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 on: December 03, 2016, 06:45:32 am 
Started by racketeer - Last post by racketeer
I was listening to "Whenever We Wanted To" and I smiled when I
heard "Love and Happiness" for the thousandth time. Hidden in the
excerpt was a "good morning" greeting for the love of his life.
John Mellencamp has roots in his own mind and it's boss. It's a
pleasure to see it. "Last Chance to Get up" is a further greeting!
"I feel nothing, I feel no pain, I feel no joy, no hurt inside...I only
have myself to blame... I see that the world passed me bye..."
Which of course, is a nineties type of blues...and reaching out for his princess, with his own words, "I can't stand alone", and " sharing and caring" enough to make clear that "Now More Than Ever" the world
needs l.u.v...and shady but clear are some of his classic and beautiful
"Get a Leg Up" though, precedes its goodbye themes with a song about
a highfalutin' mama who wants a good time, to his kind
of get a smile at his fast erosion..."keep yourself protected"...yeah...
Now "So Tough" is a beautiful love song about how he feels about
people who keep you running in circles while they walk around in a high
society beat..."They like to make you feel little, they like to make you
feel small..." and how "... " I'm not getting down on my knees..."
"Can you throw me a crumb now and then..."...
Yeah yeah yeah! " To hell with them!" So Tough.
Whatever his moonshadow was at the time, and where it took him in later
years, is just a tribute to his genius and the freakin' size of his work.
I'm satisfied. I really, really am.  I only mean well and can deal with any the end of the day, you have no choice but to take responsibility
for what you do.

 on: December 02, 2016, 11:20:35 am 
Started by kicker - Last post by TonyBClubManager
How about some new news regarding taping and the release of the DVD recorded in October in Chicago and the new album that he said is being released in February? So disappointing than when you click on this website there is not much or next to nothing.  I know there are other means to get updates but check out other websites.....from similar genres and age artists and you get much more anticipation

There is no official information for us to share/post yet on either of those topics, yet. Details should be coming in next month or two on the new album. The Chicago taping doesn't have any release or plan tied too it, JM wanted to document the tour and then see what the results look like.

 on: December 01, 2016, 09:49:24 am 
Started by kicker - Last post by dusty947
How about some new news regarding taping and the release of the DVD recorded in October in Chicago and the new album that he said is being released in February? So disappointing than when you click on this website there is not much or next to nothing.  I know there are other means to get updates but check out other websites.....from similar genres and age artists and you get much more anticipation

 on: December 01, 2016, 09:13:31 am 
Started by kicker - Last post by TonyBClubManager
Will there be a US tour in the future, my wife and i happened to catch it in Providence R.I a couple of years ago ''has it been that long'' and thought the whole production was spectacularly good, especially John's songs. We would gladly pay good money to see it again, might even bring a few folks along.

John has said in interviews that the next move for Ghost Brothers is London's West End. So that's where the focus is now. We are unsure when GB might appear again in North America.

 on: November 29, 2016, 09:29:02 am 
Started by kicker - Last post by kicker
Will there be a US tour in the future, my wife and i happened to catch it in Providence R.I a couple of years ago ''has it been that long'' and thought the whole production was spectacularly good, especially John's songs. We would gladly pay good money to see it again, might even bring a few folks along.

 on: November 22, 2016, 09:42:04 pm 
Started by walktall2010 - Last post by walktall2010
Older Mellencamp brings audience back to youth
By John Papendick Aberdeen

At 65, John Mellencamp still is fighting authority.

This time, the Midwestern singer seems to be winning unlike his lyrics “I fight authority and authority always wins.”

Most older touring rock stars, who sing to us graying Baby Boomers the songs of our youth, charge hundreds of dollars for us to listen to their hits.

But Mellencamp is different. He is who he said he was in another of his hit songs: “Never wanted to be no pop singer, Never wanted to write no pop songs.”

Like the story he told of his aging grandmother who lived to be 100 but has since died. She was active until her last months.

