John Mellencamp’s and Stephen King’s musical, Ghost Brothers of Darkland County premieres tomorrow in Bloomington.
Mellencamp has had opportunities to make musicals.
He could have made one like Mamma Mia that focused on his hits through the years, and it would have likely been a huge success on Broadway. But instead he settled on a darker path, working with King on an adaptation of a ghost story close to his hometown.
“I’d never done a musical before, and John had never done a musical,” King said Tuesday during an interview at IU’s auditorium.
Mellencamp says the show is true tale of something that happened in a cabin he owned in the late 1990s near Lake Monroe.
Before you watch the video, here’s the premise.
Two young brothers and a girl were drinking and hanging out at the cabin. The boys got into an argument in front of the fireplace and one brother hit the other one in the head with a fire poker. The girl and the other brother went to get help, but driving into town they lost control of their car and went into a lake and drowned. This last part is particularly gruesome – The next day when officials found the other brother dead at the cabin, an animal had chewed off his head.
By John Mellencamp’s account, the ghosts of these young people haunted his cabin. More than a decade ago, he took the story to Stephen King and asked what he thought about collaborating on a show based on the tale.
“We just kind of looked at each other and we said this is something really new and we said let’s edge out on a limb and try something,” King said.
With the master of horror on board, the two began work on Ghost Brothers of Darkland County.