Home Music John Mellencamp releases his twenty fifth album: ‘Orpheus Descending’ : NPR

John Mellencamp releases his twenty fifth album: ‘Orpheus Descending’ : NPR

John Mellencamp releases his twenty fifth album: ‘Orpheus Descending’ : NPR



That is FRESH AIR. I am David Bianculli. John Mellencamp has been performing and writing songs for 4 1/2 a long time. His hits within the ’80s embody “Jack & Diane” and “Small City.” At Obama’s inaugural celebration on the Lincoln Memorial, Mellencamp sang his tune “Pink Homes,” the one with the chorus, ain’t that America for you and me. His tune “This Is Our Nation” first grew to become well-known when it was utilized in a Chevrolet advert. John Mellencamp is a member of the Rock & Roll Corridor of Fame, a Grammy winner and a member of the Songwriters Corridor of Fame. His new album, his twenty fifth, is known as “Orpheus Descending,” and it displays on most of the points dealing with Individuals right this moment, like huge social inequality and gun violence within the tune “Hey God.”


JOHN MELLENCAMP: (Singing) Weapons and weapons – are they actually my rights? Regulation was written a very long time in the past. Nobody might think about the sight of so many useless on the ground. Hey, God. In the event you’re nonetheless there, would you please come down? Hey, God. In the event you’re nonetheless there, would you please come down?

BIANCULLI: Terry spoke with John Mellencamp in 2009, when his album known as “Life, Dying, Love And Freedom” was launched. This is the opening monitor from that album, a tune known as “Longest Day” (ph).


MELLENCAMP: (Singing) Looks like as soon as upon a time in the past, I used to be the place I used to be imagined to be. My imaginative and prescient was true, and my coronary heart was, too. There was no finish to what I might dream. I walked like a hero into the setting solar. Everybody known as out my title. Dying, to me, was only a thriller. I used to be too busy elevating up Cain. However nothing lasts ceaselessly. The perfect efforts do not at all times pay. Generally you get sick, and you do not get higher. That is when life is brief even in its longest days.


TERRY GROSS: John Mellencamp, welcome to FRESH AIR. I’ve to say, you understand, I simply wasn’t ready for this tune that opens the brand new CD. It is simply a lot about mortality and issues that are not essentially ever going to get higher. After I first began listening to the tune, I feel I used to be form of depressed. It was the center of winter, and it actually spoke to me. Generally you actually need songs like this. So thanks for writing it.

MELLENCAMP: Effectively, thanks. The tune truly was – that line – my grandmother lived to be 100 years previous. And it is a humorous – it is not a humorous ha-ha story, however that is how the road happened. I used to go see her within the afternoons, and typically she’d make me lay in mattress together with her. You realize, I used to be, like, 45 years previous or one thing. And my hundred-year-old grandmother – she known as me Buddy. And she or he’d go, Buddy, come and lay down with me. And I might go, OK. So I might lay in mattress together with her, and we might discuss typically. And, you understand, she was nice up till about 99. After which she began getting form of dementia and stuff like that. And one afternoon, I used to be laying in mattress together with her, and he or she mentioned, let’s pray. And I mentioned, OK. And so she begins praying, and he or she says, God, you understand, Buddy and I are prepared to return house. And I went, whoa. Wait a minute.

GROSS: (Laughter).

MELLENCAMP: Grandma, you are prepared to return house. Buddy’s solely 45. He isn’t prepared. After which she turned to me and checked out me proper within the face. And her face unexpectedly appeared like somewhat woman. And she or he goes, Buddy, life is brief in its longest days. And I at all times remembered that line. And I believed, effectively, certainly sometime I will have the ability to work that line right into a tune. And that is how that tune began.

GROSS: Now, I imply, you are clearly feeling that tune that we simply heard, “Longest Days,” however it’s additionally nice songcraft. On the danger of form of killing the lyric, let me simply, like, learn just a few traces. (Studying) Nothing lasts ceaselessly. Your greatest efforts do not at all times pay. Generally you get sick, and you do not get higher. That is why life is brief even in its longest days.

