RIP Andrew Gold
Sad to hear of the passing of Andrew Gold — consummate sideman and singer-songwriter in his own right, perhaps unfortunately best known for the co-opting of his early hit “Thank You For Being A Friend” as the theme song (in a cover version) for the sitcom Golden Girls. His song “Final Frontier” was similarly used for the sitcom Mad About You. “Final Frontier” was also used as the wake-up call song for the Mars Pathfinder.
Gold died June 3 of an apparent heart attack at 59. He was the son of a mother who voiced movie musical numbers for better known actresses (Marni Nixon, who reportedly dubbed songs for Natalie Wood in West Side Story) and a father (Ernest Gold) who wrote the score for Exodus.
Gold played alongside Wendy Waldman and Karla Bonoff in the band Bryndle, before serving as a multi-instrumentalist in Linda Ronstadt’s band through her initial success, including the hits “You’re No Good,” “Heatwave” and “When Will I Be Loved” and then assisted Art Garfunkel with is early solo recordings. His resume also includes work with Stephen Bishop (“On And On”), Eric Carman (the underrated Boats Against The Current LP), and according to Wikipedia he performed in the studio or onstage with Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, The Eagles, James Taylor, Vince Gill, Freddie Mercury, Joni Mitchell, Wynonna Judd and Trisha Yearwood.
I can recall seeing this 1977 Midnight Special performance of “Lonely Boy” when it was first broadcast and it remains vivid in my memory , mostly because Gold and his band play with a spark and energy that eclipsed the studio version, which was then in heavy rotation. The man is gone, but the spark and energy remain through the music.