A Rockapaedia Obituary
Andrew Gold died aged fifty-nine in his sleep from heart failure in Los Angeles on 3rd June 2011.
Andrew is survived by his wife Leslie, his first wife Vanessa and three daughters: Emily, Victoria, and Olivia.
Although Andrew had put personal references in the lyrics to his song "Lonely Boy", including his year of birth, he stated in an interview that it was not autobiographical and that perhaps it was a mistake to have done that. He had simply put in those details because it had been convenient. He hadn't been a lonely boy at all and had a very happy childhood.
Andrew Gold was born in Burbank, California, U.S.A. where he eventually followed his parents into show business. His mother was singer Marni Nixon and his father was Ernest Gold, an Austrian-born composer who won an Academy Award for his score for the movie Exodus. Andrew had two younger sisters.
Andrew began writing songs at the age of thirteen. In England for school, the sixteen-year-old Andrew Gold scored his first recording contract on the strength of a selection of demos he submitted to Polydor Records’ London office. That contract resulted in the single "Of All the Little Girls," which was recorded with his friend and collaborator Charlie Villiers, and released in 1967 under the name Villiers and Gold.
By the early 1970s, Andrew Gold was working full-time as a musician, songwriter and record producer. He was a member of the Los Angeles band Bryndle, releasing the single "Woke Up This Morning" in 1970. He played a major role as multi-instrumentalist and arranger for Linda Ronstadt's breakthrough album in 1974; Heart Like a Wheel, and her next four albums. Among other accomplishments, he played the majority of instruments on "You're No Good," Linda Ronstadt's only number one single on the Billboard Hot 100, and the same on "When Will I Be Loved," "Heat Wave" and many other classic hits. He was in her band from 1973 until 1977, and then sporadically throughout the 1980s and 1990s, appearing at some of her concert appearances.
In 1975, Andrew Gold debuted as a solo artist, with the album 'Andrew Gold'. He released four studio albums during the 1970s and over twelve since then. The second of his 1970s studio albums, released in 1976, was titled What's Wrong With This Picture? Its cover art consisted of a photograph with which many things were wrong; however, it had no title track. From it, he released his hit single "Lonely Boy," which reached number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in June 1977 and was included in a number of film soundtracks, including Boogie Nights in 1997 and Adam Sandler's 1998 movie The Waterboy.
Although "Lonely Boy" was the bigger radio hit in the States, Andrew's single "Thank You for Being a Friend," which peaked at number 25 in 1978, later gained popularity as the theme song for The Golden Girls. "Thank You for Being a Friend" has also shown up in places as diverse as an episode of the long-running animated TV sitcom The Simpsons, a 2013 Super Bowl ad , and an audio file in various musical greeting cards. Andrew's biggest UK hit was "Never Let Her Slip Away," which made it to number 5 twice on the British singles charts, once by him and again 14 years later by dance-pop group Undercover. Freddie Mercury, who was a friend of Andrew Gold's, assisted him with harmony vocals as an uncredited background singer. Among the artists recording Gold's material was British singer Petula Clark who covered "Lonely Boy" in French ("Poor Lonesome Play Boy") on her Paris, Orleans, Paris album. On his 1976 Endless Flight album, Leo Sayer covered Andrew Gold's song "Endless Flight," drawn from Andrews own debut album released the previous year.
The year 1975 also marked a successful collaboration with Art Garfunkel, wherein Andrew played most of the instruments on Art's solo hit "I Only Have Eyes For You", as well as several other cuts on Art's album Breakaway. In 1977 Andrew Gold also played guitar on two cuts of Eric Carmen's album Boats Against the Current, including "She Did It," which was a number 23 hit that same year. Gold toured with the Eagles, worked in the recording studio and toured with Linda Ronstadt and Jackson Browne; played and sang on record and toured with James Taylor, and was second engineer on part of Joni Mitchell's Blue album.
In 1981, Andrew Gold produced, co-wrote, sang and played on three 10CC tracks that appeared on the hit-making pop-rock band's 1981 album Ten Out of 10. Subsequently, Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman of 10cc invited Andrewto become a member of the group. Although he had worked with them in the studio, business conflicts prevented him from joining their ranks. In late 1983, 10cc broke up, and in the aftermath, Andrew and Gouldman formed Wax. Wax recorded and toured for five years. They enjoyed international success, particularly in the UK, where the duo had several hits including "Right Between the Eyes" and their biggest hit, "Bridge to Your Heart". Wax broke up as a recording and touring entity in 1989, but Andrew and Graham continued to write and record together whenever possible.
In the 1990s, Andrew Gold once again joined forces with ex-bandmates Karla Bonoff, Wendy Waldman and Kenny Edwards to re-form Bryndle and release their first full-length album, Bryndle. In 1996, Andrew left Bryndle and released the children's Halloween-oriented novelty album 'Halloween Howls' with John Waite, featuring the track "Spooky Scary Skeletons." The same year, he released the solo album ....Since 1951, and produced Stephen Bishop's Blue Guitar album. Thereafter, he recorded the psychedelic '60s tribute album 'Greetings from Planet Love' under the pseudonym "The Fraternal Order Of The All," releasing it on his own record label, "QBrain Records." This album was a multi-tracked solo affair with Andrew Gold essentially playing all of the instruments and singing all of the vocals on original songs in the style of Gold's favorite 1960s bands such as The Beatles, The Byrds and The Beach Boys. He produced, composed, and/or wrote tracks for numerous films, such as the comedy Rectuma from director Mark Pirro, and contributed songs to many television soundtracks and commercials. Among his more high-profile gigs, he sang "Final Frontier," the theme song for the television sitcom Mad About You. In a remarkable turn of events, his rendition of the song was used as the wake-up call for the Mars Pathfinder space probe in 1996. Andrew Gold also produced seven albums for Japanese singer-songwriter Eikichi Yazawa.
In 2000, Gold compiled a Wax rarities album, House of Wax on Wax, as well as recording and releasing a new solo album The Spence Manor Suite; this last was followed in 2002 by another solo collection, Intermission. In the early 2000s, he formed a Byrds tribute band, Byrds of a Feather, which performed in the Los Angeles area. He appeared in a 2006 concert with the classic rock group America, and singer-songwriter Stephen Bishop, and the performance was later released as a DVD titled America And Friends - Live at the Ventura Theater. The show featured Andrew performing "Thank You for Being a Friend," "Final Frontier," "Bridge to Your Heart" and "Lonely Boy," as well as accompanying America and Bishop on guitar and vocals. Andrew Gold had earlier produced America's Holiday Harmony Christmas album back in 2002, wherein he also played most of the instruments and co-wrote the track "Christmas in California."
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