NELSON – Ricky Nelson was a 1950’s Rock ‘N’ Roll – Pop sensation that reached #1 in 1957 with his debut album aptly titled – Ricky, on Imperial Records. Up until his untimely death in 1985, Ricky Nelson was without doubt, a successful Rock ‘N’ Roll singer and songwriter. I can remember spinning the 45 rpm of Ricky Nelson’s 1972 hit – Garden Party, when I was just a little kid. This 45 rpm was my late Mother’s and she let me listen to it unconditionally. For me, listening to Ricky Nelson, Buddy Holly and The Everly Brothers records as a little kid came long before I knew of KISS or Cheap Trick.
I’m old enough, (trust me), to remember watching and enjoying the re-runs of – The Adventures Of Ozzie And Harriet, after school. This was a light-hearted and innocent comedy series that starred Ricky Nelson, alongside his Mother, Harriet and his Father, Ozzie. Ricky Nelson was just a young boy when this show hit television in 1952, coming to a series end in 1966. Ricky’s older brother, David, also starred in this same television series. Black & white television ruled my house when I was a kid. Seeing re-runs in black & white made no difference to me then, nor does it make a difference to me now.
Whenever Ricky Nelson was on a television variety show performing back in the ’70’s, I would know. My mother would let it be known to all he was on. (The same thing would happen whenever Tom Jones or Jim Morrison and The Doors were on t.v. too). Memories… even if they are about television stars and early ’70’s flashbacks, the cool thing about it is these guys I’ve mentioned were/are about music and Rock Music history. Music always seemed to bring me and my family together while growing up as a kid, it excited us and made us feel happy.
Fast forward to the 2010 M3 Rock Festival… Ricky Nelson, Ozzie and Harriet would be proud. Ricky Nelson’s twin sons and Ozzie and Harriet’s grandsons known as Nelson, performed at the M3 Rock Festival, in Columbia, Maryland, with the upmost Rockin’ class. And I’m not foolin’ around when I say that.
Matthew and Gunnar Nelson can play Rock and Hard Rock with the best of them. Why do I state this? Nelson played alongside bands such as KIX, Winger, Cinderella, Vince Neil and the ultra iconic Scorpions at this M3 Rock Festival. Throw in the Metal fact, that Mark Slaughter, (of Slaughter fame), played guitar onstage, right alongside of Nelson at M3 and I’m not talking smack. Mark Slaughter has joined Nelson on their 20th Anniversary Tour. I have always and forever will be enamored by the vocals and music of Mark Slaughter.
Nelson put on one cool, feel-good, Rock ‘N’ Roll set. Matthew and Gunnar played many of their career’s best songs, making each one as melodically contagious as the other to my ears. Actually, Nelson could have easily played for another two hours and I would have gleefully stood in the thick, sticky and humid air to watch them. (Just as long as their set wouldn’t overlap the Scorpions, of course).
As I stood at M3, watching Nelson perform their set, I realized just how important Rock ‘N’ Roll roots truly are. Nelson is a third generation of musicians from their family. This is quite impressive, when you stop to think of how difficult it is to grasp success and hold onto it in the Rock Music world.
I’ve never claimed to be a wizard at taking live concert photos. Nonetheless, here is a photo I took of Mark Slaughter, while performing onstage (second stage) with Nelson at M3 2010. Mark Slaughter is on the far left with the yellow shirt.
Here is another photo (below) of Mark Slaughter onstage to the far left, alongside Nelson. Matthew and Gunnar Nelson are seen in the center of stage.
When Nelson released their debut album, After The Rain, back in 1990 on Geffen Records, they were an MTV gold mine of musical talent, looks and personality. Twenty years later, Nelson is still Rockin’ out their songs, albeit with much shorter hair. If success in music is measured in the number of albums you sell or how often you walk the plastic red carpet in Hollywood, then so be it to the corporate money hounds. My idea of success is still being able to play your songs, better than ever, twenty years after the fact, with a blue collar touring ethic that Nelson bestows. Throw in the fact that I witnessed a patriotic and genuine band, that were conscientious of our U.S. troops abroad, making a point to dedicate their music to them on stage… at M3. Kudos to you, Nelson.
Nelson welcomed the fans to join them at the merchandise booth, upon completion of their set, extending an invitation to their fans, to shake hands and sign autographs at the merch booth. Kudos to you, Nelson, once again. Oh, yes… I did take advantage of the meet & greet invitation from Nelson. Not only were Matthew and Gunnar gracious about shaking hands and having their photo taken with me, (and with many, many other fans as well), they also happily signed the liner notes to their “Greatest Hits & Rarities” CD I purchased at the merch table. The photo Scott Coverdale took of me and Nelson below proves that Nelson is permanently in the Metal Odyssey camp.
Nelson looks like they could go another couple of sets here. I think I look a tad worn at this point, needless to say, I kept on Rockin’ and downin’ the cold brews. Metal be thy name. Yup.
I connected the dots by tracing the Nelson Rock ‘N’ Roll family tree at the beginning of this post for good reason. To hopefully let visitors to Metal Odyssey know, in abbreviated form, a musical background of where Matthew and Gunnar Nelson came from. It’s all relevant, the Nelson family television and music history. These two Rock ‘N’ Roll twins are musicians, that have honed their craft at delivering some very cool Rock and Hard Rock albums over the last twenty years. With their dedication to the music they play, as well as their thankfulness to their fans, while honoring our U.S. troops abroad on stage, only makes me say once again…
A ROCKIN’ CLASS ACT IS NELSON.
* For more info on Nelson, just click this link below:
Without the “Roots of Rock ‘N’ Roll” the M3 Rock Festival would never exist.