Despite years of fame and accolades, John Mellencamp still revels in the simple pleasures. Tomorrow (January 21st), Mellencamp releases his 25th album, Strictly A One-Eyed Jack, which features three new collaborations with Bruce Springsteen.

Mellencamp, who turned 70 back in October, spoke candidly about his life and work to People, explaining he's remained pretty much unchanged over the decades: "All I've ever needed was a guitar, motorcycle, some girl to put her arms around my neck and a stereo. That was it. That sounds like real success to me."

Mellencamp, who gave up booze and drugs while still in college when he was only 21, spoke about the victims of a hard lifestyle, saying, "There comes a time when you got to go, 'Okay, I'm done with this s***.' It's funny and attractive to be 25-years-old and be someplace high and drunk. But when you get to a certain age, it's not funny anymore. It's not cute, not sexy. Nothing good about it."

Mellencamp, who despite a still-heavy smoking habit, has tried to live more healthier than he had over the years, revealed, "I had lots of doctors going, 'John, your cholesterol's way too high and you smoke.' I'd go, 'F*** it.' I learned my lesson after I had a heart attack at 42. . . I've walked down the streets of New York, Paris, and London, and people walk up to me and say, 'You have a lot of angels.' The first time it happened, I thought, 'You're f****ing wacky.' But it's like, 'Yeah, I do.'"

Regardless of some of the high class venues he played last time around, John Mellencamp always hopes that his audience acts with the proper decorum befitting any live show he performs these days: [“People that come to my shows are, y’know — I hope — are a bit more elevated in their music taste and know that they’re coming there to hear music and not coming there to fight or get drunk or to party. Y’know, don’t get me wrong — I have nothin’ wrong with people havin’ a drink, or, y’know, bein’ stoned a little bit, but I don’t want fights breakin’ out. I don’t wanna have to stop the show ‘cause people people are jumpin' off the stage. I just can’t deal with that. Y’know, that was all really fun when you were 28 — it’s silly now.”] SOUNCUE (:31 OC: . . .  of the performance)

John Mellencamp On His Audiences Today :