Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I said hello to "Mary Lou", she belongs to me.

14 Ricky Nelson, ‘Garden Party’

I’m not sure why I have such a deep fascination and affinity for Ricky (aka Rick) Nelson. I was too young to see the TV sitcom The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet that he acted in with his parents and brother, not that TVNZ would have run it, even if they had been on the air at the time. And you thought ‘The Osbournes’ was a new idea?

I was born in 1957, the year he started having hits. I don’t remember hearing any of his hits between then and when I started collecting records. It wasn’t until his mention of ‘Yoko and her Walrus’ in the seventies song, Garden Party, that my interest was piqued and I was finally aware of his existence. Incidentally, I loved that song at first hearing – I’m a real sucker for this kind of ballad.

Since then, though, I’ve come back to him again and again. I think it’s the smooth, warm, almost conversational tone he sings in. A lot, maybe 98%, of old rock ‘n’ roll songs have dated badly, including all of the Elvis catalogue. Sorry, but the bloat and bombast of Elvis did/does nothing for me. But Ricky (he was Ricky until he turned 21) has a body of work that still sounds incredibly fresh. And he didn’t seem to age even in the 1980s, until he died in a plane crash in 1985 (the same year of this version of Garden Party). Now he'll remain, forever young.

1 comment: