SEATTLE - They organized the 1979 "No Nukes" concerts, and now "Musicians United for Safe Energy" are warming up to rock again. In response to the earthquake-triggered meltdowns at a Japanese nuclear plant this spring, musicians and groups including: John Hall; Bonnie Raitt; Jackson Browne; Crosby, Stills and Nash; the Doobie Brothers, and others, will perform in a benefit concert this Sunday in Mountain View, California, near San Francisco.
Hall, known for the Orleans hit song, "Still the One," was just coming to grips with being voted out of Congress after two terms when, he says, the tragedy in Japan mobilized him and fellow activists.
"Many, many people came to me and to Bonnie, Jackson, Graham, and said, 'Are you guys going to do anything? Can't you please do something, we need somebody to - like you guys did 30 years ago - make a fuss about this and make it a more visible issue.'"
Hall served as a U.S. Congressman from New York's 19th District. He notes that New York City is within a 50-mile radius of a nuclear power plant, the same size of the zone the State Department warned Americans in Japan to evacuate after the meltdown.
The original "No Nukes" concerts were in New York City. Hall says this one is on the West Coast because it's closer to Japan, and also faces earthquake threats. He says concert proceeds will all be donated.
"They'll go to raise funds for Japanese relief efforts, to help people who were displaced by the tsunami and the nuclear meltdowns there, and also to raise money for solar, wind, geothermal and other safe energy projects here and around the world, but mainly in the United States."
Since the first concerts, Hall says criticism of nuclear energy has eased. But he adds those who remember Three Mile Island and Chernobyl can alert a new generation - starting with a new No Nukes concert by musicians who are still 'united for safe energy.'
Hall says he won't run for office again after being unseated by a "Tea Party" candidate in last fall's election, but will continue to use music to work for change.
The concert site is Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, Calif., next Sunday, August 7.