Classic Rock - - Live! -

The for­mer ‘Ti­motei Twins’ play a one-off in Not­ting­ham in Oc­to­ber.

Twin sons of rock’n’roll star Ricky Nel­son, Gun­nar and Matthew Nel­son found fame dur­ing the hair-metal ex­plo­sion of the 90s. Gun­nar checks in ahead of a rare ap­pear­ance in the UK for Nel­son, at the Rock­ing­ham Fes­ti­val in Not­ting­ham.

Can you de­scribe what it felt like to have a mul­ti­mil­lion­selling de­but al­bum, Af­ter

The Rain, and a No.1 hit sin­gle, (Can’t Live With­out Your) Love

And Af­fec­tion?

Get­ting a phone call from our man­ager on your twenty-sec­ond birth­day say­ing: “Con­grat­u­la­tions, you’re the num­ber-one band in the world right now”, is ac­tu­ally quite scary. We were lucky, we were able to main­tain our run for about eigh­teen months, un­til Nir­vana ar­rived and ev­ery­thing changed.

Did it ran­kle that Ker­rang! chris­tened you and Matthew the Ti­motei Twins?

Not at all. We took a gift of a beau­ti­ful vi­bra­tor to Ali­son Joy, one of our big­gest de­trac­tors at Ker­rang!, with a note that said: “Thanks for the kind words, mind you don’t chip your teeth”. We ended up hav­ing a great re­la­tion­ship with her and the mag­a­zine.

Back then, darker times were ahead, and Gef­fen Records re­fused to re­lease the in­tended fol­low-up, Imag­i­na­tor. Do you still har­bour a grudge to­wards their A&R man John Kalod­ner? [Sound­ing hor­ri­fied] Oh no. And I know he feels the same about me. We’re both very opin­ion­ated men. I ap­pre­ci­ate that good art can­not be made by com­mit­tee. It’s the same with our friends at Fron­tiers Records [who re­leased the band’s most re­cent records]. I can take crit­i­cism, but there’s a point where if my name’s go­ing onto some­thing then I must be happy with it.

Why was 2015’s Peace Out Nel­son’s fi­nal al­bum?

Un­like so many of our con­tem­po­raries I refuse to ‘phone it in’ when mak­ing a record. We used to give away the live show to sell the record, and now it’s the other way around. Kids be­lieve that mu­sic is free, so why should I spend years cre­at­ing some­thing that no longer has value? I tried to ex­plain that to Fron­tiers, who wanted ev­ery­thing yes­ter­day, and they just didn’t get it.

Do you feel con­fined within the so-called AOR niche?

I lit­tle, I guess. We were never fol­low­ers. Grow­ing up un­der our fa­ther’s roof we were raised on the su­per-melodic folk-rock from South­ern Cal­i­for­nia. Ge­orge Har­ri­son lived next door. Bob

Dy­lan was al­ways at the house. That and the arena rock of the 1970s is where Nel­son came from.

“We took a gift of a vi­bra­tor to one of our big­gest de­trac­tors.”

Like its fore­run­ner the Firefest, at which Nel­son played in

2010, Rock­ing­ham is a fan-run cel­e­bra­tion of that genre.

Yeah. Head­lin­ing the Firefest was such an emo­tional thing for my brother and I. It was al­most sur­real. So we can’t wait to come back for Rock­ing­ham. DL

Rock­ing­ham takes place over the week­end of Oc­to­ber 19-21.

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