John Mellencamp goes viral for all the wrong reasons

Mellencamp had things happen in a concert in Toledo, Ohio this week.
Al Pereira/GettyImages

John Mellencamp has been making music for nearly six decades. He reached a level of popularity in the 1980s that few do, but Mellencamp did not care to try to keep making music that would keep him selling millions. Making pop music seemed soulless to Mellencamp and while his popularity began to wane, his integrity did not.

The performer still makes records and goes on tour, but his shows are no longer truly rock shows. They are, as he might put it, performance art. And that should be understood as the best meaning of the word. Mellencamp wants to entertain, but he does expect his audience to react in a certain way as well.

While performing in Toledo, Ohio recently, Mellencamp was well into his set. He was telling a story about another concert - Mellencamp likes to tell stories in between songs which is fine as long as someone is not expecting a Pixies-type concert to occur - when a fan yelled, "Play some music." Of course, Mellencamp had already played a number of songs so maybe the crowd member had just arrived or, more likely, was not in touch with all his senses.

John Mellencamp temporarily left the stage at a concert after a fan yelled at him

This upset Mellencamp who then created a viral moment for all who dared take a video. The singer told the person who shouted at him, "What do you think I've been doing, you (expletive)? Here’s the thing, man. You don’t know me. You don’t (expletive) know me."

Another fan (if you can call the person that) then shouted a request for Mellencamp to perform his hit, "Authority Song." By this time, Mellencamp had had enough and told the audience, "Tell you what I’m going to do. Since you’ve been so wonderful, I’m going to cut about ten songs out of the show. Here we go...You know what? Show’s over."

Mellencamp did leave the stage but later came back and finished a set of songs. There also appears to be some falsehood about what he was initially discussing when the crowd member blurted out to play more music. Some on social media will have you think he discussing politics, but he was talking about a conversation with his grandmother (as can be heard above). One can see where he would be annoyed by the fan screaming to play some music.

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