Are you able to discuss somewhat bit about your technique of writing a tune like this? You had been telling us that the primary hook, the life is brief line, principally got here out of your grandmother, however what about the remainder of it?

MELLENCAMP: Effectively, you understand, as I’ve matured as a songwriter, I noticed that if it is on the market, it is mine. You realize, all the things I see and listen to – I do not care if Shakespeare wrote it or if Tennessee Williams wrote it or if Bob Dylan wrote it or I see it on a sitcom. If I hear phrases, they’re mine. And so I’ll take concepts from anywhere, wherever, any time. And life has change into a tune to me. I am at all times on the lookout for a tune. After which what occurs is that I will sit down, and if I’ve to labor over the tune, usually the tune just isn’t excellent.

My greatest songs are simply given to me from someplace outdoors myself, and I feel it is as a result of I’ve thought of a selected matter for thus lengthy that ultimately, it assembles itself in my head or in heaven, one or the 2 – typically in hell. And so they simply form of come to me, all in a thought. Generally – like, with “Longest Days,” I bought up one morning, and the tune got here to me in an entire thought. All I needed to do was rise up and write it down. There was no laboring about rhymes or melody or any of that stuff. It simply was – there it’s. And when that occurs, you understand, you simply form of bought to search for and go, thanks.

GROSS: Proper. Effectively, my visitor is John Mellencamp, and his new CD is known as “Life, Dying, Love And Freedom.” John, you are in your studio, and you’ve got your guitar with you. So I will ask you should you might sing one other tune pertaining to mortality from the brand new CD. And that is known as “A Journey Again Residence.”

MELLENCAMP: (Enjoying guitar, singing) Hey, Jesus. Are you able to give me a trip again house? I have been out right here on this world too lengthy by myself. I will not trouble you no extra should you can simply get me within the door. Hey, Jesus. Are you able to give me a trip again house? After I began out, I used to be so younger and so sturdy. I simply let it roll off my again when issues went mistaken. Now it is beginning to get to me, all of this inhumanity. Hey, Jesus. Are you able to give me a trip again house?

GROSS: Thanks. And that is John Mellencamp performing a tune from his new CD, “Life, Dying, Love And Freedom.” Do you thoughts if I ask what sort of faith you had been introduced up with – like, what church was like whenever you had been younger?

MELLENCAMP: Effectively, my grandmother – again to my grandmother – made positive that I went to church each Sunday. And she or he’d come over and choose us boys up, and we might go to the Nazarene church. And again then, that was about as near heaven as I ever bought, as a result of simply the time to have the ability to spend together with her – and he or she was very, very spiritual. However see; you understand, I am in. I do not even fear about it as a result of earlier than she died, she mentioned, hear, buddy. If you whenever you die, I will be ready on you, and also you’re in. So I determine, you understand, I do not…

GROSS: (Laughter).

MELLENCAMP: I bought nothing to do. She’s taking good care of it for me. So if there’s a heaven, I am in, so I do not even give it some thought, though she did say, buddy, you are going to must cease that cussing (laughter). However apart from that, you understand, if I can simply clear up my language, I am fairly positive I am within the golden gates. So I belief her, and I imagine her. And so, yeah, I grew up Nazarene. That is the place I went to church. After which lastly about 17 or 18, I simply form of give up going.

GROSS: And now?

MELLENCAMP: And now – oh, the church would fall down if I walked in.

GROSS: (Laughter).

MELLENCAMP: I am not a giant advocate of organized American faith.

BIANCULLI: John Mellencamp talking with Terry Gross in 2009. Extra after a break – that is FRESH AIR.


MELLENCAMP: (Singing) Ooh, na na na (ph), yeah. Ooh, na na, yeah.

BIANCULLI: That is FRESH AIR. Let’s get again to Terry’s 2009 interview with John Mellencamp. His new album, his twenty fifth, is known as “Orpheus Descending.”

