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Author Topic: NYE '99 Concert Preview  (Read 4789 times)
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« on: December 02, 2010, 11:47:31 pm »

Mellencamp discusses future, New Year's concert

By David Lindquist
The Indianapolis Star

INDIANAPOLIS (Dec. 31, 1999) -- John Mellencamp
planned to spend his summer tackling a 40-date concert
tour, but positive vibes and receptive audiences
stretched the itinerary to more than 80 performances
through December.

After tonight's show at Conseco Fieldhouse, the
Hoosier icon says he won't be seen onstage for awhile
-- discounting rumors of an acoustic tour in the

"I told my manager the other day, 'When these shows
are over, don't talk to me for four months. I'm going
to write and I don't want to talk to anybody,'"
Mellencamp said.

Disinterested in becoming a perpetually touring
nostalgia act, Mellencamp wants to build his song
catalog by recording studio album No. 15.

He says he has written one tune worthy of
consideration for the project, which is being outlined
as a departure from the trademark Mellencamp sound.

"I'm tired of making rock records," he said. "I want
to make a different kind of record. I want to work
with some people who will make other people say, 'Why
is he working with this person?'"

Mellencamp might even record the album in New York or
Miami rather than his Belmont Mall studio in Brown
County, where he's made every album dating back to
1985's Scarecrow.

Evidenced by his response to a question about oil
painting, Mellencamp seems to be focused on the
creation of new music.

"I've been living in this new house Elaine and I built
for about a year now, and I haven't painted one
painting," said Mellencamp, referring to his
Bloomington home and wife Elaine Irwin Mellencamp.
"I've done a bunch of drawings, but drawings take an
hour. Paintings take days. The idea of getting all the
(stuff) out, cleaning the brushes ... Then there's my
guitar, and it's already been two years since I was in
the studio."

An enthusiastic end

While Mellencamp is committed to upcoming songwriting
and studio work, his 1999 tour isn't limping to its

"Nobody's complaining, everybody's happy. This is
great," he said of a consistently light mood among
band members and crew.

Mellencamp has sported camouflage pants and a closely
cropped hairstyle at recent concerts, apparently
signifying the singer's gung-ho approach to finishing
the tour.

December performances have included Minutes to
and Get a Leg Up, two older songs that
weren't on set lists during the summer and fall.

New Year's Eve ticketholders shouldn't hold their
breath, however, for a rendition of I Need a Lover or
Ain't Even Done with the Night.

"Those songs, for me, are so ancient," Mellencamp
said. "That's like me saying to you: 'Hey, how about
producing your freshman thesis again?'"

A veteran's perspective

Mellencamp proved to be a healthy concert draw at the
end of the century, selling 13,000 tickets per tour

At the same time, he said he's grown weary of reading
and hearing about the sales performance of his 1998
album, John Mellencamp.

"Who my age is selling the amount of records they used
to?," said Mellencamp, who turned 48 in October. "What
did Tom Petty's last album sell? Half a million.
R.E.M.? Half a million. John Mellencamp? Half a
million. It's just the way it is for people our age."

These days, seven-figure album sales are reserved for
the princes of hip-hop, taut teen-agers and
self-absorbed metal acts.

"It's either your time or it's not," Mellencamp said.
"I'm definitely not in the 'It's your time' business."
« Last Edit: December 02, 2010, 11:49:57 pm by walktall2010 » Logged
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