Basement Party 2

Basement Party 2

Friday, April 20, 2012

Tonight's Slab - No Nukes is Good Nukes

The weekend of St. Patty's day I picked up around 24 records at store called Replay. I found some awesome stuff, and for good prices too. So far out of that pile I have sampled the Go Gos "Vacation," Michael Jackson "Off the Wall," and Journey "Frontiers." Tonight I threw on the platter a triple album benefit concert from September, 1979 titled "No Nukes."

"No Nukes" (from the MUSE Concerts for a Non-Nuclear Future) was culled from a series of shows at Madison Square Garden over the course of five nights which highlighted the dangers of nuclear energy in the wake of the Three Mile Island event. In the same vein as the legendary original benefit show, the Concert for Bangladesh, those involved wanted to draw attention to an important topic of the day. The performers featured were an eclectic bunch, and consisted of a combination of singer-songwriter types (Jackson Brown, James Taylor), soul singers (Gil Scott-Heron, Raydio, Chaka Kahn), and classic rockers (Crosby Stills & Nash, the Doobie Brother, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers).

The songs and artists who comprise this concert album tended to be more on the light rock side. Overall, the album is uneven, with some parts being good and some being not very memorable. Side 6 featured three Crosby Stills & Nash songs, and they were sounding excellent (they had been together roughly 10 years at this point). I managed to find some footage from the show, here in the form of the Doobie Brothers performing their classic call for involvement, "Takin' It to the Streets," featuring the soulful white guy voice of Michael McDonald (joined by James Taylor).

This show was pretty amazing, but I much prefer the Concert for Bangladesh in terms of awesome benefit shows. Out of the 27 tracks featured on this, I would have to say only 12 or so were memorable. Still, the shows drew attention to a popular cause (although I guess they weren't that successful, since we still have nuclear power. And wasn't there some shit that went down in Japan because of that stuff last year? Maybe it's time for another No Nukes show).


  1. You know, I've always appreciated benefit concerts but they always seem to be so pointless. The causes they try to bring attention to always seem to be ongoing problems. Bangladesh is still fucked up!

    Funny how you don't see too many of them anymore, though. Have we become so apathetic? Or has the prevalence of the Internet changed how people "get the message out?"

    Like the Kony 212 thing...that was essentially today's version of a benefit concert. Emotional and with its heart in the right place...but ultimately nothing got done and the guy wound up naked on a street corner having a freak-out.

  2. The last big benefit I can recall was 2007's Live Earth, which was to draw attention to global warming. I remember not being that interested in it, as it came so soon on the heels of 2005's "Live 8" show, which I loved for the Pink Floyd reunion. Also, a lot of people were pointing out the hypocrisy of rich rockers lecturing about carbon emissions and global footprints when most of them flew to the venue in fancy private jets.

    You're right though, in the past 5 years the net has changed a lot of things related to getting ideas out for various causes. But, like those dinosaur benefit shows, will it even make a difference anyway?