Always called “Buddy” by his grandmother, he was by her side in bed one day when she wanted to pray. Deep into the prayer holding Buddy’s hand, grandmother said something like, “Me and Buddy are ready to meet you in heaven.”

Mellencamp interrupted his set Nov. 2 in Sioux Falls to jokingly tell his grandmother that he couldn’t go with her because he still had some sinning to do on earth. She said it was just like her Buddy to mess up a prayer.

She told him he eventually would learn that “life is short, even in its longest days.” Any songwriter would love to have relatives who give them the gift of words like those.

“I’m no day at the beach,” Mellencamp later would tell us. But then, who amongst us are?

Mellencamp has a lot of hits from which to choose. And he sang a number of them, mixed in with other selections from his wide-ranging category of songs along with some very cool jazz and blues.

Even when he went to his hits, his talented teammates who make up his band would do intros so you didn’t know the hits were coming. At least that was the case for me.

And it seemed like he changed up some of his chart-topping songs as well at the Mary W. Sommervold Hall of the Washington Pavilion.

That was different as well. It was fun to see a famous singer in an intimate, gorgeous setting of 2,000 fans rather than a huge, bland arena or mammoth, sterile outdoor stadium of tens of thousands.

In one night, most big acts who still can fill intimate settings, huge arenas or mammoth stadiums are trying to fit in all their hit songs the way their fans remember them. I love those kind of acts.

But on a night when the Chicago Cubs were winning Game 7 of the World Series (we still got to see the ninth and 10th innings), Mellencamp was winning over a group of his fellow Midwesterners.

It is something he has been doing his whole career, and in his own way. I’ve always seen Mellencamp as a bit of a rebel, and the rebellion continues.

Mellencamp couldn’t help but taking the paths less traveled in the small Indiana town where he grew up. It led him to helping, sticking up and singing out for the underdogs in life like farmers. Thus leading some adult fans wearing the FFA jackets of their youth to see him in Sioux Falls.

I would have worn mine, but it doesn’t fit anymore. Still, this night of my youth fit me just fine.

 on: November 22, 2016, 01:36:15 am 
Started by walktall2010 - Last post by walktall2010
Ex- Mellencamp drummer Kenny Aronoff writes about 'Sex, Drums, Rock 'n' Roll'
Musician revisits chart-topping era of John Mellencamp's band
By David Lindquist

In his new autobiography, "Sex, Drums, Rock 'n' Roll," Kenny Aronoff pulls back the curtain on the dangers of being a Hoosier rock star in the 1980s.

Aronoff writes about the time John Mellencamp survived a motorcycle crash one week before the recording of breakthrough album "American Fool." Toby Myers, who played bass in Mellencamp's band from 1982 to 1998, lost a toe in a boating accident during an East Coast tour. In an episode that parallels music movie "Almost Famous," the entire Mellencamp entourage could have died when a charter plane lost power between Miami and Biloxi, Miss.

And everyone in the band was required to participate in a fall pastime known as the Mellencamp Football League. No pads, full contact, highly competitive.

But there's more than misadventure detailed in "Sex, Drums, Rock 'n' Roll," which arrived in bookstores Nov. 15. Aronoff, the drummer in Mellencamp's band from 1980 to 1996, mostly writes about an unyielding mission to succeed.

"We weren’t the best rock ’n’ roll band in the world," Aronoff said in a phone interview. "We made ourselves great by hard work."

Mellencamp, who sold 16 million albums from 1982 to 1987, maintained regular rehearsal hours for the musicians: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., interrupted by a 5-7 p.m. break, five days a week when the band wasn't on tour.

Before the Seymour native renovated a Brown County house into Belmont Mall studio, Mellencamp worked at "The Bunker," a cramped, concrete room in rural Bloomington that once was a dog kennel.

Those were days, Aronoff said, when the musicians grasped for the secret of making hit records. They took a field trip to catch a date of Bruce Springsteen's "The River" tour. They studied Tom Petty's "Damn the Torpedoes" album for tips on arranging songs.

Mellencamp, known then as John Cougar, had written a song called "Jack & Diane." It wasn't working, however, as anything other than a stripped-down solo acoustic tune.

