I’ve been noticing something lately. I’ve been noticing just how many musicians have had parents that were either pastors, ministers, or had parents that were devout Christians. Lots of these musicians sang in church, or heard sermons or grew up in the church. Some grew up rebelling against the church. Some embraced it. Most of them do return to their Christian ways, usually to get off drugs or alcohol and a raucacious life on the road.
Elvis, Madonna, Al Green, Katy Perry, Paul Thorn, Kirk Whalum, Randy Travis and Bono. The list goes on and on. And of course it’s not just musicians. Its actors, entertainers, politicians, athletes and regular old folks like you and me.
I just wonder sometimes if this was the catalyst that inspires greatness in a person. Whether its knowing they are blessed and God is using them in a big way, or whether they are angry and rebellious and want as far away from that suffocating religious stuff as they can get. Maybe its some of both.
I just think its interesting how they struggle with the conflict of the wild life that a musician lives and the sanity that bible based truth provides. Or maybe they have an even greater need to make sense out of what they may have observed behind the scenes. Maybe it’s growing up with a religious zealot at home and then observing a whole different person as they become a public puritan that the rest of the world looks up to. Imagine the discord of hearing the teachings of Jesus preached, but observing the sinful practices of the Devil’s world. Imagine a priest molesting a child. Or a strict parent quoting bible verses while issuing harsh discipline to a kid who wonders, ‘Is this really what God is all about’?
I’ve loved hearing different bands try to deal with this issue. None cover it better than Paul Thorn. His Mississippi country-boy drawl is the perfect voice to sing about that exact life. His daddy was a preacher, and his uncle was a ‘pimp’ as he calls him. A real carouser.
I don’t have any conclusions to draw. I figures it’s just the same old battle of good vs. evil, or choosing right or wrong in your life. Its a battle for who controls your soul, isn’t it? Fair enough. We all have our conflicts, and our ways to make sense of it all.
One of the main reasons that I went on the Blues Cruise, was because Paul Thorn was going to be there. I love his music and the way he writes his songs. They’re funny words about troublesome things. Here’s Paul Thorn singing about it.
Mission Temple Fireworks Stand