Larry Norman, RIP

Thanks to my friend Greg for letting me know that the Father Christian Rock passed from here to eternity in the wee hours of Sunday morning. He emailed me the link to a story on the Christianity Today website.

I was never a big fan of Larry. Nothing personal. As a performer, he didn’t appeal to me, particularly when I first discovered contemporary Christian music in the late ’70s. I liked other people doing some of his songs. In the very early days of performing – and while still a dispensational pre-millenialist (and that’s going back a long ways)  – like ever other Christian teen I used to play “I Wish We’d All Been Ready”. Watching some of his performances on YouTube, I think I would enjoy him more now.

Nonetheless, I don’t underestimate the impact he had on a lot of artists to whom I made much more of an immediate connection, as well as his importance as a groundbreaking artist. Even a two-bit songwriter like me owes him a debt of gratitute.

Thanks, Larry.

I keep looking at this mirror
At the age around my eyes
Time is such an earnest laborer
Precision is its neighbor
Lay my body in the ground
But let my spirit touch the sky

– “I Hope I’ll See You In Heaven”

Give rest, O Lord, to the soul of Larry, in a place of light, in place of green pasture, in a place of revival, whence all pain, sorrow and sighing have fled away.

5 Responses to “Larry Norman, RIP”

  1. greg Says:

    I had the inestimable pleasure of playing drums behind Larry when he came through Indianapolis two years ago. He contacted a keyboard player friend of mine who put the band together, which was Larry’s way of doing things toward the end. He traveled solo and worked with whatever band backed him in whatever venue he was playing. He sent a list of the songs he would be playing and the band would learn them, and then practice them with Larry the day of the show.

    For this old Jesus freak, it was a dream come true.

  2. sol Says:

    Wow! That must have been great! Where did he play in Indy?

  3. Michael Says:

    His music never really fit my personal taste either – my sister was a much bigger fan. But I’ve always had great respect for him. It’s noteworthy when so many people, Christian and non-Christian alike, say they appreciated him and were influenced by him.

    He may indeed have been a dispensationalist, but I’ve never perceived anything in “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” that couldn’t also be seen within an amillennialist or post-tribulational premillennialist context. Probably not dominionist post-millennial, though.

  4. sol Says:

    Well, see, that’s it. I went from being a dispensational pre-mil to post-mil Reconstructionist.

    When I use to play “I Wish We’d All Been Ready” in a medley with “Eve of Destruction”, it was an early attempt at trying to be radical and controversial. I hadn’t gotten to the point that people were walking out of my shows because of the offensive lyrics about abortion, androgeny, environmentalism, etc.

  5. greg Says:

    He was out at Calvary Chapel in Avon.

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