Garden Party: Ricky Nelson.

Ricky Nelson? Ricky Freakin‘ Nelson!!?

Get over yourselves.

There are those who will tell you that Rick Nelson (the name he officially adopted when he turned 21) was the performer who invented the concept of Country Rock. He was undoubtedly one of the early white performers who introduced black music into the mainstream, paving the way for the day when black performers could do it themselves.

Yes, he was part of one of the most insipid radio/television sitcoms of all times. Yes, he was one of the first “pretty boy” idols marketed to teenage girls on the basis of of his being famous for being famous.

What made him different in this latter regard is that he actually had some talent.

The video above, done when he was 45 years old, is of a song which was essentially a commentary on his career, written after he was booed off the stage at a 1971 Madison Square Garden Revival concert which drew an audience which included John Lennon and Yoko Oho, George Harrison and the mysterious Howard Hughes. among others.

the way the story goes, after Nelson was driven from the stage, Lennon apparently made a comment that said Nelson was “the old” and the Beatles were “the new.” The song was written in response to that comment, Nelson admitted in a subsequent interview, adding that Harrison, his next-door neighbor, was offended by Lennon’s comments and called him out on them. Nelson also told people that he hopedĀ the song helped Lennon “learn his lesson well.” It stayed on the charts for three months and was his last hit song.

This was recorded shortly before his death in a plane crash while touring.


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