Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Rock Goes Country: Garden Party

Day four of our look at Rock Goes Country features Rick Nelson and the Stone Canyon Band with “Garden Party.” The song recounts the situation at a Rock ‘N Roll Revival concert held at Madison Square Garden in 1971. Nelson got through three songs – “Hello Mary Lou,” Bob Dylan’s “She Belongs to Me,” and  The Rolling Stones' “Country Honk” – our selection from yesterday.

During “Country Honk,” the crowd began to boo. There is some controversy whether they booed Nelson or were reacting to police action among the audience. Nelson took it personally and left the stage and failed to return for the encore.

“Garden Party’s” lyrics mention several individuals who were present at the show. These included John Lennon and Yoko Ono (Yoko brought her walrus), George Harrison (Mr. Hughes in Dylan’s shoes), and Chuck Berry (out stepped Johnny B. Goode; playing guitar like ringing a bell).  Hughes, by the way, was an alias used by George Harrison when traveling.  Nelson’s sentiments are wrapped up in the line, “But, if memories were all I sang, I’d rather drive a truck.”

What was a unfortunate circumstance turned out to be Rick Nelson’s first Top Ten record since 1963, his only Top 40 hit in the 1970s, and the final Top 40 hit of his career. Released during Fall 1972, “Garden Party” peaked at #6 on the Hot 100. The tune also crossed over to the Adult Contemporary and Country charts. While it only made it to 44 on the Country chart, it was a #1 AC record.


  1. Hi Jim,

    I just joined your blog. I'm loving the Rock Goes Country feature. Some stuff there about Rick Nelson I didn't know. How's about including the Everly Brothers' Roots album? Keep up the good work. Cheers...

    1. Third time is a charm.


      Thanks for finding us. I already have this week planned, but I can probably get a cut off of the EB album sometime in the near future.