With no fanfare — and no advance word, actually, of any kind — a John Mellencamp/Bruce Springsteen collaboration, “Wasted Days,” appeared on YouTube at midnight Sept. 28. You can watch the video for it, below.
The mid-tempo roots-rock song is extremely bleak, lyrically, with lines such as “We watch our lives just fade away to more wasted days” and “Who on Earth is worth our time/Is there a heart here that I can call mine?” Still, there is enough soul in the vocals and passion in the music to give it a certain amount of uplift.
The title of the album will be Strictly a One-Eyed Jack. Its release date has not yet been announced, though Mellencamp has said it won’t be out until 2022.
SiriusXM E Street Nation (channel 20) disk jockey Jim Rotolo announced on the air, June 28, that around 9 a.m. June 29, he debut the song, and that it would be replayed throughout the day on the channel. He also said that he will be interviewing Mellencamp on the air about the collaboration and other things, the morning of Sept. 30, so maybe we’ll get more details about the album then.
Springsteen has been spotted hanging out this year, in both Indiana and New Jersey, with Mellencamp. He told Rolling Stone in June, “I worked on three songs on John’s (upcoming) album and I spent some time in Indiana with him. I love John a lot. He’s a great songwriter and I have become very close (with him) and had a lot of fun with him. I sang a little bit on his record.”
“Bruce is singing on the new record and is playing guitar,” Mellencamp said in May. “I finished the record a week ago today.”
Yet in July, it was posted on Mellencamp’s website mellencamp.com that “Mellencamp will soon return to the studio to finish recording his 25th album. Prior to the onset of the Global Pandemic, he has already cut ten tracks and plans to record another 17 for the project.”
Click here for a look at Springsteen-Mellencamp interactions over the years.
We need your help!
CONTRIBUTE TO NJARTS.NET
Since launching in September 2014, NJArts.net, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of any amount to NJArts.net via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to NJArts.net to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.