Garden Party – Rick Nelson – 1972

Rick Nelson - Garden Party - 1972An autobiographical song by a man who just wanted to make the music he loved but was rejected by his fans – Rick Nelson’s 1972 hit, Garden Party.

But it’s all right now, I’ve learned my lesson well You see,

you can’t please everyone, so you’ve got to please yourself

Rick Nelson 1rick nelson fax

  • Rick Nelson’s real name was Eric.  A child prodigy, he began his celebrity life as an actor in the television series, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (1952–66).  As a 19 year old, he starred alongside John Wayne and Dean Martin the 1959 western, Rio Bravo.
  • As a singer-songwriter he made 53 visits to the US singles charts between 1957 and 1973.
  • Rick’s 1958 hit, Poor Little Fool was the very first #1 song on Billboard magazine’s then-new Hot 100 chart.
  • Of Rick’s 53 top 100 hits, 19 made it into the top 10.
  • Rick was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
  • Rick Nelson 2By the time his 17th birthday rolled around, Rick had had his first hit record.  Recorded under the name Ricky Nelson, it was a cover of Fats Domino’s, I’m Walkin’.
  • On his 21st birthday, Ricky changed his name to Rick.  He also began to change his music style from rockabilly/rock ‘n’ roll to country/folk – a fact that is important when considering the story behind his hit song, Garden Party.
  • Rick died on December 31, 1985 when the cabin of the plane he was on caught fire.  It endeavoured to land but crashed.

garden party fax

  • Garden Party was written by Rick Nelson in 1972 – it was recorded by Rick Nelson and The Stone Canyon Band.
  • Garden Party is autobiographical – Rick had been a clean cut rock ‘n’ roll singer.  At a Madison Square Garden concert he appeared with long hair and contemporary clothes, nothing like the 1950s/60s rock ‘n’ roll crooner people wanted him to be. He sang his old songs but when he started on some more county-genre songs, was booed by the audience – Rick left the stage and refused to return.  Garden Party talks about the concert and mentions a number of those who were there or who were on the bill.
  • Garden Party was Rick’s last top ten US hit, peaking at #6.
  • Among the few artists to cover Garden Party are John Fogerty and Owl City.
  • Garden Party lyrics.

references within garden party

  • A garden party – October 15, 1971’s Rock ‘n Roll Revival concert at Madison Square Garden, New York City
  • My old friends – fellow performers at the concert Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Bobby Rydell
  • Yoko – Yoko Ono
  • Yoko’s walrusJohn Lennon
  • Mr. Hughes George Harrison
  • (Mr. Hughes) hid in Dylan’s shoes – Harrison’s planned (but later abandoned) album of Bob Dylan covers
  • I said hello to Mary Lou, she belongs to me – Nelson’s song “Hello Mary Lou”, which he played at the concert; also a reference to “She Belongs to Me”, a Bob Dylan song covered by Nelson
  • I sang a song about a Honky-TonkThe Rolling Stones song “Country Honk”, the song that allegedly caused the booing
  • And it was time to leave – Nelson’s subsequent departure
  • Out stepped Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry’s song “Johnny B. Goode”
  • Playing guitar like a-ringing a bell – the line in “Johnny B. Goode”, “he could play guitar just like a-ringing a bell”

garden party – rick nelson – 1972 – video

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