Shameless Self Promotion: New Book!

Okay, so this has absolutely nothing to do with Bay Area recording, aside from the fact that it pertains to the author of this blog! So here’s my plug — my second book, Born in a Small Town: The John Mellencamp Story, is set for a Nov. 1 release by Omnibus Press. It’s the result of a lot of long hours and more than 20 interviews (everyone from Kenny Aronoff to Don Gehman to John Mellencamp’s friends from grade school). Read the full official press release below:

 Omnibus Press to Release John Mellencamp Biography

NEW YORK, NY—Omnibus Press, an imprint of The Music Sales Group, is pleased to present the definitive biography of one of America’s foremost songwriters, John Mellencamp. Fans can look forward to a Fall 2007 release of Heather Johnson’s Born In A Small Town: The John Mellencamp Story (978.0.8256.7336.8, $22.95, November 1, 2007).

Born In a Small Town: The John Mellencamp Story tells of the extreme highs, devastating lows and crucial blows that helped cement Mellencamp as an integral figure in the rock music landscape forever. Author Heather Johnson traces Johnny Cougar’s roots as a brash, no-nonsense rocker to his activist involvement in Farm Aid with Neil Young and Willie Nelson. Farm Aid would eventually echo John’s true sentiments of the country he so loved, for his voice helped to yield a social consciousness in pop music that would resonate throughout the world. His voice would become a mouthpiece for a people that had none; he would use his gift to enable people to maintain a lifestyle that is so vital to the United States–our sacred farm culture.

Moreover, his musical legacy continues with his recent album, Freedom’s Road, an expressive piece of music that utters the current climate of the United States, and its timeless pastoral essence—both good and bad. John Mellencamp’s voice is a simple truth, a truth that is eloquently embedded in the soul of the American poet. Born In a Small Town chronicles the life and times of a key figure in the rock pantheon, and indeed a legend of the American rock movement as a whole. The book also contains a set of rarely seen photographs and a complete discography that will inform and entertain the most ardent of Mellencamp fans. Most importantly, Johnson digs deep into the music; gathering interviews from band mates, producers and relevant quotes from Mellencamp himself.

Mellencamp’s career began over 30 years ago, and his timeless entity is still growing today. In the 1970s Mellencamp had only begun to pave the way to his stratospheric rise to success. It was in 1982, with the release of the iconic American Fool that John became a true legend of the business. Hits such as “Jack and Diane,” and “Hurts So Good,” exploded onto mainstream America radio causing a wildfire of acclaim by both fans and the music press. John would continue this trend with albums such as Scarecrow, and Lonesome Jubilee. The appeal of Mellencamp’s music lies in the powerhouse musicianship, well-crafted songs and a passion for the heartland of America that yields much of his most popular work. Quite simply, Mellencamp’s music is a reflection and representation of the best of American music.

Heather Johnson is a San Francisco-based author and journalist specializing in music, music recording/technology, and the arts, among other topics. She currently serves as a contributing editor and writer for Mix magazine, and has written for magazines such as Electronic Musician, EQ, Performing Songwriter, Audio Media, No Depression, and Paste. In addition to Born In A Small Town, Johnson has also authored If These Halls Could Talk: A Historical Tour Through San Francisco Recording Studios.

John Mellencamp’s latest studio album, Freedom’s Road, is available in stores now. Mellencamp will be performing at the 2007 Farm Aid concert in New York City on September 9, 2007. For more information, visit


1 Comment

Filed under Farm Aid, John Mellencamp, Music

One response to “Shameless Self Promotion: New Book!

  1. Steve Richards

    Hello Heather. I have been an ardent John Mellencamp fan for nearly 30 years, have travelled around the world to see him perform, even managed to shake his had at Mellenfest in Seymour in 1998, as did my wife! I just picked up a copy of “Born in a Small Town” and am absolutely loving reading it. It’s filling in all the gaps in my knowledge about his life and it’s a great read. Being an Aussie I am pretty familiar with the Australian music scene. I hope you won’t mind if I point out a small error in your book, meant to help you. On page 28 you mention the music journalist called Molly Melbourne. In fact his name is Molly Meldrum, he lives in the city of Melbourne I believe (saw him there in a pub once anyway and I’m pretty sure he’s from there). Keep up the great work, Best Wishes, Steve (from the UK where I am temporarily based).

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