Why Heart’s Tour with John Mellencamp was ‘Uncomfortable’
Heart had John Mellencamp as their opening act on their 1982 tour. While a double bill like that is something that would appeal to fans, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
The tour was brought up during Ann Wilson’s recent appearance on The Kenny Aronoff Sessions. During that time, Aronoff was Mellencamp’s drummer. The Heart/Mellencamp tour lasted nine months, which Wilson called “particularly painful” and “uncomfortable.” Why? Because Mellencamp’s star was on the rise, while Heart’s popularity was waning.
During that tour, a little diddy called “Jack & Diane” hit number one in the U.S., which helped eclipse Heart as the headliner. Despite saying how much he enjoyed the tour, Aronoff apologized to Wilson for bringing it up. However, Wilson is a pro and said, “If you stay around long enough, you see they’re just eras, and you just kind of roll through them.”
The Return of Heart
In other Heart news: The band is performing their first show together since 2019.
This show is taking place on New Year’s Eve at the Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle. Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin is on the bill as a special guest. Tickets for the show are on sale now via Ticketmaster.com.
Per Setlist.fm, the last Heart show took place on October 13, 2019. Earlier this month, Nancy Wilson made a surprise appearance at Ann Wilson’s solo show in Santa Rosa, Calif. It was the first time the Heart sisters performed together since the final Heart show.
The surprise appearance from Nancy during Ann’s show was something that excited their fans. In recent years, Ann and Nancy’s relationship appeared a bit fractured in public. Their issues stem from an incident in 2016. Ann’s husband, Dean Wetter, was arrested after he assaulted Nancy’s then 16-year-old twin sons backstage at a Heart show. However, Ann said in an interview with Rock Candy in April 2022 there was no rift. She explained, “Things happen in families, and that was a really good example of something that happened within a family, and we worked it out.”
Part of “working it out” appeared to include Nancy touring under the name Nancy Wilson’s Heart. As previously reported, Nancy Wilson’s Heart came to be after Nancy and Ann Wilson had a touring disagreement.
“Heart had a big offer on the table last year for a bigger tour, but Ann wasn’t interested in going out with my lineup of guys that we were out with before,” said Nancy. “She has a new lineup of guys that she wanted me to join up with, and I sort of [thought] I don’t really know them and don’t have loyalty yet for anybody like that.”