JOHN MELLENCAMP: Defends Smoking


John Mellencamp, who had a heart attack at 42, knows that smoking is not good for him. But he says it's helped him achieve one of his goals.

Speaking to fellow Hoosier Jane Pauley this weekend on CBS Sunday Morning, he said smoking gave him the singing voice he always wanted. "I sound like a black guy singing now... I mean, that's what I wanted. I wanted to sound like Louis Armstrong. But I didn't. I sounded like a white guy. People who sing soul music and sing the blues, you know, sing these folk songs, had that growl in their voice. And now I got it. These are my babies. Come on. Don't mess with my babies."

Asked about his daily routine, Mellencamp told Pauley, "A gentleman does not get up 'til 9:30. I get up at 9:30 and I'll make a few phone calls, have a shake, and then I'll paint. [My staff will] bring my lunch up to me, and then I'll paint till 6:00, 7:00. And then I'll go work out. And then have dinner. And then watch Turner Classic Movies or something and then go to bed. That's my life."

On Friday, Mellencamp released a new song not from his new album, Sad Clowns & Hillbillies. It's a version of the 1946 Merle Travis song "Dark as a Dungeon" he recorded for From the Ashes, a documentary about the legacy and future of the coal industry in the U.S. The movie is airing on the National Geographic Channel.

Source: CBS Sunday Morning

Lisa Berigan

Lisa Berigan

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