For the first time in their illustrious careers, John Mellencamp and Bruce Springsteen have collaborated on a new original song. “Wasted Days” is a mediation on mortality, and is expected to be the first preview of Mellencamp’s 25th album.
Few details are known about LP25, but work on it is completed, via Mellencamp’s website. According to Springsteen, he can be heard on three tracks. “I worked on three songs on John’s album and I spent some time in Indiana with him,” Springsteen said earlier this year. “I love John a lot. He’s a great songwriter and I have become very close and had a lot of fun with him. I sang a little bit on his record.”
The music and lyrics for “Wasted Days” come from Mellencamp, with Springsteen credited on guitar and vocals. The song laments all the time that’s been frittered away, especially as the 69-year-old Mellencamp and 72-year-old Springsteen approach their final acts. “How many summers still remain?” Mellencamp wonders. “How many days are lost in vain?/ Who’s counting out these last dramatic years?/ How many minutes do we have here?”
That’s heavy stuff, but it pales in comparison to the anguished howl of the chorus. “Wasted days/ Wasted days/ We watch our lives just fade away to/ More wasted days.” The song comes with a music video that shows the two icons sitting in a sepia-toned living room, playing cards, which is contrasted with the vivid colors of an outdoor stage under the lights. The colors seem to be a message about which days are wasted and which are not, and you can check out the visuals below.
On November 8th, Springsteen will participate in the Stand Up for Heroes event with Jon Steward, Jim Gaffigan, and more. The Boss recently announced The Legendary 1979 No Nukes Concerts, a new concert film and live album taken from two of The E-Street Band’s most memorable performances. He spent the summer cheering on his professional horseback rider daughter Jessica, who won the silver medal for team equestrian jumping at the Olympics, and he’s hoping to tour with the E Street Band next year, though as his bandmate Steven Van Zandt recently told Consequence, America would first have to improve its COVID-19 response. “But if we can go out there and be safe, I hope we’ll do it.”