Wednesday, January 17, 2007


I have found myself intrigued by this whole issue of Christianity and the Beatles, and have been looking around the web for different thoughts on this matter. I came across this at Way of Life, which actually takes a negative view of the Beatles and Rock. So if you go to the articles, remember that.


(Don't know if this is true, but these are the thoughts and writings of Way of Life, and not mine. But if its true, isn't it neat that they would use that in their concerts. Perhaps someone heard the songs or music and connected to Jesus because of it. And isn't it something, that these musicians recognize that Rock Music, Heavy Metal, and other types of music has had an influence on people.

I would also have to say I really don't know all these Contemporary Christian groups like MAYFAIR LAUNDRY, THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL WORSHIP CIRCUS’ or the GALACTIC COWBOYS. I am not surprised that they are influenced by the Beatles and other groups, I would be more surprised if they weren't.

I do think it goes a little far to criticize Steve Green for who painted the picture for his album, just because they did the album cover for "St. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band", although I haven't seen the album cover to know what it looks like. I did find this, the music download, that has a picture of Steve Green.

Here is just about the only place I could find any mention of the Galatic Cowboys, and they are mentioned along side another group called the Gotee Brothers (Toby McKeehan of dc Talk, Todd Collins and Joey Elwood), go figure. Its called Techno Rave music, boy am I behind the times, maybe some of you know what it is. Mayfair dabbles with a ska-pop sound, yet Shannon's vocals, their singer, come across as gentler and less aggressive than Gwen Stefani's. Give Shannon a listen on Mayfair Laundry's debut album, Scrub (Organic). I know what that music is. And here is Rock 'n' Roll Worship Circus. They were worship leaders that kept getting booked to Rock Concerts. "We started wondering what God was up to. After a while, we started to get it. God is opening doors for us to go and lead worship in places where no one else is doing it. We're taking people who weren't expecting to worship God at a particular event and we're leading them into an experience with their Creator." —Gabriel Wilson "Somewhere along the way, we started to see ourselves as 'worship smugglers.'" —Blurr It's a bit of old school rock & roll meets 80's prom music haunted by the ghost of Pink Floyd, a time-warped, telescoped sampling of the history of rock n' roll or just say they are an indie group. So who knows how these groups are influencing this generation or speaking their language in music?)

Even Contemporary Christian musicians are Beatles fans. For example, Phil Keaggy pays “homage to the Beatles” on his 1993 Crimson and Blue album. Galactic Cowboys admits that their biggest influence is the Beatles. Caedmon’s Call often performs Beatles music. dc Talk opened its “Jesus Freak” concerts with the Beatles’ song “Help.” Jars of Clay names Jimmy Hendrix and the Beatles as their inspiration. The lead guitarist is said to be a “Beatles fanatic.”
PHIL KEAGGY performs an unholy combination of secular rock and Christian rock/folk, and those who listen to his music are drawn toward worldly rock & roll. On his 1993 Crimson and Blue album, for example, he pays “homage to the Beatles” with several of the songs.

