End Of An Era – Or is it?

Some have inquired that know me of what will happen to Jericho now that we are moving.
 
Some of you may wonder what Jericho is? Allow me a brief explanation….
 
Jericho is a Christian parody rock band that was formed by me under the sponsorship of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Sheboygan Falls WI. Their web site can be viewed at http://www.jerichoband.net through the end of the month.  Their purpose as stated on the web site was:
 
"Jericho is a  is a Christian rock band from St. Paul Lutheran Church in Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin that does Christian parodies of secular music, Christian rock songs, and original material which is all dedicated to bringing the message of the gospel of Christ to those who are uncomfortable with the traditional church environment or growing Christians seeking music other than "worship and praise" music.
 
We believe that our mission as Christians is to speak to people on their terms and in ways that they can understand the truth of the gospel of Christ. "
 

Little did I know when this band started how much it would change my life and of those around me. We started out with musicians who for the most part had never had any experience in music other than what a worship and praise band would do. Doing that is good, but rock music was a whole other world believe me! Not to mention I was ill suited to be the leader of a Christian band. I am not an overly social person, lacked patience with people, am slow to trust, didnt like to add relatoinships, and my organazational skills left a lot to be desired. I had no knowledge of how to run a sound board. I liked to write music and was fairly competent with words but translating that to something outside of my basement had never been tried before. I had experience with rock and roll bands but still this was again a huge departure from that world.

So I becamse forced to be social, to be organized, to be tolerant, and to adjust my thinking in virtually every way. My wife used to sit their in amazement when she would see me on the phone talking to people because it was something I would rarely do and if so would be virtually forced. I would gather the group to talk to them and I am sure she wondered where her husband had gone because I never would speak up about anything.

My band mates we will start with Jean.

Jean – Jean initially was skeptical Jericho would succeed particuarly in a Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod congregation. But she came on board with it soon enough. Running a band is hard enough but when a member also happens to be your wife it contains it own set of challenges as the band will attest to! But at the end of the day Jean and I were better for it. She also had sang in Christian band previosly as had I called Crossroads from Bethany Reformed Church in Sheboygan WI. She had developed a very powerful voice over the years and could harmonzie on the fly better than anyone I have known.

Kim was a vocalist who I had heard who had a beautiful rich voice but was in my opinion never really given the opportunity to spread her wings so to speak and flourish. WHen I approached her to sing with us, she was enthusiastic but scared. She had never done rock and roll but the opportunity to team up with Jean (these two were good friends by this point not to mention when they sing together it is just electric) it proved irresistable to her.

Dean was a bass player who when approached was eager to get on board. When I first met Dean, he wore what I somewhat affectionalty refer to as a "Burger King mic and was extremely soft in his singing voice. He played what i call "straight bass" – standard in worship bands.

Dan was a drummer who had never really done anything but the standard 8 beat rhythem required of worship band drummers for years. Again he was eager to get involved.

Zach, Dan’s son would end up being our guitar player. But when Jericho first started he had barely begun to learn the guitar. IN fact at first we would often unplug him from the system because the racket coming from his guitar was amazing. But again he was willing and enthusiastic.

By all rights, with a leader who shouldnt lead, a guitar player who couldnt play, a bass player who wouldnt sing, a voclaist who was timid, a drummer who had long ago put the rock and roll sticks away, and having the conflict between my wife and i in the band there is no way this band should have succeeded. Not in a million years.

But I guess it goes to show that what we think impossible God will make it work!

Today as it stands

Kim – She found her voice! She can do the blues! Who would have thought it! That flower really bloomed!

Dean – He plays "The House is Rocking" (we changed to "God’s House Is Rocking") on bass. Does that tell you anything? And vocally he sand LEAD on several songs and we actually have to turn him down sometimes now! And he became an expert on soundboards which was very lucky for us!

Dan – I am very happy at how he came along. He could do the swing required on Eagles songs and every task we called on him to do he was able to do and do well. He truly became a rock and roll drummer again.

Zach – Are you kidding me? Today he plays guitars in several bands, plays trumpet, piano and is going to be a music major somewhere.

Jean – Jean does rock and roll sports fans!! She always said she didnt want to do it but then she did it extremely well. And I think deep down she really liked it too… 🙂

As for me, well I became social. I was organized (most of the time). I was patient. I formed relationships. Who would have thunk it????

So with all that, with us moving, we have one more gig at Bethany Reformed Church at the end of May. Ironically where our first gig was. So what will become of Jericho? No one really knows. We talk of joining up occasionally but you all know how that goes after you move. We all say we will stay in touch but it rarely happens. I hope it does this time. The website will go down and we wont have regaularly scheduled gigs. But regardless of what happens we all grew – both in faith and talent. And I would say we are all better off for the experience.

Today I met with the pastor of my new church here in Hartland WI (http://oakwoodnow.org/) and discussed with him the ideas of doing what I did in Sheboygan here. And so the process begins again……..stay tuned!

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