Mellencamp clarified my suspicions - Brave dude IMO

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by DrayMiles, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. DrayMiles


    Feb 24, 2007
    East Coast
    Here's the article...

    John Mellencamp drops bombshell on Howard Stern's radio show

    Here's an excerpt...

    "I was on Columbia Records and I made a record called 'Peaceful World,'" he said of the single he released in August 2001 featuring India.Arie. "And it was climbing up the charts, it was right before 9/11. And my manager went in and was talking to the record company and the president of the record company -- who I won't mention his name but you could probably figure it out -- said, 'I don't know why Mellencamp insists on having these [n-words] singing with him. It makes it impossible to get him [on radio]."

    He waited awhile to let that tidbit of info out. I guess by now, his career is safe...
  2. blastoff99

    blastoff99 Moderators Local A440 Staff Member Supporting Member

    Dec 17, 2011
    Under the flight path
    So it's brave to wait 16+ years to stand up for people who helped you become a success? Nah. Bravery would have been calling the BS far far earlier, when he had something to lose. It's easy to be "brave" this far after the fact, but IMO don't bother. If you can't do the right thing at the time, don't make yourself feel good later. You don't deserve the catharsis of bringing it up and putting it out there.
  3. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Better now than never though...
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  4. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Gold Supporting Member

    blastoff99 has it right, IMO: mellencamp lost an opportunity! wasn't he a 'cougar' because he didn't speak up? :laugh:
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  5. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    I don't know if I would say this is so brave of him to say on the radio now, but I wouldn't judge him so harshly either. For one thing, assuming the anecdote is true, 1) this was a conversation Mellencamp's MANAGER had with with the company's president, he himself wasn't in the room, and 2) what the guy was complaining about was Mellencamp "insisting" on having black singers on his albums, which implies that he WAS standing up for them against resistance, even if he wasn't going on the radio to brag about it at the time.
  6. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I know a sound engineer who was running monitors for a Mellencamp show years ago. Apparently, the tour manager or roadie went around covering up anything with a reflective surface. When asked why, the response was "Mellencamp didn't want people to actually see him walk on water." Talk about having a high opinion of oneself. I still think Scarecrow is a great album, though.
  7. sears

    sears Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2005
    ec, md
    A record of his was climbing the charts as late as 2001?
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  8. blue4


    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    That was my first thought too.
  9. blue4


    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    A quick look at the top 100 songs of 2001 says that manager probably had different problems than he thought.
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  10. And since when does having African Americans on your record kill sales? From what I've seen, it generally helps.
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  11. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member

    I think that's the point of the anecdote. The manager's racism gave him a skewed, indeed delusional, notion of how the market worked.

    CORRECTION: the record exec, not the manager.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  12. Yeah, that's just plain weird to hear anyone in the record business say a thing like that out loud, even if they are racist. Why slit your own throat financially? Makes no sense.
  13. "See, I'm a social justice warrior too!!"

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  14. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Traditionally, anything associated with blacks would not sell well. Rhythm and blues (R&B) used to be called "race music" until they re-branded it so whites would buy it.
  15. But we're discussing John Mellencamp. In 2001.
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  16. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Yup and his discussion with a high-level music executive really highlights how not much has changed since the early days of popular music. It is appalling that such a sentiment is still found in the modern era.
  17. Funky Ghost

    Funky Ghost Translucently Groovy

    I dunno, I find the entire story pretty suspect to be honest. Nothing about it makes any sense financially, socially or from an executive of a mega corporation that happens to make a hefty sum from those who somehow, make it impossible for Mellencamp to have radio play. I'll think of that the next time I'm listening to Dark Side of the Moon for the billionth time on radio. Boy it's a good thing those wonderful lady back up singers weren't black or that song would never have seen the light of day ... oh wait.
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  18. blue4


    Feb 3, 2013
    St. Louis area
    I doubt the story as well. it sounds unlikely. That's like someone claiming they can't win a hockey game because of all the Russians on his team.
    If it is true is it a story of racism, or colossal stupidity?
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  19. Racism is a story of colossal stupidity.
  20. GregC

    GregC Questlove, Black Thought, Hamilton Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    But don't call it out, or someone on the Internet might call you a social justice warrior.:rollno: