Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Remembering Larry

I was pleasantly surprised today to find the entertainment industry acknowledging Larry's legacy.

Over at Entertainment Weekly, there's a rather personal reflection on the man who subverted expectations.
I remember looking over and watching the grin on the youth leader’s face turn into a puzzled grimace as Norman sang lines like “Pardon me, kissing you like I'm afraid/But I feel I'm being played…/Close your eyes, and pretend that you are me/See how empty it can be/Making love if love's not really there/Watch me go, watch me walk away alone/As your clothing comes undone/And you pull the ribbon from your hair.” Of course, I got a big smile on my face as the youth pastor’s disappeared, because, as a rock kid, I lived for status quo-breaking moments like that one, when a "Christian concert" could turn into something altogether less predictable. He didn’t always follow through on his early promise, but that’s the Larry Norman I’ll remember — the maverick who never deviated from his chosen mission in search of any big brass ring, but who didn’t give many second thoughts to subverting the expectations of fellow believers, either.
And at The Huffington Post:
Larry Norman, the most amazing artist you've never heard of has died.

image source

1 comment:

michael lewis said...

How about:

"Gonorrhoea on Valentine's Day....VD
You're still looking for the perfect lay."

?? Yeah! Bet you'd never hear that in "christian" music??

There are many other lyrics as well. Larry was an amazing song-writer.

Tied for my number 1 favourite song, for being a full song, are God Part 3 and Nightmare #71.

And only to prove his abilities, I'll include the lyrics:

God Part 3:

i don't believe in beatles, i don't believe in rock
i dont't believe in the cutting edge, that's just journalist talk
i don't believe in the cover story or the gospel chart
you can easily hit number one with a bullet and totally miss the heart
but i oh i believe in God

i don't believe in politics while the masses stay unfed
til the leaders change priorities and supply the poor with bread
don't believe in the revolution or the empty words of peace
you can tear all of the governments down you still won't find release
but i oh i believe in God

i don't believe the papacy when fallible lies are told
if they really want to help the poor they should sell some of their gold
and i don't believe the aryans are the master race
if you think that Jesus is white you'd be surprised to see His face
but i oh i believe in God

don't believe in esperanto or the dreams of babylon
if we all spoke the same language, long ago we would'a built the bomb
and i don't believe in money the way lives are bought and sold
and when this world is ended bankrupt i'm gonna walk the streets of gold

no i don't believe in evolution, i was born to be free
ain't gonna let no anthropologist make a monkey out of me
and i don't believe the devil, i ain't gonna be his slave
and when i'm finished dying i'm gonna bust out of my grave
oh i yeh i
oh i - I and i
oh i oh i believe in God

Nightmare #71

last night i had that same old dream it rocked me in my sleep
and left me the impression that the sandman plays for keeps
i dreamed i was in concert in the middle of the clouds
john wayne and billy graham were giving breath mints to the crowds
i fell through a hole in heaven i left the stage for good
and when i landed on the earth i was back in hollywood

the california earthquake it tore the land in half
while san andreas cleared her throat i heard tsunami laugh
the ground began to tremble the land began to sway
and people in the other states they were glad they'd moved away
but suddenly california just floated in the breeze
while every state that wasn't sank down into the seas

and soon i saw atlantis rumble and rise high
and the great egg of euphrates came down out of the sky
and out stepped shirley temple with guy kippee who was dead
and that communist bill robinson whom shirley called black red
they have a marionette of harpo marx they said it was an inside joke
but when i honked his horn he came alive and these were the words he spoke

"with the continents adrift and the sun about to shift
will the ice caps drown us all or will we burn
we've polluted what we own will we reap what we have sown?
are we headed for the end or can we turn?
we've paved the forest killed the streams
burned the bridges to our dreams
the earth is bursting at the seams
and in pain of childbirth screams
as it gives life to what seems
to either be an age that gleams
or simply lays there dying
if this goes on will life survive how can it
out of the grave oh who will save our planet?"

i said i'm pleased to meet you i always thought you were a scream
he said "have you ever thought of having helen keller in your dreams
i said errol flynn dropped by but he tried to steal my girl
the she ran off with ronald colman said something about a new world
now i'm stuck with my own cooking hey i'm lonely can't you see
well he grabbed my leg and said exactly eighty nine words to me
count them

"let the proud but dying nation kiss the last generation
it's the year of the pill, age of the gland
we have landed on the moon but we'll clutter that up soon
our sense of freedom's gotten out of hand
we kill our children swap our wives
we've learned to greet a man with knives
we swallow pills in fours and fives
our cities look like crumbling hives
man does not live he just survives
we sleep till he arrives
love is a corpse we sit and watch it harden
we left it oh so long ago the garden"

the strings snapped briskly then went slack the marionette lay dead
while hoover played with the motorcade the body slumped and bled
the man who held the camera disappeared into the crowd
i said the hope of youth, fictitious truth, lays covered in a shroud
then up walked elmo lincoln and he said i beg you pardon
but we left it oh so long ago, the garden