Authors: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A collection of quotes and thoughts by John Mellencamp on songs, lyrics, beautiful, art, money, future, truth, music, culture, love, rock, and painting.

90 Great Quotes By John Mellencamp For Your Euphonious Voyage

Famous As: Musician, Singer-Songwriter

Born On: October 7, 1951

Born In: Seymour

John Mellencamp is an American singer, musician, songwriter, actor, and painter. He is renowned for his captivating, populist brand of heartland rock, which highlights the traditional instrumentation. He shot to fame in 1980s with some notable numbers including, ‘Paper in Fire,’ ‘Hurts SO Good,’ ‘Pink Houses,’ ‘Jack & Diane,’ ‘Crumblin Down,’ and ‘Small Town,’ amongst various others. In 2008, he was inducted into the ‘Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.' He has been nominated 13 times for ‘Grammy Awards’ and has bagged the prestigious award once. He is an artist who has been both commercially and critically acclaimed. We have amassed some notable, inspiring and tuneful quotes and sayings by the illustrious artist, which have been cumulated from his songs, lyrics, thoughts, writings, interviews, tweets, dialogues and life. Let us take a look at what we can learn from John Mellencamp.
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They say life goes on long after the thrill of living

John Mellencamp

It's what you do and not what you say. If you're not part of the future, then get out of the way!

John Mellencamp

I think Roosevelt had four terms, didn't he? I think we should go back to that, and we should go back to four years for a senator, four years for a congressman, and I think we'd see a huge change in our society.

John Mellencamp

My best songs come from a place outside myself.

John Mellencamp

Broadway is a very different kind of place. It's kind of like Nashville in that there's a certain amount of people that are involved, and those people are what run it.

John Mellencamp

Don't ever lose that innocent laughter, don't let time take that away

John Mellencamp

People have the right to say what they want to.

John Mellencamp

I ended up writing songs and growing up in public with my songwriting. And it's a good thing for me back then: in the early '70s, there was a thing called artist development, where an artist could find his feet, find himself, find his voice. I think I made five or six albums before I sold five or six albums.

John Mellencamp

I believe in something, even if it's just me.

John Mellencamp

As I get older, I have a different look on life. I just try to be a little more tolerant and a little bit more centered about what's going on around me and not so emotional.

John Mellencamp

American folk songs were about tragedy, right? They were about suffering and tragedy, and a lot of my songs are about that, even though they were misunderstood.

John Mellencamp

For me to pretend I'm the keeper of the small town mentality or that's all I'm interested in is wrong.

John Mellencamp

It's my responsibility as a singer-songwriter to report the news.

John Mellencamp

When I wrote 'Pink Houses,' nobody was talking about that, right? The next thing I know, you can't see the TV without hearing commercials with 'Listen to the heartbeat of America,' or 'Born the American way.' That whole America thing now - I hate it.

John Mellencamp

Be careful of those who kill in Jesus' name; he don't believe in killing at all.

John Mellencamp

I wish my grandmother and grandfather were still alive, because they were able to keep me grounded.

John Mellencamp

I've been around so many people for so long that I take great delight in my own company.

John Mellencamp

I'm your average Joe guy. I don't really care for politicians.

John Mellencamp

I'm the guy who wrote The Authority Song. Did they think I was kidding? Did they think it was only a song to entertain?

John Mellencamp

'Jack & Diane' was originally about race. I was playing nightclubs, and I was seeing new American couples, mixed-race couples. I thought it was cool. The song was my effort to make a song about that, but of course the record-company guy didn't like it.

John Mellencamp

I have to say when a man lives for himself, it's hard to live with him. That's pretty much the story of all my divorces. I've been making records since I was 22 and done things my way, and it's hard for me to compromise. And of course, to have a successful relationship, one has to compromise. Sometimes I'm not good at it.

John Mellencamp

One quality of a good songwriter is to be vague. A vague notion, a vague image, but enough to give the listener the opportunity to make more out of what's being said than is there. That's the great thing about Bob Dylan's songs: We the listeners have made more out of them than he ever intended.

John Mellencamp

Hold on to 16 as long as you can. changes coming round real soon, make us women and men.

John Mellencamp

When did Jimmy Stewart not play Jimmy Stewart? When did John Wayne not play John Wayne? But that's what we like about them. When you talk about acting, you really have to respond to somebody's personality.

John Mellencamp

I'm as left-wing as you can get.

John Mellencamp

I need a long and lingering death to make sure that I have time to have a deathbed conversion.

John Mellencamp

Everything I have is for sale. Material items are just things that pass through your hands that mean very little or nothing.

