A few weeks ago, a gray-haired man with an Australian accent and an urgent tone showed up in the lobby of the Nevada Appeal, asking to speak with the editor. He was clutching a mint-condition record and eagerly explained his mission.
The man, Howard Boreham, describes himself as a huge fan of 1960s and ’70s music. He travels the world seeking musicians’ autographs, and he showed me that he had the autographs of four of the five members of the vintage-era lineup for the band The Turtles on the classuc album “Turtle Soup.” The one he’s missing: that of guitarist Al Nichol — who, rumor has it, lives around here.
Members of our news staff asked around, and we heard that Nichol used to live in Dayton, or that he maybe lives at Lake Tahoe. Some people said he occasionally performs, but they couldn’t say where. Nichol reportedly has had some difficulties in his life since the 1960s.
Boreham is back in Melbourne now, and we’ve emailed back and forth a few times. He told me he’s hoping to meet Nichol in person, and that his most prized autograph is Bob Dylan’s. He described his decision to visit the Appeal as the result of “my amateur, investigative, journalistic instincts.”
I asked for his impressions of Carson City, and he replied, “friendly folks, sunny skies, snow-capped mountains and good hospitality at the Hardman House.”
We could provide him with an even better impression of our region by helping him locate Al Nichol. So, know anything about his whereabouts? Give me a shout, and we might be able to make an Aussie on an interesting mission very happy.
Editor Brian Sandford can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.