"We knew it was a cool song, but we didn’t know what to do with it," Aronoff said.

Working at Miami's Criteria Studios with producer Don Gehman, the Mellencamp crew heard the Bee Gees experimenting with an early drum machine, the Linn LM-1 Drum Computer, in a nearby room.

Aronoff said Gehman borrowed the Linn "out of desperation" for a potential fix for "Jack & Diane."

"I was insulted," Aronoff said. "I grabbed the thing out of anger and said, 'At least I want to have control over this thing.' "

Aronoff programmed the hand-clap beat heard during the first half of the song, and he added the distinctive midsong solo on conventional drums. "Jack & Diane" reached No. 1 on Billboard magazine's Hot 100 chart in October 1982.

An Indiana University graduate who grew up in western Massachusetts, Aronoff has increased his musical stature since exiting Mellencamp's band 20 years ago.

He has toured with John Fogerty, Melissa Etheridge and the Smashing Pumpkins. Aronoff played drums on studio recordings by dozens of acts, including Trey Anastasio, Kelly Clarkson, Tony Iommi and Brian Wilson.

Indianapolis producers Marc Johnson and Eric Klee Johnson, twin brothers who own Pop Machine studio, have hired Aronoff for multiple recording sessions.

“He makes any project he’s involved with a lot better,” Marc Johnson said. “He brings an energy and a positivity that just enhances everybody’s attitude and performance in the room, like no other person I’ve ever been in the room with.”

“You also have a feeling that what you’re doing has weight and importance,” Eric Klee Johnson said. “You feel like you’re embarking on something special with him there. We learn so much from him. It’s like having another record producer on the project.”

Aronoff said writing "Sex, Drums, Rock 'n' Roll" ranks as "one of the most challenging experiences of my life.”

Working with author Jake Brown, Aronoff said he dedicated 14-hour days to the book. To piece together his story, the 63-year-old relied on daily planners he had saved since 1977.

"I notated everything I had to do with the music business, and some personal life," Aronoff said. "So there it was. It was all laid out in front of me."

"Sex, Drums, Rock 'n' Roll" features new interviews with Mellencamp, Fogerty, Etheridge, Jon Bon Jovi and Billy Corgan. The book's unofficial mantra is "I hate taking days off."

"I focused on what it takes to be successful at anything in life," Aronoff said. "What it takes to be successful and stay successful."

Executives at Backbeat Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard, told Aronoff he shared too much wisdom in the book's first draft.

"The book came in at 600 pages," Aronoff said. "They said the magic number is 300 pages."

He agreed to edit aggressively but insisted his detailed discography be included at the end of the book.

The list of recordings, Aronoff said, tells its own story of years when his schedule was a whirlwind of Nashville, Tenn. Los Angeles and New York on consecutive days and constant repeat.

"No one else will ever have a discography like this in our lifetime," Aronoff said. "The music budgets have changed. There was so much money that people could afford to fly me anywhere, any time for one song."

Today, Aronoff does most of his recording at his Uncommon Studios in Los Angeles. He plays live dates with the BoDeans and Supersonic Blues Machine.

In December, Aronoff will accompany Neil Diamond during an appearance on "The Late Late Show with James Corden." And Aronoff continues his recording and touring work with Fogerty, founder of Creedence Clearwater Revival.

If Aronoff's book depicts Mellencamp as a restless seeker of sounds, Fogerty comes across as a relentless perfectionist.

Known as a vocalist-guitarist, Fogerty practiced the drums four hours a day for 10 years. He routinely oversees concert sound checks that last longer than the actual performances.

When Aronoff began working with Fogerty in the mid-1990s, the man who wrote "Proud Mary," "Bad Moon Rising" and "Down on the Corner" insisted on tuning Aronoff's snare and preparing a blanket to muffle the kick drum.

"John Fogerty was my tech," Aronoff said.

As the recording of a single song stretched on for days, both Fogerty and Aronoff found room for improvement that invariably led to another take.

