Friday, February 03, 2012

RIP Andrew Gold. I knew Andrew a little, and admired him enormously. He was an early online guy through AOL, sporting the username of "Q Brain." I had a brief email correspondence with him, and he was very kind to give some recording and equipment advice to a rank amateur [me]. I got to meet him a couple of times, when his band Bryndle playing in Knoxville in 1995 and in Nashville in 1996. He was funny, smart, and one hell of a musician.

I literally was stunned to learn -- by accident -- that he died last June from a heart attack, at age 59. Guitar Player Magazine, which I have taken to reading lately, apparently never said a word about Andrew's death. So I decided to reacho out to them. Here's the text of an email I just sent to Michael Molenda, Editor-In-Chief of Guitar Player:

Dear Mr. Molenda:

I have become a recent reader of Guitar Player, and am writing to you because I think there has been an injustice done.

I discovered by accident last night that Andrew Gold, a multi-instrumentalist, singer and producer, died at age 59 in June 2011. As you may know, Andrew had a profound effect on the shaping of the 1970s California country rock sound, which has affected almost all facets of pop, rock and country music today. As a sideman with Linda Ronstadt during her most popular years, Andrew to a large extent was her sound, for instance playing all the instruments on her hit cover of "Heat Wave," which I still consider to be the definitive performance of that song. As a solo artist Andrew scored a top hit with "Lonely Boy," and his "Thank You for Being a Friend" also was a big hit, as well as becoming iconic as the theme song to television's "The Golden Girls." His vocal performance of the theme song to television's "Mad About You" resulted in one of the most effective theme songs in that medium's recent history. While his instrumental versatility approached the genius level, his guitar playing alone was extraordinary and noteworthy, crossing genres effortlessly and creating unique amplifier settings and hardware configurations that have yet to be duplicated, so far as I know.

Where is his obituary in Guitar Player?

I went back and re-checked the June and July issues, but saw not one mention of his death. Perhaps I missed it, or maybe you reported on this sad passing in a later issue. If not, however, I urge you to prepare the appropriate tribute to this man. Anyone who came of age in the 1970s has likely heard and enjoyed his playing and singing. I strongly believe that recognition in Guitar Player of this loss is more than appropriate. It is required.

Thank you for your time in considering this email.

A sad loss. Very, very sad.

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