John Mellencamp Tickets
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The Idol Kings - A Tribute to Journey, Tom Petty & John Mellencamp
Rams Head On Stage
Feb 24 2017
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John Cougar Mellencamp, born October 7, 1951 is a well known American rock singer-songwriter. He was born in Seymour, Indiana and started his music career at the young age of 14 when he joined as lead singer of a band named Crepe Soul. Mellancamp also married at the very young age of 17 to Priscilla Esterline in his senior year of high school in Kentucky. In the same year of 1970 he had a daughter named Michelle.
He continued to pursue his music career and in1971 he formed a band called Trash which lasted for a short time. In 1974, after graduating from Vincennes University, Mellancamp took a job at a phone company in Seymour, but soon after decided to go to New York in pursuit of a record deal.
At 24 years of age, Mellancamp traveled to New York City determined to land a record deal and got himself signed with agent Tony DeFries of MainMan Management, the same company that at the time represented David Bowie. His first album, Chestnut Street Incident, a collection of cover tracks and originals, was released under the stage name of Johnny Cougar. The album was not successful and Mellencamp lost his contract with MCA Records.
After his first failed attempt, Mellancamp did not give up and in 1978 he signed with a small time record label called Riva Records. Here, he recorded his album A Biography, which was released in the US but one of the tracks I Need a Lover became a hit in Australia. Riva Records added this track to his next album titled John Cougar (1979) and the single reached number 28 on the charts in November 1979.
From Cougar to Mellancamp
In the 1990s, Mellancamp changed his stage name from John Cougar to John Mellancamp and in 1991 released his first album Whenever We Wanted under this name. The tracks Get a Leg Up and Again Tonight reached the Top 40 hits along with other mainstream rock hits Love and Happiness and Now More Than Ever. Around the same time, band member Larry Crane left the band and was replaced by guitarist David Grissom. In January of 1992, Mellencamp embarked up on a world tour to promote his album Whenever We Wanted, which was his first tour since the Lonesome Jubilee Tour in the summer of 1988.
In 1993, Mellancamp released another album titled Human Wheels, regarded as some of his best work and most critically acclaimed albums. However, the title track of the album reached only number 48 on the Billboard singles charts and Mellencamp claimed this was solely due to his label's refusal to spend more money on promoting the song. In 1994, Mellancamp was able to climb the charts again with his album Dance Naked which yielded his biggest hit since R.O.C.K in the USA in 1986, with a jubilant cover of Van Morrison's Wild Night sung as a duet with Me'Shell NdegeOcello. In the same year, guitarist Grissom was replaced by Andy York who is still Mellencamp's guitarist to date.
Mellencamp returned in 1996 with another album Mr. Happy Go Lucky, released with the help of dance producer Junior Vasquez. The albums song Key West Intermezzo (I Saw You First) was his last Top 40 single. Another popular song on the album Our Country was a folk rock song containing a classical commentary about patriotism, freedom and elements of science and religion.
One of Mellencamps most recent performances was at the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular on July 4th, 2007, where he performed Our Country and R.O.C.K in the USA with the Boston Pops Orchestra. The show was telecast live on the CBS television network.
Currently Mellencamp has been working on a musical with legendary horror author Stephen King, called Ghost Brothers of Darkland County. The project has been in the works since 2000. This fall 2007, Mellancamp is expected to set out on a new tour, the first leg of which starts in Terre Haute, Indiana on October 26, 2007 and ends in St. Louis, Mo on November 15. The second part of the tour will start in early December.
Other recent performances include Mellencamps performance aired on national television at the opening game of the 2007 NFL season between the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis on September 6.
Mellancamp has also started recording his new album since August 2007 which is being produced by T Bone Burnette. The album will be Mellencamps 18th album of original work and the 22nd album of his overall career.
Mellencamp has also dabbled in acting and has made appearances in four films including Falling from Grace in 1992, a film which he also directed, Madison (2001), After Image (2001), and Lone Star State of Mind (2002). John's older brother Joe Mellencamp also made an appearance in Falling from Grace playing the role of the bandleader during the country club scene.
Mellencamp currently lives in Bloomington, Indiana. He has been married three times and is presently married to former supermodel Elaine Irwin since September 1992. The singer has five children from his three marriages: Michelle from his first marriage; daughters Teddi Jo and Justice from his second wife; and sons Hud and Speck from his current marriage.
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