Clone Club News Flash Spring 1985

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On The Fritz Released

Early May marked the release of Steve Taylor's new album "On the Fritz".

"On the Fritz", Steve's third album for Sparrow, was recorded at Grand Slam Studios in West Orange, NJ, featuring the talents of some of New York's finest players--Tony DaVilio, Hugh McCracken, Carmine Rojas, Larry Fast and Allen Childs. They have collectively performed with numerous major acts, including David Bowie, John Lennon, Julian Lennon, Paul McCartney, Billy Joel and Steely Dan. The new LP is being co-produced with Taylor by Ian McDonald, who as a former member of Foreigner, co-produced the first three albums for the group, as well as the legendary "Kings of the Crimson Court" for King Crimson. "Fritz" also included Some Band members Dave Thrush and Cactus Moser.

The first video clip will be from the track "This Disco (Used to be a Cute Cathedral)".

A feature-length video by Taylor, based on the "On the Fritz" title track, soon begins production for a fall release.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

By Steve Taylor Age 27

"Write about what you know." That's the one rule I remembered from high school English class. And ever since England's "Buzz" magazine had offered me the chance to write a 1500 word article on whatever I wished, I'd bandied-about a number of titles in my brain on subjects I had more than a passing knowledge of--everything from "Airplane Food: The Silent Killer" to "Ethical Television Evangelists in America" (which I wasn't sure could be stretched to 1500 words). But it wasn't until late last week, while I was working on my second draft of "The Customs Official Who Smiled: A True Story", that it dawned on me. Perhaps the Buzz and Newsflash readership would be interested in simply hearing about what it's like touring in a Christian rock band. You know, kind of an honest, penetrating, in-depth, no-holds-barred, fast-is-stranger-than-fiction, day-in-the-life scoop! Sounds fascinating, huh? Hello? (Author's note: All of the events depicted in this story are true. Some of the names may have been changed, but then again maybe they weren't. Chronology of some incidents has been altered to make the article more readable and keep you from skipping ahead to the Nasty Letters section).

11:55 PM - They left me. This is the second time in one week. After I've stuck around following tonights concert to meet everyone from the promoter's cousin-in-law to the guy who changes lightbulbs in restrooms, my band has left without me. I come out of my dressing room to find the lights out, the auditorium empty, and a lone stagehand tapping his wristwatch. Tonight was to be another all night drive, and since the band probably thinks I'm traveling with the crew, they may not notice my absence until tomorrow night when they take the stage. Come to think of it, they may not even notice then. The stage door phone rings--it's for me. It seems that Cactus (my drummer--may not be his real name) realized someone was missing when he began to feel almost comfortable in our van (an American-made passenger wagon designed by a contortionist). After a lengthy search through the six inch layer of food wrappers revealed nothing, they'd gotten concerned and pulled off the highway to call the hall. Tonight is going to be a long trip, but lest I make the roadlife sound overly cruel, I remind myself that a few years ago I was working as a nursery school janitor.

7:30 AM - Glen (my bass player--may not be his real name) has awakened from a deep sleep with the perfect imprint of a corduroy seatcover across his face--looks like one of those tribal warriors in National Geographic. Everyone's hair is a memorable sight after an all- nighter (reminds me of the guys in Undercover). After a quick breakfast of Egg McMuffins I start in again answering letters. Most of the mail I receive is very pleasant--people writing to say they like the albums or a specific song or concert--and I answer them with a quick paragraph or two (barely legible due to poor road conditions and a genetic penmanship disorder). But some of the letters are quite troubling. One young man thinks that the song I wrote about a martyred Polish youth is advocating a U.S. military build-up. A teenager from Florida wants to know why I never put any praise songs on my albums. Another letter tries to convince me that the situation at a racist fundamentalist college portrayed in "We Don't Need No Colour Code" really isn't that bad, and that I shouldn't judge them. I spent the next half hour staring out the van window. Why does being misunderstood by a few people I don't even know bother me so much? After going through my Bible and jotting down numerous references, I write the last letter a length response and I feel a little better. But I'm still bothered by the guy who didn't get the point of the song about Poland.

