Mellencamp by Paul Rees

Mellencamp by Paul Rees

Author:Paul Rees
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Atria Books
Published: 2021-09-14T00:00:00+00:00

In a change of scenery, they moved to The Hit Factory in New York to do the mix: John, Mike Wanchic, David Leonard, and Junior Vasquez. This was the first time John had been back in the Times Square studio since 1977; it was also where Vasquez now came into his own as he overdubbed loops, samples, and effects onto the tracks. To the four-square rock-and-roll beat “Jerry” Vasquez fused a careering hip-hop rhythm. “This May Not Be the End of the World” was mutated into a hulking, electro-blues gumbo. “Large World Turning” became a chrome-plated update of “Minutes to Memories,” a road movie roaring by. At the end, they’d made an album that sounded fresh, vibrant, richly textured, and full of life.

“And John still today bitches to me about how damn expensive The Hit Factory was,” says David Leonard.

“We went because all of Junior’s stuff was there and Junior was great,” Leonard continues. “We were in organic world out in Indiana with tape and microphones. In New York, Junior had his programmer guys and his crew. His influence is all over some of those songs I’d say, and I think John liked having him as a different spice. But, you know, everybody was onto John about his smoking and he went on puffing away. He’d say, ‘A heart attack’s not a good enough reason to quit.’ The fact of it is there’s nobody running John’s life but John.”

He was also being typically contrary. At the very same time he was quibbling about the cost of hiring The Hit Factory, Indiana University officially unveiled a new state-of-the-art training facility for its Hoosiers football program, the John Mellencamp Pavilion. This dedication to him was in recognition of a $1.5 million donation he’d made to help fund the building. Explaining his largesse, he told Howard Caldwell of WRTV News, “I’d gone to the university years before and said, ‘If you ever need anything feel free to contact me.’ Of course, at that time I was thinking some portable telephones, some headgear…”


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