Off Topic Messages

Candid Ricky Nelson Pics

Tue Jan 03, 2006 5:02 am

I had a few moments and decided to scan two pics from Rick Nelson concerts.
The larger, open air concert was in a theatre in the round setting, Ontrario Place Forum, Aug.8th, 1982. In 83, I was back at the same venue, where Del Shannon opened for Rick.
The more intimate club pic was at a Toronto nightclub called BB Magoons, Jan.21,1983.

I wish I had today's digital zoom cameras ... these were taken with an old kodak instamatic.

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Tue Jan 03, 2006 5:10 am

Here are two reviews from Toronto newspapers for the concerts ... they didn't scan very well. Basically, the belief in 1982/83 was that Rick wasn't just an oldies act ... he still produced relevant new music, and treated the classics with respect.
Sorry about the quality of my scans ... I saved these reviews 23 yrs ago, and just opened them after reading Likethebike's review of "Ricky Sings"


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Tue Jan 03, 2006 9:45 am

Thanks for that Ted.

Nelson played in my area around the same time at a smaller venue. I always regretted not being able to see him. Not being driving age put the kibosh on it.

This is my tip for fans out there who have the chance to see legendary artist: If it's possible (I.E. You have the money -don't go without rent, can get there) DO IT! You just may never get that chance again. I remember in 1988 I had a chance to see Johnny Cash but I didn't have anyone to go with. Boy I wish I had that chance back now. Same thing in college Dizzie Gillespie was at my University. I elected to play football in the quad the night he was there. He died not long afterwards. When you're a kid, money is always a problem and probably was what really kept me from seeing Dizzy. But if I knew then what I do now, I could have went for a week without takeout to see the show even if I wasn't quite prepared for his music yet.

Tue Jan 03, 2006 6:52 pm

Likethebike, your sentiments echo my feelings from 1980.
I had missed Elvis, and there was no way I'd repeat that mistake again.
No internet back then, and I was 19 yrs old with little cash, just enough to stay in college and keep a winter beater car on the road.
But, I always scrimped to see a performer before it was too late.
It was tough to keep track of who came to Toronto without benefit of the internet.

Basically, I saw Frank Sinatra, Robert Gordon/Link Wray, The Guess Who, The Beach Boys, Ricky Nelson x 5, Roy Orbison x 5, Del Shannon, Gene Pitney, tickets for Carl Perkins @ El Mocambo (cancelled due to slow sales),
Chuck Berry, Lou Christie, Leslie Gore, The Crystals, The Drifters, BJ Thomas, Johnny Mathis, Wayne Newton (when he still had a voice), Franki Valli and the 4 Seasons, plus a few more.

My thought at the time was that these artists may not come around again, and I'd better jump at the chance to see them. Unfortunately, I was right with Rick, Roy, Frank, and Carl.

Without question, Rick Nelson had more charisma than every other artist mentioned above. When he walked onto the stage, he had a very strong presence. Much like Elvis, the girls wanted to embrace him, the guys wanted to be his pal. Basically, a very cool guy with unbelievable good looks. On the Ricky Sings video, his son talks about parent/teacher interviews. Basically, he recalls his very stoic, uptight teachers reverting back to giggling teenagers when they met Rick ... his daughter Tracy recalls girlfriends asking to sleep over to check out her old man. I think it was Gunnar Nelson who said that women were always around, his dad never worked them, they were simply always present.

A nice remembrance of Rick and his boys "The Nelsons" comes from 2003 at Casino Rama. The Jordanaires were playing with Ronnie McDowell, and Gordon Stoker took a moment to address the crowd.
Basically, he reminded us that The Jordanaires had backed up Ricky Nelson on many of his hits, that he was one heck of a talent who they missed greatly. He then reminded us that Ricky's sons were playing Rama the next night, and to make sure we bought tickets to see them honour their father's music.

A very generous act from an older artist, taking the time to lend a hand to
Ricky's boys.

I sure miss the days when I could pick up my girlfriend, pop in my Ricky Nelson cassette into the dash, and drive downtown to hear Ricky faithfully reproduce his hits live on stage. My favourite moment was always his heartfelt rendition of "Lonesome Town". Arguably the most heartfelt, angst filled song to come out of the fifties, and Ricky did it right, every night.