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Mellencamp Talks Summer Tour

“I want people to know that we’re still a notch above a garage band,” John Mellencamp says about his summer tour in support of his forthcoming release Cuttin’ Heads, which is due this summer. “No cars dropping down from the ceiling, none of that shit. No, everything’s gonna be black – the whole stage is gonna be black.”

Mellencamp’s no frills show will hit twenty-seven cities through the late summer with another straight up rock & roll band, the Wallflowers, opening. Nearly 200 songs and eighteen, going on nineteen, albums later, the challenge for him comes in choosing what to play. According to Mellencamp, the 200 tracks have been narrowed down but not completely – the band is shooting for twenty-two songs in the set list.

“We’ve got sixty-four songs we’re looking at,” Mellencamp says, “We don’t even know if we can play ’em. I mean there’s a song called ‘Martha Say’ off an album I made, Big Daddy and I think, ‘Oh I’d like to play that song,’ but I don’t know if we could play it. I don’t even know what the goddamn chords are to the song.”

Along with re-learning the old tracks, Mellencamp is in the midst of working on the new. Still in the studio, Cuttin’ Heads, like the live show, will be a relatively stripped-down affair. And twenty-five years after he started, Mellencamp is still looking to break new ground. “It’s hard to shed old clothing, looking around for a different kind of sound. There’s so much music on my last few records. I hear these records on the radio and I think, ‘What the fuck was I thinking about putting all that music on there? There’s too many melodies, too many violin parts, too many guitar parts, where’s the melody at?’ If I go back and listen to the records that inspired me to get into this in the first place, there’s no music on those records just some guy’s voice and a guitar, and that’s about it.”

The man and his guitar – and his band – will be on the road through August and September. And look for Mellencamp to reprise his unannounced “Good Samaritan” free shows in a few select cities this summer.

The Cuttin’ Heads Tour Dates Are As Follows:

  • July 31 – San Diego, San Diego State University
  • August 01 – Paso Robles, CA, California Mid-State Fair
  • August 06 – Denver, Red Rocks Amphitheater
  • August 11 – George, WA, The Gorge
  • August 12 – Vancouver, BC, GM Place
  • August 14 – Edmonton, AL, Sky Reach Center
  • August 15 – Calgary, AL, Saddledome
  • August 18 – Chicago, The World
  • August 20 – Bonner Springs, KS, Sandstone Amphitheater
  • August 22 – Houston, The C.W. Mitchell Pavilion
  • August 23 – Dallas, TBA
  • August 25 – St. Louis, MO, Riverport Amphitheater
  • August 28 – Detroit, Pine Knob Amphitheater
  • August 30 – Cleveland, Blossom Music Center
  • August 31 – Pittsburgh, Post-Gazette Pavilion – Star Lake
  • September 2 – Columbus, OH, Polaris Amphitheater
  • September 3 – Cincinnati, Riverbend Amphitheater
  • September 5 – Buffalo, Darien Lake Six Flags P.A.C.
  • September 7 – Wantagh, NY, Jones Beach Amphitheater
  • September 8 – Holmdel, NJ, PNC Bank Arts Center
  • September 10 – Scranton, PA, Montage Mountain
  • September 12 – Hartford, CT, Meadows Amphitheater
  • September 13 – Boston, Tweeter Center
  • September 15 – Hershey, PA, Hersheypark Stadium
  • September 16 – Philadelphia, PA, E Center
  • September 21 – Indianapolis, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
  • September 22 – Indianapolis, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
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