GROSS: This is one other mortality query, should you do not thoughts. You realize, as I have been saying, there is a bunch of songs on the brand new CD which can be about mortality. You had coronary heart surgical procedure within the…

MELLENCAMP: No, no, no, no, no, no, no.

GROSS: …Within the Nineteen Nineties – proper? – a coronary heart assault.

MELLENCAMP: No, no, no. Yeah.

GROSS: A coronary heart assault within the Nineteen Nineties.

MELLENCAMP: I had a light coronary heart assault as a result of I smoke and since I’ve excessive ldl cholesterol. And for 10 years earlier than that, the medical doctors had been telling me, John, it is advisable to get on ldl cholesterol medication. My reply was at all times the identical. Am I all proper now? And so they’d go, yeah, you are all proper now, however you are heading for catastrophe. OK, effectively, I will take care of catastrophe when it will get right here. Effectively, it bought right here. So I’ve nobody responsible or something like that about having a coronary heart malfunction. However I didn’t have open coronary heart surgical procedure or something like that.

GROSS: So this was greater than 10 years in the past, and…

MELLENCAMP: Truly, it was 1994.

GROSS: So you were not writing songs like this then, had been you?

MELLENCAMP: Sure, I used to be. I have been writing…

GROSS: You had been?

MELLENCAMP: Yeah. Oh, yeah. See; the issue is, is that music is so – you understand, in the course of the ’80s and the ’70s and – you understand, the songs and the preparations of the songs needed to be a sure approach to get on the radio. And it actually screwed up songs or actually tousled – I have been writing about these items ceaselessly. I have been writing about mortality. I have been writing about – you understand, I solely write 4 songs. Come on. I bought the…

GROSS: (Laughter).

MELLENCAMP: …Similar 4 songs. I simply rewrite them, you understand, 50 instances. However I bought 4 subjects that I cowl. You realize, I cowl race, and I cowl what you are calling mortality. After which I, you understand, typically write about ladies, however I am too previous to put in writing about that now. So, you understand, I solely bought just a few issues I write about. However should you hearken to songs that I’ve written – (singing) some individuals ain’t no rattling good – you understand, that tune is about mortality. When the partitions come crumbling down – it was concerning the authorities. So as a result of the music and the lightness and the preparations of the music of that point had been of a sure ilk and even bought worse within the ’90s, the songs, to have the ability to be on the radio, actually needed to tackle a candy-coated attraction. “Pink Homes” was at all times anti-Reagan, Reaganomics. Individuals love the (singing) ain’t that America.

So, you understand, individuals take from songs solely what they need to hear. And, you understand, I am identical to all people else. So that you form of bought to carry up the veil of plenty of songwriters’ songs to actually understand what’s being mentioned.

GROSS: Effectively, let’s take, I feel, a wonderful instance of what you are speaking about, which is “This Is Our Nation” (ph). And lots of people know that tune from the Chevrolet Silverado advert. And it appears like, you understand, an American anthem whenever you simply hear…

MELLENCAMP: The refrain.

GROSS: …The refrain.


GROSS: However I will ask you to sing a verse from it that provides a really completely different impression that one – what individuals might need walked away from from the advert. And that is – are you able to do the verse that goes, and there is room sufficient right here for faith to forgive? And, room sufficient right here for science to reside.

MELLENCAMP: (Enjoying guitar, singing) Effectively, there’s room sufficient right here…

Let me see if I can do it. (Enjoying guitar, singing) Effectively, there’s room sufficient right here for…

I bought a cigarette in my mouth. Let me take it out.

GROSS: Take it out (laughter).

MELLENCAMP: Maintain on. All proper, right here we go. (Enjoying guitar, singing) Effectively, there’s room sufficient right here for science to reside. And there is room sufficient right here for faith to forgive. And attempt to perceive, all of the individuals of this land, that is our nation.

