I have to say when I heard about the passing of Andrew Gold, I was truly saddened. I heard on Saturday that he had passed on Friday, and it has taken me a couple of days to wrap my head around it. That sadness was on many levels, starting that that of a real fan of the musician. Before he was a solo musician with hits of his own, I was aware of his work with one of my favorite women sings of all time, Linda Ronstadt. He also was a big part of Art Garfunkel's album Breakaway, including work on the hit I Only Have Eyes For You. But for many, Gold was best known for his 1978 hit, Thank You For Being A Friend. The song later went on to be the theme song of the hit television comedy, The Golden Girls.
One of my favorite songs of his was the 1977 hit, Lonely Boy. It gave a voice to what many of us were feeling, and as a 17-year-old boy, this song spoke to me in a way few others did. I did rush out to buy the album, and was caught by how well he captured the alienation and feelings of rejection of youth.
In 1978, Gold had another hit with the song Never Let Her Slip Away. I found it to be sweet and charming, a real delight to listen to. While so very different than Lovely Boy, it was also a favorite of mine. It doesn't hurt that the backing vocals are Andrew and his buddy, Freddie Mercury.
In a geeky fact only a fan might know, in 1992 Gold had a TV theme song going on. He wrote and performed The Final Frontier (Theme from Mad About You) for the Paul Riser/Helen Hunt sitcom that I also kinda loved. And the song, it was great!
I talked about some other reasons I was bothered by it. Well, partially because I thought of him as of my generation. Well, he was. He was just shy of 9 years older than me. That does bring to mind my own mortality. Another thing, he had some really cool friends. People like Linda Ronstadt, Joni Mitchell, the Eagles, Karla Bonoff,and well, the list goes on. But he was also the son of Marni Nixon, the voice of many movie musicals like West Side Story, The King And I, and My Fair Lady. His father was Ernest Gold, an Academy Award-winning composer. And, to be honest, I really thought Andrew Gold was hot. Like, I wanted to date him. Sure, he was str8, but... I also simply adored his album Halloween Howls, released in 1996, which I covered here and here. It was filled with charm, humor and intelligence, and a must listen for me every year. But, most of all, I thought he was a very talented man. Goodbye Lonely Boy.