Bruce Springsteen gave fans an unexpected Christmas gift when he added the E Street Band’s famed No Nukes concerts to his ongoing archives series.
Recorded September 21st and 22nd, 1979 at New York’s Madison Square Garden, No Nukes 1979 marks the first time Springsteen’s complete sets from the benefit concert have officially been made available. Selections from Springsteen’s sets originally appeared in the No Nukes concert film and soundtrack; those recordings were the first Springsteen’s live performances ever released.
The September 21st show featured the live debut of “The River,” which would eventually serve as the title track of the double-LP studio album that arrived the following year.
On both nights, the E Street Band performed a cover of Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs’ “Stay”; on September 21st, No Nukes co-organizer Jackson Browne (who paired “Stay” with his 1977 hit “The Load-Out”) and Rosemary Butler joined in on the rendition, while Tom Petty also appeared on the September 22nd version. Both versions appear on the archives release.
Jackson Browne, Graham Nash, Bonnie Raitt and John Hall – as Musicians United For Safe Energy (MUSE) – organized the string of No Nukes show as MSG. As part of the archives’ No Nukes 1979 release, $2 from every purchase – available as digital music files or preorder on compact disc – will benefit MUSE. The archives also shared Erik Flannigan’s detailed Nugs.net essay about Springsteen’s performances at the benefit concert.
December has proved to be a fruitful month for Springsteen fans as he also released his Roxy 1975 concerts through the archives as well as the Springsteen on Broadway soundtrack.