Saturday, April 04, 2015

Bono: Who Is Jesus? "Charlie Manson-type delirious."

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"I just believe in Jesus Christ..."

Brian once maintained his songs came through God, but that’s but no longer the case: “No, that’s how it used to be. Now, I try to manufacture something. I’m not 24 anymore.” Conversely — and for Wilson, typically — he has stated “I am proud to share with you my music, because I believe music is God’s voice.” In a recent Goldmine magazine article Brian was asked if he was a religious person. He response; “No, not really. I just believe in Jesus Christ, but I don’t know what religion I am.??”

Throughout his life, love was always contingent upon performance, whether an ability to create income and maintain careers for others, or the impossible task of pleasing his father. When Murray passed away in 1973, Brian sunk into the deepest depression of his life.
Wilson’s music reveals a world far more positive than what he’s had to endure. “When you believe in something you reflect it in your songs. You can say how you feel, and songs don’t lie. Songs are the most honest form of human expression there is-there’s nothing that lies about a song.”

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Brian Wilson describes No Pier Pressure, his latest album

Image result for no pier pressure wilson

"This record is about love and understanding. It opens with a prayer, “This Beautiful Day,” and closes with a prayer, “The Last Song.” I start out by praying that this beautiful day, with sunshine melodies and heavenly harmonies, lasts forever. The final tune prays that if we hold on tight, it will all be all right — all the anxieties eased, all the fears erased. It ends in hope."

“Thank you, God, for another day.” 

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Gospel According to Alice Cooper: The Prodigal Son on God and the Devil and Rock Music

Published by
Alice Cooper says he loves God but doesn’t want to become a ‘celebrity’ believer.
The father of shock rock whose music and stage antics have outraged parents for more than 30 years told how the fear of hell turned him to God.
Although he became a Christian in the 1980s, apart from brief comments in some interviews the 66-year-old singer has always been guarded about his faith – until now. But in a frank interview with a Christian music magazine, he spoke at length publicly for the first time about his love for God and reluctance to become a “Christian celebrity.”Alice Cooper, who sang about necrophilia and chopped up baby dolls during his concerts, said that although he continues to record and tour with a theatrical horror-style show, “My life is dedicated to follow Christ.”

A chart-topper with the teen anthem “School’s Out,” Cooper – who legally changed his name from Vince Furnier – has been credited with paving the way for performers such as Marilyn Manson.
That changed when alcoholism threatened his marriage. He and his wife, Sheryl, attended a church with a “hellfire pastor.” Cooper said he became a Christian “initially more out of the fear of God, rather than the love of God … I did not want to go to hell.” Interviewed for HM’s March/April issue, Cooper views his faith as “an ongoing thing.”But he maintains that his act was never political or religious and always had “a sense of humor.” He told HM: The Hard Music Magazine that he was always insulted whenever he was accused of being satanic. Raised in a Christian home, he still believed in God, although he was not committed.
He has avoided “celebrity Christianity,” because “it’s really easy to focus on Alice Cooper and not on Christ. I’m a rock singer. I’m nothing more than that. I’m not a philosopher. I consider myself low on the totem pole of knowledgeable Christians. So, don’t look for answers from me.”“Being a Christian is something you just progress in. You learn. You go to your Bible studies. You pray,” he said.
Yet he has been able to speak to others in the music scene about his faith.
“I’ve had a couple of people that were friends of mine that I’ve talked to that have vocally said they have [accepted Christ]. I have talked to some big stars about this, some really horrific characters … and you’d be surprised. The ones that you would think are the furthest gone are the ones that are more apt to listen.”
Songs on Cooper’s more recent recordings have hinted at his change of heart. He sees his stage persona now as “the prophet of doom,” telling people: “‘Be careful! Satan is not a myth. Don’t sit around pretending like Satan is just a joke.’ I think my job is to warn about Satan.”
He no longer performs some of his older repertoire. Any song promoting promiscuous sex and drinking “gets the axe,” he said. “I’m very careful about what the lyrics are. I tried to write songs that were equally as good, only with a better message.”
Cooper told HM he answers his critics: “‘I was one thing at one time, and I’m something new. I’m a new creature now. Don’t judge Alice by what he used to be. Praise God for what I am now.’”

