Monday, January 11, 2016

Loving the Crazy Ones

Song 285: For this week’s playlist track, you can hear Crazy Ones by John Mellencamp, written by John Mellencamp and Randy Handley. I remember seeing the ads for JM’s new album Whenever We Wanted on the buses in Manhattan in the fall on 1991, and I really liked the cover picture of him playing guitar in an artist’s studio surrounded by paintings, with a pretty woman sitting in the studio, looking very much like an artist’s model. That graphic gave me a very positive feeling for the CD, and when every track I heard on the radio sounded as good as it did, I soon decided I wanted a copy of that new record. It didn’t take too many spins to conclude that, as good as some earlier Mellencamp albums might be, for me, Whenever We Wanted topped them all. This cut, near the middle of the set, really resonated with me, as one of those I could have written that — I’ve been there too moments. At the time, I had recently gotten to the end of my second roller-coaster ride from falling for one of the crazy ones, after having taken a similar ride the year before. The 1990 experience inspired the song Thanks a Lot that appeared on the Country Drivin’ CD, and the 1991 adventure inspired another song, though I haven’t quite found the right context for a recording of that one. Over the last few years, I feel like I’ve found the answer to John’s question, and I would share it with him if I ever had the chance. He's asking the right person when he sings, “Mama, why do I always fall for the crazy ones?” However, his mama may not be able to tell him, but being his mother’s son lies at the heart of why “the crazy ones leave me (and him) feeling like this.” If JM hasn’t figured it out for himself yet, and if he’d like me to fill in the details, I could do it — he’ll just have to send me an email, or maybe connect on Facebook, Twitter or whatever.

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