CAEDMON’S CALL often performs Beatles music.
RANDY STONEHILL says that it was the Beatles who gave him the inspiration to play rock and roll: “Really it was after I saw the Beatles. I saw them on television when I was twelve and I knew that that was what I wanted to do” (Stonehill, cited by Devlin Donaldson, “Life Between the Glory and the Fame,” CCM Magazine, October 1981).
The GALACTIC COWBOYS lead singer says, “I’d have to say that The Beatles are still the biggest influence on us, all the way around--except for maybe the guitar tones. They were great songwriters and vocalists” (Ben Huggins, cited by Dan Macintosh, HM magazine, September-October 1998).
Some of DC TALK’S musical role models are the Beatles, David Bowie, and The Police, all of which are wicked secular rock groups (Flint Michigan Journal, March 15, 1996). dc Talk opened its “Jesus Freak” concerts with the Beatles’ song “Help.” During their 1999 “Supernatural Experience” tour, dc Talk performed “Hello Good-bye” by the Beatles (CCM Magazine, April 1999, p. 55).
JARS OF CLAY names Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles as their inspiration (Dann Denny, “Christian Rock,” Sunday Herald Times, Bloomington, Ind., Feb. 8, 1998). The lead guitarist for Jars of Clay is said to be a “Beatles fanatic” (Christian News, Dec. 8, 1997).
MAYFAIR LAUNDRY, a group which got its name from a scene in a Beatle’s movie, cites influences from the Beatles to Red Hot Chilli Peppers (Heaven’s Metal Magazine, May-June 1998).
The cover to STEVE GREEN’S It’s a Dying World album was drawn by the same artist who did the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper album, which included pictures of satanist Aleister Crowley and LSD proponent Timothy Leary, among others.
JOHN MICHAEL TALBOT performed Beatles songs during concerts in the late 1990s.
In a May 1987 interview with CCM Magazine, LESLIE PHILLIPS spoke of her love for the Beatles: “[In the 1987 album The Turning] I just sort of returned to what I loved originally. You know, returning to your roots and all that. The Beatles were the first rock group I remember hearing, and I dearly love them. They were spectacular, even in their mistakes. There was a spirit in that kind of music that we don’t have today.”
THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL WORSHIP CIRCUS’ musical style is “reminiscent of rock’s glory days” and “combines the best elements of classic seventies style power pop ala David Bowie, The Kinks and Cheap Trick, Pink Floyd, The Beatles and U2” (from their web site).
During the Feb. 18, 2002, premier show for MICHAEL W. SMITH’S Come Together Tour, THIRD DAY took the stage to the strains of the New Age Beatles song “Come Together” (press release, Nashville, April 24).


zorra said...

That's interesting. I admit I stopped trying to keep up, some time ago. My knowledge of contemporary Christian music pretty much comes to a halt after Randy Stonehill and Steve Taylor. I don't see how any musician could help but be influenced by the Beatles, whether directly, or several musical generations removed.

I would not have chosen the word "unholy" to describe Phil Keaggy's music.

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. I don't think we overstate the influence of the Beatles not only on popular music but on pop culture in general.

zorra said...

Abi! Where yat?

Anonymous said...

Hey Abi,Haven't heard you around lately. Checked in to see if all was well. I must say I have only listened to "Christin" music on rare occasions, mostly because in the end I can't tolerate the theology of the lyrics, or the composition is just too warm and fuzzy stuff. I have a few cd's one a hispanic artist (whose name I'm forgetting in my midage moment)who sings some classic hymns - he's good. I do like what I hear from the new Neil Young CD "Prairie Wind" and from Dixie Chicks...and I can't imagine anyone born between 1957 and 1970 (maybe later??) who isn't influenced by the Beatles, whether they know it or not!

Sally said...

That is fascinating Abi- though I guess we shouldn't be surprised, the Beatles were revolutionary on the contemporary music scene, so they are bound to continue to have an influence for years to come.

Anonymous said...

Great post, Abi. I love The Beatles and am continually amazed by how much music is genealogically related to their music in structure, instrumentation, etc. I hadn't thought about contemporary Christian music in those terms, but it sure makes sense. I also appreciated your other post on this book -- makes me want to go out and get it and put it in the stack of still-to-read's!

Deb said...

ROFL... Oh dear...

I am afraid that I can't take people like that seriously. I would hazard a guess that he also doesn't believe in (dare I say it?) 'women pastors'. So there you are... a lapse in judgment all around.


P.S. Our sermon series right now is introduced to a Beatles tune "You Say You Want a Revolution" (for "New Year's Revolutions")

Anonymous said...

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He's becoming quite well known.
His name is GW Williams,many people say he's ranked as one of the top 5 living guitar players in the world today.
It's good to know that us Christians have people posted out there serving in Gods Army from all walks of life.
Below is a link I found at his web site, I ask if I could post this around to help spread the news of His Gospel Music and GW said it was ok with him.

Rock,Blues,Jazz Guitarist GW Williams