missed the first time: “Simplicity” by Mark Salomon of Stavesacre

In Uncategorized on April 6, 2009 at 11:23 pm

Finally got my hands on this, though it’s been out a couple of years. As I told a couple of friends, the introduction is worth whatever price you pay. It sums up the christian music industry of yore in a nutshell–Salomon is stuck at a church in an embarrassing situation with a pastor that wants to make sure he’s going to preach the Gospel at all costs. Then somehow, this same pastor eventually tracks him back to California and sends his kids in as spies. What the heck? What kind of Christian is that?

In a way, Salomon’s whole book is a repeated diatribe of Charles Barkley’s “I’m not a role model,” but with legitimate points. Stavesacre was not meant to be a ministry, but art. But due to what they knew, what label they were on or what have you, that was the situation that they always ended up in. Salomon allows for an understanding of his mindset, his desires and his passion and how the Christian music industry both hindered his career and gave it a spectacular rise. What will strike home for most people is how old he is. With The Crucified he was really navigating new territory as a very young man. Had he been in the same situation now–a pioneer in the Christian music ministry–with our technology, screwed would be an understatement.

Another important element that he brings up is how awkward fans are around him at shows. They always want to tell him personal stuff, and in return have him share personal stuff. It’s something I’ve always tried to be conscious of, unless I’m doing an interview or something. An example he gives is this guy comes up to him Little Rock talking about his sister’s health and making predictions about her. In an amazing bit of grace, Salomon is nice to him but warns against false prophecy.

Most of the book is retelling of his childhood and his mindset going into The Crucified. What it shows is that most kids are not ready to front a “christian” band, no matter how important they think it is. This book is best consumed with a heavy dose of sympathy–anyone looking for a “rah rah” book about christian music need to be prepared for a lesson they probably desperately need to hear.

Stavesacre and The Crucified

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