The phenomenal success of NELSON’s 1990 debut LP “After The Rain” was literally a dream come true, but it did not happen overnight and it wasn’t an accident. The recordings included in “Before the Rain” document the hard work that stood behind that album. “Before the Rain” tells the story of twins Matthew and Gunnar Nelson and their musical journey to reach the Rock N’ Roll Promised Land.
NELSON was conceived and realized as a vocal and melody heavy hit song oriented hard rock band with pop leanings and it took them not less than five exhaustive years for the giving shape to “After The Rain”, from 1986-1990.
In 1986, after writing songs with Dweezil Zappa for his debut LP “My Guitar Wants To Kill Your Momma” and writing and recording the title cut for the film “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” under the band name Power Tool, the Matthew and Gunnar Nelson decided they needed to hone their songwriting craft and learn from experts. They started with writer/producer Jack Ponti in New Jersey and recorded the songs they wrote that year with friends that eventually became the band Skid Row. Next, they journeyed to Australia to collaborate with Little River Band’s hit writer Graham Gobel and other writers for two months Down Under. A subsequent 3 month stay in the UK to write with hit makers Adrian Gurvitz and Argent’s Russ Ballard followed.
Though elements from those experiences and sessions would wound up in later attempts, Nelson finally hit musical pay dirt writing songs in a bedroom in Pacific Palisades California and recorded them in a 16-track demo studio in a converted garage in the San Fernando Valley with an unknown writer/producer named Marc Tanner.
The results are what you can hear now on “Before the Rain”. These are the original demonstration recordings that caught the attention of A&R legend John Kalodner in late 1989 and scored Nelson a recording contract with Geffen/DGC Records which led to eventual sales of more than 3,000,000 copies of “After The Rain” and all that followed, including a World tour with over 300 concerts. NELSON live line-up was even overqualified for the job. With some incredible virtuoso musicians such as Bobby Rock on drums, Brett Garsed on guitar, Paul Mirkovich on Keys and vocals and the addition of Joey Cathcart on vocals and second lead guitar, what you got was 4 part harmony, stellar musicianship, veteran showmanship, twin frontmen, and most importantly - great songs. Nelson played venues ranging in size from 1,200 to 60,000 seats between 1990-1992 from New York to Tokyo, sharing the stage with some great other bands and had some great openers, including House Of Lords, Tyketto, Enuff Z’nuff, Cinderella and Lynch Mob.
Amazingly and sadly, throughout the 3 year phenomenon of “After The Rain”, none of the tour’s concerts were ever filmed in their entirety. “Perfect Storm” is all that remains to document the height of NELSONMANIA for posterity. If you were there you are sure to remember how you felt that night experiencing the “After The Rain” tour in person. If you weren’t, you can be back there now.
The right components for success, the right cast of characters, the best fans, everything converging at the right place and time.... NELSON’s After The Rain World Tour was “The Perfect Storm”.
Before the Rain
Matthew and Gunnar Nelson – All instruments