To celebrate the opening of Legends of Rock: John Mellencamp, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's newest permanent exhibition, Mellencamp himself performed a special live edition of iHeartRadio ICONS at the Rock Hall on the exhibits launch day, Thursday, September 29th.
Fans were able to tune into the exclusive event on the iHeartRadio app via iHeartRadio's The Classic Rock Channel to hear the legendary singer-songwriter perform some of his biggest hits, make exciting new announcements, and answer some questions from Jim Kerr.
To kick off the night, Mellencamp treated the enthusiastic crowd with a performance of his hit "Small Town" off of 1985's Scarecrow followed by "I Always Lie To Strangers" from his latest album Strictly a One-Eyed Jack. Released in January 2022, it marked the singer-songwriter's 24th studio album.
Kerr started off the conversation by pointing out how engaged the crowd was. "You could see everybody singing right along with you," Kerr said before asking Mellencamp about the inspiration behind the upcoming reissue of Scarecrow.
"I did it," Mellencamp simply replied, causing laughter to errupt from the crowd. "They wanted to, so... I don't like to look back. I wrote those songs a long time ago, I played those songs and I'm always looking forward. I'm always thinking about what's coming next as opposed to what's happened." He continued, "But if the market company deems that people want to have this kind of collectors thing then it's fine to me."
The recently announced deluxe reissue contains a two-CD box set with a remastered version of the album and alternate versions of some of the songs that got Mellencamp inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008.
"Can you take us back to that night... to when Billy Joel inducted you?" asked Kerr. Starting off with a wistful laugh, Mellencamp gave another charmingly coy answer, "Yeah. I was there, you know. I remember being there and I remember I didn't go through the red carpet. I went through the back door and they went "Whoa, you can't come in here." And I said, "I'm getting inducted tonight,'" but the singer didn't have a pass. He eventually got into the ceremony but hearing how he almost wasn't let in is pretty hilarious considering he now has a part of the Rock Hall dedicated to his work.
One of the items included in the museum, contributed by Mellencamp himself, is his very first royalty check. "Which was for, what? $27 or something like that," Kerr pointed out. "But when you opened it up it must've felt like a million bucks."
"No," Mellencamp responded, much to the delight of the crowd. Kerr then transitioned the event back to the performance, letting the music do all the talking for Mellencamp.
The singer-songwriter then performed 1987's "Check It Out" from The Lonesome Jubilee and "Jack & Diane" from 1982's American Fool, which prompted a full-blown sing-a-long from the fans.
Mellencamp took another quick break to discuss some of his upcoming projects including Farm Aid, which he launched with Willie Nelson and Neil Young, and a 265-page coffee table book full of his paintings. He also shared that he has finished writing an album but gave no further details about its release.
Kerr then had the honor of confirming Mellencamp's upcoming "Live and In Person" Tour which will see the singer play 76 nights starting February 23rd, 2023.
To introduce his penultimate song, Mellencamp said this track "seems more pertinent today than I did when I wrote it," before launching into "Crumblin' Down" which was released in 1983 and featured on the album Uh-huh. Also from the same album, Mellencamp finished his set with the song "Pink Houses."
Fans can register now at mellencamp.com for the Mellencamp mailing list presale beginning Wednesday, October 5 at 10:00 A.M. local time. Tickets for the John Mellencamp Live and In Person tour will go on sale to the general public Friday, October 7 at 10:00 A.M. local time.
Furthermore, in a new contest from iHeartRadio, one lucky winner and a friend will be flying round trip (with hotel accommodations and a $200 ground transportation gift card) to any city and date of their choosing to see Mellencamp on tour, where they'll enjoy the concert with VIP tickets. The fan will also walk away with hand-written lyrics from John himself to one of his songs, and will get to meet the rock icon backstage during a meet and greet.
