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John Mellencamp

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NEWS
January 17, 1992 | By Tom Moon, Inquirer Music Critic
John Mellencamp had more than streetcorner theatrics on his mind when he fell to his knees during a stormy "R.O.C.K. in the USA" at the Spectrum Wednesday. His back to the crowd, Mellencamp bowed to drummer Kenny Aronoff throughout an eight-measure break, acknowledging the debt he owes this powerful engine. The crowd all but joined in, and no wonder: Aronoff and the other members of Mellencamp's assured unit were responsible for the steamiest blast of pure rock and roll the Spectrum has seen in some time.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 14, 1999 | By Jonathan Valania, FOR THE INQUIRER
Somewhere in the '90s, John Mellencamp lost his groove as a hitmaker. For years, his mid-'80s self-willed transformation from pre-packaged pop idol to earthy heartland rocker - documented in the gradual transformation of his name from John Cougar to John Cougar Mellencamp to just plain John Mellencamp - gave his career a backbeat. The more sincere he became about his image and his vision of white-picket-fence Americana, the more righteous his music sounded. But, as he sang so famously on his early '80s MTV hit "Jack and Diane," "life goes on long after the thrill of livin' is gone" - and so do careers in rock.
NEWS
January 15, 1992 | By Tom Moon, Inquirer Music Critic
John Mellencamp is sitting on a couch in his dressing room at the Pittsburgh Civic Center, explaining why he's about to go out and sing "Jack & Diane" for the zillionth time. Though he says all the predictable rock-star things - "this is Saturday night in Pittsburgh," "nobody wants to see a self-indulgent idiot" run through brand-new music - the feel of his words is sincere. "Some guy in Pittsburgh who makes $300 a week does not want to come here and not hear me play 'Jack & Diane,' " Mellencamp explains.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 11, 1999 | By Chris Rolfe, FOR THE INQUIRER
"Deserter's Songs?" Jonathan Donahue asks wearily. "I suppose the title has some personal meaning to the group. Other than that, I won't elaborate. " Mercury Rev's singer isn't the easiest person to interview, but it's all part of this mysterious band's charm. Deserter's Songs, its latest LP, once more combines haunting melodies with psychedelic spazziness. Yet the critically acclaimed new disc also flaunts numerous folk, blues and show-tune influences. The result: a highly composed, almost symphonic departure for the hiatus-prone collective, which opens for Sparkle Horse in an all-ages show at the Trocadero on Saturday.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 8, 2003 | Daily News wire services
John Mellencamp's new antiwar song "To Washington" will be on his upcoming, untitled CD due May 20. But by then, the United States might have already won its threatened war with Iraq. So, since time is of the essence, Mellencamp is negotiating with his label, Columbia Records, for the right to quickly get the song at his Web site, Mellencamp.com. A sort of update to the Woody Guthrie tune "From Baltimore to Washington," Mellencamp's lyrics attack President Bush: "He wants to fight with many/And he says it's not for oil/He sent out the National Guard/To police the world/From Baghdad to Washington.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 16, 1997 | By Faith Quintavell, FOR THE INQUIRER
John Mellencamp is a study in contrasts: a perfectionist musician who sounds offhanded, a rugged individualist who warmly allows an entire audience to participate in his show, a boyishly handsome star who isn't vain or self-conscious. He's the guy who can sing an angry anthem like "Pink Houses" and get the people who live in them to show up at his concerts and sing along with enthusiasm. It was more of this Mellencamp magic on Friday night at the Waterfront Entertainment Centre in Camden as he led his 7-piece band through nearly two hours of wall-to-wall hits.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 29, 2006 | By Dan DeLuca and David Hiltbrand INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
They do call it the Garden State, after all. So though "green vegetables" may not be the most common word-association answer to "Camden," this year's Farm Aid benefit concert will be at the Tweeter Center in the city recently named the nation's poorest and most dangerous. That means that Saturday, the Farm Aid four - Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews, who perform every year - will be spending the day in New Jersey singing on behalf of family farmers, along with Jerry Lee Lewis, Gov't Mule, Arlo Guthrie, Steel Pulse, and polka king Jimmy Sturr, among others.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 13, 1997 | By Sara Sherr, FOR THE INQUIRER
"Music should be functional. It should entertain people," says Tony Goddess, the guitarist for the functional and entertaining Papas Fritas, headlining Silk City tonight. The band's name is Spanish for french fries, but according to the 23-year-old Wilmington native, it has taken on other meanings - like a tongue-tied way of saying, "Pop has freed us. " Goddess (his real name!) sees a lot of similarities between the band's music and french fries. Because both are easy to love, people wrongly dismiss them as junk.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 26, 2011 | Associated Press
ATLANTA - Horror writer Stephen King's first play, The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County , featuring haunting melodies by rocker John Mellencamp, is finally ready for the stage. The musical was originally scheduled for its debut at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre in 2009, but was postponed. It's now set to open next April at the Alliance. Mellencamp and the play's director weren't getting along, King said Tuesday at the Alliance's season preview presentation. The new director is Susan Booth, the company's artistic director.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 14, 1993 | By Tom Moon, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
When choosing a role model, the aspiring songwriter has limited choices: Embrace the grim post-apocalyptic vision of a Leonard Cohen, the political correctness exemplified by the Indigo Girls and 10,000 Maniacs, the pop scholarship of a World Party, the doleful, thinly veiled love songs of Suzanne Vega, or the Everyman concerns of rockers such as John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen. Lisa Germano, who is part of tonight's In Their Own Words singer-songwriter show at the TLA, has investigated each of those paths and quite a few others, and has decided that her songs come from a more earthy, less artful source.
