canada.gif

gb.gif

de.gif

us.gif
Neil Young's new album Peace Trail released on December 12th. Pre-order here
(Please shop locally & independently. But if you can't, we appreciate your supporting Thrasher's Wheat by clicking this link . Thank you!!!)
ADVERTISEMENT
<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Friday, October 01, 2010

Farm Aid Memories: 25 Years of Harvesting

farm-aid-2010-logo.gif


Farm Aid 25: Growing Hope for America will be held today in Milwaukee, Wi.

In the spirit of the event, we bring you Farm Aid Memories from one of our dear friends, Kevin "Union Man" Woodard. we've known "Union Man" for a long time now and go back in the years of seeing Neil Young concerts. Kevin aka "Union Man" has been to more Farm Aid concerts than just about any Neil fan that we know. This year will mark his ~18th Farm Aid concert -- a remarkable achievement.

Here are some of Kevin "Union Man"'s Farm Aid memories based on attending the concerts over the past 25 years including the first concert in 1985 in Illinois.

---

I first started watching Farm Aid in 1985. I am a huge Neil Young fan. That is what first got my interest. It soon became a yearly ritual with my wife and I. We would donate fifty dollars and get a t shirt. I got the odd years she got the even years. We became very interested in the cause.

I live on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. In 1999 Farm Aid came to Virginia. I had to go! My brother, David went with me. My brother Chuck and his wife Terri also went. I attended this Farm Aid and caught "The Fever" ! I told myself that I would not ever miss one.

farm-aid-2008-john-dave-willie-neil.jpg
Dave Matthews, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Neil Young


The next year it was back in Virginia, no problem! I had a great seat. I think it was fourth row on the aisle. I was approached by security early on and was told that they would give me a concert t-shirt to move to seats further in. I said I didn't want to and they said they weren't asking! My wife and I took the shirts and moved. A little while later Tipper Gore and her entourage came in and took our seats! That was pretty cool!

In 2001 came my first challenge. I had only flown once in my life. I was flying to Indianapolis alone! Then came 9-11. Made me a little more nervous about flying but I had to get to Farm Aid. I was fortunate to have met a friend through the Neil Young Internet community who lived near Indianapolis. He actually picked me up at the airport, took me to his home, kicked his kid out of his room and treated me like royalty all weekend. Thanks John!

farm-aid-2005-neil-young.jpg
Neil Young on "Southern Man" - 2005
Photo from FarmAid.org


Then came Pittsburgh. We drove to this one. My wife and several friends attended.

Some old friends of mine, Cope and Diane, attended and have gone to every one since with me! I think this might be the year that my friend Kathy Popple brought Chief Dennis to dinner and I got to meet him. One thing I remember about this show is purchasing my STOP FACTORY FARMS shirt directly from Roger Allison and the folks at Patchwork Family Farms before they were sold by Farm Aid. One of the highlights for me every year is stopping by to chat with Roger and eat some of his great food. This is usually the first thing I do when I arrive.

farm-aid-2005-neil-young-willie-nelson-press-conf.jpg
Neil & Willie - 2005, photo from FarmAid.org


In July of 2003 I broke my leg. Did this stop me? No way! My wife and I flew to Columbus, cast and crutches and all. Cope and Diane drove. A volunteer met me at the venue gate with a wheelchair and took me down to my seat.

The longest trip came next, Seattle! We decided to turn this into a vacation and stayed a few days longer than usual. My wife, Suella and Cope and Diane went along this time. Seattle was awesome! We had a little incident with parking downtown. A tow truck and a long walk in the rain was involved!

farm-aid-2005-neil-young-john-gress.jpg
Neil Young - 2005
photo by John Gress


The 2005 show was particularly special for us because our oldest daughter, Rachel, then 15 years old went to Chicago with Suella and I for her first Farm Aid. She has not missed one since. Rachel is a vegetarian but she goes to see Roger with me and he gives her a roll! Cope and Diane were with us and Chuck and Terri were back on board also! They have not missed one since!

We drove to the Camden show. Cope and Diane and Rachel and I. Chuck and Terri went also. Rachel and I rode to NYC with Chuck and Terri. Cope and Diane drove separate. My brother David made this one with his wife and nine year old daughter. I got my picture taken with Al Sharpton in front of my hotel and Rachel got to get her picture taken with one of the guys from Guster, one of her favorite bands!

farmaid2006-press.jpg
Neil Young at Farm Aid Press Conference
Neil Young - 2006
Photo by Kim Buchheit


Then came Mansfield. By far the best trip! After a great deal of consideration we decided to drive. Diane borrowed a conversion van and drove the whole way! Over 400 miles! Cope sat up front and David, Rachel, Rebecca (my other daughter) and I sat in back. We laughed and carried on the whole way. Stopped in New Haven for pizza and ended up turning a long drive into a very long drive!

The girls got their picture taken with Carson Daly and with Steve Earle. Then they convinced Steve Earle to get a pic with me and one with David. Fun memories. Neil performed " A Day In The Life " at this one. A performance that I will never forget.

farm-aid-2007-cartoon-fred-harper.jpg
Illustration by Fred Harper


Last year, Cope, Diane, Chuck, Terri, Rachel and I flew to St Louis. We attended
the Homegrown urban county fair and I got to meet Cornelia. What a pleasure!


