John Mellencamp and Neil Young Slam Trump at Farm Aid: Exclusive Photos
Mellencamp called the president a “madman” during a public press conference preceding the show, saying that the Trump’s tariffs could have catastrophic effects on American farmers. He also criticized "the big corporations [that] run all of these radio stations" for not playing protest songs like Crosby Stills Nash and Young's “Ohio.” “You’re not gonna hear Neil Young’s song anymore, you’re not gonna hear ‘Rain on the Scarecrow’ anymore; you’re gonna hear corporate bullshit," Mellencamp said. "We’re gonna eat corporate bullshit, we’re gonna be governed by corporate bullshit … We have to stand up and fuckin’ vote!”
He didn’t only aim at conservatives. “I’m not proud to say I’m a liberal," Mellencamp added, "because liberals are fucking cowards just like the Republicans are a bunch of manipulative assholes!” He went on to refer to liberals as “chickenshits.”
Young was slightly more conciliatory, noting that he can’t vote in American elections, since he is a Canadian citizen. “Vote for whoever you believe in: If you believe in Trump, vote for Trump. But if you don’t, vote him out! Vote them all out if you don’t believe in them. Whoever you vote for, I respect you for voting. I’m a Canadian, I can’t vote [here]. I’m a Canadian, that’s what I am. I’ve been called a lot of things by that dickhead in the White House, but I am a Canadian, and I love America. There’s nothing here that needs to be made ‘great again.’”
He also stressed the importance of family farms, encouraging others to frequent their local farmers markets. This was a point that Young came back to, over and over, during his performance a few hours later. To learn more about how Farm Aid helps farmers, check out their website.
See exclusive photos from 2018's Farm Aid below.