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RIP Nicky Wonder
Posted by: ash ()
Date: August 9, 2019 12:21

I just found out that Nicky Wonder died in his sleep age 59 a couple of days ago.
Member of The Wondermints but he'll be remembered chiefly as an integral part of Brian Wilson's band since Brian's "live revival" circa 2000. I saw Nicky play more than 30 times in Brian's band. He played fantastic guitar and sang those genius Brian Wilson arrangements helping bring all those classic tracks to life. He was also quite a character onstage.
Anyone who saw the first Pet Sounds and Smile tours will appreciate Nicky's contribution to Brian's legend. There was a period in the early to mid 2000's where people like McCartney were calling Brian's band the best band in the Universe. I know I felt that way after seeing numerous Pet Sounds and Smile shows. They were an unbelievable band. RIP Nicky.

Re: RIP Nicky Wonder
Posted by: Jah Paul ()
Date: August 9, 2019 21:16

So sorry to hear about his passing...I saw Nicky in Brian's band many times over the past twenty years (first time was at The Wiltern in Los Angeles in October 1999). Very sad.

Re: RIP Nicky Wonder
Posted by: jiggysawdust ()
Date: August 11, 2019 17:58

Nick Walusko was the most interesting person I've ever met and my closest friend for the last 25 years. I'm completely devastated by his passing.

Re: RIP Nicky Wonder
Posted by: ash ()
Date: August 11, 2019 20:10

Quote
jiggysawdust
Nick Walusko was the most interesting person I've ever met and my closest friend for the last 25 years. I'm completely devastated by his passing.

I'm very sorry to hear that Jiggy. I can only tell you that as a massive Brian Wilson for nearly 40 years of my life, seeing Brian play live, first in the USA circa 2001 and then 30 odd times in the UK was absolutely thrilling and that was mainly because that band were so incredible. Many members of the band stood out for various reasons but Nicky was an absolute monster on guitar and vocals and one of the real characters on stage. I have the utmost respect for all the players in Brian's band because they bought that music alive in a way I never dreamed was possible.
Mark Linnett posted a great video starring Nicky Wonder - him busting that lead guitar on the Pet Sounds title track, playing it right while adding himself. To be quite frank, much as I love the Pet Sounds LP, in live performance, the two instrumentals were particularly devastating. Watching that video brought tears to my eyes remembering the absolute joy of being at the shows and knowing that Nicky Wonder is no longer with us. They were genuinely some of the musical highlights of my entire life.
I didn't know him personally but I'll certainly always remember him with great fondness and admiration. He did that with music. That takes a very special talent.

Re: RIP Nicky Wonder
Posted by: crawdaddy ()
Date: August 11, 2019 23:20

I've seen your recent posts on FB jiggysawdust and I could see how hard it had hit you.
Also to you ash and Jah Paul, as you both were obviously big fans of his talent and had seen him so many times play live.
Nick Walusko certainly sounds like a really great guy.

Such a really sad, sad loss to this world.
R.I.P. Nicky Wonder



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-08-11 23:26 by crawdaddy.

Re: RIP Nicky Wonder
Posted by: jiggysawdust ()
Date: August 12, 2019 18:02

Thank you Ash, your comment was very well said. I was fortunate to attend dozens and dozens of Brian Wilson shows over the last two decade, including the "Smile" taping in Burbank, Jay Leno show tapings, private events, etc. The band was always incredible. I fortunately got to share a stage and studio many times with Nick and am very grateful for those experiences.

Re: RIP Nicky Wonder
Posted by: Wry Cooter ()
Date: August 13, 2019 06:06

As a longtime BBs/Brian Wilson fan I am also a huge fan of his amazing backing band over the past 20 years that supported him in every way. Nicky Wonder/Walusko was a major part of that. Reading the remembrances of those close he sounds like the kind of guy I'd love to hand out with, or be in a band with -- if I had anywhere near his talent.

Re: RIP Nicky Wonder
Posted by: donvis ()
Date: August 13, 2019 06:12

When they did band introductions, when they would introduce Blondie, Nicky would play the intro to Brown Sugar! He was a great artist!

Re: RIP Nicky Wonder
Posted by: Roll73 ()
Date: August 13, 2019 16:45

Quote
ash
Quote
jiggysawdust
Nick Walusko was the most interesting person I've ever met and my closest friend for the last 25 years. I'm completely devastated by his passing.

I'm very sorry to hear that Jiggy. I can only tell you that as a massive Brian Wilson for nearly 40 years of my life, seeing Brian play live, first in the USA circa 2001 and then 30 odd times in the UK was absolutely thrilling and that was mainly because that band were so incredible. Many members of the band stood out for various reasons but Nicky was an absolute monster on guitar and vocals and one of the real characters on stage. I have the utmost respect for all the players in Brian's band because they bought that music alive in a way I never dreamed was possible.
Mark Linnett posted a great video starring Nicky Wonder - him busting that lead guitar on the Pet Sounds title track, playing it right while adding himself. To be quite frank, much as I love the Pet Sounds LP, in live performance, the two instrumentals were particularly devastating. Watching that video brought tears to my eyes remembering the absolute joy of being at the shows and knowing that Nicky Wonder is no longer with us. They were genuinely some of the musical highlights of my entire life.
I didn't know him personally but I'll certainly always remember him with great fondness and admiration. He did that with music. That takes a very special talent.

Nicely said Ash - and I agree with and relate to all of that. The Pet Sounds and Smile Shows at the Royal Festival Hall have been some of the most thrilling and emotional (spiritual even) live music experiences I've had - and probably will ever have. And Nicky was most certainly a key part of that.
59 is just too young. RIP



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