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As the world entered the 1980s, the music industry took the lead in political, social, and environmental activism. Efforts included:

“We Are The World,” “Live Aid,” and “Artists United Against Apartheid” — All movingly helpful to important causes, but none more so than the“No Nukes”movement, and its cause to rid the world of nuclear power.

history of jazz


We Almost Lost Detroit
b/ Gil Scott-Heron



1982 When more than half of America still believed in science and technology, a less self-absorbed and more socially conscience younger generation resisted the right-wing’s effort to rule the world, and to destroy any regulation designed to protect the rest of us from the plutocrats’ insatiable greed.

Day In The Park

Keith Harring

Ronald Reagan / Mikhail Gorbachev


As part of the No Nukes movement during the Cold War, the largest political rally in U.S. history, when one-million people gather in  New York’s Central Park for the  Rally for Nuclear Disarmament.



— dave.

Bruce Springsteen
Jackson Browne,
James Taylor,
Linda Ronstadt
Gary “U.S.” Bonds
Orson Welles
Bella Abzug

UN Special Session on Disarmament— Calling for a freeze and reduction of all nuclear weapons and the transfer of military budgets to human needs.

Glow Spiritually, Not Radioactively.

“End the Arms Race, Not the Human Race.”


Sign-wielding protesters from around the world gathered outside the UN Building, and began a peaceful march up 5TH AVE.) to Central Park, where close to a million gathered for the largest political rally ever seen, and, until then, the biggest musical event ever staged. As I entered The Park (New York City’s Great Lawn), I was greeted by my (still) favorite of all the activist signs.

“Faggots Against Killing Men In War” — Held by the skinny (maybe homeless) guy with long, scraggly, red hair and a beard to match, still my most memorable welcome to my Summer in The City. New York City.

June 12, 1982  — At the height of the “No Nukes” movement, the largest political rally in US history was held in New York City. Nearly 750,000 people congregated in Central Park, calling for Global, Nuclear Disarmament. A Rock N Roll Saturday In The Park …

Lazing On a Sunny Afternoon.

The No Nukes concerts set the 1980s musical stage for many global events with political or socially conscious messages.

Many of the performers are veterans of Musicians United For Safe Energy (MUSE), a group formed in the wake of the Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island nuclear meltdown and the sponsor of several No-Nukes concerts in 1979.


FM (1978)

Linda Ronstadt begins her six-song set with her cover of the Rolling Stones’Tumbling Diceand closes with a rendition of Chuck Berry’sBack In The U.S.A..”

James Taylor sings his Carole King-penned hitYou’ve Got a Friendand invites John Hall to join him on his new song, “Children’s Cry.”

Bruce Springsteen who debutedThe Riveras part of an anti-nuclear protest, teams with Jackson Browne forRunning On Empty andThe Promised Land.”

The special session wraps up on July 10 with the General Assembly failing to agree on a specific strategy for arms control and disarmament.

Democratic representatives hope to use the rally’s historic numbers to influence an overturn of defense budget proposals, but Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger contends it’s all for naught when it comes to legislation.

“The fact that a very large number of people turn out for a particular event is certainly something that people notice,” he said. “But I don’t think that anybody rushes back and says, ‘We have to change our policy’ because of a well attended rally.”



1985 — Time To Act

Michael Jackson’s “We Are the World”

Bob Geldolf’s “Live Aid”

Steven Van Zandt’s “Artists United Against Apartheid”

Artists United Against Apartheid

“Sun City”

w/ The Original Sugar Hill Rhythm Section

She’s Gotta Have It  b/ Spike Lee (1986)

Miami Vice (Soundtrack)

Jan Hammer / Melle Mel “Miami Vice”


Keith meets the Mad Scientist

Adrian Sherwood

On-U Sound

Fats Comet

Gary Clail

Mark Stewart

Major Malfunction (1986)


On-U Sound

Adrian Sherwood

Little Axe


Head>>Fake [+1 ]

