.

Mellencamp, Tritt Unite

Democratic rocker, Repubican country singer harmonize for tolerance

September 14, 2004 12:00 AM ET
Democrat John Mellencamp and Republican Travis Tritt stood on a Nashville street corner Monday to make a bi-partisan plea for political civility.

The rock star and country singer were filming the video for their current duet, "What Say You," from Tritt's CD My Honky Tonk History. The two star as street musicians standing in front of a fictional Ruby's Cafe, and the Chris Lenz-directed video will be interspersed with montages of Middle America. The video will be released in the coming weeks, and Mellencamp and Tritt plan to perform together on a number of television shows.

"It's a very positive message," Mellencamp says of the single, penned by songwriters Frank Myers and Michael Bradford. "It's that we should be able to say what is on our minds and have an intelligent exchange of opinion -- whether you're left, right, middle or whatever -- without suffering repercussions. For some reason, in this country right now, that's not happening. If you don't believe one way, you are 'anti-American,' you're 'not supporting the troops.' I just think it's wrong."

The song, based on a phrase used by conservative talk show host Bill O'Reilly, features the lyrics, "I don't have all the answers/But I share my point of view/What say you?"

Tritt, who recently played an event during the Republican National Convention, had several reasons for working with Mellencamp, a participant in the anti-Bush Vote for Change tour. "I've admired his music for so many years," Tritt says. "I also admire his integrity. Very much like me, he has resisted all outside pressures to change his music or let anybody tell him what his music should be. And the fact that I thought our voices would work well together even though we have different political viewpoints really illustrates what this song is about."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com