Wow, is it just me, or did Santa come and go much faster this season than in prior years? I can't believe Christmas is already over.

Of course, this doesn't mean the holiday season is over. Pleasanton offers many opportunities to ring in the New Year with entertainment celebrations, and one of these is the upcoming tribute to rock hall of famer Ricky Nelson at the Firehouse Arts Center.

Ricky's talented twin sons, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson, who have a number of platinum records to their names, will perform many of Nelson's hit songs Jan. 10.

Some interesting trivia about Ricky Nelson is that he is the only artist to have ever had a number-one song, number-one movie and number one TV show in the same week. Take that, Justin Beiber!

In fact, the term "Teen Idol" was coined by Life Magazine to describe Nelson and his appeal to teenagers in the late 1950s and 1960s.

Many baby boomers first met Ricky on the popular TV show "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" that ran from 1952 to 1966. The show launched his career, and he went on to pioneer country rock music and write such songs as "Hello, Mary Lou," "Poor Little Fool," "Travelin' Man," "I'm Walkin'," "I Gotta Feeling," "Teenage Idol," and "Garden Party." All of these songs will be performed in the upcoming concert by his sons, which will showcase parts of Nelson's life, including never-before-seen interviews with Paul McCartney, Chris Isaak and other artists he influenced.

Tickets for the 8 p.m. Jan. 10 performance range from $40 to $50 and are available at by calling 925-931-4848 or at the box office at 4444 Railroad Ave. To learn more about the show, visit

LEGENDS TO ROCK: Speaking of rock 'n' roll, it's not too soon to mark your calendar for December 2014 when the December People will return to Pleasanton to perform again at the versatile and intimate Firehouse Art Center.

It may seem early to plan for one year from now, but my wife and I attended this year's concert benefiting the nonprofit Open Heart Kitchen, and this unusual, upbeat and heartwarming event is perfect for anyone who has a bit of "rocker" in them, from die-hard fans to folks just looking for a holiday feel-good event.

What makes the music so good is that highly-talented musicians from some of the best rock bands come together over the holiday season to perform familiar Christmas songs in the style of classic rock songs.

The result is a creative blend of Christmas lyrics with powerful music from Santana, The Who, Led Zeppelin, ZZ Top, U2, Sting, Queen, Journey and others. The band includes rock legends Robert Berry, Gary Pihl, Jack Foster, Mike Vanderhule and Dave Medd.

These fellows are connected to acts such as Emerson, Lake and Palmer; Sammy Hagar; Boston; Y&T, The Tubes and others. The specific dates in December 2014 will be announced, but be sure to catch the show next year!

Contact Jim Ott at