John Mellencamp Angry Over Politician's Uses Of 'Small Town'
John Mellencamp is angered over conservative Republican Gov. Scott Walker once again using his 1985 song "Small Town" during his campaign appearances. The Huffington Post reported that back in 2012 Mellencamp publicly separated himself and the message of the song when Walker used "Small Town" without permission during his recall election, which "effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers in Wisconsin." The union law passed despite outcries from such liberal musicians as the late Pete Seeger, Peter Yarrow, Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello, and Billy Bragg. This time around, Mellencamp’s publicist shot hit Gov. Walker an email explaining that Mellencamp "supports collective bargaining and union rights."
Back in 2010, Mellencamp joined Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary in asking the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) to refrain from using their music to campaign against same sex marriage. Yarrow and Stookey objected to the anti-Gay marriage group using Peter, Paul & Mary's version of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" at their rallies. Mellencamp previously had fought against 2008 Republican Presidential candidate Sen. John McCain using his songs "Pink Houses" and "Our Country," without his blessing or legal permission.
John Mellencamp has never shied away from airing his personal political beliefs, but feels that they're best served by incorporating them into his art -- rather than standing on a soapbox during his concerts: "I think that if you're going to challenge people musically it should probably be on a record. Y'know, you don't mind people looking that way at a recording that you've done, and I think they should. But when they take a chance -- that's the word -- take a chance, that perhaps they're going to pay their money to come and see something, I think that they should be entertained and they should leave saying, 'Jesus Christ, that's the greatest thing I've ever seen!'"
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