Name: Curtis Nickelson
Astrological Sign: Gemini (naturally)
Location: Missouri City, TX.
I’ve been a professional musician since 1968 playing in CW bands, R&R bands, Dixieland Bands, duos, trios, up to a 9 piece jazz band. I’ve never had formal training, I can’t read music, I hear and I play. Hundreds of times, I’ve sat down with 4 or 5 strangers in a band and played along with the 1-4-5 method and everyone thought I belonged in the band. I’ve played in 26 states, 3 foreign countries and a conservative estimate, met about half a million people. While I played part time, I also worked in lead mines, construction, factories, ran gas stations and taught electronics and computers in English and Spanish to people from all 50 states and 24 foreign countries.
I grew up wanting to be the next Ricky Nelson or even Elvis, but so did a million other people at that time. I thought rich and famous would be cool, I’m so glad it didn’t work out that way, I love going out without someone having a camera in my face. I love Skynard, ELO, Marshall Tucker, and my all time favorite, REO Speedwagon, they all have AWESOME lead guitars, but you get to hear the keyboards, and that is still rare today. But, the greatest influence on my life, other than Willie, was an interview with Charlie Daniels where he said, “everyone all the way down to the bus driver wants to be right here more than any other place in the world!” I now have that life and now have that wife. I want for nothing, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has provided that for me and I am forever grateful.
If anyone is interested, you can visit my website, www.curtisnickelson.com and there is my complete history along with video clips of me in our piano room. I only have 8 videos on YouTube I am always playing music, I don’t have a lot of time to write music or be on the internet. As I’m writing this, I have to hurry on to get to another performance.
In January, 2001, the Lord led me from Austin, TX over to Houston, TX and now I have a full time ministry to play at nursing homes and retirement homes. Last year, after my stroke of December 2012, I did 551 performances, and this year, I’m booked for almost every day for the rest of the year. I’m too old and fat and ugly to be a rock & roll star, and that suits me fine. I get to go make a happy day for hundreds of people every week, to go where no one wants to go, to play on pianos that no one wants to use…where it doesn’t always smell that great, just to hug someone who needs it. After every performance, I hug or shake hands with EVERYONE in the room and let them know how important THEY are. I have to put God first, others 2nd and myself third and life is beyond awesome.
I won’t ever be rich and famous but I get to see a great gramma smile and get up out of her wheelchair to dance to “Blueberry Hill” and tell me how much she loves me, every month. My mission is clear, I have to be in these nursing/retirement homes for as long as my fingers will work. I must use the gift God gave me and continue to give back for the next 52 years, then I’m gonna retire.