1985- The First Farm Aid


Farm Aid grew out of comments made by Bob Dylan at Live Aid when he stated that he hoped that some of the money raised by the benefit concert would go to help American family farmers who were losing their farms. Spurred on by Dylan’s words, Country legend Willie Nelson, John Cougar Mellencamp and Neil Young organized a benefit concert to help farmers. Thus, the first Farm Aid concert was held on September 22, 1985 at the University of Illinois Memorial Stadium.


To be honest, I never watched Farm Aid, I was either working, studying or partying so I missed it. I have heard some great happenings and looking at the line up which played on the day, I regret not seeing a lot of them. What Farm Aid accomplished was a great coming together of rock and country music stars for the big event. One of my favourite country artists, David Allen Coe, played on the day as did Johnny Cash, George Jones and Merle Haggard to name a few. On the rock side, I would have loved to see Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and John Cougar Mellencamp plus many more.

One defining moment from the day I did get to see not long after. Farm Aid would feature Eddie Van Halen and Sammy Hagar playing together live for the very first time. Even if I had seen the entire show, that still would have been my highlight for the day.

The first Farm Aid raised $9 million for family farmers. While not as prolific or as hyped as Live Aid was, the concert was a success leading to further concerts in the years after and while I can complain about Bon Jovi and Eddie and Sammy being the only metal acts that day, I won’t because it was still a great day of music.

Next post: The Rise of the PMRC

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5 Responses to “1985- The First Farm Aid”

  1. I would love to have seen this; so many great artists involved.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I missed this one too. I reckon it would’ve been even better than Live Aid personally.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] Source: 1985- The First Farm Aid | 80smetalman’s Blog […]

    Liked by 1 person

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