Tesla died and WWII raged, as Nelson Wellington Slater landed on the icy shore of the Quebec River. By college years, Lou Reed and the band movement lured him out of the basement of the Brill Building. He gets a record contract with RCA. A few years in Gramercy Park and a many more in San Francisco. His unique back story covers many decades worth of music and culture but curiously, he is always moving forward. Nelson has been spending the last few years electrifying eclectic midtown street clubs like the Bowery Electric, Cake Shop and National Underground.
LT: What was the first Nelson Slater performance you can think of?
NS: My first live performance was a cover of Dale Hawkins “La-do-Dada” and Buddy Knox’s “Somebody Touched Me” in 1957 at West-Hi Assembly. The kids rioted and teachers danced in the isles.
LT: What’s the story with the Get Out and Symphony singles released in the early 1960’s?
NS: Andy and the Marglows did a version of Symphony that brought Doo Wop into the 60’s. Before that, R&B singer, Tommy Sears, had a huge regional hit with my song Get Out released on Chalet. Get out was recently reissued on a Northern Soul compilation, amongst others yet to be found.
LT: I know you spent a lot of years in San Francisco. What years were you out there and was was happening in those days?
NS: I lived there from 1972 – ’83. My No No Proto Band booked openers like the Avengers and the Dead Kennedy’s for shows at the Fab Mab.
LT: What has been your interest beyond music?
NS: Saving planet Earth. Getting us thru the looking glass that has just broken.
LT: What else have you done?
NS: Got my choir robe from St. Wiliam’s and canvased catholic neighborhoods with a picture of John F. Kennedy and the Arch Bishop of Boston from Time Magazine. The county went Blue uncharacteristically and won the state, which put JFK in office.
LT: Anything you’d like to tell our readers to look out for?
NS: The Nelson Slater is Living History Tour. The release of new originals and quirk adaptations of obscure discoveries that have yet to be aired…and the reissue of everything from “Beneath Another Sun”, Wild Angel to Andylousian Dogs and Two Boy Army.
• “BENEATH ANOTHER SUN” 7” (FIDELITY)
• NELSON SLATER “WILD ANGEL” LP (RCA)
• NELSON SLATER S/T 2xCDR (WRECK COLLECTION RECORDS / NEW UNDERGROUND THOUGH SOCIETY)
• POPEYE CONS “LIVE AT CB’S 313” CDR (NO LABEL)
• POPEYE CONS “VICTORIAN’S MIDNIGHT CAFE” CDR (NO LABEL)
• VACUUM FARM S/T CDR (LOST TREASURES OF THE UNDERWORLD)
• STEAM-AGE TIME-GIANT CASSETTE (WRECK COLLECTION RECORDS)
• STEAM-AGE TIME-GIANT 7” (ARE and BE RECORDS)
• ANDYLOUSIAN DOGS 7″ (LOST TREASURES OF THE UNDERWORLD)