Farm Aid coming to Saratoga Springs

Neil Young with Willie Nelson at a recent Farm Aid press conference. Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/organicnation/ Some rights reserved.

Neil Young with Willie Nelson at a recent Farm Aid press conference. Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/organicnation/ Some rights reserved.

The iconic musical benefit for family farms will be held at SPAC, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, on September 21st this year. Founders Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Neil Young will again be the headliners, along with newer board member Dave Matthews.

Willie Nelson told the Associated Press yesterday that "the Northeast is fertile ground for new farmers and sustainable agriculture."

Tickets will go on sale to Farm Aid members on June 18, to the general public on June 28.

Farm Aid was spawned by comments Bob Dylan made at the ur-benefit concert, Live Aid, according to Rolling Stone:

"I hope that some of the money . . . maybe they can just take a little bit of it, maybe . . . one or two million, maybe . . . and use it it, say to pay the mortgages on some of the farms." – Bob Dylan

American family farms were fighting mortgage crises in the 1980s. But Rolling Stone says that didn't stop Live Aid organizer Bob Geldof from saying Dylan's comments were "crass, stupid, and nationalistic."

So Dylan HAD to play at the first Farm Aid, in Champain, Illinois, in 1985. Unfortunately, the video in the link above of Dylan playing "Maggie's Farm" with Tom Petty is blocked. But thanks to the miracles of youtube, you can watch Foreigner play "Urgent", or Daryl Hall and Billy Joel sing "Every Time You Go Away" (isn't that a Paul Young song?),, or Sammy Hagar and Eddie Van Halen do something or other.

Let's go with the iconic: John Cougar Mellencamp's Pink Houses, from the first Farm Aid (back before he changed his name to John Mellen Cougarcamp):

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