John Mellencamp
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Johnny Cougar, Johnny Cougar Mellencamp, whatever you want to call him. John Mellencamp has been rocking and rolling for nearly 40 years.

The rock star-turned folk hero is known for his approachable lyrics and genre-blending style. But since 1991, he has cut out a particular part of the rock-n-roll lifestyle from backstage while on tour.

He doesn’t allow groupies or “hangers on” backstage for him or anyone in his crew. He says it’s a move that was good advice.

Who can we thank for this? His wife at the time, model Elaine Irwin. She wanted to keep things more family friendly since they had kids with them on the road.

“She goes, ‘This is not going to go on anymore. No more [random] people backstage.’ I said to her, ‘Why? I thought we were having fun.’”

Even though Mellencamp and Elaine divorced in 2010 after 18 years of marriage, he still follows her advice.

They couple have two sons – Hud, 27, and Speck, 26. He also a daughter, Michelle 51, from his former wife Priscilla Esterline and two daughters from ex-wife Victoria Granucci – Teddi, 40, and Justice, 36. 

The 70-year-old rocker’s album ‘Strictly a One-Eyed Jack’ hits shelves today.

Related: John Mellencamp “Takes a Knee” During Concert in Solidarity With Kaepernick

Elaine Irwin Sounds “Fun”

That is sarcasm. Here’s what Irwin had to say about Mellencamp (or anyone for that matter) having people backstage.

“You’re married to me, so there’s nobody backstage.’ I said, ‘You go tell the band,’ and she did. There’s not been anybody — no girls or hangers-on — backstage at my shows since then. Her advice was good.”

Now for Mellencamp, I get it. Sure, you’re his wife, why would you want people backstage?

But why are you messing with the band? Isn’t that half the reason that you join a rock band and go on tour for months on end is so you can meet girls? 

Groupies Are The Reason You Become A Rock Star

If I was in a band and I was living the band life, but someone said, “Hey, you can’t bring girls” backstage. I would quit. Not because I would constantly bring girls back, I wouldn’t.

But if I am playing the same four bass chords every single night while sleeping on a bus, at the very least, I should be allowed to make out with a cute single mom in Tampa. But not if I am touring with Johnny Cougar.

Is John Mellencamp OK?

He was on the Marc Maron podcast this week, and hoo boy, does this guy need a wellness check.

Am I OK?

What do you think? Am I overreacting here about the lack of groupies thing?

Here’s one of John’s songs that still “hurts so good.”

Anyway, share your thoughts in the comments below.

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