John Mellencamp has mellowed with age, as most people do. Nonetheless, Indiana’s favorite son got aggressive with his fair share of people early in his career.

He touched on this in a new interview with The New York Times, which is appropriately titled “John Mellencamp Just Might Punch You.” Mellencamp says at one point, “I built my own studio in Indiana because I couldn’t get along with anyone in the multiplex. I punched the blond-haired singer of the Cars. I fought all the time, and lost all the time.”

Sadly, there’s no elaboration in the published interview as to what led Mellencamp to punch presumably the late Benjamin Orr. However, the mystery makes the story that more intriguing, sort of like how Mellencamp said he “got kicked off every tour” he was on.

When pressed on why he got kicked off tours with Rainbow, KISS and REO Speedwagon, Mellencamp said, “My band and I were terrible, but we were better than KISS.” He added, “I was a young kid, full of energy, and the reviews said, ‘John Cougar blew the place up last night.’ Gene Simmons would look at me like he wanted to kill me.” (Mellencamp didn’t even spit blood. The nerve!)

Mellencamp’s new album, Orpheus Descending, comes out on June 16 and is available for pre-order here. He’s also on tour, and a full list of upcoming shows can be found at

14 Classic Rockers from the Midwest

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well-versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice. #TransRightsAreHumanRights

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