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The Modern Music Industry
Summary: From which spiritual tree is the rock and pop industry picking it's fruits and what is the dutiful response of a professed child of Christ when they find that that with which they are having friendship wish, is indeed rooted in the spiritual garden of Satan.
"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" Matthew 7:16
From which spiritual tree is the rock and pop industry picking it's fruits and what is the dutiful response of a professed child of Christ when they find that that with which they are having friendship wish, is indeed rooted in the spiritual garden of Satan.
I could spend this whole article giving you my own opinion on why I believe that the religion behind rock 'n' roll is the religion of Satan, but it would be far more expedient for me to let the industry and its personalities speak for themselves. You will notice that they do this very persuasively and effectively.
"Rock 'n' Roll is an aggressive art form, pure hostility and aggression, I believe in that like a religion." (Blacky Lawless of 'Wasp', in an interview with, Washington Post)
There is, of course, no guarantee that Blacky Lawless is referring to religion here in the traditional sense. He may just be describing the passion that he feels for his chosen mode of artistic expression, a passion that obviously verges on the religious. I did not choose this statement to prove that he sees rock as a religion rather, I chose it to demonstrate the fruits and spirit involved in this expressive vehicle, 'pure hostility and aggression.'
I would be surprised if any musician or industry representative actually knowingly worshiped rock 'n' roll as a religious entity. It is not my concern to try and prove this, but rather to prove that there is a spiritual atmosphere behind the music, it's fashions, attitude and interests that most definitely show that there is a spirit of Devilish proportions that permeates all that it stands for. Having said this, I will share a Biblical principle found in the ten commandments. This is the principle of making idols of any man-made or natural object other than God. According to scripture this constitutes an unfaithful spiritual act often referred to as adultery or prostitution. So indeed, placing rock 'n' roll or anything above God constitutes an act of religious or spiritual unfaithfulness. If the apostasy of the Rock industry was just that simple, this by no means justifies 'secular idolatry,' then it would be a whole lot easier to deal with. But this is most certainly not the case.
The many fruits that are born by the tree of rock 'n' roll will, without question, reveal that it is not fruit that has been picked from the true vine. In sex, drugs, love of money, tainted images and infatuation with the occult will be manifest the origins of this powerful industries fruits. Even the origins of the music and its rhythmical style speak volumes about where its musicians got their inspiration from. In the alleyways of rock 'n roll, once your eye's become accustomed to the darkness, you will start to recognize the idols shrouded in long shadows of demonic deception, and you will thus be compelled to make a choice, for 'Baal' or, 'Jehovah.'
In 1956, soon after the birth of rock 'n roll, an American minister, Albert Carter, condemned this new musical form as totally void of Christian ethics and standards.
"The effect of rock and roll on young people, is to turn them into devil worshippers; to stimulate self expression through sex; to provoke lawlessness; impair nervous stability and destroy the sanctity of marriage. It is an evil influence on the youth of our country." (Rock 'n Roll Babylon, Gary Herman, page 153)
Condemnation of rock 'n roll came from all across the United States. The, so called, standard bearers were making their voices heard in loud and demonstrative indignation toward this new spiritual poison that had reared its ugly head on the soil of the land of liberty and freedom. Censorship of music, TV appearances and just about anything that had anything to do with rock 'n roll was the order of the day. The situation became even more serious when, in 1959, an American investigation raised the issue to the status of a national crisis. It was as if the Devil himself had been manifest in this form of human expression. Even the hardened, hypocritical right suddenly found itself injected with a surge of conscience. Hypocritical or not, either the accusations were of value, or they were just something new for the Pharisees of the 50's to shout about. Time would soon reveal the truth but, by then, it would be too late. The world would be hooked and there would be no turning back.
Many of the early rock 'n' roll heroes came from strong Christian, American backgrounds. A large number of them, like Elvis Presley, came from among the black, or poor white communities and were significantly affected by this sudden burst of moral and spiritual conscience. The Elvis image took a subtle turn and, as a result of this new attitude, he would now appear in public as a humble God-fearing boy with strong Christian roots.
