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Author Topic: Collection of '80s News Blurbs  (Read 6934 times)
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« on: March 12, 2011, 12:01:49 am »

December 18, 1987, Arlington Daily Herald:

Not in the U.S.S.R

John Cougar Mellencamp sings about being born in a small town and on Wednesday night he sang in one. Mellencamp played two free one-hour shows in Chillicothe, Ohio, population 25,000, and the audiences at the shows were composed strictly of the 5,200 people who signed petitions urging Mellencamp to come to their city. In return, they brought new Christmas toys to be donated to the needy. Although Mellencamp's songs celebrate small-town U.S.A, he's not interested in small-town U.S.S.R.

"I talked to Billy Joel (who recently toured the Soviet Union) about it and I don't think I want to," Mellencamp said before the Chillicothe shows. "For one thing, I like to eat and I heard it's hard to get burgers over there. I've been everywhere I want to go and Russia isn't one of the places I want to go." However, he will get close in January when the "Lonesome Jubilee" tour goes to Germany, Sweden, France, Holland, Switzerland and England.

May 28, 1988, Arlington Daily Herald:

Hearts were hungry for John Cougar

John Cougar Mellencamp had a special guest Bruce Springsteen join him on stage Thursday night in Irvine, Calif., for a version of Bob Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone." Two girls climbed out of the audience onto the stage and went straight for Mellencamp, but Springsteen's feelings didn't appear to be hurt. The show was the opener of the third leg of Mellencamp's U.S. tour.

July 3, 1986, Gettysburg Times

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) - Rocker John Cougar Mellencamp has returned to the resort city he vacationed in as a child.

The 34-year-old Indiana native politely declined to answer questions Tuesday, but told a reporter from The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer he's long enjoyed trips to Myrtle Beach.

Mellencamp, whose music focuses on middle-class Midwestern folks, small towns and farmers, has been friendly and willing to sign autographs, tourists and locals say. He's been seen riding the waves on a motorized surfboard and tooling around town in a vintage Chevy convertible.

Rolling Stone magazine, April 1984

John Cougar drops Dylan song

Talk about daring tours: Throughout his sold-out nationwide swing, John Cougar Mellencamp has been kicking off his shows with five songs he's never recorded, from "Heartbreak Hotel" and "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" to the Lee Dorsey chestnut, "Ya Ya." "I'm asking a lot of my audience, aren't I?" says the Indiana rocker, who professes delight with the outing so far. "It's the first time in a long time that I've walked onstage and felt good when I walked off. We sure do have a lot of fans out there." Mellencamp admits that he's had to drop his most adventurous cover, a solo acoustic version of Bob Dylan's "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll." "I was playing the second show, and some guy was standing there in an Izod shirt saying, 'We didn't care about Dylan in the '60s, and we don't care about him in the '80s.' So I kinda thought, 'Well, okay.' Nuff said.'

July 3, 1982, Indiana Gazette

Cougar plays at Flood Fest

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) Rock star John Cougar performs today for a select, non-paying audience: the youth of Fort Wayne who helped bail out the beleaguered city during a flood earlier this year.

The party is called Fort Wayne Flood Fest '82 and city officials hope most of the 20,000 volunteers who turned out in March to work can make it July 3 to play.

Teenagers thousands of them volunteered to help in March when floodwaters threatened thousands of homes and businesses..

The flood, caused by melting snow and early spring rains, forced about 10,000 people to evacuate their homes and caused an estimated $30 million in damage.

Cougar, who started life as John Mellencamp in Seymour, has a hit single, "Hurts So Good," and an album that also is doing well. He is donating his time and that of his band.

"When the kids offered to help sandbag, they had to sign waiver forms," said John Curry of radio station WMEE-FM, which is promoting the concert with the city.

From the names and addresses on the forms, the city sent out letters announcing the show, and those receiving letters can exchange them at a local ticket outlet for tickets.

Mellencamp opens up about producing Mitch Ryder's LP
March 27, 1984

Last year, John Cougar Mellencamp produced "Never Kick a Sleeping Dog," a comeback album
of sorts for Detroit rocker Mitch Ryder. The album did moderately well and had a minor hit with a cover of Prince's "Since You Were Gone."

Mellencamp has seldom spoken about the Ryder project, but during an interview to promote his latest album, "Uh-Huh," he presented his view of working with Ryder:

"I think Mitch Ryder learned a lot on this record about making mainstream rock 'n' roll. He was real afraid on this record. He was concerned about every little thing that was done, but I don't make records that way. I don't think he does, either. He approached it like it was his last chance to make a commercial record with a major record company. I told him, 'That's not true. If it sells five copies, it doesn't matter.'

'The positive thing that happened with the record is you read Mitch's name in magazines, hear it on TV. People know he's still a viable performer in the music industry. Mitch Ryder was here before me and you and will probably be here longer than me or you. He's a guy who'll go down playing.

"The record was not meant to make or break Mitch Ryder, and it didn't. For the amount of money we had to spend and his frame of mind, it turned out pretty good.

"And I really got to love Mitch Ryder as a person, even though I had to laugh at him a lot. One day he came to me and said, 'John, I think I'm going to kill myself when I turn 45. I don't want to be older than 45.' I said, 'Well, call me. I want to watch.' He said, 'Do you think I should tell my kids?' He was really serious! I said, 'No Mitch; you might change your mind.' He gets some wild ideas in his head sometimes."

Gary Graff
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