Read more:

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Andrae Crouch: from Elvis, to Michael; Gospel Music Hall of Famer

Written by  

Andraé CrouchAndraé Crouch
By Dan Wooding, founder of ASSIST and ASSIST News Service
LOS ANGELES, CA -- Music legend Andraé Crouch has passed away. Interview Clip >>>
According to the Nashville Publicity Group, the Grammy and Dove Award winner passed away on Thursday, January 8, 2015 at approximately 4:30pm PST at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in the Los Angeles area.
Andraé, 72, was hospitalized on January 3rd.
Andraé's family requests privacy at this time. 
About Andraé Crouch:
Andraé's accolades include 7 Grammy Awards, 6 GMA Dove Awards, an Academy Award nomination for "The Color Purple," induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
His songs have been recorded by everyone from Elvis Presley to Paul Simon, and he has worked as a producer and arranger with many of music's top artists, including Michael Jackson, Madonna, Quincy Jones, Diana Ross, Elton John and many others.
Andraé can also be heard on Michael Jackson's hit singles "Man in the Mirror," "Keep the Faith,? "Will You Be There" and "Earth Song."

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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Did Brian Wilson compose Surfer Girl for the Lettermen, not the Beach Boys?

On Forgotten Hits 

Why we didn’t do any Beach Boys songs ! Well, here is an interesting story.   

We share a mutual love of the Four Freshmen with Brian Wilson. Brian knows this and has talked about the Freshman with us. One day Jim asked Brian to write a song for us and he said he had a great idea about a Surfer Girl. This was about the same time Brian’s dad, Murray, was jumping all over Brian about sharing his talents and song ideas with other artists. The next thing you know Capitol releases “Surfer Girl” by the Beach Boys. We’ll have to ask Brian if he originally intended to give the song to us ... I don’t know.  

Lettermen / Reunion, 
Gary Pike  

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

After Beach Boys Show, Bruce Johnston Explains "I Write the Songs"

After a rockin, endless summetime fun Beach Boys Show of car tunes, surfing songs and some pet sounds, I had the opportunity to speak with Bruce Johnston, official Beach Boy since 1965. My first meeting with Bruce took place 49 years to the month at his first concert when I was privileged to welcome him back to his birthtown, Chicago.

Part  of this recent conversation was about his mega-hit, Grammy-honored, "I Write The Songs," recorded by Barry Manilow. "Who is the song about," Bruce asked me.

"At first," I replied, "I thought it was about Brian Wilson" (since Bruce had become an integral part of the Beach Boys studio recording ad live concerts for about a decade) ... "but I think it is about God."

He shot back, "You are the only person who got that! It is a hymn." He then proceeded to recite several lines from the song, such as, "I live forever," to indicate the person speaking could only be the uncreated Creator. So, to the many who thought the lyrics were an ego trip for Barry Manilow, at least from the composer's point of view, it was a truth trip for the Author of our salvation (click).

{Set-list for the August 9, 2014 show at Williams Bay, WI}

√out Specturm Magazine article >>>

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Sunday, August 03, 2014

Rock star turned priest, shaken by Ebola crisis

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Rock star turned priest, shaken by Ebola Crisis!
Themi Adams Makes World Appeal as his West African Nation, Sierra Leone, Is Declared a 'Public Health Emergency'

By Dan Wooding and John Tsambazis
Special to ASSIST News Service

FREETOWN, SIERRA LEONE (ANS) -- The deadly Ebola virus has made its presence felt near the Holy Orthodox Mission in Freetown, Sierra Leone, which is run by former rock star, and now Greek Orthodox priest, Fr. Themi Adams.

Themi pictured in 1964 as a rock star
Themi was once a member of Australian rock group, The Flies, and once shared the stage with the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, but after a dramatic conversion, became a missionary to West Africa, and is now facing the greatest challenge of his life - Ebola -- which is sweeping his adopted country and causing panic, death and destruction.

Sierra Leone, President Ernest Bai Koroma, has declared a public health emergency in the West African country, and a recent BBC report stated, "He vowed to quarantine sick patients at home and have authorities conduct house-to-house searches for others who may have been exposed as the country struggles with families resisting treatment at isolation centers. Some have kept loved ones at home given the high death rates at clinics where Ebola patients are quarantined," said the BBC story.

"His announcement late Wednesday came as neighboring Liberia also increased efforts to slow the virulent disease's spread, shutting down schools and ordering most public servants to stay home from work."
Dr. Heinz Feldmann, Chief of Virology at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said, "It could be helpful for the government to have powers to isolate and quarantine people and it's certainly better than what's been done so far," said. "Whether it works, we will have to wait and see."

