As soon as I saw the thread title, I could hear Larry Norman (the great-granddaddy of all Christian rockers) yelling it in my memory. Thanks, Mike…now I’ll be listening to that for the rest of the night. Larry had all sorts of snazzy little takes like that: “He’s the Rock that doesn’t roll”; “Jesus is the Rock and He rolled my blues away”, “My feet are on the Rock and my name is on the roll”, and so on. The song in question dates from about 1971, and part of the lyrics are hilarious:
“They said to cut my hair, they’re driving me insane;
I grew it out long to make room for my brain.
But sometimes people don’t understand----
What’s a good boy doing in a rock and roll band?
Jesus told the truth, and Jesus showed the way,
There’s one more thing I’d like to say;
They nailed Him to the cross, and they laid Him in the ground,
But they should’ve known you can’t keep a good man down.
There’s nothing wrong with playing blues licks!
Well, if you got a reason, tell me to my face: Why should the devil have all the good music?
I’ve been filled, I feel okay,
Because Jesus is the Rock and He rolled my blues away.”
I haven’t been heavily into the CCM scene for about 15 years now, but at one time, I really kept up with the charts and had quite a collection. I recall my faves were Petra, Don Francisco, Keith Green (a raving anti-Catholic----forgive him, Father, he knew not what he did), Silverwind, Rick Cua, Dallas Holm, and White Heart. I also liked some of the stuff by Servant, Rez Band, DeGarmo and Key, and some others.
I think that Satan has a point concerning the Christian copying of secular bands styles; however, so what? That’s been going on for approximately seven hundred years or longer. Case in point: a very nice “traditional” hymn that goes,
“We praise Thee, O God,
Our Redeemer, Creator;
In grateful devotion
Our tribute we bring…”
Which was actually Christianized lyrics to a bar-song popular in English pubs at the time:
“I once met a girl
And her name was Matilda;
She hugged like a bear
And she looked like one, too…”
I think another reason that a lot of these Christian bands never go anywhere is due to the fact that many of them feel that their job is a ministry, rather than a way to make wads of money; the message is more important than the success. Plus, this also accounts for the number of personnel changes in some of these bands; one or another of them is always being “called” to some other area of service, and the band disintegrates.
Ah, well. I don’t listen to much CCM any more these days—I don’t even know who most of them are. But if I had my way, I’d love to own every album Larry Norman ever put out; he started out as a backup player for the Rolling Stones, and Mick Jagger’s influence is in a lot of Larry’s tunes. Plus, the asides he put into his records were a riot; speaking of Jesus Christ Superstar in a tune called “Reader’s Digest”, he said, “Dear John; who’s more popular now? I’ve been listening to Paul’s records----I think he really is dead!” (In reference, of course, to John Lennon’s comment about the Beatles being more popular than Jesus, and the "Paul is dead"marketing ploy they used somewhat later. Absolutely hlarious. Unfortunately, his records are practically impossible to find any more, and if you do find them, they cost an arm and a leg. Ah, well.