NELSONRicky 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, WingerCinderella, 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 NelsonMatthew 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…


* For more info on Nelson, just click this link below:


Without the “Roots of Rock ‘N’ Roll” the M3 Rock Festival would never exist.



  1. Great piece! Just wanted to request if you’d CORRECT our website to our official rock site URL for NELSON which is


    • metalodyssey Says:

      Thank you Liz for bringing this to my attention! I extend my most sincere apology for the “official” website mix-up. The “official” Nelson Rock site link has replaced the pre-existing link.

      Tell Matthew and Gunnar I said “thank you” for a great experience. 🙂

      Best –


  2. I, as a LONG time Nelson fan, would like to commend you on the outstanding article I just read! You have stated what many people overlook about Matthew & Gunnar! I hate the fact that people are still seemingly not getting past how they looked in 1990… that was 20 years ago!! Their good-looks, to me only added to the fact that they are very accomplished musicians and are LONG, LONG overdue being acknowleged for their musical abilities! Also, as a veteran of the U S Marine Corps, it makes me proud of them that they took time to recognize the men and women of our Armed Forces serving us proudly overseas! That, to me also shows that they have class… something a lot of newer acts seem to lack! I had the honor of meeting them @ Tailgaters Bar in Bolingbrook, IL on 5/28/10, and they are the nicest guys, too! Thanks!!

    • metalodyssey Says:

      Thanks Lisa for your appreciating the post and your comments. 🙂

      You are very correct… Matthew and Gunnar are really cool to meet and (gasp) down to earth! Thank you and our Armed Troops for protecting us and God Bless America.


  3. Thank you for writing a wonderful article on them. For so long they’ve been criticized and under estimated for their talent.. I met them back in the 90s and it’s so great to know to this day they’ve stayed true to their fans when they meet them .Even more though is the music . Through years of grunge,rap etc Matt and Gunnar are still here and making new fans while still exciting the old ones, unlike alot of bands from years back that are no longer even heard of.. Only a great band can stand the true test of time which Matt and Gunnar have proved(even though to the true fans there is no need to prove a thing).

    • metalodyssey Says:

      A “Thank You” right back at ‘ya Dina for visiting and reading this post! 🙂

      Nelson is a band about the music, always has been, just as you stated. With their new studio album due out soon, I only see more new fans gravitating towards them. To quote a line from Nelson’s “After The Rain” liner notes: “Music is to the soul, what breath is to the body”.


      • Do you have a copy of the entire liner notes from After the Rain? I have been looking for a copy for years, and cannot find it anywhere. This is the only reference to it I have been able to find on Google or anywhere else. I was 18 when I first read it and thought it was so profound.

  4. The Great One Says:

    I really enjoyed reading this post! I never thought of the band “Nelson” in this light. I was only familiar with that one hit they had 20 years ago. But I now have a new respect for their music! I look forward to their new cd and buying some of their older ones too!

    • metalodyssey Says:

      It’s all about the music! “Lightning Strikes Twice” is the new studio album title and it’s release is set for this coming October.

      I think I’ll pick it up too. 🙂


  5. Thank you so much for this piece here. I am so ashamed of myself right now that I consider myself a big glam metal fan yet I do not have their record in my collection. I really thought there was a brewing battle between Nelson and Skid Row back in the day, and as a kid, I took things seriously! Its supid to take sides, I know, but what can I say.. I guess I will have to give it a spin now.. Nevertheless, the guitarist I played with during the 90s is a big Nelson fan, and so are his two brothers. But the biggest surprise for me here obviously is the connection with the Nelson lineage. I had been compiling my Dad’s Rick Nelson record collection all my life and I bet he’ll be surprised if I tell him that Im now having the record of his fave artist’s sons in my own rack 🙂

    Cheers! Btw I have some cool stuff in my site as well 🙂

    • metalodyssey Says:

      I never got caught up then, nor do I now, with any band feuds… most of the time the “news” was Metal baloney. 🙂

      The “After The Rain” debut Nelson album is a classic for it’s melodies and vocal harmonies alone. Add those Nelson albums to your rack and be “your own music boss” as to what you want to listen to! 🙂

      BTW… thanks for your site link… yup, Long Live Heavy Music is damn cool.


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