Jerry Lee Lewis, pop icon of the early rock 'n roll days, recognized the significance of what he was involved in and in confusion was forced into temporary retirement. Not only was he condemned for being a 'Rebel-Rocker,' but was also viciously attacked by the press and moralists for marrying his thirteen year old cousin. He has always said, that Rock 'n' Roll would send him to hell. The following words of his will no doubt ring some bell's in the ears of those who comprehend their significance.
"I know the right way, I was raised a good Christian. But I couldn't make it." (Rock 'n Roll Babylon, Gary Herman, pg. 153).
Another significant statement by Gary Herman states this, with reference to Jerry Lee and Elvis.
"Despite his conviction that Jesus Christ is not inclined to do 'a whole lotta shakin', Jerry himself (like Elvis, a member of the evangelical Assembly of God), is unable to break himself of the habit."
There were many other rockers that also had strange, confused, love-hate relationships with their Christian-conscience. Little Richard, for one, became a gospel student after a vision he received while travelling in an aeroplane over Australia in 1958. Author Gary Herman sees the experience in this revealing light.
"Perhaps becoming a preacher was just like joining another branch of show business, but the lure of rock 'n' roll for this most flamboyant of the early black rockers was too great. He found the perfect excuse - rock 'n' roll was to be the way he could 'teach love, because music is the universal language.' The Reverend Carter can't have approved, but Little Richard was not the only rocker to try and square the circle." (Rock 'n Roll Babylon, Gary Herman, Pg. 153)
Something that really stands out for me, is that a Non Christian author, such as Gary Herman, recognizes the contradiction ('to try to square the circle'), in trying to accommodate the spirit of rock 'n' roll with the spirit of Christianity. The contradiction is expressed even more clearly in these words expressed by Little Richard in the late 70's, when he was once again seeking the Lord.
"My true belief about Rock 'n Roll - and there have been a lot of phrases attributed to me over the years - is this: I believe this kind of music is demonic... A lot of the beats in music today are taken from voodoo, from the voodoo drums. If you study music in rhythms, like I have, you'll see that is true. I believe that kind of music is driving people from Christ. It is contagious..." (Charles White, op. cit., Pg. 189)
Elvis, 'the king', was another rocker that mixed the issue to such a degree that he seemed to believe he could blend obvious occult philosophy with that of the Christian ideal.
It is well known that Elvis was addicted to a variety of drugs. One of Elvis Presley's bodyguards claimed that the "king's" buttocks were so covered with needle marks that there was practically no room left for another injection. Combined with the drugs was an interest in the. Elvis studied the and communicated with a psychic in Denver, Colorado. He actually believed, according to close friends, that he was a reincarnation of Jesus with power to heal people by touching them with his hands and claimed that he could form clouds with his mind. Another interesting fact is that Elvis was into the teachings of a woman called Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, a Russian spiritist that lived during the period 1831 - 1891. She was the founder and head of the Theosophical Society and the most influential figure of the 19th century occult revival. Her aim was to bridge the gap that divided the Eastern and Western occult traditions. Both her occult synthesis and her claim to be guided by superhuman powers have greatly influenced 20th century occultism. It is the teachings of Helena Petrovna Blavadsky that form the basis of New Age philosophy. It is against this backdrop that one has to view the spiritual experience of Elvis and his claim to be a Christian.
True Christianity is tested by the principles and teachings found in the word of God, not by the philosophy of the occult and messages of psychics and channeled mediums. Remember what it says in 1 John 4 :1 about many false prophets coming into the world, and that we should test the spirits to see whether they are from God? I challenge you to test the spirits now and the fruits they cause their slaves to bear. From the very start rock 'n' roll has been connected to the powers of darkness. The very term rock 'n' roll finds its origins in immorality and perversion, some of Satan's most favored instruments of corruption. This is not just hearsay, but is proudly noted by articles that can be found in some of the leading rock and metal magazines available today. A good example would be this back page segment that I recently found while reading the magazine Ultrakill. The extract was entitled, "The truth about the Devil." In the article it gives some of the titles attached to Satan, most of them of Biblical origin, and then continues to reveal some other noteworthy assumptions.