Ebola now has been blamed for 729 deaths in four West African countries this year, and has shown no signs of slowing down, particularly in Liberia and Sierra Leone. It has also reached Nigeria's biggest city Lagos, where authorities said on Friday a man had died of the virus".

Fr. Themi Adams caring for his flock
And now Freetown Sierra Leone is in a complete lock down mode and with airline cancellations, Fr. Themi Adams, says he underestimated the impact of this rampant disease spreading so quickly close to home and impacting on his people.

He said that he had recently been conducting "Preventative Hygiene Education", at the mission he runs which has three large compounds in the Greater Freetown area serving over 2000 children, youth and adults through his our various educational, ecclesiastical and medical projects.

On Saturday (August 3), gave a dramatic interview by phone with screenwriter, Wid Bastian, who is working on a script forThemi, a motion picture about the inspiring story of the rock-star-turned-priest. 
In the interview, Fr. Themi explained the terror and panic that has surrounded him and made a desperate cry for help.

Themi said: "This country has very much been reduced to trauma. Sierra Leone is a resilient nation that has suffered consistently from ab out 1991. I cannot imagine another country that has suffered so much over such a long time, either through wars, poverty, and now through this Ebola crisis.

"Sierra Leone has suddenly become the epicenter of Ebola, which was previously centered in Guinea.  But through the porous borders that we have, a lot of people with Ebola have come across the border into Sierra Leone either to look for relatives, or help, and then gone back again.  But in the meantime, they have introduced this virus to the country.

"It is a vicious thing, and compared to the Civil War we had here, Ebola is an invisible enemy. It's like an invisible serial killer that strikes and you don't know from where or when. During the Civil War, you could hear the bombs and you could see the enemy and therefore try and take some kind of reactive action, but with this one, we don't know what to do, how to detect when it's about to strike."
A recent picture of the now
Greek Orthodox priest
Fr. Themi said that there has been a lot of self-examination in Sierra Leone since the Ebola virus began to strike, and that many people are asking why it was happening in this country; that after years of poverty, corruption, corrupt governments, is now just starting get back on track and then, "we get hit with such a serious blow."

Themi continued by saying, "We have learned from the World Health Organization that this Ebola crisis in now out of control and many groups, including ours, have sent out an SOS for help from around the world. There are more people getting it and part of the reason is of a very poor medical infrastructure in the three worst hit countries. I would say that the best hospital here would be equal to a very small American rural hospital.

"The second thing is the lack of education among the people around Ebola which were just ignoring the situation for a long time. I starting to preach about it three months ago to our people, telling them that 'this Ebola is coming, be careful, stop touching people, stop shaking hands, take precautions, wash your hands constantly, wear gloves if possible,' and I was just laughed at.

"In fact, people started calling me 'Father Ebola'. When I would go and meet the beggars in the street, I would say, 'Gentlemen, we have a problem coming in this country, take care, if you can't stop begging, don't touch the hands of the people who give you the money,' and again they were just laughing, and even now, while some are still in denial, the majority of people are now taking it very seriously and wonder why it was allowed to come into the country."

They said that another problem is the issue of black magic and witchcraft.

"Unfortunately, it's in the DNA of the people of the West African region," he said. "You may not know the origins of voodoo in Haiti, is actually from this part of Africa. It came to the American continent when the West African slaves were taken to the New World and we have this concept of the walking dead, the pins and needles through the doll, the witch gun. It's all to do with getting power by incantations and going to the medicine man or the witch doctor, the herbalist, and he will do something for you, give you an emulate, do some chants.  In the worst-case scenario, human sacrifice is involved.

"The problem is that a lot of people suffering from Ebola, instead of going to a relatively modern hospital -- at least the best we have here -- have gone to their local witch doctor and the local herbalists, and of course they can do nothing. So eventually that person dies, and contaminates all the people around them.
"Another very big problem, there is no trust in the Western medical profession, indeed even with quite educated people. They believe that doctors can kill them, even though they have taken the Hippocratic Oath, and want to save lives. I can say people within my own circle here in the Orthodox Church and I'm sure it's the same in other churches and other institutions, people believe that."

He explained that people get scared when they see a doctor with a big needle, and wearing gloves and masks, and believe that the needle is full of poison that will kill them off.

"A part of the big problem is that even the doctors themselves were caught unawares and they weren't really aware of the crisis, the incredible danger, and so many nurses have died, and even yesterday I heard of three other nurses that died in a place called Kanamar. So in one hospital here in Freetown, a patient went into the hospital who supposedly had Ebola and it turned out they didn't but all the doctors and nurses ran out, and left the hospital and left the patient alone.