Yeah, I feel that, you understand, just because it was my one and solely tv business, that outraged lots of people. And this – what the tune is basically about was missed. However, you understand, that is – I knew that was going to occur. However I actually had no concept how a lot that tune was going to be performed.

GROSS: “This Is Our Nation” is form of like a plea to finish the tradition wars, to be inclusive, to respect one another.


GROSS: Do you’re feeling it grew to become an anthem for one thing else within the minds of many individuals?

MELLENCAMP: Oh, I do not care. I imply, it grew to become an anthem for Chevrolet, I feel.

GROSS: (Laughter) Proper.

MELLENCAMP: I imply, as a result of that is how they found the tune. As a result of they could not uncover the tune in the best way that they found “Pink Homes” or the best way that they found, you understand, “I Want A Lover.” They – it is inconceivable to, you understand, to find a tune that manner.

GROSS: However what went by means of your thoughts when Chevrolet requested you to make use of it? Did you suppose instantly this could be a good suggestion? Did you could have reservations about it?

MELLENCAMP: Oh, hear. I had spoken out in opposition to – I used to be the identical manner that you’re. And I nonetheless do not suppose that an artist ought to must become involved with Wall Avenue on any stage. That is not what I actually do. I do not write songs for commercials. However I did this as a result of I believed, effectively, maybe they’re proper. I had so many individuals saying, John, you could have turned down fortunes and fortunes of cash, and now could be the time. The music enterprise has modified. No one is – your songs cannot develop from the bottom up anymore. So go from it from a distinct angle. So that is what we did. And…

GROSS: And what’d you be taught from the expertise?

MELLENCAMP: Oh, I discovered that an artist should not have to do that. This isn’t what my songs are about. However I additionally discovered that Chevrolet was a greater report firm than Columbia.

GROSS: (Laughter) As a result of they bought your tune on the market?

MELLENCAMP: Effectively, as a result of – no, as a result of they – sure, that, and – partially, and – however as a result of in addition they – what they mentioned they had been going to do, they did. They stored their phrase.

GROSS: Which was?

MELLENCAMP: Effectively, report firms by no means hold their phrase. That is the purpose of the entire dialog. Report firms say, we will do that, this and this and this, and so they by no means did any of it.

GROSS: Now, I additionally need to discuss with you about “Pink Homes,” which is the tune that John McCain had briefly utilized in his marketing campaign. And we’ll discuss what occurred with that. However play the hook from it so all people is aware of the tune.

MELLENCAMP: Let’s have a look at how that goes. (Enjoying guitar, singing) Ain’t that America?

OK, right here we go. (Enjoying guitar, singing) Ain’t that America for you and me? Ain’t that America – one thing to see, babe? Ain’t that America? Residence of the free, yeah. Little pink homes for you and me.

GROSS: So whenever you came upon John McCain was utilizing it in his marketing campaign – and you’re a lifelong Democrat – how did you determine to deal with it?

MELLENCAMP: I would not say I am a lifelong Democrat. I am very liberal.

GROSS: OK. Proper.

MELLENCAMP: I am very…

GROSS: You may vote no matter you need, however you are very liberal.

MELLENCAMP: I am very liberal, sure.

GROSS: Bought it. Yeah.

MELLENCAMP: I am very liberal. Effectively, what occurred was – is that I known as up my publicity man, a man named Bob Merlis. I mentioned – Bob mentioned, you understand, McCain’s utilizing your tune. And I mentioned, effectively, he can use it if he needs to, however you in all probability ought to put in writing him a letter and say, you understand, not solely, you understand, that you just guys are utilizing it, however so is Barack Obama, so is John Edwards, so is Hillary Clinton. And you need to perceive that Mellencamp may be very liberal. And do you actually suppose that it is pushing your agenda in the appropriate route? I imply, you are simply actually falling in step with all the opposite liberal candidates. Possibly you guys ought to rethink utilizing the tune. We did not inform him to not use it. We simply wrote a letter that mentioned, you understand, why do not you guys – you guys may need to rethink about utilizing this tune. And so they give up utilizing it.

