"Breaking" Into Video: Steve Taylor

The Revealer
August/September 1984 Volume 2 Number 10
© 1984 The Revealer/Bill Kramer(?)
Pages 1, 6
Thanks to Dan Kennedy

Through this past summer, rumors have been spread, claiming that Steve Taylor has got a really "hot" video out, featuring material from his recent Sparrow album, "Meltdown"; but almost no one has actually seen the video. Many are beginning to wonder if it even exists.

Following is a condensed version of a conversation between The Revealer's own Zach Bodish, and Steve Taylor at the 1984 "Great Day Festival" in Cleveland, Ohio.

RVLR: As I understand it, MTV has agreed to play your video. But there seems to be some confusion about whether it has seen the screen.

STEVE: Yeah. It was supposed to go on a month ago into light rotation, and then the next day it got knocked off by PolyGram when they came in and had four videos that they wanted played right away. So now it is just a matter of when the Lord wants it to happen, it'll happen. It's being played on a lot of different cable companies and different stations all over in different markets. Ya know, there are three different companies that are playing it in New York and different ones in L.A. and stuff like that. MTV is just a matter of if momentum builds then pretty soon they will have to add it on, so...

RVLR: Once the video is played do you think that there will be any trouble for the secular audience to find the album?

STEVE: Well, I mean, there could be ... but one thing that Sparrow's got is ... that they've got distribution through a secular distributor, MCA. And so the album is in record stores and can be ordered through record stores, too.

RVLR: Is it possible for the general public to buy the video?

STEVE: It may be in a couple of months. It looks like we are going to do a kind of parody: A half-hour video called "The Making of the Making of the Meltdown" and we're going to put it together with some live concert footage and smidgens of out-takes (bloopers) and just some nutty stuff and make it into a half-hour regular video. That should be fun.

RVLR: How do you react to people who come up to you and say, "Wow! We really like you. You're our idol!"

[Photo and caption: TOP: Steve Taylor filming a "commercial" for the Ichthus '84 video. BOTTOM: Steve with his clone necktie.]

STEVE: That, of course, is real dangerous and I try to discourage that ... yet at the same time I know what young people go through and I know what I was like when I was at a certain age when you tend to idolize certain people ... I think a lot of it is if I can present an alternative role model to the Boy Georges or the, ya know, whatever other weirdos are out there in regular music, that it is more important for that to happen because Christian young people, I mean, will outgrow ... the whole idolization thing someday ... so, it doesn't make me real nervous because I know that it is something that I outgrew, too, and even when I was a certain age, I mean that people could say that this should be your idol or that should be who you should be really into. I did have certain people that I really looked up to or I dressed like, so that is ... what the song "Hero" is about, I think.

[Photo and caption: After his Cornerstone '84 accident this June, Taylor found himself doing the Great Day concert in a wheelchair.]

[Photo and caption: Steve Taylor and Some Band raise eyebrows everywhere they play.]

RVLR: What do you think about right before you go up on stage?

STEVE: Well, I'm still real nervous before we do a concert 'cause there are so many things that could go wrong in a concert and stuff like that. I probably shouldn't worry about those things, but I am really concerned about getting the message across to the audience, and that it would come through unhindered and unimpeded. That's why, technically, I want everything to go right ... and so, uh, we pray about those things before we go out and that God will remove pride and things like that, and that He would remove the sin that would keep us from communicating with the audience ... so that the audience gets the message at the maximum level, that the words are understood, that our hearts come across, and that those things happen. I take concerts very, very seriously.

RVLR: Has your sudden success surprised you and has it changed your life any?

STEVE: It hasn't changed things that much beyond that we are on the road a lot more ... and even more so I am aware of the call that is involved and the commitment that is involved, and how important it is to play straight with people and live what you are taught ... but that is just like youth pastoring. (Steve was a youth pastor before he got into music.)

RVLR: How was your ankle injured?

STEVE: Well, I was at Cornerstone two nights ago and there is this number that we do called "Meat The Press" where I jump down off of the stage, and just as I jumped this little kid ran out of the audience into the roped-off press section and I thought I was going to land on him so I moved my foot and came down on it wrong and broke the ankle so, missed the kid; broke the foot.

RVLR: I guess you could say, "Those are the breaks"?

STEVE: Yeah. Break dancing.