Music Makes Strange Bedfellows

Totally spontaneous post here.

It’s a lazy Saturday morning in the O’Laughlin house.  Brian was a sweetpea and let me sleep in while he got up at the crack of 6:00 with Liam, and I came strolling out at nine to get some coffee. (I know – I have it made, don’t I? 😉 ) It’s 9:30 now and we’re still all in our jammies; in about a half hour we’re heading out to the country to see the new baby goats on my sister’s farm.

But, NOW we’re watching The Chris Isaak Hour on The Biography Channel.  Chris is interviewing the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, now called Yusuf.

Brian was watching it when I woke up – I heard the strains of Moonshadow drifting down the hall. We love us some old Cat Stevens music around here. A few minutes ago we were singing along with Father and Son when the guitarist playing next to Cat caught my eye.  Something about that shock of highlighted blonde hair and vaguely plasticine face seemed familiar…

ME:  “Who is that blonde dude playing with him?”

BRIAN:  “Hmm.”

ME:  “He looks like somebody from the ’80’s…”

BRIAN:  “With that hair and the sleeves rolled up on his sportcoat, he looks like he’s still IN the ’80’s.  He can play guitar, though.”

ME:  “Oh, good LORD. Could that be a Nelson twin??.”


And, of course, it was. (I am always right.)  It was Gunnar Nelson – twin brother of Matthew, son of Ricky and Grandson of Ozzie and Harriett. Now, The Nelsons are in the Guinness Book of World Records as the only famiy to have produced three generations of #1 Hitmakers  Unfortunate coiffures and style choices of the Grandsons aside, you’ve gotta admit that music MUST be in the blood.

I immediately Googled “Nelson and Yusuf” and sure enough, this press release confirmed it – Gunnar played on quite a few tracks of Yusuf’s Roadsinger CD, as did Chris Isaak himself, who in my mind cannot make ANY bad choices:

But wait – there’s MORE!  Evidently on at least one track, Yusuf and Gunnar brough Sir Paul himself into the studio – Paul freakin’ McCartney of the Beatles!

This whole dichotomy struck me as so humorous that I had to blog and tell you about it immediately.  I guess the bottom line is that style matters less than musicianship in the long run. Otherwise how could one EVER envision Cat Stevens, Chris Isaak, Gunnar Nelson and Paul McCartney playing on the same song?

I like that.

What collaborations have you seen that made you do a “WTF?” doubletake?


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3 Responses to Music Makes Strange Bedfellows
  1. Mike German
    February 20, 2010 | 1:57 pm

    Great Blog!!! Cat Stevens is one of my favs!

  2. Maria
    February 20, 2010 | 2:14 pm

    I too agree that Chris Isaak can do no wrong!

  3. Ri, the MSM
    February 23, 2010 | 8:01 am

    …am I the only one who thinks that Gunnar Nelson, in that first pic of him, looks like he could be related to Ellen DeGeneres?

    It’s uncanny.

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