The Story Behind Steve Lukather and John Mellencamp’s Feud

via Tim Bracken / Youtube

The entertainment industry has the ability to leave a lasting impression on people’s lives, but sometimes, it’s not always positive. This is the case for the ongoing feud between John Mellencamp and TOTO’s Steve Lukather. For years, these two musicians have been exchanging verbal jabs in various interviews and media appearances. It begs the question, what is the root of this animosity and why does the feud continue to persist?

The rock band TOTO, known for their significant impact in the 1970s and 80s, has a remarkable roster that features the acclaimed guitarist and songwriter Steve Lukather. Lukather has played a pivotal role in the band’s musical style and commercial triumphs over the years. Regrettably, Lukather’s impressive legacy has often been obscured by the never-ending feud with John Mellencamp.

The rivalry between Steve Lukather and John Mellencamp is fueled by their impressive achievements and long-standing careers in the music industry. Both artists have had a significant impact on the music world and have achieved commercial success, which may have contributed to their competitiveness.

During an interview with Todd Seely of The Fuze in 2005, Lukather exacerbated the tension between him and Mellencamp by diminishing Mellencamp’s stature in the industry, particularly his inclusion in the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. Lukather also criticized Mellencamp’s band management tactics, insinuating that he has too much control. Lukather’s disdain for Mellencamp grew even stronger ten years later in 2015, as he referred to him as a “douchebag” during an interview with Classic Rock, and even requested that the interviewer not make him seem impolite.

“There wasn’t an album that came out of L.A. between ’75 and ’90 that at least one of us wasn’t on. Yet we’d take all the shit. I’m never going to be in the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame. They f*cking hate us. And that’s the biggest joke in the world, anyway. I mean, the ‘Lovin’ Spoonful’ is in, but Black Sabbath isn’t?! Because it’s a handful of ass-wipe Rolling Stone mentality critics who decide who gets to be in and who doesn’t.

John Mellencamp?! What the f*ck is that guy famous for? Here’s a guy who’s got the same guys in the band for twenty years, and he makes them rehearse the entire set every day at sound check. How many times have you got to learn R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.?”

He added in 2015:

“[He is a ] douchebag. Please don’t make me sound like an asshole. I just have a very colorful vocabulary.”

The feud between Mellencamp and Lukather has persisted over the years, indicating that their competitive nature has not waned. However, it’s essential to recognize that conflicts in the entertainment industry can be exaggerated, and the underlying cause may be more intricate than it appears on the surface.

As with any long-standing dispute, it’s crucial to contemplate the reasons for the ongoing animosity and determine whether it’s time for these talented musicians to reconcile and move forward. The future will determine if the rift between John and Steve can be resolved, enabling both artists to concentrate on their individual legacies and contributions to the music industry.