Sunday, August 26, 2012

Story Songs: Garden Party

For those growing up in 1950s, one of the staples on television was "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet." They were the Nelsons, with sons David and Ricky, on the popular weekly show.

Quite a few of the shows ended with Ricky performing one of his songs, such as "Travelin' Man," "Hello Mary Lou," and "Poor Little Fool." Ricky was a good-looking guy and became a teenage idol during the early years of rock 'n' roll.

As with most musical artists, his popularity began to wane as other performers and styles took center stage. But Ricky became Rick, and he broadened his music into country-rock and formed the Stone Canyon Band. 

While Rick expanded his musical interests, fans wanted to hear the songs from his heyday. He wrote about being booed at an oldies concert at Madison Square Garden in New York in 1971, for playing some new material, in the song, "Garden Party." 

"I went to a garden party, reminisced with my old friends
A chance to share old memories and play our songs again
When I got to the garden party they all knew my name
But no one recognized me I didn't look the same"

He makes references to Chuck Berry, Yoko Ono, the Walrus (John Lennon), and Mr. Hughes (George Harrison) in the song as well as to some of the hit tunes he performed. But for Nelson, it wasn't a happy experience:

"If you gotta play at garden parties I wish you a lot a' luck
But if memories were all I sang I'd rather drive a truck"

I saw Rick along with Sam and Dave in concert in Milwaukee in 1985. He put on good show. Six months later, he died in a plane crash en route to a concert in Texas. He was 45. And two years after that, he was inducted posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

"Garden Party" lyrics 

1 comment:

  1. I hadn't thought of that show in years! Loved it. Thanks for the memories!