WEST JEFFERSON — Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, most well known for their pop-rock band NELSON from the 1990s, is set to perform “Ricky Nelson Remembered” in honor of their father at Saloon Studios Live on Saturday, July 13, at 6 p.m.
The performance offers an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at the career of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Ricky Nelson — father of the twin brothers Matthew and Gunnar Nelson.
“We’ve been doing the show for quite some time, but not this intimately,” Gunnar Nelson said, referring to the show at Saloon Studios Live. “We actually tell the story behind the songs, and what was going on with the music industry at the time and our family at the time.”
Many may know Ricky Nelson from the hit television sitcom “The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet,” which aired from 1952 to 1966. At the age of 16, Nelson had already landed his first hit single, launching a lengthy career that, according to his son Gunnar Nelson, defined the early foundations of American rock and roll.
Nelson went on to form the Stone Canyon Band in 1969. Among the original band members was bassist Randy Meisner, who later would become one of the founding members of the Eagles. Gunnar Nelson said that his father was always on the road, playing upward of 300 shows in one year.
On Dec. 31, 1985, Ricky Nelson’s plane crashed in a field near De Kalb, Texas; it was carrying Nelson and band members from Guntersville, Ala., to a show in Dallas.
“Our father lived and died for rock-and-roll,” Gunnar Nelson said. The Nelson brothers attribute much of their inspiration for becoming musicians to their father.
To celebrate the life and career of their father, “Ricky Nelson Remembered” offers a show of music and history, performing hits such as “Garden Party” and “Travelin’ Man,” as well as the Nelson brothers’ own hit songs.
Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, like their father, were introduced to the music industry at a very young age. Gunnar Nelson said that at 12 years old, both of them were already performing at clubs in Los Angeles. They landed their first record deal at 18 years old and found themselves at No. 1 on Billboard’s top 100 songs in 1990 for their song “(Can’t Live Without Your) Love and Affection.”
With the addition of their No. 1 hit, the Nelson family is the only one history to have three generations of No. 1 hits. Despite 30 years of performing on the road, Gunnar Nelson said they still haven’t lost any of the passion to play live music.
“The true north on our compass has always been this incessant drive to write the best songs we can write, and then share them with people live,” Nelson said. “That’s all we’ve ever wanted to do.”
For ticket information regarding the Nelson brothers at Saloon Studios Live, visit https://saloonstudioslive.com/legends-series/.