My friend Brook wrote on this topic recently in his blog, so pop over there and give his a read. We were in sync that day, he just wrote his first. :) He gave some of the same critiques I would, so I am just gonna share my thank you's.
I was appreciating my Ipod's ability to stitch live tracks together while I was working out the other day. I was listening to Fireworks Live, the first album I ever owned. Later in my workout, I clicked over to Petra's Captured in Time and Space and rolled to the Praise session. Ahhh the good old days!
As I listened, I was thinking about how much my faith and theology was shaped by so many of those bands. I will probably miss some (I'll add later) and this thank you will probably never be seen by any of the bands, but some of you reading may share many of these thoughts and memories.
Daniel Amos - What can I say? You were my first love. You were the first one to put in my head that maybe Christianity did not have to be lived the way I was taught. Even prior to my conversion, you were already stirring rebellious thoughts. Thanks!
Keith Green - You left us too soon. You showed me what it was to throw off everything and follow Christ. The sheep and the goats still reminds me about how petty perhaps all of our doctrines truly are.
Randy Stonehill - "You are the light" on Equator was probably one of the first songs that really drew me into worship. Sunday morning choruses never did much for me, but when I listened to that song I worshiped.
Steve Taylor - You always felt like the older brother who would give me good advice. I felt that so long as Steve wouldn't have cause to write a funny song about what I am doing, I must be ok.
Undercover - "Branded" affects me to this day. Hard to pick out which song affected me most. There was a verse in Darkest Hour which was the single strand my Christianity hung on for a long time. In many ways, it still does. When I lay me down to sleep/Is there a soul for you to keep?/I fall down to my knees/and all I know is Jesus Please!
Jerusalem- I met you guys at my first Ichthus back in 84. I loved how you guys loved people. I taped your show and in the foolishness of youth, I lost it. I would give anything to have the rendition of "Loves you more" that you did that day.
Mylon Lefevere - I loved to hear you preach. That was half the fun of going to your concerts. The way you could talk about Jesus was no less than amazing. I wore a tape out rewinding "Crack the Sky" to listen to again and again.
Rez Band - Glen was another one you loved to hear preach. The man lives his faith. I still listen to "The Struggle" with some awe.
The Imperials - Yes, my tastes are eclectic. The Russ Taff albums were amazing.
Sweet Comfort Band - "Perfect Timing" was the definitive album that year.
White Heart - "Over Me" was my anthem for years. I still hum it everytime I am walking in the rain.
Stryper - Some darn fun, big hair, christianized metal. I still jam to this stuff! Nuthin gets me air guitarin faster.
I realize as I write this, that if I continue this list, I enter into bands that were with me during a different stage of my Christianity. So I am going to stop here with the bands of my innocence. Though some of these (like Undercover) stayed with and affected me over time, these are the bands who helped me through my teen years - back when Christianity was just about accepting Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Saviour, being righteous, and enjoying youth group activities.
Those of you who knew me at the time, let me know who I am missing. Share some Ichthus memories.... (Matt applying generous amounts of baby oil one sunny day comes to mind).