No We Cannot Forget Where it Is He Comes From


If you were one of the hundreds of millions of Americans who successfully avoided watching the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame broadcast Monday on VH1 Classic, you missed one of the worst song-stretching exercises since Jerry Garcia went on to the Big Insulin Provider in the Sky—John Cougar Mellencamp transforming the three-chord yawner "The Authority Song" into a seven-minute advertisement for editing.

Best part? His third-persony speech at the top telling an audience of musicians and industry types in the annus horriBushus of 2008 that he will not back down from criticisms that "Mellencamp is too left wing, he doesn't support the president, and he's not for the war." (He might have added: is a John Edwards backer who told John McCain to take his leathery hands off his Pink Houses!) Feel the hurt, so good:

The former Johnny Cougar and perennial Farm Aider did not fail to remind us (if with a crap-sounding guitar), that he was indeed born in a small town. Seymour, Indiana, as I wrote in this space three years ago, just so happens to be a veritable cluster of farm-subsidy recipients bearing the last name of Mellencamp. George Mellencamp, for instance, was the 18th largest recipient of 2003-2005 subsidies in Seymour, with more than $142,000. James Mellencamp was 39th, with more than $90,000.

Two classic Brian Doherty hits from the reason vault: The strange politics of millionaire rock stars, and the hippie capitalism of the Grateful Dead.