"So, you've got the doctors, who are being caught unawares, and now the broader public believe that the doctors are going to kill them, so you have a fairly lethal cocktail of misunderstanding. And the virus is quite happy about that because it jumps from one person to the other without any ammunition being directed against it, basically it's a lack of knowledge about it. You understand it's quite tragic."

Fr. Themi says now there has been a "moratorium on movement" in Freetown, after many deaths, and trying to stop it spreading any further.
Some of the children under his care
"The president has asked for a moratorium and curtailment of people movement, and the police patrolling the street, and the army are the only ones allowed to go out on the street and in vehicles. Other means of transport would be medical people, and official government services such as the health Department personnel," he said. "I, for example, wanted to go to our Waterloo campus on Monday, but I cannot leave the compound. They would just stop me and turn me back.

"However, what is interesting from a religious point of view is the president has called for a day of fasting and prayer on Monday, so that's really good to know. The other result here is that there is panic setting in, and what they are telling me is the same feeling, the same panic attacks that they used to experience during the 10 year civil war are coming back now and they don't know which way to turn."
He then said, "We are a Christian organization, unashamedly so, so we believe in God, we believe in the power of God, so what we do we pray a lot about it. Every day we have a church ceremony and, when we are allowed to do so, we take the cross around in our churches and even outside, and we pray to our Lord to protect this nation and the city, so we do that every day, we have the divine intervention aspect of it.

"On the more earthly aspect we are handing out gloves, so if you wear them and end up touching them, that is a good protection.  We have chlorinated water in all but one of our buildings, so that should a person come into one of them, except for one, you have to chlorinate your hands with water you won't be able to enter without washing with chlorinated water, which in apparently kills the virus.  Then we are doing a lot of educational work our people in our churches.  We have been emphasizing this effort for three months and now they believe us.  Now, instead of being 'Father Ebola', it is back to 'Father Themi' again."

He said that he is having difficulty stopping some of his clients, who are polio victims and amputees from trying to get out into the streets and start begging, with all the danger that can bring to them.

He then said that there is a great need for food and medical supplies to help those under his care in Freetown.
"This is an SOS for a container of food. Why? So I can feed them every day so they stop going out to beg, to stop these women putting pressure on their husbands to go out and become beggars, do you understand? We also need medical supplies, gloves disposable gloves, facemasks, cans of Dettol spray, chlorinated, chlorine tablets, for people to just try and prevent this thing. It is best to send money so we can buy these items here because of the bureaucratic problems here."

He concluded the interview by saying, "This is in West Africa now, but it can hit other countries in Europe, as well as America and other parts of the world. This is no longer just a West African problem -- it's a global one!"

Here is a link to Fr. Themi's interview . It can be downloaded here. Please feel free to us all of any of it with credit to the interviewer, Wid Bastian.
Fr. Themi is also available for interviews at his mission headquarters. Here is the contact information: Fr. Themi: cell phone 232 762 45111 (Viber works best) Fr. Themi email:
Wid Bastian: He is also available for an interview. Wid's cell phone: 435-619-6150.
Websites here people can donate: Paradise Kids 4 Africa, or Paradise Kids 4 Africa USA

John Tsambazis (Australia contact, Producer of the film Themi), is a TV & film editor/producer with numerous credits underneath his belt in feature films, documentaries, TV shows and news and current affairs, both in Australia and abroad. John is a professiona l member of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts, and sits on the jury. He is executive of his production company "Clapstick Pictures" and is currently overseeing a couple of high profile projects in pre-production. He can be contacted at

Share     See all ASSIST News articles at

Dan Wooding, 73, is an award-winning journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for 50 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS) and he hosts the weekly "Front Page Radio" show on the KWVE Radio Network in Southern California and which is also carried throughout the United States and around the world. He is the author of some 45 books, the latest of which is a novel about the life of Jesus through the eyes of his mother called "Mary: My Story from Bethlehem to Calvary". (Click to order)

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Saturday, August 02, 2014

The Gospel According to the Beach Boys

The Sunday morning gospel goes good with the soul . . .