Jungle >> Funk  w/ Vinx

Colors  w/ Herb Alpert

w/ David Sancious




NYPR Archives & Preservation
WNYC Covers the Great Anti-Nuclear March and Rally at Central Park, June 12, 1982
On the Great Lawn in Central Park, before a massive crowd, a woman waves American flag with peace symbol replacing the field of stars during anti-nuke demonstration, June 12, 1982.
( Photo by Roy Morsch/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images )
by Andy Lanset (Jun 12, 2015)

On June 12, 1982, 33 years ago today, as many as one million people gathered in New York City’s Central Park making it, at the time, the largest political demonstration in American history. The march and rally were to mark the United Nations Second Special Session on Disarmament which had begun several days earlier.In the morning there were speeches near the U.N. at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza followed by a march across town to the Great Lawn in Central Park for an afternoon of speeches, entertainment, music and rallying. Among those addressing the crowds were nuclear freeze campaign organizer Randall Forsberg, activists Dr. Helen Caldicott, and the Reverend William Sloane Coffin, Jr., union leader Victor Gotbaum, former Congresswoman Bella Abzug, and City Council President Carol Bellamy. The performers included Jackson Browne, Peter, Paul and Mary, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen and Joan Baez.WNYC News Director Marty Goldensohn orchestrated the station’s live coverage of the event with help from Robert Krulwich and direction by Karen Frillman and more than a dozen reporters and engineers from a rented Winnebago at the Central Park Sheep Meadow. Gathering tape and interviews in the field were Peter Freiberg, Andy Lanset, Terry Johnson, Tod Shapera, Johanna Cooper, Jerry Hatch, Janica Hurwit, Margaret Howard, Leslie Peters and Myles Gordon. Additional production help came from Karen Pearlman, Sara Fishko and David Rapkin. The post event documentary (above) was called Voices of Disarmament and was broadcast on WNYC in the days following the great march and rally.. Unlike most coverage of the event, the production was a documentary record of the marchers rather than the famous voices from the stage.

June 12, 1982
Bruce Springsteen
Jackson Browne
James Taylor
Linda Ronstadt
Gary U.S. Bonds
Bella Abzug
Orson Welles

Saturday, June 12, 1982 — More than one million people gathered on the Great Lawn in Manhattan’s Central Park, in support of nuclear disarmament and to call for a freeze in the ever-increasing Cold War arms race between the United States and the U.S.S.R.
People were drawn to the rally by an all-star lineup of classic rock artists, including Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Gary “U.S.” Bonds and protest movement veteran Joan Baez.

Artist Keith Haring created artwork for the event and a poster of it was handed out to the attendees.
The demonstration coincided with a Special Session on Disarmament at the United Nations, where a march to the rally in the park began earlier in the day. It is thought to be the largest political demonstration in U.S. history. The New York Times’ coverage of the rally seems almost quaint in retrospect. But as much as the day was a high water mark in the involvement of rock musicians in political issues, it was also followed by an ever-growing dissatisfaction on the part of some fans with the acts they enjoyed using their music to support and promote partisan causes.
Here are Browne and Springsteen performing the former’s “Running on Empty”…

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And Ronstadt belting one of her familiar covers…

The event’s setlist included:
Linda Ronstadt
Tumbling Dice
Blue Bayou
The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss)
Heat Wave
Back in the U.S.A.
James Taylor
That Lonesome Road
You’ve Got a Friend
Up on the Roof
Stand and Fight
It’s Growing (with Chaka Khan)
Children’s Cry (with John Hall)
It’s Gonna Work Out Fine (with Ronstadt)
Jackson Browne
The Pretender (with Bonds)
The Promised Land (with Springsteen)
Running on Empty (with Springsteen)


A Florida Journalist, Photographer, and Art Director with an eclectic client list of individuals and organizations with musical, visual, educational, and editorial interests.

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