As I head into smokey New York City to see John Mellencamp, I wanted to share this extended interview with the man who hates being called "the voice of the heartland."
Terrific interview. Really enjoyed it although I was never in the camp of knowing much about Mellencamp beyond his radio hits, all enjoyable and catchy. I’m not sure what to make about his persona; he comes across as a bit of a cranky old geezer but his passion and seriousness for his art (music and painting) and yearning to connect with his audience is evident. I didn’t know he painted and went to check it out. I was impressed by his evident influence by the Austrian Expressionist and obvious homage(s) to Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt. Your interview also brought out the difficulty in being a serious musician who tours relentlessly for the live gig where the lyrics and music (should) mean something beyond playing to just another packed-in beer crowd and audience chatter. I’m thinking that’s why Springsteen so coveted his solo story and performance dates. I note that Mellencamp also went from initially dismissing your conversation as just a necessary interview with an uniformed music critic to respect and real engagement. Nice work!
Wow- I read this and you have risen several steps on the pedestal Alan. He’s a curmudgeon ( imho) and you kept your cool and persisted to get a terrific interview. Kudos!!!
Hey Allan found this gem of your friend Butch
Great interview. I found this much more interesting than the actual article, though I understand why it had to be presented that way. Kudos to you for showing the rest, even the parts where he pushes back on you a bit.
That was a fantastic interview Alan. I saw him at Hara Arena in Dayton ~1984 and again at a couple of Farm Aids in Hershey (2012) & Hartford (2018). Interesting guy, and a helluva talent. You pulled some things from him I’d never heard before - thanks for sharing!
Superb interview. It seemed initially he was being his grumpy old man persona but you reeked him in. Great question. Wish it was even longer. And yeah I’m a fan of his