GROSS: If you write songs like “Pink Homes” or “This Is Our Nation” or “R.O.C.Okay. In The USA,” do you suppose, I will sit down and write an anthem?

MELLENCAMP: (Laughter) No, not likely as a result of should you hear me play these songs such as you simply heard me, they are not anthems in any respect. They’re people songs.

GROSS: That is true.

MELLENCAMP: I imply, you understand, like, I simply performed the refrain of “Pink Homes.” That is not an anthem. That is a people tune. However see; that is what I used to be speaking about. And all of the songs that you just named had been music from the ’80s that needed to be, you understand, dressed up in a sure manner or they weren’t going to be on the radio. If I – like, you understand, I will exit on tour, and I will play, simply me and the acoustic guitar, and all of those songs tackle an entire completely different feeling or that means whenever you hear me enjoying on my own as a result of they are not wrapped up within the music of the time. They’re simply songs. I will offer you instance. Maintain on. Pay attention. (Enjoying guitar, singing) I want a lover that will not drive me loopy. I want a lover that will not drive me mad. I want a lover that will not drive me loopy. I want a woman like one I ain’t by no means had.

It is an entire completely different tune.

GROSS: Yeah.

MELLENCAMP: It is an entire completely different tune than the tune that you just grew up listening to and, you understand, I grew up enjoying. However that is what the music of the time required. However do not get me mistaken, I am not complaining. I used to be very lucky. I had plenty of hit information. I am simply saying that, you understand, attempting to be an artist contained in the music enterprise has at all times been difficult for me.

BIANCULLI: John Mellencamp talking to Terry Gross in 2009. We’ll hear extra of Terry’s dialog with Mellencamp within the second half of the present. And Justin Chang critiques the brand new Wes Anderson film, “Asteroid Metropolis.” And I will overview the brand new season of the Netflix anthology collection “Black Mirror.” I am David Bianculli, and that is FRESH AIR.


MELLENCAMP: (Singing) As I noticed by means of the eyes of Portland in the future, there have been so many homeless. They’d all gone astray. They slept on the corners in the course of the day, as to not be harmed when the solar went away. There have been previous ones and younger ones, white ones and black. They had been all sizes and styles with rags on their backs. So many individuals combined up on this stew with no place to go and nothing to do.


MELLENCAMP: (Singing) Higher check out my circle. Higher have a look round. Inform all my associates. Higher check out the colours of the individuals. Younger with out lovers, previous with out associates. Higher say a prayer for the poor and unhealthy. Higher sing a tune for individuals who do not care. Let the individuals have the appropriate to be completely different.

BIANCULLI: That is FRESH AIR. I am David Bianculli, professor of TV research at Rowan College, again with extra of Terry’s interview with John Mellencamp. His new album, “Orpheus Descending,” comes out right this moment. He recorded it together with his Indiana band in his studio close to Bloomington. Mellencamp grew up in Seymour, a small city in Indiana.

GROSS: May you possibly play an excerpt of a tune that you just really feel is, like, in your DNA since you heard it and liked it whenever you had been younger, both a tune that you just found by yourself or a tune out of your father’s assortment that is simply form of in your blood?

MELLENCAMP: Let’s have a look at. (Enjoying guitar, singing) Come, collect ‘spherical, individuals, wherever you roam and admit that the waters round you could have grown. And shortly, you may sink like a stone.

Anyway, my brother had that – introduced that report house in 1963, 1962, no matter yr it got here out. And it made an enormous impression on me, that Bob Dylan fella.

GROSS: Yeah, what influence did Dylan have on you whenever you had been younger?

MELLENCAMP: Effectively, I imply, he was the last word songwriter, you understand? I by no means even thought-about writing songs till I used to be a lot older, as a result of I used to be a singer in a rock band. You realize, I used to be in a bar. You keep in mind the mid – early ’70s, mid-’70s. There have been so many rock bars, you understand? And I used to be a kind of guys, you understand, enjoying and singing. And there was no purpose for me to put in writing a tune as a result of there have been so many lovely songs out. And, you understand, we might – in a single hand, you understand, I had Bob Dylan. And within the different hand, I had Iggy Pop, you understand? And we might go from a Dylan tune to a Stooges tune multi function set.

