Mellencamp’s Depression (or NO)?
First, excellent review Nick. Reflective, nuanced and I love the Hugo quote.
How do we take Mellencamp’s seeming wallowing in all life’s darkest corners? He still makes songs out of them, life worn and weary at times, facing the grim reaper and not flinching though he admits his deep and raw humanity with gulps of shaking courage.
I sensed the courage in his wonderful Farm Aid 25 performance in Milwaukee. He still gave us defiant energy and “Check It Out” rang again as a one of his defining statements, balancing his melancholic insight with the need for others to wisely pick up the flame. “Hope they have a better understanding…”
So he’s hardly done, though he may keel over at any time, with that ticker.
Since that great event, I’ve spent a bit more time thinking about him than about Young, who was also there, but I knew Young better. Mellencamp’s sometimes scary, ever-deepening late career phase brings to mind Melville’s deep-diving ideal as a thinker/writer.
John and Neil remain flaring, flickering lights in deeply dark times.