John Mellencamp is, by this point, practically a piece of musical Americana. The “Jack & Diane” singer has spent a lot of his life and most of his career in the spotlight, so there are a lot of facts about him floating around on the Internet. However, despite the fact that he’s spent so much time in the spotlight, there are still some things that most people don’t know about him. With that in mind, here we present our list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about John Mellencamp. Check out part one below, and stay tuned for part two, coming soon!
Number Fifteen: He Smokes a Lot. In an interview that Mellencamp did with David Letterman in April of 2015, he smoked throughout the entire exchange. He admitted that his body is already so polluted that it doesn’t matter, and he insisted that he is “good” at smoking.
Number Fourteen: He Forgot Where He Had a Heart Attack. In the same 2015 interview he did with Letterman, Mellencamp admitted that he could not quite remember where he had his heart attack. He finally stated that the heart attack happened in New York, although he sought care for it in his home state of Indiana.
Number Thirteen: He Is a Really Good Painter. In fact, if Mellencamp didn’t make it as a musician when he moved to New York, his backup plan was to pursue painting as a career. He had his first museum exhibit in 2012 in Youngstown, Ohio’s Butler Institute of American Art.
Number Twelve: He Has a “Lifetime” Contract. Mellencamp signed a contract with Republic Records that reportedly will last for the rest of his life. This was an unprecedented move as far as contracts go, and Republic co-founder Monte Lipman said, “Not only has [Mellencamp] served as an ambassador of social consciousness in America, but he has also provided the soundtrack of a generation.”
Number Eleven: He Co-Founded Farm Aid. Mellencamp has been politically active for quite some time, and he helped co-found Farm Aid in 1985 with Willie Nelson and Neil Young. Farm Aid is America’s longest running benefit concert series.
Number Ten: He Is an Actor and a Director. In 1992, Mellencamp directed and starred in Falling from Grace, which was a dark film about the trauma that children experience when they are emotionally neglected by their fathers.
Number Nine: He Collaborated With Stephen King. Mellencamp was part of the musical theater project called The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County. The project took 10 years to make, and it premiered in 2012 at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre. Mellencamp wrote both the music and the lyrics for the production.