I have been getting a lot of questions about the band I was in, Strongarm. This post is in the spirit of full disclosure. If you don’t know the band, this will likely bore you to death. Feel free to stop reading now and go ahead and enjoy the rest of your day. Save your energy. No need to see a washed-up-never-was-been talk about stuff that has no bearing on your life.  But if you like those behind-the-scenes shows and interviews than you might want to stay with me a bit. Lastly, I have framed this in an interview format, since these are questions I have received and conversations I have recently had.

Is it true you’re going to do a Strongarm show at Cornerstone Festival this year?

Yes. Believe it or not, since quitting Strongarm (in 1996, I think) I have received emails every month from fans with words of gratitude for my efforts in the band and questions of reunions. Honestly, it surprises me every time that people remember. So I have always expressed appreciation for these well-wishes and said I am open to a reunion. Nothing ever came of it…until recently. We’re calling it a Strongarm Tribute because it’s not technically a reunion. At this point, I am the only member that will be playing it. I’ve never heard of anyone reuniting with themselves! It’s also not exactly a Strongarm cover band, since I was actually in the band. So a tribute is a good middle ground.

I know you have a new book out. Are you just doing the show in order to promote it?
Nope. It’s actually pure coincidence. The Strongarm show wasn’t even my idea. Back in November my wife and I decided to go to Cornerstone Fest, way before the idea of a tribute came about. I have been 5-6 times in the past. It was a big part of my life while I was in the band. Now that we have kids that are old enough to appreciate it, we wanted to go. We decided to rent an RV, drive up there, go deaf, not sleep, and not eat right for a week with the kids. And, of course, bring my book to get the word out about what I am doing these days. Since I wrote most of the lyrics in Strongarm, it only seemed fitting to spread the word about what I am doing with words these days–especially since that’s what fans contact be about the most.

Besides, I believe in the vision and message of my book, otherwise I wouldn’t have gone through all the pain and suffering to do it. It is the single most difficult goal I have ever accomplished. My wife, Lisa, has been so inspirational in the process. She puts up with all the stress and tension it has put on her and our children. I have taken many evenings, weekends, and dollars away that should have otherwise been devoted to and for them. My book’s purpose is to bring attention to the teachings and person of Jesus. That’s also why I was in the band. It was our seminal mission as well.

Someone also posed this question in the comments of one the press releases announcing the show. I’m not even sure I understand it. So, if I didn’t have a book it would be okay to do a show? Strongarm will always be part of me and my story. I sacrificed and invested a lot of effort in the band. I can’t help that and I won’t hide it. So if I’m asked to be a part of something that celebrates that part of my life (and my overall mission) then yes, I’m going to do it. The book is also a part of me and my story now.  So they are both (and will always be) part of my story. The two will often co-mingle. There’s nothing I can really do about it. It’s actually a physical impossibility to separate the two.

How did the Strongarm tribute come about then?

Back in December I was contacted by a friend. He asked if I would sing some Strongarm songs at Cornerstone if he put a band together. I said sure, why not? I was already going anyway. That ended up falling through, which was fine. It wasn’t my idea or why we were going to Cornerstone. Then in late January, I was contacted by another friend, Joshua Stump, who runs The Anchor Stage at Cornerstone. He asked if I would do a reunion. Again, I said sure. He asked if I would try to get in contact with the guys from the Strongarm. I said I hadn’t talked to them much since leaving the band in an effort to leave them alone and let the past be the past, but I would try to get some contact info for them. He said if any of the members couldn’t make it he would fill any empty spots with other musicians for a show like this. He wanted to make it happen.

I decided to try to talk to just one of the guys from Strongarm first. I didn’t want to disrupt all of their lives more than necessary. So in late January/early February I started trying to get in contact with them. The first member I contacted never returned my efforts. So later in February I connected with another one of them. He said he wouldn’t be able to make the show. I understood that with family, work, no equipment, all the practicing etc. it was not an easy request. He said he would talk to the other guys and let me know. He also communicated that calling it a reunion wouldn’t be appropriate, and that’s when we agreed that “tribute” was a better fit.  I hadn’t heard anything for 3 weeks so I continued to go forward with the project. I had to, since June is just around the corner when planning events like this (and rumors were already circulating about a possible show). I told Joshua Stump that at least I can commit to the show (tribute) at this point.

So how are things at this point?

Joshua Stump is working very hard to make it happen. After I gave him the go-ahead, he let me know he had talked to the drummer from the recently broken-up band Life In Your Way about possibly backing me up. I thought this was amazing since I love that band. From what I heard, they were willing to try to make it work so long as none of the guys in Strongarm had a problem with the idea (which I totally understand).
Unfortunately, 2 other members from Strongarm have just expressed that they would rather I not do the show at all. But I am still planning on doing the show with whoever will back me up. I’ve given my word to Joshua and the fans now (since the news has spread very quickly). So I intend to keep it. You can say a lot of things about me and my flaws, but I am not a liar. I just want to have fun and celebrate the memory of the band I was once in. If it’s just me and a dozen other chubby, fat, bald guys battling bad backs and pinched neck nerves piling up and singing along, it’ll be a great time. And if I sell a few books…great!

Hope to see you there!

UPDATE: Since posting this the other guys from Strongarm have put up comments to slander me specifically. I have never slammed or attacked them personally. That statement does all that, with lies. Honestly, I find it shocking and ridiculous, especially at our age. All because someone asked me to sing Strongarm songs at C-stone for the fans? Wow. PS-Spell my name right next time, guys.