My thoughts are interrupted by the burning realization that someone in this van could not have had a shower for at least a week. The band itself being a very hygienic bunch, I narrow it down to one of two overworked crew members (names withheld).

3:30 PM - I recall once asking the record company why live appearances at Christian book and record stores were really necessary, and they mentioned something about politicans kissing babies. As the van drives away, leaving me standing in the all-but-empty parking lot of the Wing and a Prayer Christian Bookshop, I reflect on how I've had about the same success with in-store appearances as I had with sophomore opera lessons. I enter the shop and walk up to the sales counter, realizing that I probably don't look very fresh after an all night drive. My fears are confirmed when the cashier tells me that the soup kitchen is around the corner. After introducing myself, her face turns red and she mumbles something about my looking shorter on the album. She quickly goes to the back to get the manager, who seems somewhat fearful to meet me. He apologizes for the small turnout (I haven't noticed any turnout) and blames it on school not being out, the towns conservative tradition, and my relative obscurity in this area. He then takes me to the back, where a table has been set up with a punchbowl, nut cups, and a "Welcome, Steve" cake. I try to make him feel better by telling him that I'm not well-known in most areas of the country, and he replies that he's not surprised. He goes on to say that he doesn't really care for my style of music, but that his four-year old daughter really likes it. At 4:00, he insists on having me draw a name out of a hat to win a free "Meltdown" album. The excitement of the drawing is somewhat diminished by there being only one customer in the store.

6:00 PM - Tonight is going to be difficult. I arrive at the auditorium to find it's not an auditorium--the location has been changed to a church sanctuary. The "stage" is barely deep enough to set up drums. I'll be singing on the steps above the pulpit, and there's no power to run our lighting rig (which would look a bit silly anyway with the eight foot high ceiling). I make a mental note to limit my hopping around on stage or risk a concussion. The concert promoter introduces himself, immediately asks that I tell tonight's audience not to dance, and wants to know if I'll be doing an alter call. I question him extensively on the preparation he's done for counseling and follow-up, and decide that he is ill-prepared. He insists that even if thirty make a commitment to Jesus tonight and only two are committed Christians a year later, that's better than none. I ask him about the twenty-eight who will think from lack of follow-up that they tried Christianity and it didn't work for them. The subject is a very touchy one for me, because after five years as a youth pastor, I've learned how easily young people can be manipulated into doing something they neither understand nor want. I'm interested in using my music to communicate Christian truth to my culture. I'm not interested in using an emotionally-charged rock concert to get numbers streaming down the aisles in order to justify a "ministry". I've seen many Christian concerts. Some preach the Gospel honestly and forthrightly--some do not. It occurs to me that I've only been to a handful of Christian concerts that I wouldn't have been embarrassed to take a non-Christian friend to.

7:40 PM - I sit alone in a circle of chairs in the dressing room. The band's due in five minutes for prayer. I'm beginning to understand what makes the road such a struggle. It's not fatigue, it's not unprofessional promotion, it's not malnourishment. It's the constant battle I have with pride. All the rationale for doing concerts and insisting on quality publicity and staging make perfect sense. But there's times when the medium begins to take over the message, and even when I'm maintaining a Godly perspective on it all, my ego keeps sneaking up on my blind side. There's no room for selfish ambition and pride in Christian service, but the battle can be exhausting. The band assembles, and I read from Philippians, chapter two: "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves... Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus, who...made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant..." The crowd is small, the stage situation is perhaps the worst we've encountered on the tour, and the band is exhausted. But somehow as we pray, the Spirit unites and energizes us for the concert. It's going to be a good night. (This article first appeared in the May 1985 edition of Britain's Buzz magazine).

Trans-Atlantic Tour '85

Steve and Sheila Walsh embark on their first joint international tour, encompassing more than 40 performances, from April 22 through June 21, 1985.

