Monday, April 11, 2011

New Wave for the New Week #119

This week's NW4NW entry may take the prize for Most Obscure Entry.  Here, in handy bullet-point format, is the totality of everything I know and was able to discover about The Nelsons:
  • They were from Lubbock, TX.
  • They entered and won one of the earliest rounds of MTV's Basement Tapes, a competition for unsigned bands, with their homemade video for the song "I Don't Mind."
  • They released an EP, Bag Your Face, in 1983, which contained "I Don't Mind."
  • They also released a single circa 1986 for a song called "Nuke The Prom;" the flipside of the single featured an even more obscure band, Rambo Bambi, performing an odd composition called "Eating Out Is Fun."
  • After discovering that Ozzie and Harriet Nelson's sons were using the name "Nelson" and were about to break big, Lubbock's Nelsons changed their name briefly to Unexplained Cattle Mutilations (source).
  • The Nelsons most high-profile gigs saw them opening for Culture Club and performing at Farm Aid.
  • They also performed as a straight blues band, calling themselves The Texas Blues Butchers (source).
That's it.  That's all I can tell you, other than the fact that "I Don't Mind" is one of the greatest cartoon-y New Wave songs of its time, and thank heavens someone had the foresight to post the long-forgotten video on YouTube!

So enjoy a rare slice of early 80s New Wave goofiness, "I Don't Mind" by The Nelsons.  And if you can add any more info about the band, whatever happened to them, or where they are now, by all means speak up!


  1. 80's videos are so... 80's... the music of course is right out of that other guy from Lubbock...

  2. I was in this video (background dancer). It was filmed at my fraternity lodge at Tech. I was best friends with the Bass Player, Dennis Jones. I thought "The Nelsons" were the greatest band in the world. I still listen to "Bag Your Face" on my iPod. Love to hear from others who were around then.

  3. That's awesome, Tim! Are you still in touch with Dennis, or did you lose contact over the years? Do you know whether any of the Nelsons did anything else in the music world since then? That was such a great song...

    Thanks for visiting the blog - hope you'll stop by again!

  4. Please note that Donnie Nelson died of cancer in Lubbock on May 24th from cancer. He left behind a wife and young son.

  5. The guitarist is named John Sprott and still plays six or seven nights a week in Lubbock and throughout Texas, solo, with friends, or with Elvis T. Busboy & the Blues Butchers. Best guitarist in the state, no shit.

  6. I was the mix engineer for "Bag You Face" at Omega Audio & Productions and Ken Mandel shot and edited the video at Video Post & Transfer, both in Dallas, TX. The mix (including misc. overdubs) was done over 3, 8 hour days back in '83. We had a GREAT time!!! I sure was sorry to hear of Donnie's passing, though...

  7. RIP Donnie