“Central Park” (NYC)
Les Dudek
1978Ghost Town Parade
((( welcome to the jungle )))

 keith haring

NEWS AT ELEVENNew York City news report after the largest protest rally the world had ever seen was had earlier that afternoon in Central Park. 800,000, “peaceful” protestors.

JUNE 12, 1982
“Faggots Against Killing Men In War”
A sign being Held by a skinny (maybe homeless) guy with long, scraggly, red hair and a beard to match. My third day in New York City (Barnard College dormitory, West Side Park Basketball, Columbia University), on my way to the show. 800,000 in Central Park.
Missiles Among Us — As the post-Cuban Missile Crisis Cold War grew frigid, the “No Nukes” movement that started in 1979 with the Muse Concerts for a Non-Nuclear Future, was, by 1982, “Hotter Than Hell.”
The June 12, 1982, the movement’s defining moment was had in New York City’s Central Park, where 800,000 peace-loving people gathered to call for absolute Nuclear Disarmament, a Nuclear-Free planet Earth, and to part of the best accompanied political rally ever staged in the United States of America. Appearing were:
Bruce Springsteen 
Jackson Browne 
James Taylor —  
Linda Ronstadt,
Gary “U.S.” Bonds —
Orson Welles —
Bella Abzug 
Joan Baez(Gainesville)

“We Almost Lost Detroit”
Gil Scott-Heron
((( fair warning )))

don wright

The No Nukes concerts set the 1980s stage for many musical events with political, environmental, or socially conscious causes.
Muse Concerts for a Non-Nuclear Future

As the world entered the 1980s, the music industry took the (corporate/promotional) lead in political, social, and environmental activism. Efforts most on mass media display included:
“We Are The World”
“Live Aid”
“Artists United Against Apartheid”
All monumental, but none so street-grown than the “No Nukes” movement, and its cause to rid the world of nuclear power.

“We Almost Lost Detroit”
Gil Scott-Heron
1979Muse Concerts for a Non-Nuclear Future
((( fair warning )))

Gil Scott-Heron

The Alligator goes to Washington


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.
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 …

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.

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.”

“Have You Ever Seen The Rain?”
Creedence Clearwater Revival
((( early warning )))


Creedence Clearwater Revival

“Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon”
1975A Night at the Opera
((( after the storm )))



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”…

And Ronstadt

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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