"We've got Satan, Beelzebub, Satanial, the Serpent . . . and lord of misrule .... But what about the musical connection with all of this? Well even before heavy metal the Devil took an interest in rock 'n roll. The very term rock 'n roll started life as a Black American expression for sex. And sinful procreation has been the Devil's province for a long, long time." (vol 3, back page)
"I believe rock 'n roll is dangerous, it could very well bring about a very evil feeling in the west ... it's got to go the other way now, and that's where I see it heading, bringing about the dark era ..."
"I feel that we are only heralding something even darker than ourselves."
"Rock 'n' roll lets in lower elements and shadows that I don't think are necessary. Rock has always been the Devil's music, you can't convince me that it isn't." (Rolling Stone Magazine, 1972)
Or this remark by the manager of the Rolling Stones with reference to rock's involvement with the sexual.
"Rock IS sex. You have to hit teenagers in the face with it!" (Time, April 28, 1967, pg. 53)
All through the history of rock and pop can be found this sexual message that stands out like a beacon, proudly displaying the Satanic colors of this industry. The Bible is more than clear about the sacred nature of male-female sexual relations. The history of the children of Israel speaks volumes about how Satan led them to Paganism through the subtle, tantalizing allurements of sexual perversion. Quite literally, the devil sold his idolatrous product by catching the eye and twisting the taste with the all effective weapon of lust. Before they knew it, the Israelites were in so deep that they even began exchanging sexual relations with those of the same sex. It is no coincidence that many occult practices include sexual rites and bizarre orgies as part of their ceremonies. In rock, whether it is a religion or not, this sexual element plays a very significant role and no one, no matter how biased, can deny this glaring fact. All you have to do is turn on your television, program into one of the many music channels and you will see in fashion, suggestive actions, dance, imagery, musical atmosphere and lyrics, the language of sex selling you a ticket to the very heart of Satanic vice and final destruction. Satan laughs! He revels in the knowledge that weak, self sufficient humans are flocking like hungry vultures to snatch the poisoned meat from his adulterous table. Yet we often fall all over ourselves just to catch that final glimpse or indulge that favorite fantasy. We become observers, congratulating ourselves that we do not actively get involved in such disgraceful conduct. Nearly every free moment we get finds us tuning in to that cherished television drama, which so often today, portrays couples in heated sexual embrace. And still, in self righteous blindness, we convince ourselves that we are not watching because of the sex. It's just the story that we enjoy. Older, single viewers will tell you that it provides them with company and that the evil portrayed in the program has no effect on their mature Christian minds. What happened to the company of God's Holy Word, to desperately needed hours of intense Bible study and fervent prayer? Here we are, standing on the edge of earth's final nightmare and the beginning of an eternal, beautiful dream, yet all we can do is sink deeper and still deeper into a state of spiritual blindness. Oh how many sad, scared and unhappy people, who knew it all, will be found searching frantically for shelter when it is too late! We fooled ourselves into believing that we could just walk off the playing field of life and take a seat in the grandstand as observers, instead of walking right out of the stadium and joining the ranks of God's peculiar people who find themselves unspotted from the world. It is not for nothing that we are told that, by beholding we become changed, often this happens without us even noticing the transition. What a heavy responsibility we will carry for allowing ourselves, and those we say we lone, to enjoy sin without guilt. May God help us all.
To run through the names of musicians and entertainers who have ventured into the occult would read like a who's who of the showbiz industry. From Elvis, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Elton John, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Rush, Iron Maiden, Metallica, AC/ DC, Sting and so many more. The annuals of rock and pop history are riddled with the acne of Satan worship and sexual perversion. Even some of the more respected names won't bat an eyelid at two people of the same sex spending the night in passionate "love making." Elton John believes, quite unashamedly, that there is nothing wrong with going to bed with somebody of your own sex. He feels that people should be very free with sex but should draw the line at goats. David Lee Roth, ex lead vocalist of Van Halen, proudly said, "I may not go down in history, but I will go down on your little daughter." Isn't it clear from where the music industry and its representatives are picking their fruit? Have we let things go so far that we can reassure ourselves by saying, "we only buy their records and listen to their music but don't do what they do?" The absolute hypocrisy and self righteousness of such a statement would've been enough to make even a halfhearted Christian blush about six or seven decades ago, but today, those who call themselves the remnant of God, fling around such transparent excuses as if the clear warnings in God's word were meant for some other creatures and not themselves. I ask you, who was it that Christ died for? Why was it that He died and what gives us the right to restructure and misapply the clear admonishing and principles given us to live by - not to tie us down and restrict us, but, instead to give us freedom from sin, not freedom to continue in sin, and to point us to the kingdom of heaven? Do we dare slap Jesus in the face with such pathetic reasoning and expect Him to accept it as His original gospel standard?
