John Mellencamp Recalls Gene Simmons Jealousy After Not Receiving The Highest Praise

During a chat he recently joined with the New York Times, John Mellencamp recalled being expelled from every tour he embarked on as an opening act during his early years in the music scene.

Referring to his constant physical fights at the time, the rocker said:

“I punched the blond-haired singer of the Cars. I fought all the time and lost all the time. I got kicked off every tour I was on.”

He also took a jab at KISS and Gene Simmons:

“My band and I were terrible, but we were better than KISS. I was a young kid, full of energy, and the reviews said, ‘John Cougar blew the place up last night.’ Gene Simmons would look at me like he wanted to kill me.”

In his wild early days on the road, Mellencamp got kicked off the tours headlined by KISS, REO Speedwagon, Rainbow, and others. In a 2003 Q&A with Rolling Stone, he detailed his being dismissed from touring with REO Speedwagon:

“With REO Speedwagon, I think I only lasted three shows. They had these ‘ego ramps’ — those great big ramps going into the audience. The first thing Speedwagon told me was to stay off the ramps, and I said, ‘F*ck you! I’m going out!’ The second night, they lined the ramps with folding chairs, so I kicked them off the stage.”

The singer’s new album, ‘Orpheus Descending,’ will arrive on June 16. In his current North American dates, he performs two songs, ‘Hey God’ and ‘The Eyes of Portland,’ from his upcoming record, in his setlist. The tour’s last concert will take place in Milwaukee on June 27.