John Mellencamp is the recipient of the 2012 John Steinbeck Award. The award was presented at a program at the California Theatre in San Jose California that included an on-stage conversation, acoustic musical performances. responses to audience questions and a rock set with backing by John's full touring band.

The photo, above, has the honoree holding the Steinbeck Award flanked by Paul Douglass, executive director of the Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State University and Bob Santelli, Executive Director of the Grammy Museum who moderated the evening's "conversation with" segment.