The singer chatted with 'Today' about the adaptation as well as his engagement to actress Meg Ryan.
This year has been eventful for John Mellencamp, who recently released his 24th studio album, Other People's Stuff, and got engaged to his longtime on-and-off love, Meg Ryan. Even with a tour set and a wedding to plan in 2019, the singer is adding Broadway to his to-do list in the new year: "Jack & Diane" is getting the musical treatment.
"We're getting ready to mount 'Jack & Diane' as a Broadway musical," Mellencamp revealed in an interview with Today on Thursday (Dec. 13). "Every problem that this country's going through today is in that musical." Sternly declaring that the adaptation is not a jukebox musical, he added, "My ambitions are set very high. As close to Steinbeck as we can get it -- in today's world, with these two kids."
Mellencamp didn't divulge any further details about the musical -- which a spokesperson confirmed was in the works -- but did mention that these days he lives "an artist's life," spending time every day creating something -- whether it's painting, writing songs or touring -- with the caveat that "art's not being on the radio." Calling radio airplay the "lowest common denominator," the gravely singer (who scored 10 Billboard Hot 100 hits in the 1980s, with "Jack & Diane" hitting No. 1) said the majority of his best known songs "really weren't that good as far as songs go."