June 3, 2015 – Andrew Maurice Gold was born on August 2, 1951 at Burbank, Los Angeles, into a musical family. His father, Ernest Gold, composed the scores for dozens of Hollywood films, including Exodus (1960) — for which he won an Oscar — Too Much Too Soon (1958) and On The Beach (1959); his mother, the classically-trained soprano Marni Nixon, was best known for supplying the singing voices for film actresses, notably Deborah Kerr in The King And I (1956), Natalie Wood in West Side Story (1961), and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady (1964). She also appeared as Sister Sophia in The Sound Of Music (1965).
Andrew was 13 when he started writing pop songs, although he never learned to read music. At Oakwood School in north Hollywood, he introduced himself to the singer Linda Ronstadt when she played a gig there with her group the Stone Poneys . By the early 1970s he had joined her band, and in 1974 played a variety of instruments and made the musical arrangements for Linda Ronstadt’s breakthrough album Heart Like A Wheel, as well as for her next four albums. Among other accomplishments, he played the majority of instruments on “You’re No Good,” Ronstadt’s only #1 single on the Billboard Hot 100, and the same on “When Will I Be Loved,” “Heat Wave” and many other classic hits. He was in her band from 1973 until 1977, and then sporadically throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
Gold was a multi-instrumentalist who played guitar, bass, keyboards, accordion, synthesizer, harmonica, saxophone, flute, drums and percussion, and more arcane musical devices such as ukulele, musette, and harmonium. He was also a member of the Los Angeles band Bryndle, alongside Kenny Edwards, Wendy Waldman and Karla Bonoff, releasing the single “Woke Up This Morning” in 1970.
Branching out as a record producer and musician, Gold recorded with Art Garfunkel on his solo hit I Only Have Eyes For You (1977), on which Gold played all the instruments; in the same year he played on Eric Carmen’s album Boats Against The Current, from which the track She Did It was a minor chart hit. Over the years he worked with many other major artists, among them John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Cher, James Taylor, Carly Simon and The Eagles.
In the early Eighties, Gold produced, co-wrote, sang and played on three 10cc tracks that appeared on the hit-making pop-rock band’s 1981 album Ten Out of 10. Subsequently, Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman of 10cc invited Gold to become a member of the group. Although he had worked with them in the studio, business conflicts prevented him from actually joining their ranks.
In late 1983, 10cc broke up, and in the aftermath, Gold and Gouldman formed Wax. Wax recorded and toured for five years. They enjoyed international success, particularly in the U.K. where the duo had several Top 10 hits including “Right Between the Eyes” and their biggest hit “Bridge to Your Heart.” Wax broke up as a recording and touring entity in 1989, but Gold and Gouldman continued to write and record together when possible.
Gold played on Cher’s hit 1989 album Heart of Stone and, during the early ’90s, wrote and composed hits for Trisha Yearwood as well as Wynonna Judd, for whom he co-wrote the #1 single “I Saw The Light” with Lisa Angelle. (Later, Gold would produce Angelle on her own album, which featured a number of songs on whose authorship and composition they collaborated.) He also produced singles for Vince Gill, wrote and produced tracks for Celine Dion, and arranged a cover of the Everly Brothers’s hit “All I Have to Do Is Dream” that was sung by stars Jeff Bridges and Karen Allen in the 1984 science-fiction film Starman.
In the 1990s, Gold once again joined forces with ex-bandmates Karla Bonoff, Wendy Waldman and Kenny Edwards to re-form Bryndle and finally release their first full-length album, Bryndle.
In 1996, Gold left Bryndle and released the children’s Halloween-oriented novelty album Halloween Howls with John Waite, featuring the track “Spooky Scary Skeletons.” The same year, he released the solo album ….Since 1951, and produced Stephen Bishop’s Blue Guitar album. Thereafter, he recorded the psychedelic ’60s tribute album Greetings from Planet Love under the pseudonym “The Fraternal Order Of The All,” and released it on his own record label, “QBrain Records.” This album was a multi-tracked solo affair with Gold essentially playing all of the instruments and singing all of the vocals on original songs in the style of Gold’s favorite 1960s bands such as The Beatles, The Byrds and The Beach Boys.
He produced, composed, and/or wrote tracks for numerous films, such as the comedy Rectuma from director Mark Pirro, and contributed songs to many television soundtracks and commercials. Among his more high-profile gigs, he sang “Final Frontier,” the theme song for the television sitcom Mad About You. In a remarkable turn of events, his rendition of the song was used as the wake-up call for the Mars Pathfinder space probe in 1996. Gold also produced seven albums for Japanese singer-songwriter Eikichi Yazawa.
During 2000, Gold compiled a Wax rarities album, House of Wax on Wax, as well as recording and releasing a new solo album The Spence Manor Suite; this last was followed in 2002 by another solo collection, Intermission. He appeared in a 2006 concert with the classic rock group America, and singer-songwriter Stephen Bishop, and the performance was later released as a DVD titled “America And Friends – Live at the Ventura Theater.” The show featured Gold performing “Thank You for Being a Friend,” “Final Frontier,” “Bridge to Your Heart” and “Lonely Boy,” as well as accompanying America and Bishop on guitar and vocals. Gold had earlier produced America’s Holiday Harmony Christmas album back in 2002, wherein he also played most of the instruments and co-wrote the track “Christmas in California.”
In the 1990s Gold, recording under a pseudonym, released an album of original songs in the style of his favourite Sixties’ bands, among them The Beatles, The Byrds and The Beach Boys. He was also a prolific composer of music for commercials and of film and television soundtracks.
From 1985, Cindy Fee’s version of Thank You For Being A Friend was used as the theme song for the American sitcom The Golden Girls.
In 1996 Gold’s was the first human voice to be “heard” on the surface of Mars, when Final Frontier, his theme from the American television series Mad About You, was used to activate a robot for the Mars Pathfinder space probe.
Andrew Gold died on June 3, 2011 from an apparent heart attack at age 59.