Thursday, April 2, 2009

Nelson: Then and Now

The year was 1990. Everything was cool. Even Nelson.

The twin sons of former teen idol Ricky Nelson unpacked their hot-pink steamer trunks and set up shop atop the Billboard Charts for seven glam-fabulous days of intense sexual confusion for men and women across the nation, as Fabio mulled a lawsuit.

Only second-generation teen idols would have tried to pull off that hair; only third-generation showbiz kids could have gotten a record contract with their devastating cocktail of talent and style.

When Geffen refused to release their second album--Imaginator--because they considered it "too heavy," the boys burned a little more magic from their stash and came back a year later with the DOA dud Because They Can.

Why did it fail, you ask? Well:
The pop music landscape had undergone a dramatic change in the five years following After the Rain, and Geffen chose not to promote the new album and quickly dropped Nelson entirely from its roster. The Nelson brothers then set up their own label, Stone Canyon Records, and released Imaginator in 1996.
With those pesky Geffen suits out of the way, finally, Nelson was able to really open things up, stretch their creative muscles, get dark and deep and raw, and make music nobody ever listened to.

But how bad could things get, right?

As it turns out, pretty bad:

As of Spring 2008, Nelson has become featured band on the Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Circuit, playing on Brilliance of the Seas, among other ships. They performed for the sixth-consecutive year in Epcot's 'Flower Power Concert Series' as part of the annual International Flower & Garden Festival.

In addition to touring as Nelson, the brothers also perform a separate tribute act for their father, called "Ricky Nelson Remembered."

In 2009, Nelson were booked to appear at the third annual Rocklahoma festival in Pryor Oklahoma.

Matthew married model/actress Yvette Nelson in 1995. He filed for divorce in L.A. County Superior Court on March 10, 2009 citing irreconcilable differences and asking for spousal support.

How far they have fallen from those halcyon days of 1990-91... Spousal support? Ouch!

Hey, wait--maybe that can be the title of their next self-released album? Well, if they can cobble together the necessary funds from Matthew's alimony payments and/or Peanut M&M pity sales in the subway, that is...

Oh, and for those of you that are curious, they have also gotten marginally-better, faux-lesbian haircuts.

[Editor's note: contributed most of this article]

Bonus 1990 tidbits, for those reading on the company dime:

- The first McDonald's opens in Moscow; the Cold War officially ends.
- The Royal New Zealand Navy discontinues its daily rum ration
- Hubble Telescope launched into orbit
- Exxon Valdez catastrophe fouls the waters off Alaska
- Twelve paintings, collectively worth from $100 to $300 million, are stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts by 2 thieves posing as police officers. This is the largest art theft in US history, and the paintings (as of 2007) have not been recovered.
- In New York City, a fire due to arson at an illegal social club called "Happy Land" kills 87.
- Food poisoning kills 450 guests at an engagement party in Uttar Pradesh.
- Republican George H.W. Bush raises taxes like a goddamn socialist, despite earlier promises to the contrary
- Iraq invades Kuwait; oil companies and military contractors begin mobilizing war effort

Meanwhile, in Britain, during Thatcher's last year in office, shit sucked:
- "The Second Battle of Trafalgar: A massive anti-poll tax demonstration in Trafalgar Square, London, turns into a riot; 471 people are injured and 341 arrested.
- Strangeways Prison riot: The longest prison riot in Britain's history--3 weeks and 3 days--occurred at Strangeways Prison in Manchester
- In London, a man brandishing a knife robs courier Nicholas Lane of bearer bonds worth £292 million (the largest mugging to date).
- The Chunnel opens for business, bringing more drunken Brits to the Continent

In religious news, shit also sucked...
- A stampede in a pedestrian tunnel leading to Mecca kills 1,426 people.
- Homosexual acts between consenting adults are decriminalized in Queensland, Australia.
- The World Health Organization removes homosexuality from its list of diseases
- Robert Mapplethorpe's "The Perfect Moment" show of nude and homosexual photographs opens at the Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center, in spite of accusations of indecency by Citizens for Community Values.
- National Cathedral completed in Washington, DC. Intelligent people everywhere ask, "Why?"


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