Is it at all reasonable, as a Christian, to feel at ease about buying the latest release of Madonna, knowing that her life and example has been that of one who has mocked Christianity and its principles with lewd sexually explicit videos, publicity pictures and statements? In October of 1996 Madonna gave birth to her daughter, Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon. She had no qualms about stating that she had no intentions of marrying the girl's father, Carlos Leon, who lives with her in Los Angeles. It is interesting to see the strange contradictions that come out of this Los Angeles interview with Madonna.
"I can think of lots of married couples or nuclear families that are terribly unhealthy and have terribly dysfunctional children," she said. "I don't think that's a guarantee that your child is going to be happy."
Neither is living out of wedlock a guarantee that your child will be happy, and anyway, this is not the issue. According to God we are required to be married and permanently tied together in Holy Matrimony before we consider bringing a child into this evil world, and I am not speaking in ignorance; I speak from experience. The issue is obedience to God, or obedience to the dictates of my own weakened conscience. The Bible is clear. "We ought to obey God rather than man." And besides, no relationship has any guarantee of survival if it is one without Christ. The article goes on to say.
"Madonna whose suggestive videos have earned the wrath of religious groups, said she was not concerned her reputation as a sex queen would make it hard to raise her daughter. 'I consider myself to be a very moral person.'" (Sunday Argus, December 14/15, 1996)
One wonders what moral guide Madonna is referring to when she asserts that she is a "very moral person", because, while she publicizes her morality, the interview goes on to say that she has no intention of toning down her bad-girl image now that she has become a mother.
George Michael is another of the 'pop elite' who does not have too much of a sex related conscience, although he tries hard to keep people guessing about whether he is gay or not. One wonders if his hiding the truth is not just another publicity gimmick.
"Someone like me, who sits there with this big neon question mark above my head and openly invites those questions is, therefore, a thing of fascination." And with reference to the gay question. "But I've never wondered whether it is acceptable or not." Asked if his sex life had improved as he got older, Michael replied: "Oh G-d, yeah. It's not even a matter of getting better. It's a matter of me finally knowing what it is about and being with the right people and having the right sexual experience." Michael dedicated his latest album, Older, to a gay friend, further fuelling rumors about his sexual predilections. (Sunday Times, November 17, 1996)
Are you still wondering from what spiritual tree the rock industry picks its fruit? Surely the message must be more than clear by now. Or maybe this section, with reference to Sting from the book, The World's Greatest Composers will hammer home the truth a little more clearly.
Sting, referring to the character he played in the movie Brimstone and Treacle, ... "He's a kind of nice boy...well mannered but also quite nasty, one minute you're laughing, the next you're squirming. That's why I want to make the film...it's closer to the real me."
The same applied to the Feyd character he played in the movie Dune a year later.
'I am Feyd . . . I'm very lucky that I can exorcise my shadow, my demon, on screen. Most people have to repress any dark shadow that they have. I'm allowed to bring it out.' Both roles fitted in perfectly with the 'Prince of Darkness' label he was earning - and his music was heading in the same dark direction.
