Meet Nik-more than rock and roll

Everyone has a story…and learning stories about great people is one of my favorite things. Here’s a bit about Nik. He started the band Undying Allegiance 5 years ago, but stepped away for this season to help the poor around the world as a Convoy of Hope intern. His story includes way more than the 1 1/2 minutes you’ll see here, but I wanted you to get a glimpse of this great man who has a great perspective on life.

Here’s the first single from his band’s latest project. It’s ironically called, “The Story of Our Lives.”

What is a time or situation in your life that helped you gain perspective?

Michael Roe of the 77’s. A fun night.

My friend Jorin introduced me to the 77’s in 1991 when I had the (what to me was about the coolest privilege ever…because it was) opportunity to fill-in host at KADI’s Saturday night “The Rock Cries Out”. He stopped by with some cd’s (they were a new fangled thing then) and suggested I play “The Lust, the Flesh, the Eyes, and the Pride of Life” from their Sticks and Stones CD.
It’s now absolutely one of my favorite 5 cds of all time. Incredible stuff.
Since then, I’ve somehow (via ebay, used stores and more) purchased just about everything they’ve ever done.

I met Mike Roe (lead singer) at the GMA Conference in about ’96, but have never seen him or them live…until last week.

Thanks to my good friend Bret, he played a solo living room show here in Springfield. I had just had surgery 2 hours earlier on my leg, but knew that not many things (was in W. Africa last time he was here) could keep me from that concert. Was valiumed up…(but that had no effect on my enjoyment) I LOVED THE SHOW!
He’s incredible. They had been signed to Island Records in the early-mid 80s even though they were a Christian band. Island was going to push them big time because they were so good. Then…Island scored another band to their label and funneled most of their promo money that way. U2. Joshua Tree. Wow.
The 77s are in that category if you ask me.
One of my favorite parts of the show was watching it with my friend from church, Brian. He’s been a fan for a long time…and has played music for years himself. We loved the show. Here’s Mike with Brian.

Finally…here’s a video of a song I requested…that first 77’s song I heard, “The Lust,…”. I’ve heard Mike is cool with people posting his stuff, but I’ll glady delete this if anyone tells me he doesn’t like it. Just let me know.

Enjoy this tune…


Larry Norman died today.

I just heard some sad (happy for him) news. Larry Norman is dead. He died this morning at 2:45 a.m. If you haven’t heard of Larry, you should know that he’s literally the guy who started Christian rock and roll.

The original Jesus Freak. He didn’t do the peace sign, but as a leader of the Jesus Movement, pointed the index finger toward Heaven, signifying “One Way.” He helped lead a movement.

A legend. With Jesus. The Jesus Freak met Jesus face to face this morning. Would’ve been fun to see.

Some memories…

  • In college I hosted a “Thief In the Night” party. We all sat in the Wilkie basement with Kevin on the guitar and sang, “I Wish We’d All Been Ready,” a song he helped make famous.
  • We saw DC Talk sing the song a few months later…and saw the video where they reverently met him.
  • I was sitting at a concert during GMA Week in Nashville in ’95 and a man behind me asks if I’d watch his jacket while he stepped out to take some medicine. It was Larry. I was in shock. We talked all through the show…Rebecca St. James debuted “God” that night.
  • That night he was asking a mutual friend about taking a cab to the Dove Awards. I asked if he needed a ride. He did. I took him. How cool? I woke him up with my 3 p.m. confirmatioin phone call.
  • We talked for the 30 minute drive to the Grand Ol’ Opry. Got McDonald’s. We got there and we went to the security desk to get back stage. I had press credentials…he didn’t. They weren’t going to let him through. I told the security guard, “This guy started this industry…you can ask anyone here.” She leaned in and asked if I was serious. They let him through.
  • Back stage he introduced me to the hordes that were walking up for hugs and hellos. “Have you met my good friend Matt?” he often asked. Seriously. It was amazing. Among the those that night, guys ranging from Toby Mac to Andre Crouch.
  • A few months later he played at my church. He played the Dave Weston piano. Incredible night.
  • He called a few times after the show. I had a message on my answering maching, “Hello, Matt, this is Larry Norman…”

Forgive my name dropping…but that was one cool guy and I was freaked out I got to know him if even for a bit.

He loved his fans…never sold out. Was a little quirky (understatement). Had some extreme opinions. Loved Jesus.

Rest in peace my righteous rocking friend.

Johnny Cash’s other house–in Dyess, Arkansas

I’m sure he’s had a few.  Did you hear his home in Hendersonville, TN (well, it was Barry Gibb’s since he bought Johnny old home) burned down?  Sadness.

On my way home from New Orleans, I went and saw another of his old homes.  It was one of those random journeys.  I saw on the map that it was only 5 miles off of the highway on my way home…and I was by myself (i.e. no one to annoy with my jaunt).  I called the mayor.  Here’s his honor…



He invited me for a tour of the town.  Great guy.


We saw Johnny’s senior picture on display with many others at City Hall…


We saw an old gas station which served as the mill where his big brother Jack was killed as they filmed the “Walk the Line” movie.  Here’s the outside…


…and the inside…with the sign from the “Walk the Line” movie.   Notice the sawdust…it’s the acutal movie sawdust, and yes I have some.



They’re hoping to build a Johnny Cash museum in this town of 500 where he grew up, and lived before entering the military.  It would be in the large home behind the mayor in the top shot.  You can see a photo of his house in the “Hurt” video as he looks in the back window.  The video is here.

There’s a fund raising concert on May 19 if you’re in the area (about 1 hour from Memphis) and then again the first weekend of July. 

Here’s the house. 



The same man has lived in it for about 30 years…he was never in the Bee Gee’s.  He’ll sell it to you for $500,000 or you can just put $5 in the mailbox (I did) for a photo >(Outside)< of the house.  It’ll go to help the sagging roof.

May Johnny rest in peace.  Have you seen the new “Help Me” video?  Wow.



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