John Mellencamp Reflects On Competing With Bruce Springsteen

John Mellencamp joined an interview with USA Today, during which he reflected on his relationship with Bruce Springsteen. Reflecting on their collaborations over the years, the musician stated that Springsteen always pushed him to work harder.

John Mellencamp released his latest studio album named ‘Strictly a One-Eyed Jack’ on January 21, 2022. He had started to work on the album before the pandemic and most of the song had been written before it emerged. However, the pandemic still interrupted its recording sessions and delayed the release of the album.

Mellencamp also invited Bruce Springsteen to the recording studio to play guitar and sing a few songs. The two recorded a duet called ‘Wasted Days’ which was released on September 29, 2021. The song also became the upcoming album’s lead single. Springsteen’s contribution to the album wasn’t limited to just one song as he also played guitar and did background vocals in the album’s third single. Bruce contributed by playing the guitar for the album’s closing track as well.

Since this became the first collaboration of Mellencamp and Springsteen, the interviewer asked why it took so long for them to come together although they have known each other for years. John Mellencamp stated that they have known each other since childhood and they are like brothers. Mellencamp also added that Bruce Springsteen has been always an inspiration to him and pushed him to work harder so for Mellencamp, it has been an honor to compete with him.

John Mellencamp on competing with Bruce Springsteen:

“Bruce and I have known each other since we were kids, but I was always kind of considered the poor man’s Springsteen. That didn’t bother me. I thought it was just lazy journalism. But Bruce and I have grown to be almost brothers, and I love the guy. He’s been an inspiration and I told him, you made me work harder, I’ve gotta compete with that. Bruce was a blessing to me all along. Maybe I didn’t see it that way, but I do now.”

You can listen to their collaboration below.