Phish & Neil Young - "Down by the River"

Every year I look forward to seeing other regulars. There are several of us who met through the Neil Young Internet community that usually get together the night before and at the show. I have met several others such as Roger Allison and some farmers from Virginia, Debbie and Jackie Seale.

farmaid2003NeilWillie.jpg Paul Natkin/Photo Reserve Inc. via Farm Aid press page

Farm Aid 2003


The whole atmosphere at the concert appeals to me. I love being there. I have hardly mentioned the music. As you know it is always fantastic. I love hearing the guys talk about the issues etc. I would love to get a chance to attend the press conference one year.

Looks like my regular gang, Chuck, Terri, Cope, Diane and Rachel will be going to Wisconsin with me this year. In my wife's defense, we have been putting both girls through college and she elects to stay home to save the expense. I on the other hand don't have that choice. I HAVE to go! :-)

farm-aid-2008-neil-young-press-conf.jpg
Neil Young at Press Conference
Photos by Paul Natkin/Photo Reserve Inc. 2008


I am 53 years old and work for a large grocery chain. One of the Farm Aid enemies sort of. As produce manager I do however continuously expand the offering of orgainic produce as well as purchase everything I can from local family farms. Try to make a difference in my own little way...

I hope you had as much fun reading this as I had writing it! I could go on and on...

See you in Milwaukee and thanks for all you do,
Kevin "Union Man" Woodward

Thanks Kev "Union Man". You're the best.

No farmers, no food.

farm-aid-founders.jpg


Links to this post:

Create a Link

4 Comments:

At 10/02/2010 08:42:00 AM, Blogger expecting2fly said...

Union Man - what a fantastic journey down the Farm Aid path you have had. Thanks for writing that. I've been to a few Farm Aid concerts and you've been to all of them that I've attended (well, except for Columbia, SC in '96 which was a very good one with Crazy Horse.) I feel like such a wimp this year because I'll be listening on XM radio to this year's Farm Aid instead of being in Milwaukee. Have a great time there, friend!

Mike

 
At 10/02/2010 07:52:00 PM, Blogger ShittyHorse said...

I'm glad I got the chance to see a farm aid- hopefully I'll get the chance again. I went in 08- what a great time, awesome line-up besides the regulars: Arlo Guthrie, Jerry Lee Louis, Jacob Dylan, The Pretenders, moe, Steve Earle, Jamey Johnson the highlights were the all the interactive displays, meeting Willie Nelson, and Neil Young's set w/ the electric band. I didn't get to meet Neil but I saw John Mellencamp, Elliot Roberts up close, outside the venue and shook Willie's hand.
I love the whole farm aid idea- a great cause. You learn at lot at farm aid and its a great party with awesome music.

 
At 10/13/2010 09:11:00 AM, Blogger Tom said...

Hi Kevin,

You really captured the experience! My brother and I started in 2000 in Washington. We missed 2001, but have been to all the concerts since - sometimes with our daughters and friends, sometimes just the two of us. It's always been a highlight to run into you and your family members at the shows. Hope to see you next year!

Tom Barrett

 
At 8/14/2011 11:37:00 AM, Blogger LeoE said...

Union Man....you rock!

Leo

 

Post a Comment

<< Home

<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Willie for a Nobel!

Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize
for Farm Aid and his work on
alternative fuels, and world peace initiatives.


Demand justice for Aaron:
Support "Aaron's Law" and inquiry into his prosecution


Induct Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame



Please Help Support Independent Media &
Non-Corporate Advertising
This Blog's For You!


The Hypocrisy of the Mainstream Media

It's Been Called The
"Missing Link" in the Ditch Trilogy

time-fades-away-banner2a

Sign the Release "Time Fades Away" Petition
Join The 10,000+ Who Have Already Signed


broken-arrow-mag-new-logo.gif

Neil Young Appreciation Society


sugar-mtn-logo.jpg
Sugar Mountain

Neil Young Setlists
rust-radio-new
Rust Radio


bumpersticker-neil-concert.jpg


i-l-ove-neil-young-sm.jpg
Bands Covering Neil Young songs


bumper-sticker-live-music-better-sm.jpg


ny-times-logo.jpg
Official Neil Young News Site

bridgeschool_logo
The Bridge School


The Bridge School Concerts
25th Anniversary Edition

**100% of Proceeds to Benefit Bridge School***

farm-aid-logo.gif
Farm Aid

Stop factory farms
Go family farms!

linda-eastman-neil-young-sugar-mtn-sm.jpg
The Essential Neil Young

neil-young-sleeveless.jpg
Fans Favorite Neil Albums

neil-young-heart-of-gold-film-still
Top 50 MP3
Neil Young Song Downloads


Top 10 Best Selling Neil Albums Today
amazon-neil-store.GIF
Support Thrasher's Wheat
via Purchases from:
United States - Amazon.com us.gif
Canada - Amazon.ca canada.gif
United Kingdom - Amazon.uk gb.gif
Germany - Amazon.de de.gif




Neil Young Songbook Project

Neil Young + Promise of the Real

Europe 2016 Tour Dates



2015 Rebel Content Tour


Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Alchemy Concert Tour Reviews

Fall 2012 N. America Tour
Spring 2013 Australia/New Zealand Tour
Summer 2013 Europe Tour

Europe Summer 2014 Concert Tour
Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Thrasher's Wheat Radio Supporters Go To Europe

jttp-film-poster-sm.jpg
Neil Young Films

musicares-neil-young-2010.jpg
2010 MusiCares Honors Neil Young

Features Elvis Costello, Crosby Stills & Nash, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Ben Harper, Elton John, Norah Jones, Lady Antebellum, Dave Matthews, James Taylor, Keith Urban, and others.
Proceeds from sales go to MusiCares,
which helps musicians in need of
financial and medical assistance.

live-rust-promo-poster.jpg



trans-promo




Neil Young FAQ:
Everything Left to Know About the Iconic and Mercurial Rocker
"an indispensable reference"

paul-neil-bridge2004-sat-sfc-kkomenich-sm.jpg
Paul McCartney and Neil Young

woodstock-poster.jpg


"You can make a difference
If you really a try"

lennon_peace_liberty
John Lennon and Neil Young


"hailed by fans as a wonderful read"

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:
csny-1974-poster.jpg
The Supergroup of the 20th Century



Director Jonathan Demme's Exquisite film "Heart of Gold"

eddie & neil
Eddie Vedder and Neil Young

buffalo-springfield-poster.jpg
Revisiting The Significance of
The Buffalo Springfield


"The revolution will not be televised"
... it will be blogged, streamed,
tweeted, shared and liked
The Embarrassment of Mainstream Media

Turn Off Your TV



2014 Neil Young Year in Review:
Yes, Only Love Can Break (& Fix) Your Heart

Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain and Neil Young

Neil Young's Feedback:
An Acquired Taste?

Young Neil: The Sugar Mountain Years
by Rustie Sharry "Keepin' Jive Alive in T.O." Wilson

"the definitive source of Neil Young's formative childhood years in Canada"

neil & joni
Joni Mitchell & Neil Young

europe 1987.jpg


dylan-young-crop
Bob and Neil

weld
So Who Really Was "The Godfather of Grunge"?


Four Dead in Ohio
kent state
So What Really Happened at Kent State?

concert-pass-europe-2003-solo.jpg


dissent is not treason
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

Rockin' In The Free World

Sing Truth to Power

emmylou-harris-neil-young-0305-crop
Emmylou Harris and Neil Young

wilco-062305-wide-background.jpg
Wilco and Neil Young

bluenotes-pass-young88crewlam-sm.jpg

bruce-springsteen-neil-young-bridge-oct-1986.jpg
Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young

europe87concertpass


elton-john-neil-young-crop-sm.jpg
Elton John and Neil Young

ronnie-vanzant-neil.jpg
Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young


Neil Young Nation -
"The definitive Neil Young fan book"

powderfinger
"Powderfinger"
What does the song mean?

Random Neil Young Link of the Moment
neil-sad.jpg
Wisconsin-solidarity.jpg
I'm Proud to Be A Union Man

UNITED WE STAND/DIVIDED WE FALL


When Neil Young is Playing,
You Shut the Fuck Up


Class War:
They Started It and We'll Finish It...
peacefully

A battle raged on the open page...
No Fear, No Surrender. Courage

"What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees?"


"I've Got The Revolution Blues"

Willie Nelson & Neil Young
Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize



John Mellencamp:
Why Willie Deserves a Nobel

willie_picnic_poster_070503



Love and Only Love

"Thinking about what a friend had said,
I was hoping it was a lie"


We're All On
A Journey Through the Past


Neil Young's Moon Songs
Tell Us The F'n TRUTH
(we can handle it... try us)

Freedom:
freedom-video
Does Anything Else Really Matter?

"Nobody's free until everybody's free."
~~ Fannie Lou Hamer

Here Comes "The Big Shift"

Maybe everything you think you know is wrong? NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
"It's all illusion anyway."

Propaganda = Mind Control
NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
Guess what?
"Symbols Rule the World, not Words or Laws."
Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Be The Rain, Be The Change

csny2k-plate.jpg
the truth will set you free
This Machine Kills Fascists


war is not the answer
yet we are
Still Living With War

"greed is NOT good"
Occupy the Music

Hey Big Brother!
Stop Spying On Us!
Civic Duty Is Not Terrorism

The Achilles Heel
#NullifyNSA
Orwell (and Grandpa) Was Right
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
~~ Bob Marley

The Essence of "The Doubters"



Yes, There's Definitely A Hole in The Sky

Even Though The Music Died 50+ Years Ago
Open Up the "Tired Eyes" & Wake up!
"consciousness is near"
What's So Funny About
Peace, Love, & Understanding & Music?


churchsign


Share

Words

(Between the lines of age)

And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

~~ John & Paul


Namaste