Rick Nelson was one of the best people I’ve ever known–really humble and nice.
He never played the star. He was way beyond that.
–Randy Meisner, 2009

On December 31st, 1985, Rick Nelson, his girlfriend, Helen Blair, and four members of his band were killed in a plane crash near DeKalb, Texas. The band was en route to Dallas to headline a New Year’s Eve show at the Park Suite hotel.

Randy was an original member of Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band, formed in 1969, when Rick, inspired by seeing Poco at the Troubadour, decided to form a country-rock band of his own. Playing with Rick was like a dream come true for Randy. “I mean, you grow up listening to the guy and to actually be playing with him was quite a thrill for me.” Randy remained with the band until 1971.

Here’s Rick Nelson and the Stone Canyon band performing two songs, “Easy To Be Free” and “Look At Mary” (both written by Nelson), on the The Mike Douglas Show in 1971. (Don’t miss Randy being introduced at 4:09)

Canyon Of Dreams: The Magic And Music Of Laurel Canyon, Harvey Kubernik, 2009
Interview with Rick Nelson’s manager, Greg McDonald, 1986

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