Mellencamp Upsets Wounded Soldiers

Rocker JOHN MELLENCAMP's Friday (27Apr07) performance at the Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, D.C. wasn't a treat for all the soldiers recovering there - many felt he should have stayed away. Angry military patients at the veterans' hospital were upset Mellencamp was invited to perform there after he made it clear he was against the war in Iraq. California soldier Mike Shaw, who broke his back in Iraq in March (07), said, "I say if you're not supporting what we're doing you're not supporting me." Plans for folk-singing peace activist Joan Baez to join Mellencamp onstage at Walter Reed were vetoed because concert organisers felt her long-time anti-war stance would upset many wounded soldiers. Walter Reed spokesman Steve Sanderson says, "These additional requirements were not in the agreement/contract and would have required a modification." But Mellencamp has offered a much less complicated explanation: "Joan had her plane ticket and hotel booked. They didn't give me a reason why she couldn't come... They said, 'She can't fit here, period.'"


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