John Mellencamp talks music, his artwork and portray with Bruce Springsteen: “He was fairly good”

Singer-songwriter John Mellencamp has been portray for so long as he is been making music. And earlier than he broke via as a rock star, he hoped to be an artist.

Now, after a long time constructing a legendary music profession, a set of his work and assemblages are being displayed on the New York Academy of Art. And his newest launch — out this week — is a ebook, titled “John Mellencamp: American Paintings and Assemblages,” of his paintings.

The cowl of his newest studio album, “Strictly a One-Eyed Jack,” can also be a self-portrait. The album consists of a number of duets with Bruce Springsteen, who he has additionally painted with.

“He was fairly good, you already know,” Mellencamp mentioned in regards to the time he painted a “enormous” piece with Springsteen. “And he was actually, actually enthusiastic. He was actually enthusiastic, and he actually tried onerous. I used to be pleased with him.”

“As a matter of truth, if he got here to my home once more, it might be like, ‘Hey Bruce, let’s paint,’ and he’d go, ‘OK.'”

Mellencamp advised CBS News he used to observe his mom paint at their Indiana house, and sooner or later, he began portray on her work.

In 1974, he left Indiana – the place he was a singer in a canopy band – for New York. He seemed into taking artwork courses, however his musical expertise caught the eye of report firms.  

He rapidly landed a report deal, and had just a few modest hits below the identify Johnny Cougar. His fifth album, “American Fool,” was his breakthrough. 

Mellencamp mentioned three songs on the album – “Hurts So Good,” Hand to Hold on To, and “Jack and Diane” – have been “hated” by the report firm, however went on to change into top-10 singles.  

“The benefit of that was they by no means ever bothered me once more, ever,” Mellencamp mentioned.  

Early on, Mellencamp says, he tried to manage his songs, however discovered that much like portray, it was higher to not second guess himself.

“I realized that nicely, like with portray, let the portray go the place it needs to go. True artwork is when the artist is shocked himself,” he mentioned.

In the span of Mellencamp’s profession, he would go on to chart twenty-eight singles on the Billboard Hot 100. But his love for artwork would at all times be within the background and can be his sanctuary.  

He known as his artwork studio in Indiana his “favourite place on the earth to be.” 

“It’s quiet. It’s simply me, you already know. There is oil paint, and canvases, and cigarettes, and every part I really like proper there, you already know,” Mellencamp mentioned. 

As far as what he will get from the act of portray, he mentioned. “You stroll as much as a canvas and it is you. You know, you will have an issue,” Mellencamp mentioned. “See, every part to me is an issue.”

He mentioned he would not but know the place one piece he not too long ago began goes. “I’ll determine one thing about,” he mentioned, trying on the painting-in-progress. “I’ll clear up this drawback.”

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