, 2016, 11:11:11 am 
Started by joshcarolina - Last post by joshcarolina
im ready to get down in richmond tonight, to the tune of 2nd row  Smiley ! my 40th show(40 yrs of mike wanchic , mike wanchic) so i figured i would do it right with diamond seating! ill be on mirium's side near the end dancing the night away in my 59 jersey....Again Tonight! if u see me come say hi! One Love!

 on: October 26, 2016, 07:05:08 am 
Started by Tony58 - Last post by TonyBClubManager
Oh I totally get the struggle you are having. To lose an item like that would be utterly horrible.
But... I can't imagine that they would just throw your cap away if you sent it in hopes of it to get signed. If they opened up the package and saw that you went through all this effort to send it, I don't think they'd just say "nope" and throw it out. They might as well go through and get it signed.
However, reading the instructions again on how to mail items to John is interesting, because it says, "Please do not send any item that is a one of a kind." So would your cap be one of a kind? I would ask somebody who works for John to verify what that means. The whole contact page is here:

It's a 50-50% chance with your cap. There's only one other way I can think of to get it signed. If you go to any of his shows, stay after the show by his tour busses, becuase he sometimes comes out to sign a few things. That's sorta rare, but he has done it a couple times when he's in the mood and the audience was nice to him at the show. Since he doesn't have backstage passes or any other methods to really meet him, it's pretty difficult to actually meet the man. I have tried 3 times on the Plain Spoken tour to wait for John outside the show, and he has not come. But I did meet his violin player, Miriam.
Don't lose hope, I'm sure you could meet him someday or find a way to get that cap signed. It's not like you're asking for John to sign 100 records, it's just a ball cap. At last resort, you could just send in a CD cover or something like I did and just keep it beside your ball cap to go "with it". It's still cool to have. Good luck!

We have always advocated against mailing one of a kind items to JM because sadly mistakes do happen in the mail/shipping. Items get damaged or lost. Things can get misplaced in John's office, things do happen.

It's not completely uncommon at a show to connect with someone on John's touring team and give the item to them to take back for JM to sign and have them bring it back.

 on: October 25, 2016, 11:35:36 pm 
Started by hoss13820 - Last post by Smalltownboy
I can't wait to hear it.  I love both Carleen's music and John's music.  It's going to be another great album!


 on: October 25, 2016, 11:18:49 pm 
Started by walktall2010 - Last post by walktall2010

Back in the early ‘70’s, radio was a magical place and music meant everything to so many people. Everyone was in a band or wanted to be in a band, or wanted to be a DJ, or just anything to touch the music somehow. There was a line of work that the general public never knew anything about. The guys that did this line of work were called Promo Men.

What in the world is a Promo Man? That was my first question. What did these guys actually do? There were all kinds of these guys: local, regional, national; ones that worked hard, some who barely did anything, some that just hung around and drank, and some that knew more about music than any 10 guys should know. But, the one thing they all did, was at one time or another, they all loved the music. This bunch of yahoos was willing to do anything to get what they loved on the radio, and then, through radio, reach the general public. When I say do anything, I mean they would do anything. They made deals, trading one artist against another. They promised gifts and trips and dinners, sometimes even wild, illicit, sexual parties (at least that’s what I heard). You name it, and a Promo Man could get their hands on it, if they needed to. Why… because, at the end of the day, it was for the love of music. Of course, there were egos involved, and money, and the relationships a promo guy would have with a certain artist, or the dislike of a certain artist, but even then it still came down to the music.

Jon Scott, one of the guys writing this book, was the first national promotion director that I, a 22-year-old beginner from the middle of nowhere, had ever met. He and a regional promotion director actually believed in me. Imagine that, a stranger saw promise in what I was just barely learning how to do. He believed so much… he lost his job or quit his job; over some unknown kid like me with not too good of a record, mind you; that had just been put out, that nobody else in the world even remotely believed in. Imagine that. I will always feel an attachment to Jon, although I have not seen or spoken to him in many years. I am grateful for all he taught me about the music business, about other artists and what they were doing, and how to behave in a radio station (in my case, that didn’t always take). I am grateful for the immense amount of work that he did on my behalf and others.

Promo Men…we’ll never see this kind of person again. All the good promotion guys are gone.

They all died out or got too old or moved on to someplace better. But, the work they did will not be forgotten or unnoticed, because we are still dancing and singing to the songs that these people introduced us to, through their hard work and effort, that helped shape American culture. Yes, these monkeys called Promotion Men did the business that provided the music that became the ambience and the backdrop of all our lives. They should never be forgotten.

Thank you very much, Jon Scott.

~John Mellencamp

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