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|Full Name at birth: Gunnar Eric Nelson
Date of Birth: September 20th, 1967
Birth Place: St. Joseph's hospital in Burbank, CA
|Other Information: Gunnar is the second of twins and was born 45 full minutes after his brother Matthew.
He began playing music when he was just 7 years old, when he got his first drum kit on his birthday. This rhythm section of Matthew and Gunnar's honed their craft together for five years in a hayloft above the barn at their parent's Studio City farm.
He began his professional debut at 12 years of age, when he and his brother Matthew began to circuit the incredible LA club scene of the early 80's with their punk/power pop trio The Strange Agents.
Two months after their father died in a tragic airplane accident, Gunnar and Matthew's band, The Nelsons, became the only unsigned band in history to play on a previously booked engagement on the television show Saturday Night Live. Gunnar was unsettled about the direction the band was headed in, however. On the plane home following what should have been the national kick-off of a very promising career, he did something completely unexpected: he broke the band up and informed brother Matt that he was going to stop playing the drums and learn how to play the guitar in order to co-front the band. Matthew thought he'd gone insane to turn his back on an instrument and rhythm section he'd been working with since he was a baby. Gunnar, however, took one full year off and completely immersed himself in the guitar, playing to instructional audio and video tapes every single day, eight hours a day, for a full year. One year later, he emerged a professional-level guitar player, and began to sing co-lead with brother Matthew on a brand new project that was just beginning to form in their imaginations.
Around the year 1987, Matthew and Gunnar formed the band Nelson and with help from artist/producer Marc Tanner, wrote the album, "After The Rain." They signed to Geffen/DGC records in 1989 and Gunnar released "After The Rain" in 1990 with brother Matthew. The band, Nelson became an instant world-wide phenomenon. On his 22nd birthday, Gunnar accomplished something his father Rick never had: his self-penned song "(I Can't Live Without Your) Love and Affection" went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart. Three more top 10's were to follow shortly thereafter. Gunnar and Matthew's #1 also heralded the accomplishment of their World Record in the Guinness Book: the Nelson family is the only family in history to have brought forth three successive generations of #1 hit makers.
Their motto when they started out was "Love Us or Hate Us, You're Going to Know Who We Are". It worked. After four #1 videos on MTV, EVERYBODY knew about "The Twins with the Long Blond Hair". He's toured all over the world in the past ten years, doing what he loves to do the most, to audiences ranging from 20 close friends at Nashville's intimate Blue Bird Cafe to over 60,000 screaming maniacs at Erie, PA's Party at the Pier. He co-founded his own Stone Canyon Records label with brother Matthew in 1995, and has released seven albums to date, including "After the Rain", "Because They Can", "Imaginator", "The Silence is Broken", "Brother Harmony", "Life", and "Like Father, Like Sons".
Gunnar currently plays a variety of instruments, including the drums,electric and acoustic guitars, mandolin, piano, and bizouki.
If you're reading this, it's because you want to know more about him...so he'll anticipate the most often-asked question with this answer: "I cut it because it had been done, and done very well, thank you very much. It's just hair. Get over it."
Most of the above information came from the Nelson Brother's website. For Gunnar's complete bio go to thenelsonbrothers.com/band.html and click on Gunnar Nelson.
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