John Mellencamp

Life should never be viewed from the vantage point of achievements. It is total folly.

John Mellencamp

I want my paintings to look like they were found in a garage. If they get a scratch or a hole in them, it just becomes part of the painting.

John Mellencamp

Radio was my friend after 'Jack & Diane' and 'Hurts So Good.'

John Mellencamp

I used to think that eating healthy was ordering a fish sandwich at McDonalds.

John Mellencamp

I was born with Spina bifida. That's where you have a hole in your spine, and your nerve endings come out.

John Mellencamp

My task with 'Uh-Huh' was to make a more even record and get away from juvenile topics like 'Hurts So Good.' But I also knew if I wanted to continue, I had to have more hits.

John Mellencamp

I just think if the song's good, sing it. I don't care who's doing it. I don't care if it's a country act. I don't care if it's a rock act. If the song's good, sing it.

John Mellencamp

As I've matured as a songwriter, I realize that if it's out there, it's mine.

John Mellencamp

Everything I see and hear... I will take ideas from anyplace, anywhere, anytime, and life has become a song to me. I'm always looking for a song.

John Mellencamp

Take 'Jack and Diane.' I was so disgusted with people thinking the line 'Hold on to sixteen as long as you can' meant to stay a teenager forever. What I meant was keep doing whatever makes you feel alive.

John Mellencamp

All I'm doing is painting. It's my hobby. And that's that.

John Mellencamp

Hanging out is a waste of time. The only time I would hang out was when I was a kid, I would hang out in the streets. But once I started making records, I stopped hanging out.

John Mellencamp

If I'm painting, I paint every day. I'll be up in the studio from 8:00 in the morning to 8:00 at night.

John Mellencamp

I went to New York in 1974, to either try to get a record deal, get into the New York Art Student League, or be a dancer. So that was my plan. Some plan. And I had no money.

John Mellencamp

When politicians use fear, they are playing into the enemy's hand.

John Mellencamp

What's the difference? One guy's the same as the other.

John Mellencamp

We could walk 3 minutes and be on the beach. I think the music kind of suffered because of it. It kind of smelled like Jimmy Buffett, which is a bad thing.

John Mellencamp

This is not a rock opera. This is not Tommy. I can write songs that emote, and that's it.

John Mellencamp

People in Indiana have known me for 25 years. They've known George Bush four.

John Mellencamp

Natalie from the Dixie Chicks could have said what she said before 9-11 and no one would have cared.

John Mellencamp

My thought was I should try to stick with names that people may recognize like Robert Johnson, Son House, and Hoagy Carmichael, so if somebody cared to research, they would find a wealth of material.

John Mellencamp

In so many musicals today, the story is moved forward by a song. I don't think we're gonna try to do that.

John Mellencamp

I've just been fortunate to havehad a lot of hit records, though Human Wheels doesn't qualify as a hit record-but it's really the best single I've ever had.

John Mellencamp

I'm wide open and will entertain anything anybody has to say, but if it's MTV and radio, well, they're great things, but can't be the only thing. I don't know that it would work even for the Beatles.

John Mellencamp

I would never say John Kerry would be a great president. I will say that George Bush has divided us; he has filled this country with hatred.

John Mellencamp

I want to sell to people my own age, because that's the way I write songs.

John Mellencamp

I thought I knew a lot about music. Then you start digging and the deeper you go, the more there is.

John Mellencamp

I think it's ridiculous to try to sell records to teenagers, because teenagers don't buy my records. And there ain't that many teenagers out there in the marketplace.

John Mellencamp

I don't want to be a politician. I don't like politics. It's petty; it fights dirty.

John Mellencamp

I don't have to worry about any pop sensibility. I can write adult songs, and I don't have to worry about choruses and hook lines.

John Mellencamp

I couldn't have recorded this record 15 years ago. My voice didn't have the depth to pull these songs off.

John Mellencamp

I'm using my art to comment on what I see. You don't have to agree with it.

John Mellencamp

Do I think it's OK to fight authority as long as you're only talking about the high school teacher? No.

John Mellencamp

Bob Dylan's first couple of records in the 60's weren't considered cover records, but he only wrote one or two original songs on each album.

John Mellencamp

A lot of Woody Guthrie's songs were taken from other songs. He would rework the melody and lyrics, and all of a sudden it was a Woody Guthrie song.

John Mellencamp

A lot of record company people, even though they're our age, want to be perceived as young hip guys, and they're hurting the business.

John Mellencamp

A painting has to be beautiful. Even in its grotesqueness.

John Mellencamp

This is about black people selling out other black people.

