Cougar Town

They're not my kids.  They're my boyfriends...

They’re not my kids. They’re my boyfriends…

Feeling a little frisky and looking for some music to tame the savage beast?  You’re in the right place at the right time, because it’s Monday and that means it’s time to uncage another dangerous lost earworm straight out of the jukebox jungle we like to call the Dusty Vinyl Archive!  DJ Scratchy’s ready to roar with another wild selection that’s guaranteed to bring out the animal in you, while the Sponkies are earning their stripes by cleaning out the record cages.  Yeah, dust bunnies have to poop too, you know…

dusty vinyl

John Mellencamp was born with a gift for music, and a name that no record producer would touch.  So they made him go by Johnny Cougar, which eventually became John Cougar Mellencamp… and only after he’d made a fuckton millions of dollars as a pop singer was he was finally free to go back to using the name his mother gave him.  Mellencamp was the solo artist version of Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship/Just Plain Starship, only without the name changes being due to taking too much acid…

Mind if I smoke?  I'm only lighting up 80 of these a day....

Mind if I smoke? I’m only lighting up 80 of these a day….

And no, I’m not just trying to be funny in that caption!  Per Wiki:

Mellencamp launched his Dance Naked Tour in the summer of 1994, but a minor heart attack suffered after a show at Jones Beach in New York on August 8 of that year eventually forced him to cancel the last few weeks of the tour. “I was up to 80 cigarettes a day,” Mellencamp told the Boston Herald in September 1996 about the habits that led to his heart malfunction two years prior. “We’d finish a show and I’d go out and have steak and french fries and eggs at 4 in the morning and then go to sleep with all that in my gut. It was just a terrible lifestyle.”

Wow.  Talk about your paper in fire…

What an amateur!

What an amateur!

Fortunately, Mellencamp survived his 1994 heart attack… because if he hadn’t, we’d be featuring some other song in this post today and you wouldn’t have gotten to see that cute cougar photo.  While all of John’s best remembered and signature tunes came from the 80’s when he was representin’ for small town America, his music in the 90’s didn’t quite have that same vibe or chart success.  Even though his career didn’t come crumblin’ down, a lot of the stuff from the Just Plain John Mellencamp era was absolute garbage…

But not this one…. 1999’s “I’m Not Running Anymore.”  Check it out!

It is incomprehensible to me that this song wasn’t a hit and appeared on exactly zero of Billboard’s 6900 different music charts.  Not just because I love this song just as much as the best of the 80’s JCM era, but because this song was inescapable on the radio at the turn of the millennium!  So much so, that I got very sick and tired of hearing it.  But then it disappeared from airplay anywhere and I went over a decade without hearing it again.  As can often happen, my rediscovery of “I’m Not Running Anymore” made me better appreciate how much my ears actually loved it.

And how great is it that a John Mellencamp song successfully used a Lyn Collins sample that is still most associated today with driving a notable old school rap hit?

Whoo!  Yeah!  it takes two to make a thing do right!

Whoo! Yeah! it takes two to make a thing do right!

I’ll be back next Monday with some more R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A….


About evilsquirrel13

Bored former 30-something who has nothing better to do with his life than draw cartoon squirrels.
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23 Responses to Cougar Town

  1. I like it too… and I was surprised as I saw him the first time… with hearing his voice I imagined a completely differend kind of guy :O)

  2. Holly says:

    The Mellencamp can never do wrong in my book.

  3. You’re right on questioning why this tune wasn’t a hit, especially given all the overplay of ‘Jack & Diane.’ That’s a real mystery.

  4. Merbear74 says:

    My husband calls him John Cougar Mellonballer.

  5. Trisha says:

    That was a nice, upbeat tune to start the week with!

  6. You’ve actually started to hit on some songs I recognize. I mean … wow!

    EIGHTY cigarettes a day … and he was SINGING? That’s … well … a whole lotta cigarettes. A whole lot.

  7. I love the older Mellencamp. Back when he was Cougar.

  8. Kat says:

    How the fuck does a person smoke 80 cigarettes a day? Let alone live to tell about it ever. Yikes…

  9. draliman says:

    A passable song, plenty of energy to it 🙂
    I’d sort of heard of John Mellencamp as a name but not what he did. However, looking at his chart positions on Wiki it doesn’t look like he was as big over here.

    • Mellencamp was huge in the US, but I can understand why he wasn’t big internationally because he was about as rural Americana as you could find on the pop charts. At least in the 80’s he was…. most of his 90’s songs were just plain old crappy 90’s crap that all sounded alike…

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