Courtesy of AXS TVJohn Mellencamp will be featured on a new episode the AXS TV reality series Rock & Roll Road Trip with Sammy Hagar that premieres this Sunday, March 19, at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT. On the show, host Sammy Hagar travels to Mellencamp’s home in Bloomington, Indiana, to chat with the heartland rocker about his long and successful music career and his passion for painting.

In a clip from the program, Mellencamp reveals that his love of painting pre-dated his interest in writing songs.

“I went to New York when I was fresh out of college to go to the New York Art Student League, and on the way there I accidentally got a record deal,” Mellencamp tells Hagar. “When I got my first record deal I didn’t even own a guitar.”

He goes on to explain that while he was in New York, he decided to drop off a demo tape with a few labels, and by the time he got back to Indiana, the MainMan management company — which handled the careers David Bowie and Lou Reed — was calling him to offer him a deal before he’d even heard back from the New York Art Student League.

A trailer for the program can be viewed at the AXS TV Promos YouTube channel. You also can check out a deleted scene from the episode at AXS TV’s official YouTube channel, in which Mellencamp discusses his resolve to maintain his integrity as a music artist and his lack of interest in following trends or seeking the limelight.

“I got some real good advice from a really smart guy when I was real young,” Mellencamp tells Hagar. “He said, ‘John, go where they’re not. Do what they’re not doing. Keep it small, but keep it going.'”

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