John Mellencamp Embraces His Youth. . . Warts And All

John Mellencamp Releases Deluxe ‘scarecrow’ Reissue
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John Mellencamp is back with his 25th album, titled, Orpheus Descending, and performing a career-spanning setlist on the road. During a new chat with The New York Times, Mellencamp touched on including his 1982 Top Two breakthrough hit, “Hurts So Good” in his setlists: “I quit playing it 25 years ago, but I’ve been playing it on this tour, and it has a whole new meaning to me. ‘When I was a young boy, I said, “Put away those young boy ways.” I was a kid when I wrote it, but as an older gentleman, it makes sense.”

Mellencamp spoke about his wild early days on the road, where his violent streak resulted in him being asked to leave tours headlined by Kiss, REO Speedwagon, Rainbow, and others. He admitted, “I punched the blond-haired singer of the Cars (the late-Benjamin Orr). . . I fought all the time and lost all the time. I got kicked off every tour I was on. My band and I were terrible, but we were better than Kiss. I was a young kid, full of energy, and the reviews said, ‘John Cougar blew the place up last night.’ Gene Simmons would look at me like he wanted to kill me.”

For John Mellencamp music has always been about what’s next rather than in the rearview: “I never listen to my old records. Never. The only time I’ll ever listen to an old record is when we’re ready to go out on tour and I think, ‘What can I put in the show that I’ve never done or ever played live?’ ‘Cause, there’s some songs that I have to play — and those are easy. But then, there’s still another hour of show and I don’t wanna play the same songs over and over. And, y’know, guys in the band’ll make a suggestion — ‘Y’know, we haven’t done ‘Jackie Brown’ for 10 years, you wanna do ‘Jackie Brown’ again?'”

John Mellencamp performs tonight (June 7th) at New York City’s Beacon Theatre.

Categories: Pulse Music