“I think I remember him smiling with a look of, ‘Oh, yeah, I can work with this guy,’ " Aronoff said. "I was just being me, and he was just being him."

In a chapter titled "Mellencamp — The End," Aronoff writes about his departure from the job that accompanied hit singles such as "Hurts So Good," "Pink Houses," "Authority Song" and "Paper in Fire."

In short, Aronoff became too in-demand as a session musician, a gig that came to be when Mellencamp focused on painting rather than music between the recording of 1989 album "Big Daddy" and 1991's "Whenever We Wanted."

By the mid-'90s, Aronoff's recording credits included work with Stevie Nicks, Shawn Colvin, Lyle Lovett, Bob Seger and Meat Loaf.

Ultimately, Aronoff said he chose to break away from Mellencamp's organization.

"That was a very heavy thing," Aronoff said. "It was like a divorce. I felt like those songs were my songs. Those beats were my beats. Those guys were my best friends. It wasn’t an easy thing to do, at all."

 on: November 21, 2016, 09:14:05 am 
Started by sjl21 - Last post by ceb101963
I too was upset that I couldn't purchase tickets in the first row.  It wasn't until I got inside the theater that I realized the reason.  I think the first 4-5 rows were available for center row ticket purchase but anything after that for quite a few rows back were blocked for purchase because that's where the camera's were located.  I'm sure you all know the show was recorded so the rows were needed so the film crew could do their job.  Yes it sucked we weren't lucky to get in on those first rows but at least I felt better about not getting them when I knew the reason.  Trust and believe I was pitching a big ole fit because I spent 3 hours on hold with TM trying to get front row seats and couldn't.  I still ended up with good seats but I'm use to getting front row to JM's shows.  BTW...the show was AWESOME! 
What I want to know is when will the DVD be available?  I know I was filmed a few times as the camera passed by and I'm curious to see if I made the cut and will be on the DVD or if I was edited/cut out of it.   Cheesy

 on: November 19, 2016, 01:13:05 pm 
Started by walktall2010 - Last post by walktall2010
The Robb Reader: John Mellencamp
Cynthia Elyce Rubin
December 1, 2013

John Mellencamp made his name in music with gritty rock songs—“Jack & Diane,” “Pink Houses,” “Small Town”—that charted the joys and struggles of ordinary Americans. Born in Seymour, Ind., a descendant of German farmers, Mellencamp has remained true to his heartland roots throughout his 26-album career. In 1985, he and fellow musicians Neil Young and Willie Nelson founded the nonprofit Farm Aid, which, driven by its annual benefit concerts, has raised more than $40 million for family farms over the years. The 61-year-old Mellencamp continues to write and perform, and he recently collaborated with author Stephen King on a musical, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, which opened in Atlanta in April. That same month, the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville debuted Nothing Like I Planned, the first museum retrospective of the rock star’s oil paintings. The multitalented Mellencamp, however, takes his widespread success in stride, always returning from his tours, exhibits, and other extravaganzas to his home near the same small town in Indiana where he grew up. —Cynthia Elyce Rubin

You are an artist, but do you collect art?
I have a very diverse collection. I’ve always been interested in portraiture, so I looked at Rembrandt. That led me to Impressionism, which I didn’t have much of a feeling for. Then I went to German painting, which has stayed with me and remains the basic foundation for what I do. Early on I bought a Max Beckmann. Matter of fact, I’ve had it so long, I can’t remember its name, but it’s a portrait of two women. I have a Chaim Soutine entitled Man with Straw Hat. There are Jack Levines. I also have works by Sam Doyle, an African-American born on St. Helena Island near Beaufort, South Carolina, whose paintings on corrugated tin reflect the culture and traditions of Southern island life. His paintings are simple, colorful, and strong. And I love faces, so I have hundreds of faces looking at me. I counted about 782 one day—paintings, sculptures, and dolls.

Any other passions?
I’m very into interior design. When I travel, I buy what I like. My home is filled with paintings and objects from any and all periods. Modern to antique and zany folk art—it’s all there. I look at what I call the “math,” or rhythm, of the room. The furniture: Is it in alignment or off-center? You design the room for what you think looks good, but you’re really doing a math problem. I look at everything that way. In a song, there are so many beats per measure, so many measures in a verse.

