John Mellencamp will celebrate his 50th birthday this weekend with a three-day party in the southern part of Indiana. MellenBash begins Friday (October 5) in Bloomington and wraps up on his birthday, Sunday (October 7), with a tribute concert in his hometown of Seymour that will feature more than 20 local groups, including some featuring members of Mellencamp’s bands past and present, although Mellencamp himself is not scheduled to attend.
Proceeds from the event will go to the Southern Indiana Center For The Arts, the outdoor venue where it’s being held, as well as the Farm Aid foundation Mellencamp helped start in 1985 and the New York Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Other events are expected to be announced as the weekend draws nearer.
For his part, Mellencamp tells LAUNCH he has no complaints about reaching the half-century mark. “You know something? You’re talking to the luckiest guy in the world because, you know, don’t forget, I’m Johnny Cougar. [In] 1976, ’75, I remember Creem magazine saying, ‘What a divine find this guy’s records will be in 1982.’ I haven’t forgotten.”
In 1982, of course, was when Mellencamp-then still known as Cougar-hit pay dirt with his multiplatinum American Fool album, which included the hits “Hurts So Good” and “Jack & Diane.”
His next album, Cuttin’ Heads, comes out October 16, and he’ll receive the prestigious Billboard magazine Century Award in December.