Jeffrey R. Stub/CBS via GI
Bob Dylan stunned thousands of fans at Willie Nelson’s sold-out Farm Aid Festival with a surprise performance late Saturday night (September 23) at the Rove Music Center in Noblesville, Indiana.
The debut took place 38 years after Dylan conceived the idea for what became “Farm Aid.”
On July 13, 1985, in Philadelphia, Dylan took the stage at Live Aid, a massive charity organized to raise money for Ethiopian famine relief. And between songs, he told the event’s global audience: Couldn’t a similar benefit help family farmers in America?
“The question hit me like a ton of bricks,” Nelson recalls. painting In 2015. The musician was on the road that day, watching Live Aid on his tour bus TV, and began looking into the economic crisis that had forced family farmers off their land and into bankruptcy. Then he called his friends, including the musician who made the proposal.
Dylan was among an impressive group of country and rock musicians who played the first Farm Aid in Champaign, Illinois, on September 22, 1985, a bill that also included Nelson’s fellow Farm Aid founders, Neil Young and John Mellencamp, along with Johnny Cash. And John Fogerty, Don Henley, Billy Joel, Loretta Lynn, Roy Orbison, Bonnie Raitt and many more — including Tom Petty, who died in 2017, and Petty’s band, the Heartbreakers.
Three decades later, Farm Aid remains the longest-running concert for a cause, having raised more than $64 million to support family farmers and a sustainable food system.
Farm Aid’s direction board now includes Dave Matthews and Margo Price, and Saturday’s bill also included the Grateful Dead’s Bobby Weir & the Wolf Bros. Which includes Wolfpack, Lukas Nelson, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats, Allison Russell, The String Cheese Incident and Particle. child. Also on the bill: Clayton Anderson, The Black Opry featuring Lori Ryan, Tyler Bryant, Keshawna, The Jim Irsay Band, featuring Heart’s Ann Wilson, Native Pride Productions, and Wisdom Indian Dancers.
At Farm Aid in 1985, Dylan performed with Petty and the Heartbreakers.
“At the time, Tony Dimitriades, Tom’s manager, was in a business partnership with [the late] “Elliot Roberts in the Control Department,” who represented Dylan, referred to Bill de Jong, the music critic, author and minor historian, in a 2017 interview with painting. DeYoung worked for many years in Gainesville Sunthe newspaper in Betty’s hometown of Florida.
“Dylan needed a band for First Farm Aid,” DeYoung said. “Everything else grew out of that.”
“Everything Else” included the True Confessions Tour that Dylan and Petty launched together early the following year, in February 1986, during which the Heartbreakers supported Dylan for some 60 shows in Australia, Japan and the United States – including two nights at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. and three nights at Madison Square Garden.
The singers also performed at the second Farm Aid concert on July 4, 1986 – via satellite from their tour stop at Rich Stadium, outside Buffalo, New York. A second outing, The Burning Temples Tour, followed in 1987.
And a creative friendship blossomed between Dylan and Betty – born on Farm Aid.
In 1988, Dylan welcomed Petty, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne and Roy Orbison to his studio in Malibu to record “Handle Me With Care.” It was originally intended as the B-side to a single by Harrison’s Cloud nine album, the song instead became the inspiration for the tongue-in-cheek supergroup The Traveling Wilburys.
Therefore, from Farm Aid, Dylan found a strong touring partner and a successful recording collaboration. On Saturday, the legendary singer contributed to the goal of helping family farmers in America, which he first proposed on stage 38 years ago.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
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