Thursday, February 29, 2024

#82-84 Nelson

Nelson has 3 consecutive cards in Series 1 plus a "different font" promo for a total of 4 MusiCards for us to check out in this post. Above is the only card where the rest of the band is featured in the photo, not just the titular twins. The redhead in the middle looks a bit like Emma Stone, but don't let the long hair fool you; that's a man, baby.

Entering today, I know just a couple Nelson songs: "(I Can't Live Without Your) Love & Affection" (which I could live without) and "After the Rain" (which I do like). They seemed like the last new "big hair" rock band to emerge before that genre went the way of the dodo in the wake of Nevermind.

Nelson - "After the Rain"

I was intrigued by the SNL tidbit on the back of the card. Wikipedia has some more context on that early performance:

During the 1980s, Matthew and Gunnar played as Strange Agents and as The Nelsons, with which they played the Los Angeles club scene. A year after the death of their father in a plane crash, Lorne Michaels agreed to have the Nelsons as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live, at the request of their manager at the time. They became the first unsigned band to play on the show. During this iteration of the band, Matthew was the lead singer and bassist, while Gunnar played the drums. As they returned home from the show, Gunnar claims he had what he called "an epiphany", which he shared with his brother. He told him that they should break up the band as it was and start sharing the front stage together. Gunnar promised to learn to play guitar and did so in a year. (source)

Here's a shot of them holding their guitars.

The band members get name-checked on the back of card 83. If it were me putting the set together, I'd maybe swap backs with the full-band photo of the previous card (that actually shows all those guys), but whatever.

Deja vu. The unnumbered promo version of card 83 can be distinguished by the casual "Pro Set MusiCards" font in the black box. The crop is also slightly different, with that box touching hair here, plus we see the tip of the lower guitar now. And of course the back is different:

The blurb is a little more.. effusive?.. than we're used to with this set. That opening sentence, jeez! "Uniquely 1990s music" was close, but turned out to be uniquely 1990, specifically. Done by '91.

Nelson - "Love & Affection"

Nelson's last card features a tight headshot of the duo split by a beam of flowing blond hair.

The other band members bookend the Nelson cards, showing up again on the back photo of card 84.

I really doubt the other fellas are still in tow, but the Nelson brothers never stopped rocking. I gotta admit I could've sworn I remember hearing about Gunnar Nelson passing a few years back, but I may have conflated him with someone like Jani Lane from Warrant, because yep, at least as of Leap Day 2024, they're both still kicking. Nelson has released new music as recently as the mid 2010s and still perform live on occasion. They also have a separate tribute act for their dad called Ricky Nelson Remembered, and sometimes play in a celebrity all-star rock band called Scrap Metal.

Let me know in the comments if you've got any thoughts or memories connected to Nelson to share.