John Mellencamp and Guitarist Mike Wanchic '74 "Put the Music First"

John Mellencamp and Guitarist Mike Wanchic '74 "Put the Music First"

July 23, 2009

Mellencamp Wanchic.jpgJuly 23, 2009, Greencastle, Ind. — Mike Wanchic, longtime guitarist for John Mellencamp, "played football for DePauw University (and) has continued to stay in shape, as have the other members of the band," notes a story in today's Virginian-Pilot of Hampton Roads, Virginia. The newspaper previews a Sunday concert in Norfolk by Mellencamp, Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, with Carrie White noting that the "meaning of the phrase 'party like a rock star' has evolved for members of the bands." (photo, l-r: Mellencamp and Wanchic)

"Our priorities have definitely changed," says Wanchic, a member of DePauw's Class of 1974. "When we were young, touring was an adventure and fun -- it was all new. But now, we put the music first. The music is our entire focus."

He adds, "Almost every morning I see every member of the band at the gym. We take care of ourselves."

Mike Wanchic sm.jpgWhite writes that the 57-year-old Wanchic, who serves as the band's musical director, "met Mellencamp in 1976 and joined his band two years later. He said his boss is fiercely competitive. 'He's called 'The Little Bastard' because he won't compromise. He won't bend. He won't do anything that isn't in the best interest of the music. That's why we're still here.'"

You'll find the complete article at the Virginian-Pilot's Web site.

Mike Wanchic co-produced Mellencamp's new album, Love, Death, Live and Freedom. Learn more in this recent story.