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Bill Nelson


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Bill Nelson (born William Nelson on December 18, 1948) is a prolific guitarist, songwriter, painter and experimental musician from Wakefield, Yorkshire, England.

Nelson was educated at the Wakefield College of Art, where he developed an interest in the work of poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau. At this time he was also developing as a musician, drawing upon Duane Eddy as a primary guitar influence. His first recording was a brief contribution on an album entitled “A-Austr” with Chris Coombs, Brian Calvert and Mike Levon . Mike recorded and produced the album “A-Austr: Musics from the Holyground” which appeard on Holyground Records in 1970. After that Bill appeared in a much more substantial role on three Chris Coombs tracks on the Holyground album Astral Navigation released in 1971. One track from this also gave Bill his first airplay by John Peel: “Yesterday” by Chris Coombs, where Bill’s lead guitars were recorded by Mike Levon in an acid-rock style, supporting Chris’s Stylophone riff. After this, Bill’s solo album was recorded and co-produced by Mike at Holyground, also in 1971. Bill’s solo album titled Northern Dream drew more attention from famed British DJ John Peel, and this eventually led to Nelson’s new band, Be Bop Deluxe, signing to EMI. The band’s first recordings were also made at Holyground.


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