Titled "The Taylor/Walsh Trans-Atlantic Tour '85," the concert series will appear in England and Scotland for 12 concerts including Glasglow, Manchester, Liverpool, Southhampton and London, before coming to America on May 9 in Indianapolis.

Sparrow Records and Brallier Productions of Nashville, TN are the tour sponsors. Each Taylor/Walsh production will feature their own individual sets, backed by Taylor's "Some Band" with the latest in sound, lighting and state-of-the-art special effects. A special presentation for children of third world countries will be given in conjunction with Compassion International.

Sheila's first major American exposure came with the 1981 release of her debut Sparrow album "Future Eyes", which followed "Triumph In The Air". Coinciding with the release of "War Of Love" here in the United States, she recorded a single with Cliff Richard in England, "Drifting", which was prominent on the British pop charts for several months.

Sheila also supported Cliff on his annual British tour in 1981 and 1984. The duo recently recorded a duet "Jesus Call Your Lambs" for Sheila's new "Don't Hide Your Heart" album.

In addition to her work as a recording artist, Sheila just completed her second season as host of BBC Television's "Rock Gospel Show", which is viewed weekly by more than 14 million people throughout Great Britain.

Please refer to the back page for their complete "Trans-Atlantic" itinerary.

Some Band Credits

[Photo and caption: Some "Meltdown" Band clowning around in Stockholm in August of '84: (left to right) Glen Holmen, Dave Thrush, Cactus Moser, Jeff Stone, Steve Taylor, and Steve Peters.]

Cactus Moser - drums
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6

Dave Thrush - saxaphone
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6

Steve Peters - keyboards
#4 #6

Woody Waddell - keyboards
#1 #2 #3

Jeff Stone - guitar
#4 #6

Glen Holmen - bass
#4 #6

Kerry Conner - guitar
#1 #2 #3

Teri Bryant - drums
#4 #6

Chris Richards - bass
#2 #3

Some Code

#1 - "I Want to be a Clone" album

#2 - "I Want to be a Clone" tour

#3 - "Meltdown" album

#4 - "Meltdown" tour

#5 - "On the Fritz" album

#6 - "On the Fritz" album

The Knot Is Tied

It was a bold move described by her friends as adventurous and by her financial consultant as foolhardy. The former Miss Debbie Butler of Irvine, CA threw caution to the wind and accepted Steve's Christmas Eve proposal (even though it meant giving up a promising career to become a nomad). They were married in a private ceremony at a little church in Connecticut with the Reverend Roland Taylor (Steve's father) presiding. They are pictured here striking a casual pose at their California reception.

Mr. Managers Report

Grammy And Dove Nominations

Steve was honored with both Grammy and Dove nominations this year. Steve received his first Grammy nomination in the "Best Male Gospel Performance" category, while also being nominated for Dove Awards as "Gospel Artist of the Year" and for "Meltdown" as the "Best Contemporary Album of the Year".

Taylor, along with his "Some Band", performed "Meltdown (At Madame Tussaud's)" during this year's Dove Awards Ceremonies at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville on April 3.

When introducing Taylor and Some Band, Dove awards' host Pat Boone commented "Somehow I don't think you'll hear music like this at church on Sunday." After Taylor's performance he added, "That song probably wasn't nominated in a traditional category."

Steve Taylor "Semi-Complete" Songbook

Sparrow/Birdwing Music will release "The Semi-Complete Steve Taylor", a folio songbook containing the 16 song selections from Steve's "Meltdown" album and "I Want To Be A Clone" mini-LP.

In addition to some of Steve's compositions, the songbook contains three pages of photographs, which chronicle tour performances from 1983 through the present.

"Meltdown" Released In Compact Disc Format

In a pioneering effort, Sparrow released "Meltdown" in the CD format. Bill Hearn of Sparrow predicts the explosive growth of the CD configuration will be duplicated at the Christian book and record shop level. Wait till you hear the sounds!

