Saluting the artistic integrity of Rick Nelson decades after his shocking death

Jeremy Roberts
46 min readDec 1, 2016
Philip Bashe, author of “Teenage Idol, Travelin’ Man: The Complete Biography of Rick Nelson,” waxes nostalgic in his most comprehensive interview to date recalling the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer’s incendiary, albeit tragically cut much too short life and career. Seen here is a smoldering Rick Nelson leaning against a piano during a brief New York City sojourn circa February 23, 1981. The country rock purveyor can be heard tickling the ivories on “The Reason Why,” “Thank You Lord” and his rockin’ cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women.” Photography by Lynn Goldsmith

Rick Nelson lost his life in a serene cow pasture some two and a half hours northeast of Dallas, Texas, en route to a New Year’s Eve sock hop sponsored by KLUV-FM at the Park Suite Hotel.

Among the sophomore class posthumously inducted by John Fogerty into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nelson, unassuming fiancé Helen Blair…

Jeremy Roberts

Retro pop culture interviews & lovin’ something fierce sustain this University of Georgia Master of Agricultural Leadership alum. Email: