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Ricky Nelson: ‘A rocker first and foremost’ – Entertainment & Life – – Ocala, FL

Ricky Nelson: ‘A rocker first and foremost’ – Entertainment & Life – – Ocala, FL

Ricky Nelson: ‘A rocker first and foremost’ – Entertainment & Life – – Ocala, FL
March 01
12:10 2018

As the rock band Nelson in the 1990s, Gunnar and Matthew Nelson sold millions of records. They also are record holders, themselves: They are in the Guinness Book of World Records, part of the only family to reach No. 1 record status in three successive generations. They are the twin sons of singing idol and TV star Ricky Nelson, who is the son of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson — heads of household to, as ABC used to announce, “America’s Favorite Family.” Ozzie also was a musician who had a huge influence on Ricky’s music.These days, the wild MTV hair is trimmed and Matthew and Gunnar are touring smaller venues with a vast and beloved catalogue that appeals to all generations. That multimedia concert — Ricky Nelson Remembered — stops Saturday at the Orange Blossom Opry. It is a bittersweet show, Gunnar said, one that reminds people that the late Ricky Nelson was more than a squeaky clean TV face. He was the real deal, a brilliant songwriter with an amazing voice who left a significant mark on pop music.“He was a rocker first and foremost,” said Gunnar. “My dad was a middle finger in a velvet glove. He just let his music do all the talking for him.”Gunnar spoke to the Star-Banner by phone last week, describing the show, his father’s legacy and growing up in a house frequented by Bob Dylan, George Harrison and Cass Elliot (their babysitter). Star-Banner: Describe the show Ricky Nelson Remembered.
Ricky Nelson Remembered
What: Gunnar and Matthew Nelson perform the music of their late father in a multimedia concert
When: 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Orange Blossom Opry, 16439 SE 138th Terrace, Weirsdale
Tickets: $39-$47. Call 821-1201 or go to
Nelson: It is best described as a high energy rock concert meets an A&E “Biography” episode. Ricky Nelson was arguably the most televised rock star in history. On “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet” — 435 episodes, over 14 1/2 years — a couple of American generations literally grew up with him. He went on to sell 400 million singles and basically was responsible for smuggling rock ‘n’ roll into mainstream American living rooms at a critical time. He reinvented himself, of course, years later in the Stone Canyon Band, which was legitimately one of the pioneers of country rock.It’s a lot to celebrate. This is not a tribute show. We’re not up there in Ricky suits pretending to be Ricky. It is a musical celebration. It takes people through the history of rock ‘n’ roll and does it with a spoonful of sugar.Our dad was our best friend, and we decided years ago that he never got his fair due when he was alive.Man, when you have songs like “Believe What You Say,” “Lonesome Town,” “I’ve got a Feeling,” “Hello Mary Lou,” “Travelin’ Man” and “Garden Party” coming out of the same guy, it’s just a remarkable contribution to rock history and it just needed to be marked. That’s what the show does.Star-Banner: Growing up, did you and Matthew know how good that music was? Did you take it for granted?Nelson: I think we took it for granted only because it was our normal. We really didn’t know any different.After the fact, we were able to go out with our own band, Nelson, and sell about 10 million records to kids who had no idea who Ricky Nelson was. After that, all the people we were touring with came up to us and said, “Hey, I loved your dad’s music.” Peter Frampton came up one day … and said, “Can I come up stage and sing ‘Garden Party’ with you guys?”At that time, we weren’t doing any of the our dad’s music, and we just thought, “You know, he was beloved. The music is wonderful. He deserves a celebration show just in his honor.”So many entertainers were influenced by those Ricky Nelson records. I felt like I was late to the party talking about my own father because we were so committed to doing our own music. I knew I wanted to be a rock star only because, until I was 5 years old, I thought everybody’s dad was a rock star.Star-Banner: Who is in your audience these days?Nelson: We see entire families.When we began with this little adventure with Ricky Nelson Remembered, it was predominantly people who grew up with “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.” They were old folks. But over the last 10 years, it has really changed quite a bit.It started out with people who were “Ozzie and Harriet” fans, and then became Ricky fans, and then the next generation became Stone Canyon Band fans — Rick Nelson without the “y” — and then some people who grew up not knowing any of those people because we (Matthew and Gunnar) sold all those records to those kids who had no idea who the family was.So those people come but they’re dragging their kids and their kids’ kids now. It’s pretty awesome.

Source: Ricky Nelson: ‘A rocker first and foremost’ – Entertainment & Life – – Ocala, FL

About Author

Martin Nethercutt

Martin Nethercutt

Martin A Nethercutt is a writer, singer, producer and loves music. Creative Director at McCartney Studios Editor-in-Chief at McCartney Times Creator-in-Chief at Geist Musik President (title) at McCartney Multimedia, Inc. Went to Albert-Schweitzer-Schule Kassel Lives in Playa del Rey From Kassel, Germany Married to Ruth McCartney

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