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Guitarist Mike Wanchic '74 Reflects on John Mellencamp's Current Tour

November 10, 2011

103060November 10, 2011, Greencastle, Ind. — "Mike Wanchic has been Mellencamp's friend, confidante, co-writer and band guitarist for nearly 40 years -- he's the Joe Perry to John's Steven Tyler, the Mike Campbell to his Tom Petty. The Keith to his Mick," writes Bill DeYoung in Connect Savannah. In a story previewing John Mellencamp's Friday concert in that Georgia city, DeYoung interviews Wanchic, leader of Mellencamp's band and a member of DePauw University's Class of 1974.

"The casual fan may find it a little perplexing," Wanchic says of Mellencamp's latest tour, which relies heavily on his latest album, No Better Than This, but eschews many of his hits. "But that's not who comes to these shows."

The guitarist adds, "The whole concept behind this show is music, as opposed to hit parade. So many years in arenas, doing big arena rock shows and all that, that really kind of relegates you to a certain realm of your catalogue. The object of this exercise was to move past that, and into what we consider the great songs. We have a hundred and something other songs that we don't ever get a chance to play -- most of our great songs were never really on the90942 radio. Some of them were. There were 20 Top 10 hits, and there's nothing wrong with that, especially when you're coming up through the ranks. That's how you build audience loyalty."

Read more at the weekly newspaper's website.

Also available is this previous story.

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