I'm so glad Terry Atkinson finally exposed John Cougar Mellencamp's charlatan ways for us gullible readers ("Mellencamp's America," Record Rack, Sept. 8). So "he's been churning out superficially Springsteen-like songs" all these years?!
I don't pretend to be an expert in Mellencamp or Springsteen (as a critic should be) but my eyes and ears are open enough to have noted that Mr. Heartland ("Nebraska" album) himself (B-O-S-S) is a New Jersey resident and that Mr. Mellencamp (No--he doesn't have a title) was born, raised and still resides in Bloomington, Ind.
I was also tuned in to the Boss Channel when he proclaimed that he got into music for the money and women (What! The steelworkers haven't heard this yet?!). Whereas, good ol' Mr. Mellencamp married the girl he loved at age 16 and still lives with her (where?), yes, in Bloomington.
Today, Springsteen's married a model and changed his image (trading in his 10 o'clock shadow, soiled headband and ill-fitting clothes for tight-fitting jeans, ever-so-suave white shirts and Brian De Palma videos), whereas Mr. Mellencamp is still in good ol' Bloomington, I believe, producing small-town bands and heading the Farm Aid project with good ol' Willie Nelson.