Andrew Gold (born Andrew Maurice Gold in 1951 – died in 2011) was a multi-talented singer-songwriter, musician (having played a variety of instruments including guitar, bass, keyboards, harmonica, accordion, saxophone, drums and percussion, ukulele, musette, harmonium, etc.), sound engineer, producer, composer of film scores, painter and actor. Talent in the arts and music ran in the blood; Gold’s mother is singer Marni Nixon, who survived him, and his father was the Oscar-winning composer Ernest Gold. He had been a member of the folk-rock band Bryndle, which he left in 1996. After having worked “behind the scenes” in the music industry, in 1975 he recorded his first solo, self-titled album. His biggest charting single was 1977’s “Lonely Boy” which reached the Top 10. Another single “Thank You For Being A Friend” also became popular as it was made as the theme song for the TV sitcom The Golden Girls. Gold had also worked with many artists, including his ex-bandmate in Bryndle Karla Bonoff as well as Carly Simon, Stephen Bishop, Nicolette Larson, Neil Diamond, James Tayolor, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Roy Orbison, Bette Midler, Cher, Diana Ross, etc., whose albums Gold produced. He died in his sleep in 2011, aged 59.
Early life and musical background
The multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Andrew Gold was born Andrew Maurice Gold on August 2, 1951 in Burbank California. He was raised by musically-inclined parents, Ernest Gold (who won an Academy Award for the movie Exodus as a composer) and Marni Nixon (who did the singing voices for Natalie Wood in West Side Story, Deborah Kerr in The King and I, and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady). Gold started songwriting at the age of 13 and three years later he pursued his schooling and tried his luck in the music business as well in England. The 16-year old Gold had enough courage to submit a selection of demos at the London office Polydor Records which unexpectedly offered him a record deal. In 1967. He had his first single as a member of the act Villiers and Gold (with his friend Charlie Villiers) “Of All The Little Girls.”
Gold’s tenure with the band Bryndle and other projects
Gold was seriously engaged with his work as a full-time musician, songwriter and record producer in the early 70’s and at the same time became a member of the Los Angeles-based band Bryndle. In 1970, the band released the single “Woke Up This Morning.” In Linda Ronstadt’s breakthrough album, 1974’s Heart Like a Wheel, Gold played most all of the songs which includes Ronstadt’s biggest hit “You’re No Good,” it reached the top spot on the Billboard 100.
In 1975 Gold issued his first self-titled debut solo album. It was followed by the What’s Wrong With The Picture? which included the single “Lonely Boy” in 1977. “Lonely Boy” was a success and peaked #7 on the Billboard chart. It was also in the movie soundtrack of Boogie Nights (1997) and The Waterboy (1998). From 1978’s All This and Heaven Too album, the single “Thank You For Being A Friend” did not gain much attention. However, “Thank You For Being A Friend” had a comeback when the 1985 hit sitcom The Golden Girls used it as the theme song of the show. The next single from the third album “Never Let Her Slip Away,” meanwhile, reached #5 on the British Singles chart. It was Gold’s biggest UK Hit. Also the same year, Gold collaborated with Art Garfunkel which he played the majority of the instruments on Garfunkel’s solo hit “I Only Have Eyes For You.” It reached the top spot on the UK Singles UK Chart. Aside from the first three albums, Gold released 12 follow-up albums from the 1970’s to 2000’s.
After working with 10cc’s album Ten Out 10 in 1981, Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart of 10cc, tried to convince Gold to become a member of the group, he refused the offer due to business conflicts. When 10cc disbanded in late 1983, Gold and Gouldman formed their own act Wax. The duo project released hits like “Right Between the Eyes” in 1986 and “Bridge to Your Heart”in 1987, but after five years of touring and recording 1989’s A Hundred Thousand in Fresh Notes, Wax broke up.
Bryndle was together back again and finally released their self-titled first full-length album in the 1990’s. After Bryndle’s reunion, Gold released a record for the children entitled Halloween Howls. He also composed songs for films, television soundtracks and commercials.
Later life and career
In 2000 Gold released Wax Bikini, which was an album of rarities from his former band Wax. He subsequently released 2 new solo albums, The Spence Manor Suite (2000) and Intermission (2002). His last album Copy Cat was released in 2008; it featured mostly Lennon/McCartney covers. 59-year old Gold, who battled with cancer, died in his sleep at his home in Encino, California on June 3, 2011.