Who else is called the Prince of Darkness? Can you make the association? It must surely be clear that it is not just the heavy metal segment of the industry that bears this trademark connection with the darker side. The disease of Satanic influence is one that corrupts this monster music machine from top to bottom, one that crosses every barrier and facet of the pop and rock industry, and that has been a prevalent attitude right through its history. You have heard it straight from the people themselves. If I had had a choice, I would not even have put their statements in print, but today when you speak of the sin in the world, blatantly visible though it may be, people still ask you for proof. Well, here it is. What amazes me, is the state of blindness to sin that even God's professed children have sunken into. It is more often these so called Christians that cry the loudest for the "tangible evidence," when they should be the ones who have an acute sensitivity to sin, who should be able to spot the symptoms of the dreaded disease from miles away.It is not only the rock industry that finds itself blaspheming God in word and deed, but sadly even those who are from the house of Jacob are guilty of the same sin. Strangely enough, those who are in the industry itself seem more ready to admit its connection to the devil than the ones who should be trying their level best to stay as far away from Satan's influence as possible, showing no association with the world of unbelief. What kind of witness are we when we rush out and buy the records of musicians who have these types of feelings towards our loving Lord and Savior? Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones, who wrote the song, Sympathy for the Devil, had this to say about Jesus:
"If Jesus had been indicted in a modern court, he would have been examined by doctors, found to be obsessed by a delusion, declared incompetent and incapable of pleading his case, and sent to an asylum." (William Foster, Toward Soviet America, Elgin Enterprises Inc., Cal, pg. 317)
"We are not just anti-Christ...just anti-pope and anti-Christian. Jesus is dead." (Playboy, Feb. 1965, pg. 58)
"Jesus is a garlic-eating, stinking, little yellow, greasy fascist bastard, Catholic Spaniard."
"Here are four Liverpool lads who are rude, profane, vulgar, yet they have taken over the world. It is as if they have founded a new religion. They are completely anti-Christ. So much so, they shock me! This is not easy to do." (Saturday evening Post, Aug. 8, 1964, pg. 28)
Need I say anymore? Or should I spell it out in bold, clear lettering that the rock 'n' roll industry is the industry of Satan, and has been since the very start of it? Let me do just that by once again using the words of David Bowie.
"Rock has always been the devil's music, you cannot convince me that it isn't."
Yes, the Devil did take a very deep interest in rock 'n' roll since the very beginning of its history, as Ultrakill magazine so aptly put it. I would take it a step closer to the truth and tell you that he did not just take an interest in rock 'n' roll since its beginnings, but that he was, indeed, the one who conceived the idea in the first place. Aleister Crowley, the father of modern Satanism was not wrong when he revealed that he had put together a system of magic, which if ever combined with the power of music, could revolutionize the world. What makes Crowley's philosophy even more pertinent is the fact that large numbers of music industry people, from musicians to company officials, have been and still are followers of Crowley's Satanic theology. Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin had such a deep fascination with Crowley that he ended up buying the castle in England which, Crowley, his mentor, used to own. Besides buying Crowley's castle, he also opened one of the biggest occult bookstores in London. I have learned recently though, through my wife's cousin who was babysitting for Jimmy, that he has sold the store apparently due to people constantly stealing the books.
To place these connecting events and evidences in the realms of coincidence would be stretching the occurrence of chance to the absolute ridiculous. The thread of demonism that ties all the facets of the rock industry together, in my humble opinion, is a calculated plan conceived in the abyss of Satan's headquarters. Even the origins of the musical style itself are to be found in the religions of ritual demon worship.
It is interesting to notice how often the Voodoo theme appears in rock 'n' roll. Voodoo is a type of worship, most commonly found in Africa, that involves calling up the spirits of ancestors through ritual dance ceremonies. These are accompanied by the taking of various herbal drugs, intended to lift the mind to another level of consciousness where you see and feel things that are not experienced on the normal, daily conscious level. There are also other aspects involved in Voodoo worship, such as Voodoo magic, where spells are cast on individuals who's movements and bodily functions become controlled by demons sent out to torture and punish them. To put it in a nutshell, Voodoo is Satanism and demon worship in its truest sense. The Voodoo ritual involves animal sacrifice, blood drinking, demonic possession and sexual orgies, and at the heart of the Voodoo ritual lies the pounding pulse of the African drum. It is this style of beat, with its counter-rhythms and hypnotic consistency that open up the souls of the worshippers to the inflaming influence of demons.
