David Fricke, senior writer for Rolling Stone magazine, moderates. John Mellencamp discusses his life and varied career in music that has spanned more than 35 years. During his career, Mellencamp has transitioned from pre-fab pop idol to one of the most highly regarded mature songwriters of a generation, releasing 26 albums with domestic sales exceeding 40 million units. He has been nominated for 13 Grammys, was a recipient of Billboard's Century Award, ASCAP Foundation's Champion Award, The Woody Guthrie Award and Q's Classic Songwriter Award and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Mellencamp has amassed 22 Top 40 hits and holds the record for the most tracks by a solo artist to hit #1 on the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart. The social activism reflected in his songs was one of the key catalysts that launched Farm Aid, the concert series and organization that has addressed the struggle of American family farmers for more than 25 years. The unique instrumentation of his band and overall approach is widely credited with being the forbear of the Americana/No Depression genre of rural-inflected music.