Sunday 2 September 2018

Group Fiction by Chris Welch

Nearly 30 years ago Charlie Peacock wrote "At The Cross roads" which was a fictional look at the CCM or Christian Contemporary Music scene.
Heres another fictional account of three real musicians .

It all began with several Youtubes. All three Christian musicians knew each other, but they weren't overly close. The first Youtube went viral and was picked up most enthusiastically by Steve Taylor, Charlie Peacock and Phil Keaggy. Actually they had all seen others before using layering of internet voices, but this one featured instruments that had been filmed quite clearly.

For all their performing careers although each could work instrumentation in their heads, and tended to make do with sequencing, they had put off any real workable idea of proper orchestration due to the immense costs involved.
Fiona Barnett was just breaking onto the scene with her testimonies on other Youtubes, but all of a sudden she put this YouTube up and it was the wording that grabbed the musicians. She said THIS IS THE TRUE CHURCH gathering together without infrastructure just to unite together singing to Jesus.

Man, thought Charlie, she's right. This is the Church no holds barred and there is nolonger any reason to feel hemmed in by costs. Anything we can imagine as musicians can now be orchestrated so long as others catch the vision of what we want to accomplish.

Both Phil Keaggy and Steve Taylor caught the viral video which was also connected to Fiona Barnett's Facebook page.

Actually it was Phil who was intrigued. Who is this Fiona? What was she saying? Phil spent a few day's spare moments watching her videos about her Australian life absolutely shocked by what she was describing.
and somewhere saw a link to a similar testimony but by  a Brice Taylor who was really Susan Ford.

It took Phil several days to fit in time to read the three hundred pages, but afterwards felt floored then quite angry. This was virtually the whole story of his nation rewritten as it actually happened and not in any way the nation he recognised. But Phil was angry for another reason.
Something was clicking on his insides in a way that had never happened before.

Phil was known the world over by Christians who had been converted in the seventies and eighties.
Quite simply people recognised his musical genius. Yes he was one of the world's best guitar players but his writing and arranging and the phenomenal range of his albums meant that quite rightly, when friends suggested that he play alongside Paul McCartney at his wedding, it seemed the most natural of pairings. In no way was he overshadowed.

Phil had lived within the confines of his general belief that as we live in a world that is virtually run by a worldly system, then yes, if he was committed to only writing Christian music and quite overtly so, he could only expect a certain level of recognition on planet earth.

He had submitted into that notion and his loving warm personality wasnt about to foist itself on others because above all he was only interested in communicating the unconditional love of God.

YET YET, he was now uneasy. Because none of his principles had taken into account the dreadful horrors of the accounts he was reading and hearing. In fact the world he lived in, which must have been like the subghetto Goshen in Egypt when the Israelite nation lived there, knew nothing of what was really driving  infrastructures from underneath.Tables had been unfairly tipped, but not only that,as was being voiced increasingly throughout Hollywood by people like Keanu Reeves, Keaggy's own reluctance to push himself was costing the lives of innocent kids in the most horrific of rituals, in order that top paid stars secure their 20 million dollar contracts.

After two further weeks or so, Steve Taylor, Charlie Peacock and Phil were commenting more stridently on  some Nashville threads. Steve had actually had a taste of worldwide play when the band he produced after touring with his own songs came up with the track Kiss Me. The rest was history. It is still played worldwide today. So it is not surprising that as the three were chatting together Steve suddenly announced something crazy.

Hey Charlie and Phil, we can hold our own on stage. We dont have to be daunted by all this rubbish of initiation ceremonies in the big recording studios and the spilling of innocent blood. It's time we made our own statements and if we die in flames then so be it, but enough is enough.

Well how do we do it, asked Phil. Hire a studio, bring out another album? How will that make any difference?

Steve answered, Lets do something really really stupid. Lets do America's Got Talent, but lets blow them away. But let me do one of my stinging songs about the state of Hollywood to bring everything out into the open.

They will never air it, said Charlie.

There might just be enough straight infrastructure left,said Steve, but  the audience will see it and some will put it on Youtube. Anyway, it's good for us. We have spent our whole lives letting people dictate to us when the foul deeds of these industry gatekeepers render them not even worthy to be trodden on.

And so it was a few weeks later the three plus a few supporting instrumentalists took the stage with a grit and determination that they hadnt felt since they had first braved live performances.
They did it nicely and respectfully but they made it clear to the American judges that they were not there to have endless patronising comments, and the judges could see there was experience in all three from the way they carried themselves on stage.

Steve's idea , with only a few props, was to recreate a spooky ritual image, mainly using his own poetic lyrics, some lighting and whatever he could fish out of his pocket.

They only had two minutes or so, which they actually stretched to nearly five because everyone got blown away. From a quiet beginning, the lights were suddenly raised at the same time as Phil Keaggy was doing an absolute blistering guitar solo while Charlie did some amazingly full and original sounding sequencing stuff and block pad sounds on several keyboards. Sounded as forceful as Rick Wakeman in Yes in Lincoln Cathedral all those years ago.

Steve hurled the lyrics round effectively declaring no more this evil domination of world creativity by only those who would submit to the most sickening of occult rituals.

Charlie and Phil bounced off each other and everybody could see they were witnessing something that had come full time, so nobody dared cut them short until around five minutes were up.

People stood all around the auditorium, not because these were world class musicians that hardly anybody had heard before, but because what they were singing about had just happened. Domination across the world industry had just shattered.

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