July 4th, 1992 was the day it all started for me. I was 15 that summer and happened upon the “Ain’t That America, a July 4th Celebration with John Mellencamp,” televised on ABC. Freshly off his “Cougar” moniker, John Mellencamp was playing all the hits, while promoting his latest “Whenever We Wanted” album live from Indianapolis, Indiana. Growing up with my boombox and several generations of walkman’s keeping me occupied on long family excursions, I was familiar with most of the John “Cougar” Mellencamp radio staples, so I decided to “Check it out.” A departure from my music catalog at the time, I was immediately taken by the energy of the show and the delivery of the songs. In the following days, I rushed out to pick up “Whenever We Wanted" on cassette. From that point, my backlog journey began with “Scarecrow” and continued through his entire catalog from “Johnny Cougar” to “John Mellencamp.” Since then, I’ve remained steady in my accumulation of his albums, attendance at shows, and even participation in Mellenfest #1 and #2 in Seymour, Indiana. Late in high school, I finally picked up a guitar and proceeded to struggle through “Jack and Diane” for countless hours as a freshman in college......
By 2000, I started Loud and Clear Productions, LLC as a “fun hobby that made money” in the spare time of my engineer-turned-sales career path in the Music Products/Audio industry. In late 2021, after producing hundreds of live events for other bands over 20 years, I decided it was finally “time” to retire from the 30-50ish shows a year, step out from the shadows and onto the stage, and devote my efforts to the “show” that I always wanted to produce. It is my privilege to bring “Ain’t That America: John Mellencamp Tribute” show to you.
Modeled after the show that started my Mellencamp journey back in 1992, with the addition of later hits, and topped off with quality sound, lighting, and video to tell the “story” of JM’s music and art, my goal is to provide an experience only surpassed by John himself. Whether you’re a “Mellenhead” or not, I hope you’ll join the band, crew, and me for some singing and dancing through the "minutes to memories." I hope you enjoy my vision and execution of the ultimate Mellencamp Tribute.
"The show reminded me of hanging out with my old girlfriend outside the Tastee Freez"
"All the [Mellencamp] disciples were going crazy for this show!"
"I don't need no other stinking' Mellencamp tribute than this!"
"Had backstage passes from my daddy. What a party!"
"I'm glad I didn't miss this show! (I stay home alot.)"
"Made me WANT to hang out, after the show"
Aired July 4, 1992 on ABC