|David Nelson (1936-2011)|
Imagine, though, how it was to be David Nelson. His younger brother was, by all accounts, the more handsome son, and it was Ricky who became the rock 'n' roll star, with hit records and all that. The younger child of two always seems to be the one who goes way afield in order to get all the attention, a theory which my older sister and lone sibling will verify any time you ask. The story goes that young Rick was on a date with a girl who was all infatuated with Elvis, and Rick said, "Well, so what? I'm making a rock 'n' roll record!" and he mentioned it to his father, a former bandleader and recording star, and there we were. "I'm Walkin' "! "Poor Little Fool"! "Stood Up"! "Travelin' Man"! Ricky in the Top 10 many times! Girls chasing him, tearing off his cardigan sweater, vying for his autograph and locks of his hair...and David, the older, quieter, steadier brother. It must have been interesting to be around all this Hollywood hysteria, as in the episode from Rick's real life, according to a biography of Rick cited in this Wikipedia article, when Secret Service agents caught Rick's wife Kris having sex with Ronald Reagan, Jr. That had to hurt. Or Rick's wasteful, wasted life, which involved wasting his fortune and gulping every drug he could get his hands on, and which ended in a plane crash on New Year's Eve, 1985.
Maybe it wasn't all that bad, being David Nelson. Slow and steady won the race again. Farewell to another part of our Golden Era, and may Godspeed.