Bob Dylan & Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – Farm Aid 1986 Pre-FM Master (Zion-005)


Farm Aid 1986 Pre-Broadcast Master (Zion-005)

Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, NY – July 4, 1986

Disc 1:  Bob Dylan with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Positively Fourth Street, Clean Cut Kid, Emotionally Yours, Trust Yourself, We Had It All, Masters Of War.  Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Straight Into Darkness, Think About Me, The Waiting, Breakdown.  Bob Dylan – To Ramona, One Too Many Mornings, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall.  Bob Dylan with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – I Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know, Band Of The Hand, When The Night Comes Falling From The Sky, Lonesome Town, Ballad Of A Thin Man

Disc 2:  Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Bye Bye Johnny, Spike, Refugee.  Bob Dylan with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Rainy Day Women # 12 & 35, Seeing The Real You At Last, Across The Borderline, I And I, member intro., Like A Rolling Stone, In The Garden, Blowin’ In The Wind, Uranium Rock

Farm Aid 1986 Pre-Broadcast Master contains the soundboard recording from the July 4th Farm Aid benefit performance.  This tape is almost complete with an additional twenty-four minutes that has not circulated before on the older releases and is only missing the opening song “So Long, Good Luck, And Goodbye” and the encore “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”.  Zion claims to use a genuine soundboard recording and it certainly sounds it. 

There is no evidence this comes from the FM simulcast, such as compression or static that usually occurs on such tapes.  There are some minor cuts between tracks but no music is affected. 

Previous releases include Rich For Poor (Rambling Cowboy BUF – 689145) documenting about two thirds of the show, and TV Guide (Head) which includes “Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35”, “Seeing The Real You At Last”, and “Across The Borderline”.

The phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword” teaches the simple truth that, despite what we may want to believe, the power of words and ideas trumps all.  The entire reason why Farm Aid 1986 is here, and why there have been almost twenty Farm Aid events, is from an off hand remark from Bob Dylan at the end of the Live Aid event, suggesting that a similar event be held for the American farmer. 

Three months afterwards the first Farm Aid event was held in Champaign, Illinois, and the rest is history.  This new title on Zion is Bob Dylan with Tom Petty during the second Farm Aid event.  The actual concert was in Austin, Texas, but it was decided to broadcast the Dylan and Petty show from Rich Stadium in Orchard Park, New York.  VH-1 televised a good portion of the show while FM radio stations carried a simulcast of the event.  The set list follows the True Confessions pattern. 

Everybody is in very high spirits for the event and for the holiday.  “Happy Independence Day.  Are you feeling independent?” asks Petty before “The Waiting”. 

Dylan introduces “I Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know” by stating:  “All right. Tom and I are gonna sing an old song for you. They don’t write these kinds of songs anymore. It’s about someone who thinks they know it all.”  And Petty tells the crowd “We’re all about to be on television…Say hello to Willie Nelson” before a great version of “Spike”.  There is much more passion and charm pouring out than the Madison Square Garden show two weeks after this.  The only way this release can be improved is if the final encore is found in the same quality.  Its omission is very noticeable since it was the perfect way to end the show. 

But as it is Farm Aid 1986 stands as definitive and is highly recommended. 

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