John Mellencamp

This cycle of make a record, tour has been going on for 20 years now. I don't even know why I do it sometimes. Do I need more money? Do I need more platinum and gold records? The only thing I can think of is ego.

John Mellencamp

A lot of the time, I write in the third person, but I'm mostly describing my own ordeals. When those unsettled struggles prey on your mind, you become haunted. To get free, you must defeat your ghosts.

John Mellencamp

It sounds funny, but I always try to keep an open mind about what I'm writing about. Sometimes I squeak my opinions in there, but generally I don't. I try to be objective about things that I'm writing about.

John Mellencamp

When people are afraid, they make emotional decisions.

John Mellencamp

What is there to be afraid of? The worst thing that can happen is you fail. So what? I failed at a lot of things. My first record was horrible.

John Mellencamp

'Crumbling' Down' is a very political song that I wrote with my childhood friend George Green. Reagan was president - he was deregulating everything, and the walls were crumbling down on the poor.

John Mellencamp

When you live in hysteria, people start thinking emotionally.

John Mellencamp

Regret should be handled swiftly, and you shouldn't hold onto it. People spend their entire lives regretting what they didn't do and what they should've done. Hey, man, you did what you did.

John Mellencamp

If fans are going to turn on me because of this, they weren't my fans anyway. I couldn't betray a whole 25 years of record making and not do this. I had to.

John Mellencamp

Wait a minute, guys, I have always been on your side. I have always spoken for you, always tried to put on a good face for the state of Indiana. All of a sudden, some of you people think I'm a bad guy?

John Mellencamp

We had an exercise in speech class in school, impromptu speaking, that I was always real good at.

John Mellencamp

The CD, it should be noted, was born out of greed. It was devised to prop up record sales on the expectation of people replenishing their record collections with CDs of albums they had already purchased.

John Mellencamp

Unemployment is sky-rocketing; deflation is in our future for the first time since the Great Depression. I don't care whose fault it is, it's the truth.

John Mellencamp

I've seen beautiful art on the sides of buildings. I've seen beautiful art in museums. I've seen beautiful art in galleries. Beautiful art is everywhere.

John Mellencamp

You cannot expect the guy who drove the car into the ditch to navigate it out of the ditch. You have to put a new driver in the seat. I'm not saying the new driver is going to be any better, but we need a new driver. Kerry is the only choice.

John Mellencamp

Sound quality was supposed to be one of the big selling points for CDs but, as we know, it wasn't very good at all. It was just another con, a get-rich-quick scheme, a monumental hoax perpetrated on the music consuming public.

John Mellencamp

If we have any hope for survival of the music that we all love, compassion must replace name-calling, fairness must replace greed, and we need to come together as a musical community and try to understand each other's problems.

John Mellencamp

Music was so important to the culture when I was growing up in the Sixties and Seventies. We just expected that Bob Dylan was going to make a great record, and it was normal. It was like, 'Okay, here's another great record by Bob Dylan; here's another great record by Led Zeppelin.'

John Mellencamp

Oh, I think country has changed tremendously. I think country has totally changed. Country music when I was a kid was Hank Williams. If you put Hank and Elvis together, there wasn't that musical difference. But as the Beatles showed up and the English invasion, I think country music got pretty far away from rock n' roll.

John Mellencamp

If I laugh a couple of times a day, I'm doing good. People think it's their God-given right to be happy, and it's just not. It's something you've got to work at. I like to paint the human condition, and the human condition is not smiles and happy people.

John Mellencamp

I was one of those guys, you know, playing and singing, and there was no reason for me to write a song, because there were so many beautiful songs out. And Bob Dylan was always the ultimate songwriter, and nobody could ever write a song as good as him, and nobody ever has written a song as good as him.

John Mellencamp

My grandmother made sure that I went to church every Sunday. And she'd come over and pick us boys up, and we would go to the Nazarene church. And back then, that was about as close to heaven as I ever got, because just the time to be able to spend with her, and she was very, very religious.

John Mellencamp

If you hide information from people, don't want people to see the Ten Commandments or don't want people to hear about Darwin, aren't we hiding things that we know from our future generations? I just think that that's incorrect.

John Mellencamp

I wanted to study at the Art Students League in New York when I was young, but I didn't have the money. Then I was fortunate enough to become Johnny Cougar Mellencamp. At the time, I thought I'd make a couple of records and get back to painting. It never dawned on me that I'd be 64 years old and still making music.

John Mellencamp

There are a lot of actors who try to get records made and try to make record deals, and everybody goes, 'Ugh.' It used to be expected in the entertainment business. I mean look at Sinatra, Bing Crosby. All these guys started out as singers.

John Mellencamp