APX Remembers Larry Norman
Tue., Mar. 11. 2008 1:29am EDT
Two weeks ago, the Christian music world mourned the passing of one of its founding fathers, Larry Norman, the author of such classics as "I Wish We'd All Been Ready" and "Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music." He was 60 years old, and died from heart failure after battling health issues in recent years.
We received many emails from fans regarding this matter, and we regret that we didn't put something in last week's newsletter about it. ApologetiX lead singer and lyricist J. Jackson had this to say:
We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Larry Norman. I've cited him many times in interviews when people ask about audience responses to what we do, and I've explained how Larry was one of the first to open the door for Christian music.
I first heard of Larry Norman from my old college roommate, Lance, who had some of his music on cassette. I thought he had a funny name, and I wouldn't have been caught dead listening to Christian music in those day anyway. But I quickly discovered, devoured, and disseminated Larry's music after becoming a born-again Christian a couple years later.
We had the honor of meeting Larry at the Creation music festival in 2000, when he actually came to visit our CD table and told me he'd visited our website. I told him we were huge fans of his and that he was a huge influence on me. If you listen closely, you can hear Larry's influence in our lyrics for sure.
Like Keith Green, Larry could have you laughing one minute with one song and weeping the next with another song. Larry even graciously donned an ApologetiX shirt and posed for a picture with us.
In the early days of my playing guitar for church groups, etc., and jamming with ApologetiX, we used to play "The Outlaw," "The Rock That Doesn't Roll," and others that leant themselves to my limited guitar-playing skills.
The opening verse of our song "Jehovah" (parody of "The Joker" by Steve Miller) on the "Wordplay" CD was very influenced by "The Outlaw." It wasn't intentional, but as I was finishing up the lyrics in 2006, I thought it made a nice mini-tribute to Larry.
I have many Larry Norman songs on my iPod, and I own "Upon This Rock," "Only Visiting This Planet," "So Long Ago The Garden," and "In Another Land" on CD. I also have "Home at Last" on cassette from when it came out, plus many other songs from old cassettes. I told Larry in person that his song to his son, "Somewhere Out There" from "Home at Last," had left a lasting impression on me even before I had kids, and now more than ever since I am a father of four.
We'll miss Larry, but we'll look forward to seeing him again someday.