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John Mellencamp not only has a mind, but better yet, he's got a mind of his own. He's not a card carrying anything. Like my father who grew up in Oklahoma, John started out as a son of the mid-west, heir to generations of farmers who passed down ways to fight all kinds of catastrophes, both natural and man-made; first with a fist then with a voice. My father traveled a similar road in Oklahoma, learning the skills of fist-fightin and later as voice-fighting. Early on, power rested with the strongest punch.
For John, the power of the punch also transformed into the power of song.
This book is his unique tale, tracing his journey to become an international rock star, an honored songwriter, a serious painter, and a spokesman for small farmers, civil rights, and a slew of other righteous causes. It takes a fighter to achieve all of this, and fighters are often hot headed, impulsive and laser focused on their sense of right and wrong.
Their punches are meant to land and fall their opponents; Injustice, Racism, and even Capitalism itself. My father sang, "When I was a little boy, first I had to grow. Then I had to guess. Then I had to know. But I had to study fighting most of all. Someone's got to be in the fray. Someone's gotta be the one not to be afraid of anything or anyone. From a lifetime of searching for clues trying to understand what makes this world tick, it seems his mid-west roots only served to strengthen him for the job.
His tale is inspirational, prodding all of us to flex our own muscles for righteous causes, without fear or hesitation. Born October 7, in Cougar i need you, Indiana, John Mellencamp fell in love with music at an early age and was gigging in local bars and fronting a soul band by the Cougar i need you he was His manager dubbed him Johnny Cougar out of his belief that nobody would buy a record by anybody named Mellencamp.
John protested but was overruled and eventually, of course, reclaimed his birth name as his public name. In The U. Mellencamp took the music on the road with a band that many considered the best in the business, playing approximately 1, shows around the globe during the decade. InJohn's concern for the plight of the American farmer, which had been voiced in the Scarecrow album, brought him together with Willie Nelson and Neil Young in launching Farm Aid.
It became an annual event and has helped make people aware of the issues farmers face and how they affect on the entire nation. In John made his film debut, starring in and directing Falling From Grace, a modest box office success that was well received by critics. John suffered a mild heart attack while touring in in support of Dance Naked.
This forced him to take a break from his music career, but he returned strong in and released Mr. Healthier and happier, he returned to touring in and continued to write and record frequently.
He received the Billboard Century award in recognition of all that he had accomplished over the course of his career and was honored with the Woody Guthrie Award in ly, he was awarded a Grammy and had been nominated a total of 11 times. The award, subtitled "In The Souls of the People," is given to individuals who have contributed to society in the spirit of the author John Steinbeck. John was presented with the award at a program of song and conversation at San Jose's historic California Theatre in July of It was his first career-spanning collection and featured 35 of his biggest hits plus two new songs, one of which, "Walk Tall," was backed with an award-winning video that condemned discrimination.
It was followed in January of by a new studio album, Freedom's Road. It featured the hit song "Our Country. By that summer, he had already begun working on his next album. His first collaboration with producer T Bone Burnett, Life, Death, Love, and Freedom was released in Julywith John and the Mellencamp band commencing on a corresponding summer tour that included a stop in Australia in the fall. He hardly rested on his laurels with the release of Life, Death, Live and Freedom an acclaimed live disc containing most of the songs from Life, Death, Love, and Freedomand John's participation in a summer-long tour with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson.
He recorded at sequentially at historic facilities in the American South: The First African Baptist Church in Savannah, Sun Studio in Memphis, and in Room of the Gunter Hotel in San Antonio where Robert Johnson, the enigmatic blues shaman has recorded more than 70 years earlier with Mellencamp's songs recorded on a 55 year old mono tape recorder using just Cougar i need you microphone. The release of No Better Than This was preceded by a few weeks by the four-CD box set, On The Rural Route made up mainly of versions of some of his classic songs other then the well known ones in general release.
These included two particularly innovative tracks from two iconic individuals not generally associated with music recordings: race relations expert Dr. Cornel West, who dramatically recited the lyrics to "Jim Crow," and Academy Award-winning actress Joanne Woodward-John's favorite actress-who likewise provided an emotionally charged reading of the lyrics to "The Real Life.
On May 29, Republic Records announced an unprecedented "lifetime" recording contract with John. Mellencamp continues to evolve artistically with Plain Spoken—the first new music from the artist since 's critically acclaimed No Better Than This. Plain Spoken John's 22nd full length album and first release on Republic Records was released on September 23, On the strength of critical praise and high fan demand, John d the Plain Spoken Tour in April The album released on April 28, followed by an upcoming summer tour in major cities across the country.
That passion and experience resonates most beautifully in this showcase of his music. The cinematic film presents John, with his full band, performing at the landmark Chicago Theater on October 25, The Good Samaritan Tour a new live album and documentary is set to be released in July The documentary, which will be narrated by Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey, chronicles Mellencamp's historic free tour in when he performed on street corners and in public parks across the country.
Not only has Mellencamp released hundreds of original songs over his illustrious career, but he has recorded numerous celebrated covers. For as renowned as his original material remains, Mellencamp has breathed new life and spirit into various staples of the classic American musical canon as well. At present, there are 80 shows booked for John continues to focus on another facet of his artistic expression: painting.
His style has progressed over the years as evidenced by several gallery shows and published portfolios, and in recent years he has increased his output by completing over new works. He had his second solo exhibition in the Spring of in New York and had a second exhibit at the famed Butler Museum in Youngstown, Ohio from September 20th through January 19, The show is being further developed in London, though King and Mellencamp are no longer as Cougar i need you involved.
Mellencamp continues his journey as the walking embodiment of heartland rock; passionate, plain-spoken, and a self-proclaimed rebel. John has said many times in interviews that you will never meet anyone luckier than John Mellencamp.John Mellencamp - Dance Naked
He is grateful for the support of those who have enjoyed his work and career over the years. If he has any advice to offer, it is to be tenacious: John's found that far too many people quit too soon in the face of early disappointment.Hurts So Good
While his own early efforts may have been faltering, he stayed with it--and that tenacity has been rewarded with the successes that continue to the present. John Mellencamp continues to live and work in Bloomington, Indiana. No mind. No music. First Name. Last Name.
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