Tell us about your motorcycles.
I have about 25 motorcycles. Some are pieces of art. The one I enjoy the most is a custom, handmade Exile Cycle made by Russell Mitchell in Los Angeles. He’s from England, wears a spiky Mohawk, and makes the coolest bikes on the planet—low-slung, not mean but no-nonsense, clean and tough European styling. It has the speed, design, handling, and just all of it. I enjoy driving it on Indiana’s back roads.

Where do you go on vacation?
I don’t take vacations. I’m working all the time, whether it’s thinking up some song lyrics or painting. I travel so much that I’m just happy to be home, whether it’s in Indiana—at my main home outside Bloomington, near Seymour, where I grew up and my father still lives—or at my home on Daufuskie Island, a sea island between Savannah, Georgia, and Hilton Head, South Carolina. It’s a very special place, home to native islanders with their own culture and language called Gullah, descendants of black slaves from West Africa. Only 250 people live on the island, so it’s very quiet there. I have a small studio, but I don’t paint much. I like to hang out.

 on: November 17, 2016, 04:37:06 pm 
Started by sharonc - Last post by sharonc
John Mellencamp may be known as the Heartland’s storyteller, but there’s much more to the Grammy Award winner than meets the eye.

To fully explore the juxtaposition of the “American Fool” and iconoclast for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s new exhibit “Mellencamp,” appearing in the Ahmet Ertegun Main Exhibition Hall, organizers present a renaissance man who belies his “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.” artist image.

“He’s pretty complex,” Rock Hall Vice President of Collections & Curatorial Affairs Karen Herman said. “He’s an artist when you look at his work, it’s very deep with warmth, but then again there’s an edginess to him that we wanted to portray.”

The exhibit features selections from an exclusive multi-hour interview with Mellencamp, as well as more than 100 items mainly from his personal collection. The list includes a 1966 Silver Honda Scrambler 305 motorcycle, a Dove acoustic guitar performance outfits and six original paintings.

“When we were first talking about doing this exhibit, we met with Mellencamp himself,” Herman said. “We asked him, ‘Who are you?’ It really came down to he is an artist, a complete artist. Everybody knows his music, but there’s this other part of him that’s into visual arts as a painter.

“He’s had some very significant shows just with art in museums and galleries. They’re very big pieces, so to see them in person, they’re stunning.”

In terms of being wowed, Herman said that was her first reaction upon seeing the exhibit’s original handwritten lyrics to “Small Town,” “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.,” “Cherry Bomb,” “Pop Singer,” and ““Longest Days” (“Life Is Short”).”

“He has a very specific style, and I think for him, a lot of it is the poetry of his writing,” Herman said. “There’s a storytelling part of it. ‘Jack and Diane’ is a perfect example: He’s creating characters that we know very little about, but yet we know a lot about them.

“And so many people can relate to that. It’s really in his songwriting. That really hits a nerve.”

Speaking of hitting a nerve, that includes Mellencamp’s penchant for the aforementioned edginess. He wasn’t afraid to speak out about injustice and social issues. Not only is the Indiana rocker a co-founder of Farm Aid, but the 2008 Rock Hall Inductee often commented on inequality in a way that perhaps raised a few eyebrows in the Midwest.

Just think back to the video for his 1987 song “Cherry Bomb,” which featured a black man dancing with a white woman. Therein lies what Herman feels is Mellencamp’s legacy.

“He’s a rebel, and he spent a lot of time fighting,” Herman said. “He fought against that name, Cougar, and eventually became Mellencamp. I think there are a lot of those things that people will remember him for, that rebellious streak and the ability to kind of at the end really stand up for who you are.”

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Wednesdays the museum is open until 9 p.m.). Admission is $23.50 for adults, $19 for adult residents of Greater Cleveland, $21.25 for seniors (65 and older), $13.75 for youth (9 to 12) and children under 8 are free. For more information, call 216-515-8425 or visit

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