USA Today: ‘Ghost Brothers’ made kin of Mellencamp and King

The heartland icons’ musical launches a tour on Thursday.


John Mellencamp won’t be performing in the new tour of Ghost Brothers of Darkland County, the musical he composed with Stephen King.

Neither, for that matter, will King — though he and Mellencamp did, in one of their early meetings, bond as musicians. “He tuned my guitar,” King recalls. “He said, ‘This thing’s a (expletive) mess.’ ”

In a separate phone interview, Mellencamp confirms this: “It was way out of tune.” He adds, with obvious affection, “Just like Steve’s way out of tune.”

It was more than a decade ago that the rock veteran approached the best-selling author with the concept for Ghost Brothers, a musical (or “a play with music,” as Mellencamp prefers to call it) inspired by actual events in Mellencamp’s home state of Indiana. In the show, which premiered last year at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre, two brothers and one young woman lose their lives to a toxic mix of lust and sibling rivalry.

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