See the dates below:
- February 5—Indiana University Auditorium—Bloomington, IN
- February 6— Indiana University Auditorium—Bloomington, IN
- February 8—Ovens Auditorium—Charlotte, NC
- February 10—Fox Theatre—Atlanta, GA
- February 11—Jacksonville Center for the Arts | Moran Theater—Jacksonville, FL
- February 13—Ruth Eckerd Hall—Clearwater, FL
- February 14—Ruth Eckerd Hall—Clearwater, FL
- February 15—Ruth Eckerd Hall—Clearwater, FL
- February 18—Walt Disney Theater at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts—Orlando, FL
- February 19—Walt Disney Theater at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts—Orlando, FL
- February 21—Broward Center for the Performing Arts—Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- February 22—Broward Center for the Performing Arts—Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- February 24—Saenger Theatre—New Orleans, LA
- February 25—Smart Financial Centre—Sugar Land, TX
- February 26—Majestic Theatre—San Antonio, TX
- February 28—Bass Concert Hall—Austin, TX
- March 1—Texas Trust CU Theatre at Grande Prairie—Dallas, TX
- March 11—Keller Auditorium—Portland, OR
- March 13—Orpheum—Vancouver, BC
- March 14—Orpheum—Vancouver, BC
- March 15—Paramount Theatre—Seattle, WA
- March 17—Golden Gate Theatre—San Francisco, CA
- March 18—Golden Gate Theatre—San Francisco, CA
- March 19—Saroyan Theatre—Fresno, CA
- March 21—SAFE Credit Union Performing Arts Center—Sacramento, CA
- March 22—Dolby Theatre—Los Angeles, CA
- March 24—Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas—Las Vegas, NV
- March 25—Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas —Las Vegas, NV
- March 27—Ellie Caulkins Opera House—Denver, CO
- April 3—The Midland Theatre—Kansas City, MO
- April 4—The Midland Theatre—Kansas City, MO
- April 6—State Theatre—Minneapolis, MN
- April 7—State Theatre—Minneapolis, MN
- April 8—State Theatre—Minneapolis, MN
- April 10—The Riverside Theater—Milwaukee, WI
- April 11—The Riverside Theater—Milwaukee, WI
- April 13—Chicago Theatre—Chicago, IL
- April 14—Chicago Theatre—Chicago, IL
- April 17—The Kentucky Center—Louisville, KY
- April 18—The Kentucky Center—Louisville, KY
- April 19—Peoria Civic Center Theater—Peoria, IL
- April 21—Stifel Theatre—St. Louis, MO
- April 22—Stifel Theatre—St. Louis, MO
- April 24—Orpheum Theatre—Memphis, TN
- April 25—Orpheum Theatre—Memphis, TN
- May 5—Old National Events Plaza—Evansville, IN
- May 6—Old National Events Plaza—Evansville, IN
- May 8—Ryman Auditorium—Nashville, TN
- May 9—Ryman Auditorium—Nashville, TN
- May 10—Ryman Auditorium—Nashville, TN
- May 12—Aronoff Center—Cincinnati, OH
- May 13—Aronoff Center—Cincinnati, OH
- May 15—Embassy Theatre—Ft. Wayne, IN
- May 16—Embassy Theatre—Ft. Wayne, IN
- May 17—Palace Theatre—Columbus, OH
- May 19—Peace Center—Greenville, SC
- May 20—DPAC —Durham, NC
- May 22—Benedum Center—Pittsburgh, PA
- May 23—Benedum Center—Pittsburgh, PA
- May 25—Playhouse Square—Cleveland, OH
- May 26—Playhouse Square—Cleveland, OH
- June 2—The Lyric—Baltimore, MD
- June 3—Kimmel Cultural Campus—Philadelphia, PA
- June 5—Beacon Theatre—New York, NY
- June 6—Beacon Theatre—New York, NY
- June 7—Beacon Theatre—New York, NY
- June 10—Boch Center - Wang Theatre—Boston, MA
- June 11—Providence Performing Arts Center—Providence, RI
- June 13—Palace Theatre—Albany, NY
- June 14—Landmark Theatre—Syracuse, NY
- June 16—Shea’s Performing Arts Center—Buffalo, NY
- June 17—Masonic Temple Theatre—Detroit, MI
- June 19—Massey Hall—Toronto, ON
- June 21—DeVos Performance Hall—Grand Rapids, MI
- June 23—Morris Performing Arts Center—South Bend, IN
- June 24—Morris Performing Arts Center—South Bend, IN