John Mellencamp will make the trip from Seymour, Indiana to Rockford, Illinois for a stop on his Plain Spoken Tour at the Coronado Performing Arts Center, May 30. Mellencamp has played here before and is always a good show.

I was happily surprised this weekend when I realized that Farm Aid was being broadcast live on cable. As we know, Mellencamp, Neil Young and Willie Nelson started the fundraiser for America's family farmers in 1985. That same year, Live Aid took place in Philadelphia and London to spotlight the hunger crisis in Africa. It was a noble cause. During his performance at Live Aid, Bob Dylan wondered from the stage if some of the money raised that day could go to America's family farms. An idea was sparked.

John, Neil and Willie went to work on organizing a big concert event to help those farmers and Farm Aid was born. The first one took place in Champaign, IL on September 22, 1985. Since then, there has been one every year (except 1988 & '91), and I've been lucky enough to have been to two of them. One in Indianapolis in 1990, that included the final show with all the original members of Guns 'n Roses (NSFW):

And Neil Young debuted the song "Mother Earth" and included the performance on this album Ragged Glory later that year:

In Ames, Iowa a few years later I saw Mellencamp, Neil, Willie along with Ringo Starr and Johnny Cash. I think rock 'n roll can claim much of Johnny's spirit and sound too.


Tickets go on sale Friday, September 19 at 10 a.m.

Win John Mellencamp tickets all week long during the 2:00 Ticket Window with me. Play Midwest Mellencamp Music to score a pair.

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