Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Larry Norman, only visiting this planet

Singer/Songwriter Larry Norman died yesterday of heart failure. He was known as the father of Christian rock, which is kind of a backhanded crown. He was marginalized by rock for singing about Jesus, and marginalized by Christians for writing rock songs. With Christian rock pulling in hefty profits these days, thanks to his hard work, it's all the more sad to note that Norman leaves his family in financial disarray. Sadly, he has no albums in print, not even Only Visiting This Planet, which was voted greatest Christian Rock album of all time.

Playlist: Larry Norman

Larry Norman: The Anthology is set to be released May 27, by Arena Rock Recording Company, and Norman had recently recorded some new material with followers Frank Black and Isaac Brock, which will hopefully see the light of day soon as well.

Even approaching death, Norman was sharp with the pen:
"I feel like a prize in a box of cracker jacks with God's hand reaching down to pick me up...."

It's a shame the last I heard of him was protesting the use of his songs in a recent documentary on fellow Jesus Movement pioneer Lonnie Frisbee (Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher, 2006). You see, Frisbee died of AIDS, and supposedly Norman didn't like the sympathetic nature of the film, screaming choice words from the back about Frisbee never repenting for his 'sin'. Interestingly enough, the fellow who made the Frisbee documentary, David Di Sabatino, is reportedly in the process of making one Norman as well.

Previously: Pixies: The Purple Tape (Larry Norman inspires Black Francis)


illustrationISM said...

His greatest line was "The Beatles said 'All You Need Is Love', and then they broke up!"
The aftershocks will be felt for months...years to come.
Pray for us, 'Triumphant Saint Larry', for us 'Militant Saints' still here on earth (eph. 6:18..)

mark jaquette @
illustrationISM &

@bdul muHib said...

Just saw the unedited version of the new Norman documentary. Very intriguing, and impressive on how great his influence was on Christian rock/music, which I hadn't really been aware of before, despite growing up within the center of the Christian rock industry.