Ricky Nelson’s twin sons, Matthew & Gunnar, multi-platinum recording artists in their own right, relive the music and memories in their multi-media event, Ricky Nelson Remembered, coming soon to the Wilbur theatre.
SD: Growing up did you feel pressure from being part of “America’s Favorite Family”?
MN: I really didn’t know anything was different about us as a family. The truth is, my parents and especially my grandparents were very down to earth people. My grandfather and dad were constant professionals. The greatest lesson I learned from my father was how he handled how people treated him during his career–whether it was a career low or career high–he always treated people with dignity and respect, even if they didn’t do the same. To be in this industry, you really have to be a strong person.
SD: What is it like performing your dad’s song for “Ricky Nelson Remembered”?
MN: I love it! It’s a spiritual journey for us. He was our best friend and to celebrate in his legacy is a dream come true. The show is really a family reunion for us. It’s a reflection of who we are. We originally only wanted to do the show for a month or so, but it became a powerful and necessary tool for us to continue it. We are not trying to imitate him, but you can definitely feel his presence. We are making it our own celebration to him.
SD: Is there one song of your dad’s that you particularly enjoy singing?
MN: Having to choose would be like picking your favorite kid. My favorite is “Garden Party.” He wrote it because he was booed off the stage while performing at Madison Square Garden. The audience didn’t like that fact that he was growing up.
SD: Your dad was one of the original “teen idols,” what do you think it was about him that appealed to so many?
MN: He was beautiful and devastatingly good looking. Plus, he was full of charisma. Life magazine coined the phrase “teen idol” to describe him. TV audiences grew up with him. He was dating a girl and in order to keep dating her he recorded a song. My grandfather, Ozzie, let him sing it on the show and it exploded. After the episode aired, the record sold a million copies in one week. He smuggled rock & roll into American television at a time when it was still considered the devil’s music.
SD: Any new albums or projects in the works?
MN: This is a big year for us. We just finished two albums a rock album titled “Peace Out” and an acoustic Christmas one. It’s also the 25th anniversary of our debut album, “After the Rain.”
For more information on Matthew Nelson visit www.thenelsonbrothers.com and to purchase tickets to see The Nelson Brothers on September 25th at the Wilbur theatre visit www.ticketmaster.com