Portland observer. (Portland, Or.) 1970-current, May 04, 1983, Page 6, Image 6

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    I Portland Obaarvar M av 4. 1883
lot and rolling
John Cougar b what the Illinois Entertainer call* " s tr u e rock populist"
— an Indiana native whose songs encapsulate the experience o f growing up
in the American heartland. Cougar's articulation o f the experience obviously
hits home — American Foot, spurted by the Top 3 single "H u rts So O o o d ,"
went gold within six weeks o f its release. “ Hurts So O ood.” American FooTi
"Jack and D iane" and “ I Need A Lover W ho W o n ’t Drive M e C ra ry "
(one o f Pat Benatar’s biggest A O R hits, as well as an F M favorite by
Cougar himself) have proven John Cougar to be what the Chicago Sun
Times calls " a breath o f fresh air in a rock scene gone to rp id ."
A t I I , Cougar moved out o f home into an apartment in the tiny town o f
Valonia. “ a shack that had a refrigerator on the front porch, outside
plumbing, and cost $10 a month re n t." H e worked pouring concrete and
installing telephones. But he knew there was something more.
He had been playing guitar for a number of years, and had started a band
at 22 that dressed so outrageously no one would hire it to play live. When he
wrote his first song at 23 in an almost offhand, casual way, his friends were
impressed. Nonetheless, when he said. " I ’ m gonna make a record.” people
said, “ A h , you can’t do it ."
M u d d y W a te r« , o n « o f th a m o at sig n ific a n t lnflu «n c«» on m o d ern
m u alc, died S a tu rd a y a t th a ag a o f M. H a died In his slaap a t his
h o m e o f a ca rd iac arraat.
W a te rs w a s co n sidered th a King o f C h lcag o -styta blue«. His style
called fo r using a sm all n u m b e r of m u sicians w ith m a x im u m a m p lifi­
c a tio n . H a lad th a firs t ele c tric blues b an d , using J im m y R ogers on
g u ita r. U ttle W a lte r on h a rm o n ic a and O tis 8 p a n n on p ia n o .
W a te rs had p la n n ed to reco rd a n o th e r alb u m this s u m m e r w ith
J o h n n y W in te r, his p ro d u cer.
T h a an n u al anbnon b a k e a n d p o w -w o w o f United Indian Students
a t Higher Education (U IS H E ) at PSU has been slated for M ay 13-14.
Tickets ($4 advance, S3 at the door) are available from U IS H E members
and the PSU Box O ffice, 229-4440. Mias Indian Northwest 1983, Trudy
Clements (W arm Springs), w ill crown the 1983 winner after the 7 p.m .
grand entry in the PSU gym at S .W . 10th A College. For more info, about
the pageant, call Barbara Farmer at 773-3320. During the pow-wow in the
PSU gym, the Fancy Dance Championships will take place. American
Indian artists and artisans will display their wares which «rill be available
for purchase. Free parking is available in all PSU parking structures for al
weekend activities. The Saturday events are free. For more in fo ., call
U IS H E office 229-4447 at PSU.
S t o
I ( ’ I \
1 ) i B > I ' > K > S ' T
M ay 2 8
'Fine Food it Fun'
High Society
- Ili’
617 N.E. Klllingsworth • 284-3626
1st S h o w M a y 16th • 6:30 p .m .
Tickets at
$8.50 include prime rib dinner and show by
Sojourner Truth Theater
Very Limited Seating I Buy your ticket early and in advance.
O ve rlo o k N e ig h b o rh o o d A s so ciatio n . ( I ) Rep. Ed Leek, guest
speaker. (2) Overlook Park master plan. (3) Update on block watch net­
work. 7 p .m ., Overlook Community Center, 3839 N . Melrose Drive.
Minnie's Ice Cream Parlor
B a r-B -^ *
Dinners 8* Sandwiches
Ice Cream Cones & Dishes
J o h n C o u g a r w ill b a a t th a M e m o ria l C o lia au m M a y 23.1883. along
w ith sp ecial guest S can dal. S h o w tim e Is 8:00 p .m . T ic k e ts ara 810.80
and 811.80.
So with a year's worth o f unemployment benefits in hand from being
laid-o ff by the telephone company. Cougar decided to do just what he’d
said he would — go to New York and make a record. His credentials were
hardly impressive: he had written two songs, and had only been on stage six
times. W hen he arrived inNew York, he ran across a shyster lawyer who
convinced him to take out a $2,000 bank loan, then bilked him out o f the
money by "helping” Cougar cut a demo that should have only cost S I,000.
But demo in hand. Cougar started knocking on doors. Since he was a
great admirer o f David Bowie, Cougar stopped into the offices o f Bowie’s
then-management firm . M ain M an. " I was sitting there in the waiting room
with 20 David Bowie lookalikes,” he recalls. " W ith my hair fixed the way it
is now and an earring, I was the only one who looked different.” An
assistant to Bowie's manager, Tony DeFries, noticed the one kid who looked
different, and DeFries offered to record the aspiring Indiana musician.
Yet, for all the success and acclaim that John Cougar’s music has earned
him, he remains unfettered by the trappings o f stardom, eschewing the
fashionable rock 'n* roll centers o f New York and L .A ., still living in
Central Indiana, the source o f his inspiration. He even refused the lead role
in the movie The Idolm aker because " I was afraid that if I made too much
money. I ’d have no motivation to make records anym ore."
Concludes Cougar, " I feel comfortable singing things that the kid that
pumps gas or works in the steel mill can relate to — basic human emotions."
From the success o f American Fool, it’s obvious that Cougar has articulated
the spirit o f the Heartland's youth. I f he's truly an American Fooi, we
should all be so crazy.
16 Flavors
Closed Sunday and Monday
C jK p
5938 N. Greeley
From John C oltrane lo Lady Day
M arqaret Abe plays the best from the giants of ja z z 1
Oregon Public Broadcasting Radio
Comar of Ainsworth
May Day Dinner
Fashion Show
Live Music & Professional Models
Bright Spring end Summer Fashions
Royal Esquires Club
1708 N.E. Alberta
From 6 p.m . Until Midnight
Admission *4M
2733 N.E. Broadway • 288-6438
/ 1
M ay 7,1983
More Information Please Cell 281-9196
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