clap clap blog: we have moved
Monday, June 30, 2003
John Mellencamp was always one of those guys who I'd never turn off if he came on the radio, but I'd never say I liked, and if you asked me why I could never get enough of "Jack and Diane," well, I wouldn't be able to tell you. But then I was in a bar in Indiana when "Little Pink Houses" came on, and I started to think differently. And I really liked some of the bits from his interview in Salon:
Your parents were Democratic Party activists in Indiana, weren't they?
Oh, they were active locally, in our county. My mother campaigned for Bobby Kennedy. I was surrounded by Democrats. And I don't understand, in this day and age -- most people who are Republicans, they're not rich enough to be Republicans! I don't get it. My best friend is a Republican. He and I vowed a couple months ago never to talk about politics again. He's just a normal guy with a normal job and I've known him since I was 5 years old. But I just said to him, "Man, you don't have enough money to be a Republican. How can you afford this?"
This has always confused me--why would you be Republican if you're not rich?
[The record label didn't like the song "Beautiful World"] because of the content? The lyrics?
Yeah, because it was about racism. And it mentioned being politically correct. They had a long laundry list of problems. Their complaint was, "You have this beautiful chorus ['Come on baby take a ride with me/ I'm up from Indiana down to Tennessee'], why do you have to fill the song with these things that will agitate people?" Well, that's what the song is.
Very nice. And I think the label was wrong--with a chorus like that, fuck it, you can say whatever you want.
You've always been pretty upfront about the fact that you were playing this game to be on Top-40 radio, to have hits. Meaning if you're going to put time into a project, you might as well have as many people hear it as possible.
You're right. I always said there's no reason to make these records if nobody's going to hear them. What's the point, unless you can do something positive with the song, or entertain people? These things are too hard to make, they take too long, they cost too much money and there's no reason to make them unless the record company is going to support you and try to sell the fucking thing.
So you've had a good time?
Did I have fun in the music business? Are you kidding me? More fun than most guys deserve to have in their life. I have laughed so hard at myself that I couldn't get up off the floor.
I like that a lot.