On August 30th, John Mellencamp will become the fifth recipient of the prestigious Woody Guthrie Prize at Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Woody Guthrie Center. The annual award is given to an artist “who best exemplifies Guthrie’s spirit and life work by speaking for the less fortunate and serving as a positive force for social change.” Last month, Guthrie’s daughter Nora indicted Mellencamp into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in New York City.
NewsOK.com posted the day after the event, the Guthrie Center will present the show “Mellencamp,” which has been curated by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and presented in Tulsa by the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa. The exhibit includes Mellencamp’s beloved 1966 Silver Honda Scrambler 305 motorcycle; his legendary Gibson Dove acoustic guitar used throughout his career; and paintings such as “The Stardust Sisters,” which depicts actresses Meg Ryan and Laura Dern.”
John Mellencamp told us that he fears that due to technology and the public’s lack of respect towards creativity, the commercial artist’s days are sadly numbered: “As a society and what we gathered as entertainment (and) as important has definitely taken a turn for the worst and it’s just going to get worse because who with any sense would go, ‘Y’know, I wanna be a book writer.’ Why? So that you can put it up on the Internet and not sell a book. You can’t make a living doing that. Everybody thinks music should be free, everybody thinks books should be free, and all the entertainment things that you and I grew up with are going to go the way of the drive-in theater. By the time we die, they’re just not going to exist in the form that we even recognize.”
Photo Courtesy of Sharon Carone