Bad Demo Tapes

Not long after I became a Christian in 1985, I began visiting Christian bookstores in search of new Christian metal bands. At least once a month I’d stroll in and see if anything new had been released. One cool thing about those Christian bookstores was that they had demo copies of all the music so you could take a listen before you bought it.

I remember that, more often than not, I was very disappointed in what I heard. There were a lot of just plain bad metal bands in the Christian scene. It got to the point of being very discouraging. Needless to say, I didn’t make many purchases.

Around that time, I remember reading an article about these bands in CCM magazine. The author very brilliantly pointed out that many of these Christian metal bands sounded like, “…bad demo tapes of their secular counterparts.”, referring to the fact the a ton of Christian metal bands sounded like (or were trying to sound like) popular secular bands. Most of the time, it just didn’t work.

Thankfully, John and Dino Elefante helped keep a lot of bands out of that category with their excellent production skills.

Always listen before you buy.

1985

An event occurred in November of 1985 that changed my life forever.

I had graduated high school that June and decided to stay in Ventura, CA to attend college, when my parents moved to Fresno, CA for a new job. I had the opportunity to stay with my aunt and uncle in order to stay in Ventura.

One evening after dinner, I asked my aunt if she really believed that silly Bible story about Adam and Eve. She began to attempt to answer my somewhat sarcastic question. When my uncle overheard my question, he proceeded to stroll into the kitchen where he began to engage me in a question and answer session about the Bible, evolution and origins in general.

After 4 to 6 hours of discussion, the gospel of Jesus Christ was presented to me. Before the night was over, God saved me from death and hell. My life hasn’t been the same since.

In the aftermath, I decided it was best to get rid of all my “evil” metal albums. I then began to pursue “Pure Metal”!

 

In the beginning…

When I was 9 or 10 years old, my neighbor friend who lived two doors down introduced me to ELVIS. Why all caps? Because he’s the king of rock ‘n’ roll! But you already know that (right?).

His music was my very first taste of rock. My friend, Dawn, also introduced me to an Elvis tribute singer who went by the name ‘Alan’. I mention him only because Elvis had died by the time I discovered his music. So, my friend and I would sit and listen to Elvis and write fan letters to Alan (hey, I was 9).

After that, my push into music stalled until that fateful day I heard “… I’m baaaaaack! I’m back in the saddle again!” — from my brother’s tape recorder. Soon, it was on to Rush, Styx and The Who.

Then, on yet another occasion of visiting with my brother, I heard my very first metal band: Motley Crue. I think that was the event that opened the heavy metal flood gates. Dio, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, the Scorpions and others soon followed.

By the mid ’80s, I was fully immersed in all things hard rock and metal.

I know that was very brief, but there really isn’t much more to say about it (just being honest).

In the near future, I’ll post about an event that happened in late 1985 that changed my life forever. Stay tuned.

But next, I’ll most likely post my review of the new studio album by NARNIA.

Until then, keep it METAL!