GROSS: So that you moved from Indiana to New York to get near the report trade.

MELLENCAMP: That is not true.

GROSS: No? OK. Go forward.

MELLENCAMP: No. I moved from Indiana to London.


MELLENCAMP: And I lived in London in 1977 and ’78. I imply, it is a boring story. It is the identical previous story you have heard 1,000,000 instances. Anyway, I’m going to New York. And I needed to try the New York Artwork Pupil League, or I needed to get a report deal. I did not actually care which. I used to be both going to be a painter or a songwriter. For the reason that Artwork Pupil League price some huge cash, that was out as a result of I had no cash. And I went there, and it wasn’t as easy, however I bought a report deal fairly quickly. After which I made a few information that had been horrible. I used to be managed by the identical man that managed Bowie. And he was – he tried to recreate me into an American David Bowie. It simply did not work. And him and I fought on a regular basis. And that is the place Johnny Cougar got here from and all that.

GROSS: Was that his concept?

MELLENCAMP: Yeah. Yeah, it was a horrible concept. I instructed him on the time it was a horrible concept. And naturally, he did not like that. You realize, he wasn’t going to take that from snappy younger brats equivalent to myself, you understand? He was the P.T. Barnum of the entire thing. He created David Bowie and jogged my memory of that on a regular basis. However anyway, so I used to be with him for – you understand, I made a few information with him that had been horrible, horrible, not price listening, not price taking a look at.

After which I met a supervisor who was a shyster. And we – he mentioned, you understand, I am unable to get a report deal right here in america for you. However should you come to London, I can get one in Europe. So we moved to London. And I lived in London for 2 years. And it was an amazing expertise and eye-opening for – you understand, to maneuver from Seymour, Ind., to London, England, and be dwelling proper in Chelsea. And the entire punk rock factor was simply beginning to explode, and there I used to be with an acoustic guitar (laughter).

GROSS: Proper. So it was actually onerous so that you can do away with the Cougar factor; wasn’t it?

MELLENCAMP: Oh, it is nonetheless – it is by no means going. It’s going to by no means depart. I nonetheless stroll down the road and other people will say, hey, Johnny Cougar, you understand? I hear it on a regular basis. Or John Cougar Mellencamp – I will be launched that manner. However, you understand, that is what it was, you understand? I imply, that is what individuals, you understand, knew me as at the moment. And that is – you understand, that is simply the destiny. That is – you understand, that is the best way God handed it out to me. And that is the playing cards I am dealt. And so I take care of it.

GROSS: Now, let me ask you about one in all your early hits. And that is “Jack & Diane” from 1982. There’s an amazing line in that. Life goes on even after the fun of dwelling is gone. Are you able to discuss how that line got here to you?

MELLENCAMP: Effectively, truly, they’re placing collectively a field set of my songs. And the man producing it, this man is leaving no stone unturned. So he discovered a tune that I had written earlier than “Jack & Diane” known as “Jenny At 16” that had among the identical traces from “Jack & Diane” in it, that I had deserted that tune, “Jenny At 16,” and turned it into “Jack & Diane.” And within the authentic writing of “Jack & Diane,” he found that Jack was Black. So even again then, I used to be speaking about interracial issues however for some purpose or one other had deserted that concept. So “Jack & Diane” was initially about an interracial couple. However I suppose in 1981, I feel, possibly I made a decision possibly this can be a little too – pushing it too far as a result of, you understand, this nation is a fairly racist place, and so – notably in ’81.

GROSS: Are you able to do just a few bars of “Jack & Diane?”

