The Magical Year 1977
Mo Moore Ron Howden Taff
Taff Freeman Dave Nelson
Although the "shot heard around the world" was a shock for the fans, the
band knew Roye's departure coming. Word went out just before Roye left that Nektar
was looking for a new guitarist. About 100 people showed up on the day of
the cattle call, to show off their guitar and vocal skills for the remaining band
members and management to interview.
One of the persons who showed up was Dave Nelson. On a side note; It didn't hurt
that Dave was hanging around Passport Records when all of this was happening. It
was decided that Dave was best person to go with when all was said and done. During
the next two weeks (which included Christmas) intense rehearsals were held and Dave
quickly learned Nektar songs. On December 31, 1976 at the Calderone Theatre in Hempstead,
Long Island, New York, Dave replaced Roye Albrighton onstage to perform guitar and
vocals. For more on the December 31, 1976 concert please visit our
New Year's Page!
During the first half of 1977 Nektar played just a few gigs. This allowed
Dave Nelson some time to become more familiar with the material. During this time
Nektar was also working on a new album "Magic
is a Child". A young Brooke Shields graces the cover of the album instead
of familiar artwork designed by Helmut Wenske on the previous albums. Robert Fripp
contributed some guitar work on "Train from Nowhere". Steve Barth rehearsed
with Nektar during the summer of 1977 and at one point in time Nektar considered
bringing Steve in as the lead vocalist however, that never happened.
The June 3, 1977 show at the Palladium, New York City, NY. was Nektar's last long
concert and the end of Mick's fantastic light show as fans knew it. September 24,
1977 at the Morris Stage, Morristown, New Jersey, Nektar debut the "Magic is
a Child" album and Mick's new light show. From this point on, all Nektar shows
were short in comparison to prior shows not to mentioned the dramatic change in
the light show. More on Mick's light show later.
The critics were not kind to Nektar, not that they ever were, and the tour was short
lived. Many regard the December 10, Palladium, New York City show as Nektar's
last show with Dave and Mick. It was Mick's last show until the 2002 reunion at
NearFest, however, there Dave played a few more shows after the Palladium that extended
into the middle of 1978. Dave Nelson finally bowed out from Nektar following the
May 1978 shows. Mick started gigging around with Sam The Band in 1977 and continued
with them well into 1979. For more on Dave and Mick for now please read the
Nektar Time Line.
One of the highlights from the 1977 Magical tour for Nektar was the introduction
of Sherman Helmsley on November 7,1977 at the Santa Monica Civic Center by Nektar's
manager Kenny to start off the show. After the show, Nektar made their way to Sherman's
house to party hardy with a personal grand tour of Sherman's house featuring a special
bathroom. Sherman occasionally wore Nektar t–shirts on the Jefferson's show.