JOHN COUGAR MELLENCAMP
Chestnut Street Incident
(1977) Mainman MML 602
Produced by: Mick Ronson
Ronno-fan Rick Graves wrote this in an e-mail that I received:
"In regard to the Mick Ronson - John Mellencamp connection: didn't Mick play
on Mellencamp's very first album, "Chestnut Street Incident?" Some guys I
went to high school with were friends of Mellencamps way back when and
played on that album. I thought I remembered Mick's name being on the
credits. I think the album was recorded in Bloomington, IN but Mick did
his parts in New York, so they didn't get to meet or play with him. Not
sure of the accuracy of this information, I'm thinking back about 20 years
(1982) RIVA 7501
John "Cougar" Mellencamp was once managed by Mainman. He
released two LPs
on the Mainman label, both were OK but failures, as Tony DeFries tried to
make John into the American Bowie. Not even Mick Ronson could save his first album "Chestnut Street Incident"
John left Mainman and began to build a
new career, keeping the John Cougar name that Mainman had foisted upon him.
John released two good albums, but his success remained confined to the
Midwest, where he remains an icon. During the recording of his third album,
American Fool, there was tremendous pressure to have a hit record. That's
where Ronson, his old friend from the Mainman days, comes in.
John had Jack & Diane already written. Mick did the musical arrangement and
plays the signature acoustic guitar licks throughout the song. And Ronson
is uncredited. As for any other involvement in the sessions, nothing else
has been confirmed or admitted to by the participants.
Mellencamp must have remembered that Ronson basically saved his career, so
he showed up for the recording of Heaven & Hull.
Mick told Sven Gusevik in 1991 that he played on four songs on
LP. He was around for most of the sessions for that LP.
In 1991, Mellencamp asked Mick to join his touring band - and Mick
probably would have, had he not become ill.
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