MELLENCAMP: Yeah. Maintain on. (Enjoying guitar, singing) A bit of ditty about Jack and Diane, two American children rising up within the heartland. Jacky going to be a soccer star. Diane’s debutante backseat of Jacky’s automotive. Sucking on a chili canine outdoors the Tastee-Freez, Diane’s sitting on Jacky’s lap, bought his arms between her knees. Jacky mentioned, hey, Diane. Let’s run off behind the shady timber. Dribble off these Bobby Brooks, woman. Let me do what I please. Oh, yeah, life goes on lengthy after the fun of dwelling is gone. Oh, yeah, see; life goes on lengthy after the fun of dwelling is gone. They stroll on.

That is it.

GROSS: Do you know whenever you had been writing that that it could be actually good to place in, like, particulars within the tune, just like the Tastee-Freez or the chili canine? I imply, like, story writers consider particulars like that. Songwriters do not at all times.

MELLENCAMP: Effectively, I do not know, you understand? I do not know. I can say this very crudely to you. Plenty of these songs again then had been not likely written in my thoughts. They had been written, you understand, beneath my belt. They had been songs that had been solely emotional. There was no – I wasn’t refined sufficient to suppose, oh, I ought to put a element in right here, you understand? I used to be – it was – I used to be a man in a band in a bar. And, you understand, I noticed what individuals did and partook and what individuals did in these bars. I used to be a part of that scene within the Midwest. And it was a – you understand, it was a rough-ass crowd some nights, and a few nights it wasn’t, you understand? In order that’s the place songs like “Lonely All Evening” got here from. Music was a sideline for me at the moment, you understand? All my songs had been written beneath my belt. After which – and as I bought older, they form of raced as much as my head and have become extra of, you understand, you need to take note of what you are writing as a result of persons are truly listening.

GROSS: Can I shut by asking you to do a tune that you just didn’t write that you just actually love that is by any individual else?

MELLENCAMP: OK, I’ll play a tune that I’ve performed at each occasion.

GROSS: Oh, nice. OK.

MELLENCAMP: That – that is my occasion tune, you understand, after they hand me a guitar and say, John, play one thing. (Enjoying guitar, singing) Everyone’s laughing on the Early Chook Cafe. I have been heading there since yesterday, and I imagine I’ve misplaced my manner. Charlotte’s there in organdy, and Billy’s there in suede. There’s cash of their pockets. All of the dues are paid. And there is wine on each desk. And there is meals on each plate. Effectively, I hope I get there fairly quickly, earlier than it will get too late.

Effectively, I ran on down the highway awhile to the opposite aspect of city. My garments had been getting wrinkled, and my socks had been falling down. However I couldn’t cease to drag them up, in concern that I might be late. So I stored on working down the highway till I noticed the gate of the Early Chook Cafe, glowing golden like a solar. Everyone stored on singing, come on in, we have simply begun.

Effectively, I ran proper in, and I sat proper down. And I ordered up some wine. My discuss was quick and intelligent, and the ladies all had been wonderful. Charlotte requested me the place I might been with jade and ivory eyes. And I instructed her I might been hung up with some beggar in disguise. Effectively, she laughed like temple bells. She kissed me on the cheek and mentioned, you understand, it is onerous to be alive typically, however it’s straightforward to be useless.

GROSS: You realize, I really feel like I ought to know that tune and I do not. Inform me one thing concerning the tune.

MELLENCAMP: It is an previous people tune. And it was initially recorded by – might need even been written by – a band known as Jerry Hahn Brotherhood, which was a band that I noticed play in all probability in 1968, opening up for Frank Zappa and the Moms of Invention. And so they performed that tune. And I went, wow.

GROSS: It has been nice to speak with you. I actually respect your doing this. And thanks for enjoying for us. I feel it was simply actually beneficiant of you. I actually respect it.

MELLENCAMP: It was my pleasure.

BIANCULLI: John Mellencamp talking with Terry Gross in 2009. Arising, Justin Chang critiques the brand new Wes Anderson film, “Asteroid Metropolis.” That is FRESH AIR.


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