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 26, 2011 | Associated Press
ATLANTA - Horror writer Stephen King's first play, The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County , featuring haunting melodies by rocker John Mellencamp, is finally ready for the stage. The musical was originally scheduled for its debut at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre in 2009, but was postponed. It's now set to open next April at the Alliance. Mellencamp and the play's director weren't getting along, King said Tuesday at the Alliance's season preview presentation. The new director is Susan Booth, the company's artistic director.
NEWS
February 23, 2011 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Music Critic
Toward the end of John Mellencamp's two-hour-plus show at the Academy of Music on Monday, the Indiana rocker led his crack seven-piece band through "The Real Life," a song from 1987's The Lonesome Jubilee , the first album he released that didn't use "Cougar" as part of his stage name. "My whole life I've done what I'm supposed to do," the 59-year-old, gray-stubbled Rock and Roll Hall of Famer sang with gusto. "Now I'd like to maybe do something for myself / And just as soon as I figure out what that is, you can bet your life I'm gonna give it hell.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 22, 2010
Pop No Better Than This (Rounder . ) Since the end of his John Cougar days, John Mellencamp has gradually been moving away from the big, anthemic sound that pretty much defined heartland rock. No Better Than This follows the release of a four-CD boxed- set retrospective, On the Rural Route 7069 , and marks the Indianan's rootsiest turn yet. With T Bone Burnett as producer, the album was cut, in mono, at Sun Studios in Memphis, the San Antonio hotel room where Robert Johnson recorded, and a historic Savannah, Ga., church.
NEWS
July 10, 2008 | By Sam Adams FOR THE INQUIRER
If you took the word America out of the dictionary, John Mellencamp would have to rewrite half his songs. Reaching back to the halcyon days, and sounds, of 1960s rock-and-roll, Mellencamp's songs evoke the promise of simpler times and the squandered chances of the present. Sketching small-town lives with a storyteller's eye, he pays tribute to people for whom the American dream is making it through another day. Mellencamp himself has fallen on hard times, relatively speaking.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 29, 2006 | By Dan DeLuca and David Hiltbrand INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
They do call it the Garden State, after all. So though "green vegetables" may not be the most common word-association answer to "Camden," this year's Farm Aid benefit concert will be at the Tweeter Center in the city recently named the nation's poorest and most dangerous. That means that Saturday, the Farm Aid four - Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews, who perform every year - will be spending the day in New Jersey singing on behalf of family farmers, along with Jerry Lee Lewis, Gov't Mule, Arlo Guthrie, Steel Pulse, and polka king Jimmy Sturr, among others.
NEWS
September 27, 2006 | By Dan DeLuca INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Among the Farm Aid four, Dave Matthews is the baby of the bunch. The jam-band star and Virginia gentleman farmer - a headliner at the annual benefit concert, to be held Saturday at Camden's Tweeter Center, along with Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp - was a teenager in his native South Africa when the first Farm Aid took place in 1985. Nelson organized that show after Bob Dylan made remarks in support of American farmers at Live Aid in Philadelphia that year. Nelson, 73, Young, 60, and Mellencamp, 56, have performed at every Farm Aid since.
NEWS
August 26, 2004 | By LARRY ATKINS
ENTERTAINERS know John Kerry was born to run. On Oct. 1, a group of prominent musicians, including Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., John Mellencamp, the Dixie Chicks, John Fogerty and Dave Matthews will embark on the Vote for Change tour through several swing states to give concerts in support of John Kerry and against President Bush. No doubt there will be plenty of red meat at the concerts as Fogerty sings about Bush as "The Fortunate Son," R.E.M.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 8, 2003 | Daily News wire services
John Mellencamp's new antiwar song "To Washington" will be on his upcoming, untitled CD due May 20. But by then, the United States might have already won its threatened war with Iraq. So, since time is of the essence, Mellencamp is negotiating with his label, Columbia Records, for the right to quickly get the song at his Web site, Mellencamp.com. A sort of update to the Woody Guthrie tune "From Baltimore to Washington," Mellencamp's lyrics attack President Bush: "He wants to fight with many/And he says it's not for oil/He sent out the National Guard/To police the world/From Baghdad to Washington.
NEWS
April 26, 2002 | By Gayle Ronan Sims INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Another celebrity has been banged up in a horseback-riding accident. Pop singer Jewel broke her collarbone and a rib when she was thrown from a horse at the Texas ranch of her boyfriend, rodeo star Ty Murray (seven-time winner of rodeo's all-around world title). Recently, Lyle Lovett (who was trampled by a bull) and Robert Duvall were injured in riding mishaps. Jewel was not hospitalized, but will wear a collar and sling for about a month. A European tour scheduled to begin May 10 may be jeopardized, but she is expected to proceed with a U.S. tour that begins June 14 in Tampa.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 14, 1999 | By Jonathan Valania, FOR THE INQUIRER
Somewhere in the '90s, John Mellencamp lost his groove as a hitmaker. For years, his mid-'80s self-willed transformation from pre-packaged pop idol to earthy heartland rocker - documented in the gradual transformation of his name from John Cougar to John Cougar Mellencamp to just plain John Mellencamp - gave his career a backbeat. The more sincere he became about his image and his vision of white-picket-fence Americana, the more righteous his music sounded. But, as he sang so famously on his early '80s MTV hit "Jack and Diane," "life goes on long after the thrill of livin' is gone" - and so do careers in rock.
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