BE BOP DELUXE / BILL NELSON
Bill Nelson is both an enigma and a highly public person whose motivations sometimes seem shrouded in complex mysteries, He is both a guitar hero and the background figure in any number of art installations, exhibitions and theatrical presentations and has built up a strong and loyal fan base around the world.
Nelson was born in 1948 in the West Yorkshire city of Wakefield, showing a talent for art and design and a passion for the guitar. His earliest influences included Duane Eddy, The Shadows and Chet Atkins but he also developed a love of Jazz and the playing of Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Jim Hall and Kenny Burrell.
Nelson’s career began in earnest with the recording of a solo album, ‘Northern Dream,’ released on Nelson’s own independent ‘Smile Records’ label in 1971. Legendary BBC radio presenter John Peel championed the album which eventually led to record company EMI signing Nelson’s band, ‘Be Bop Deluxe’ to the ‘Harvest’ label.
The band quickly developed a reputation for quirky songs and musical pyrotechnics, facets demonstrated both in the studio and in concert— the ‘Live! In The Air Age’ album remains a brilliant document of a great live band.
Be Bop Deluxe released six commercially successful albums before Nelson folded the band and formed ‘Red Noise,’ whose influential album ‘Sound-On-Sound’ was released in 1978.
After ‘Red Noise,’ Nelson embarked on a prolific solo career which continues uninterrupted to this day. He has collaborated with many highly respected artists including Harold Budd, Roger Eno, David Sylvian, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Cabaret Voltaire, Channel Light Vessel and Reeves Gabrels, to name but a few. He has also produced other artists and composed music for theatre, television, the advertising industry and film.
His impressive discography contains more than 40 years of recordings with over 100 albums to his name, most of his 21st Century releases being on his own, independent, ‘Sonoluxe’ label.
These days Bill Nelson considers himself a studio musician and artist first and foremost but occasionally performs live, mostly solo but sometimes with his 7-piece band ‘The Gentlemen Rocketeers’ or with his free-improvising trio, ‘Orchestra Futura.’
Always phenomenally busy and powerfully driven by his muse, Nelson continues to innovate and inspire.
Bill used a selection of Rotosound strings over the years and was featured in Rotosound advertising throughout the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.