Transatlantic Remixes

A new 12" single "Transatlantic Remixes" features Sheila and Steve singing a duet to a David Edward's tune "Not Going to Fall Away". The extended play includes some of LA's finest players with Dan Posthuma producing. The B side finds remixes of "This Disco" (from "Fritz") and "We're All One" (from Sheila's new album). The duet is unique in that it will not appear on any other album. Look for it in mid-May and on tour.

"Choose Life" Update

We reported in the last Newsflash that $1.00 from the sale of every "Choose Life" shirt would go to the pro-life movement. We are pleased to announce that 4,000 of the shirts were sold on last fall's "Meltdown" tour. The money was donated to Shannon's Hope of Denver, Colorado and Aaron Problem Pregnancy Center of Boulder. Shannon's Hope is a shelter to support women and their unborn children during pregnancy. Aaron Center counsels women to "choose life" instead of abortion. Both are members of the Colorado Right to Life committee.

Petra/Stonehill Dates

Steve and Some Band joined Petra for three dates and Randy Stonehill for three dates in late March and early April. Highlights included the Universal Amphitheater concert with Petra as well as Randy joining Steve on stage to sing "To Forgive" (from "Fritz") in Washington D.C.

"Do Something Now" For Hunger

(NASHVILLE) Another segment of the music community has joined the African famine drive via a recording by 65 Christian artists made here following the Gospel Music Assn.'s Dove Awards ceremonies. April 3.

The session will lead to the release of a seven-inch single, "Do Something Now", on the Sparrow label; a 12-inch single that contains the song and artist interviews; and a 15-minute video of the recording session itself, plus conversations with the artists involved.

Among the artists performing on the session were Amy Grant, Steve Taylor, Sheila Walsh, Evie, Phil Keaggy, Sandi Patti, Bill Gaither, and Rick Cua to name a few. Collectively, the group has labelled itself CAUSE--Christian Artists United to Save the Earth.

The song was composed by Steve Camp and Phil Madeira. Camp also served as producer.

All income from the project will go to Compassion International.

Membership Renewal

--again, please notice on your mailing label the date your membership expires. Send the big buck ($1.00) to renew, and you can continue being the only person on your block who actually pays money to receive advertising (reprinted from last Newsflash).

Your Friend,

Rob Marshall
Mr. Manager

Thanks to Bob Angelotti for all his help.

Nasty Letters

Coming Next Issue!

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Steve Taylor & Some Band
1985 Itinerary

5/9 Indianapolis, IN
5/10 Detroit, MI
5/11 Akron, OH
5/13 Pittsburgh, PA
5/14 Columbus, OH
5/16 Atlanta, GA
5/17 Birmingham, AL
5/18 Chattanooga, TN
5/20 Louisville, KY
5/21 Cincinnati, OH
5/23 Peoria, IL
5/24 Chicago, IL
5/25 Minneapolis, MN
5/30 Vancouver, BC
5/31 Seattle, WA
6/1 Portland, OR
6/4 Sacramento, CA
6/6 Fresno, CA
6/7 Long Beach, CA
6/8 San Diego, CA
6/10 Phoenix, AZ
6/11 Albuquerque, NM
6/13 Oklahoma City, OK
6/14 Amarillo, TX
6/15 Denver, CO
6/17 Tulsa, OK
6/18 Kansas City, KS
6/19 Jacksonville, FL
6/20 Orlando, FL
6/21 Tampa, FL
6/22 Cornerstone Festival
Chicago, IL
6/24 Ft. Wayne, IN
6/25 Dayton, OH
6/28 Creation Festival
Lancaster, PA
6/29 New Sound Festival
Boston, MA
6/30 Kingdom 85
Orlando, FL
8/1 Christian Artist
Estes Park, CO
8/10 Summerfest '85
Seattle, WA
8/16 Celebration Festival
San Francisco, CA
8/23-8/26 Greenbelt Festival
(Germany, Belgium, Sweden, France, Norway, Switzerland,
Holland, Finland, Denmark, Italy)