I met Harriet Nelson, David Nelson,
Jerry Fuller (Travelin' Man), Rick's original band w/James Burton, Greg McDonald (Rick's last manager), The Jordanaires, Rick's publishers, Rick's agents, Rick's girlfriends - (They all said they were). ---- I met all kinds of friends and fans, but one thing I never met was a person who met Rick and didn't like him.
But,... I NEVER MET RICKY NELSON ---
IN THE PHYSICAL
-- I met Ricky Nelson on stage --
I was inspired by Ricky Nelson. I, like most, grew up watching him sing on the TV show. Well,... I took guitar lessons ( I liked Roy Rogers) and later started singing Ricky Nelson stuff when I was a baby. --- I started playing money gigs on guitar when I was 15 years old. -- My Father who was a professional drummer booked our little band on a gig at a church in WI. We played in the basement where they had a casino with craps, backjack tables, roulette, etc. I loved it! Now, my Father had heard me sing and play guitar, in my room. So,... he told me to get up and sing (a Ricky song). I told him I couldn't do it. He told me to get up there and do it NOW! "My hands were shakey and my knees were weak!" I don't think anyone was listening anyway, but I took one big deep breath and sang. That was the first time I sang in public.
--- I played in beer bars, Disneyland hotel lounge for 1 1/2 years, did: Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Bobby Darin, etc.) and then Rock & Roll shows across the country doing all kinds of material other than Ricky Nelson.
Soon after a former guitar student visited a club that I was working in as a single, and suggested that I do a Ricky Nelson impersonation, as 50's & 60's shows were what was happening! So, I did it and soon after, audtioned for the "RIGHTEOUS BROS. - HOP" in Fountain Valley, CA. Bill Medley Owner. --- That's when things began to happen!...