John 3:17

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California Beach Praise •(NEW release) Soul Surfer • I Know The Feelin'

  1. Let's Celebrate
  2. Oh Lord
  3. Casual Love
  4. The Lord Touched Me
  5. I Remember
  6. Life Frustration
  7. Someone Who Loves
  8. Hard Redemption
  9. It's Wonderful
  10. Jesus (He's My Savior)
  11. You Need to Try
  12. I Must Be Dreamin'
  13. Heavenly Cowboy

Release date : Aug. 01, 2014

  1. Soul Surfer (Title Song)
  2. The Lord's Been Good
  3. What's Your Reason For Goodbye
  4. Serenity
  5. Into My Life
  6. Morning Prayer
  7. The Living Rhythm
  8. All Who Are Thirsty
  9. Come Home
  10. Grace
  11. With Love
  12. Clap Your Hands
  13. We Are Marching on

SPIHUNT — I Know the Feelin'

  1. I Know the Feelin'
  2. Recount
  3. Trying to Believe in Love
  4. Low Tide Lady
  5. Love Song
  6. My Island Paradise
  7. Lazy
  8. Don't Take Advantage of Love
  9. I'm in Love (With a Wonderful Girl)
  10. Summertime Baby
  11. Bad Girl
  12. I Remember

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Monday, June 23, 2014

Oh What A Night: East Meets West (Four Seasons vis-a-vis Beach Boys)

Oh What A Night, June 20, 2014.
Well, not quite the same ring to it as "December, 1963,'' but today does mark the release of "Jersey Boys," Clint Eastwood's latest directorial endeavor. So, in honor of the nationwide release of the movie, I couldn't help but recall my brief encounter with Frankie, Bob and the band on Wednesday, March 25, 1964, when I booked them into the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium on behalf of the KXOA Radio "Good Guys." It was another "Vail-Polaris" joint production -- and, if I recall, general admission seats were $2! 

I had done another 'appreciation' show for KXOA on September 6, 1963, that featured the great and much-revered Johnny Burnette, whose group, the Rock and Roll Trio (with brother Dorsey and friend Paul Burlison) are yet another 'early influence' group constantly snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That show also featured Freddy Cannon, The Righteous Brothers, Ray Peterson (that began a lifelong friendship with one rock's 'golden voices'), The Merced Bluenotes and The Rivingtons.

The Wednesday concert, during Spring (Easter) Break 1964, was a day after my 20th birthday, March 24. I was already working with The Beach Boys, setting up concerts and an occasional 'dance' on the west coast ... not the major markets like LA, San Diego, Seattle and San Francisco -- although I often went with them to those shows -- but secondary cities like Sacramento, Fresno, Marysville, CA, Portland, OR, Spokane, WA, Boise, ID, Reno and Las Vegas, NV. Most of the big acts pretty much ignored those cities and a few of them didn't really have any major venues in which to perform. Our Boise show was in the local high school auditorium, the Reno show was in an auditorium above the city library:)

I was on the road constantly in those days, having dropped out of Sacramento State College to join the Beach Boys organization as their first 'advance man,' emcee and marketing manager. I had been earning $2 an hour as a deejay, but could earn as much as $600 for promoting a Beach Boys gig. Not bad for a nineteen year old. On that particular Wednesday, I was visiting my parents at our home in Sacramento, when I heard a knock at the front door. When I opened it, it was Dennis and Carl Wilson who had come up to wish me a Happy Birthday and attend the concert.

I had hired The Crickets to open for The Seasons, but of course, it was not the 'original' group by that time and featured Jerry (JI) Allison on drums, Glen D. Hardin on keys (later Elvis' keyboardist), Sonny Curtis on guitar and Jerry Naylor on lead vocals, and, if I recall, bass. 

The Crickets opened, got a great response from the crowd, and after a brief intermission, The Seasons took the stage. The show got off to a great start, but somehow during the intermission, or during the early part of their set, a few of the kids spotted Denny and Carl -- either in the 'wings' of the stage or through an open door to the backstage area. All of a sudden, the 'sighting' of Sacramento's all-time favorite group, got the kids in a frenzy. They were shouting their names and stomping their feet, and interrupting The Four Seasons and Frankie. 

It was quite embarrassing for both groups and caught KXOA management, and myself totally off guard. We finally made the decision to stop the show and Carl and Denny walked out on to the stage to thank the kids for their applause but reminding them that this was 'the Four Seasons show and 'we'll be back in a few months to see you.' They politely asked the kids to let the Seasons go on with their show and to respect them as they respected the Beach Boys. The show resumed without incident and Denny, Carl and I, along with my girlfriend of the time, Dolly, and few KXOA friends, went out to a late night birthday dinner. 

For me, it was, indeed, 'oh, what a night!'
Fred Vail,
Treasure Isle Recorders,
Music City, USA

[with thanks to Forgotten Hits]

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