Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Neon Fish

Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart. Psalm 37:4

1974, senior year of high school, found me at a concert in Nashville, TN. The lineup was Gentle Giant, Black Oak Arkansas, and Black Sabbath. I was there to see Black Sabbath, but, I was curious about Black Oak. Gentle Giant was a pleasant surprise, especially the fellow on the electric fiddle. Black Oak was next, primo southern rock. The highlight was an acapella rendition of I Wish I Was In Dixie. A most excellent show! They left the stage and we waited for Black Sabbath. And waited, and waited... Finally, someone came to the microphone to announce that Ozzy was not feeling well and Black Oak was going to do another set. The crowd went wild! Black Oak had won the heart of the audience. I learned later that Ozzy had briefly 'disappeared'. Not long after that night I asked God if He would let me hear one of my songs on the radio. At that point in time I had never written a song.

So, twenty-something years passed. Tom Owen and I were driving around Memphis one night. We had just passed the fairgrounds on Parkway when Tom said, "We should open a coffee shop, a place families can come to, with an area for live music. We could put a giant icthus in neon on the outside wall and call it the Neon Fish." It was a catchy name. It seemed natural for a recording project we were working on together. We even played a couple of gigs. Literally, 2. My favorite was a Christian club called 704B on North Highland, Memphis, TN. There, in the basement of a church, I was on stage with some of the most amazing people I have had the privilege to know. On lead guitar was Greg Reding, formally of Black Oak Arkansas. The same Greg I saw on stage in Nashville, 1974. God is good. It gets better. We had given copies of the CD to a couple of radio stations. While driving around town one night, one of the songs from the CD began playing. A song I had written was being played on the radio, and that still, small voice said, "Do you remember the request you had in high school? Well, here it is."

1 comment:

  1. That is an encouraging story! Thank you for sharing! I really needed to hear that today!!!