Thursday, March 08, 2018

Thursday Essay Question

If you don't like these two songs by John Mellencamp you don't like rock-and-roll as a form.



Blue Ash Fan said...

In total agreement, Steve. I've been a fan since his eponymous 1979 album. I love how this guy was considered a joke -- Johnny Cougar, fer chrissakes! -- who turned out to be this creative, talented guy. Some vindication for those of us who got on the train early.

Also, check out "What If I Came Knockin'?" When he trails off into "Fa la la la," it's friggin' genius.

He's much mellower now musically, but still doing great stuff. This coming from a guy who's had the whole rocker-goes-acoustic thing up to here.

Anonymous said...

And he puts on a great live show also!

Captain Al

steve simels said...

BTW, folks -- a killer Weekend Listomania goes up tomorrow.

Mark said...

Two things. One is that Mellencamp has always had a knack for songs such as these two. Simple, straightforward, 4-4 story songs with melody, hooks and attitude, with the attitude being that of an outsider.

Second, I too experienced the same shit Mellencamp went through. I was teaching at UMass back in 1980 when my first child was born. As new parents, my wife and I needed more money than I made as a Ph.D. candidate, so I called up my manager back in New York, who told me that he could get me a job at one of the alphabet Radio Nets as an engineer. "Great," I said. "But you're going to have to change your name," my manager said. "Why?" I asked. "Too Jewish," he told me.

So in Summer 1981 I became Markie Cougar, and found myself at ABC Radio Networks. After a few years, though, I discovered that my fellow techs respected me and depended on me, but I no longer respected myself. So I started referring to myself as Mark Cougar Rosenblatt, and by the mid-late 1980s, I dropped the Cougar entirely and became Mark Rosenblatt. Again. And I never looked back.

So John, I KNOW what you went through.

Billy B said...

When American Fool came out in the early 80s, I thought it was OK, but nothing great. Around that time, I heard him do Free's "Fire and Water" live, and was blown away. Killer stuff.

Anonymous said...

Damn! I slept on "Again Tonight" all these years. No more. Thanks! This is why I love this blog and others like it.

Anonymous said...

Oh yes!! I just downloaded this song! Paid with this: . I don’t have to worry about security issues with this as my charges go directly to my mobile phone bill xD I have to thank you though. I would probably never have bought it had you not mentioned it in your blog! I knew about it before, but I couldn’t remember its name :3