Your Son is a Liar
Today I’m doing something different. I’ve created a new blog category called “Notes to Mom & Dad” just to have a place to reflect on my past and tell some of my ridiculously pointless life stories. Today’s story comes to you from 1986 – my teenage years. We took a family trip to San Diego that summer. I’m usually horrible with dates but this one is easy to remember because when we got there, we bought t-shirts that said “San Diego ’86” on them and wore them everywhere. All the pictures we took from that trip say exactly when and where we are on our chests. Honestly, I wish we had done that more often because we traveled a lot and I can never figure out when or where we are in our insanely huge collection of photos. But I digress…
We stopped at a Christian bookstore one day just to shop, which was fine with me because I was just discovering Contemporary Christian Music around that time. We had a Christian radio station in East Texas where we lived and they would play Christian rock starting at 11pm. I would secretly set our stereo to record the late night program on cassette. I had to do this secretly because my parents had taken away my Petra “Beat the System” album the year before because rock music was a bad influence or something. So I was browsing the music section at this Christian bookstore in San Diego and wanted to try something new. I settled on a cassette (all my music was on cassette tapes back then) by The English Band called “What You Need”. I somehow managed to buy it and walk it out the store without any questions, which I thought was totally awesome.
And boy was I excited! I mean, just look at the album cover. This music is hard core, in your face! Drums and electric guitars, hell yeah! I had it in my cassette player most of the trip and thought it was just about the coolest music ever. I felt I had gotten away with this one and was free and clear to rock out to my heart’s content. But then disaster struck. On the return trip, they somehow remembered that I purchased some music and asked whether I liked it and if they could play it over the car stereo. I knew I was doomed. As soon as they heard those guitar riffs and drum solos that tape would be lost to me forever. As terrified as I was, I managed to come up with a plan in record time. I pretended to rummage around in my bag trying to find it and said “It’s not very good. I don’t like it.” I passed it forward and they played it in the car. After a minute or two my Dad said “Yeah, you’re right. It’s not very good is it?” Then he ejected it and passed it back to me.
I think my hands were trembling as I put the precious tape back into my bag. And that’s how I came to own my very first Christian rock album. I lied for it. I still can’t believe I got away with it. I lied all the time as a child but was never very good at it which I’m sure will feature prominently in other stories. My cassette tape collection grew by leaps and bounds over the years that followed. I threw most of them away when CDs became popular, but not this one. I still have this cassette and a few others in a box in my closet. In fact, I do believe it is the oldest item from my youth still in my possession. My parents threw out or gave away most of our toys each time we moved, but I’ll leave that for another story.
P.S. I just found this album on iTunes and purchased it today for the second time. I’m listening to it now and it’s nowhere near hard core and yet strangely, I still kind of like it even though it is no longer in danger of being taken away.
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