"... The follower of Voodoo seeks to incorporate a LOA (lesser god) into himself by writhing and leaping through a dance, while drums bang out complex rhythms. When just the right rhythm is found for an individual LOA, the dancer takes it up, and the LOA enters his soul. His physical and mental powers are immediately heightened; he becomes god-like himself. Animals will often be sacrificed to appease the spirits...The religion is strictly Dionysian, and dances often end in wholesale copulation..." (John H. Steele, World of The Unexplained, Ripley Museum Inc., 1977, pg.9, 10)
Read any well researched book about the history and origins of the rock 'n' roll beat with its syncopated rhythm, that places the accent on the off beat in the 4/4 time, and they will all tell you that the roots of this rhythmical style are derived from the beat of the ritual Voodoo dance's of Africa. The key to its effectiveness lies in constant repetition, which research has shown has a hypnotic effect on those who are exposed to it for extended periods. Spend some time objectively observing the way that the beat affects those who are gyrating and dancing in a modern night club, and you will, in living demonstration observe the hypnotic results of the Voodoo style rhythm on the human organism. John H. Steele quite rightly describes the Voodoo ritual as being Dionysian (sensual, unrestrained) in nature. What one witnesses in the rave or club scene today is a form of sexual gratification that is, simply put, the 90's, high-tech version of the Voodoo ritual. Much of what takes place in the darkened pulsating world of club and rave leads to those, captured by its hypnotic sensual atmosphere, to partake in sexual intercourse's (many of them just lasting for the night and the thrill) that often lead to a life of shame and heartache. If this is not the same satanic influence that gives life to the rhythmically, "Voodooised" spirit of unrestrained sexual gratification, then there must be another Satan that we don't know about.
I understand and know how this principle of "beat-manipulation" can work due to my own experience in dancing. Not only have I experienced it on the dance floor, but I have also seen its effect on people I have performed to during the course of my professional music career. Even if you wanted to push all this evidence aside, then you would still be left facing the clincher question that I have asked so many times already. From which spiritual tree has the rock industry been picking its fruits? The answer would come back once more, loud and clear: the tree that is growing in the orchard of Satan!
A question I get asked time and again during music seminars I have presented in different countries is: What about rap, techno, house music and some of the so called newer modes of pop; do their styles of rhythm fall into the same category as the traditionally accepted Rock 'n' Roll beat? My categorical reply would be, most definitely, yes!
The music today that most closely resembles the Voodoo ritual dance music is rap and some of its hybrid forms. As in Voodoo, it is the bare essentials of the beat that form the basis of the ritual music. On top of this can be heard the monotonous chantlike 'rap' of the officiating singers. Everything is done within the syncopated beat of the tireless native percussionists, while those partaking slowly slip into a hypnotic drug and music induced stupor. In this state they lose control of the master brain and open themselves up to the power of suggestion that falls outside their, now forfeited, ability to repel. The music becomes the hypnotic tool and once under its spell, the mind is left wide open to receive the messages that demons want to implant in their subconscious. Digitise and modernize the ritual Voodoo style music and you are left with the same recipe that composes today's rap and other 'newer' forms of music.
There is nothing new about rap, nothing new about the principles that make up its endless strutting groove so often heard pumping out its 'Voodooised' message in clubs and raves around the world. Inside these temples of modern paganism can be found the youth of today, glorying and reveling in their rebellious freedom. Half naked bodies, writhing in sweat, worshipping the god's of conceit and sexual expression, with minds spaced to capacity on alcohol, marijuana, LSD, cocaine, speed, hash, ecstasy and a range of supposedly 'smart drugs,' all the while repeating a ritual that has formed the basis of Satan worship and Pagan ceremony for thousands of years. As Solomon said, "there is nothing new under the sun." Whether we like it or not, the ingredients that make a Voodoo ritual ceremony such a Satanic success are the very same ones that keep the churches of dance and vice so rich and thriving today. No true child of God will be found in their association.
"Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: 'I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch not the unclean thing and I will receive you. I will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.'" (2 Corinthians 6 : 14 - 18. NIV)
In every function, the rock industry fulfils the criteria of Belial and idol worship. The sex, rock 'n' roll music, and drug induced habits of its most starry icons tell us, most convincingly, that here we are treading on unholy territory. God's word tells us that whatsoever we do, we should do it all to the glory of God.
Can you be yoked, in any way, with the artistry of Satan and say without a doubt, that it is all to the glory of God? The Bible is far too explicit to leave us in any doubt about our responsibility to God and our fellow man, whom we as Christians say we love.
Perhaps it would be wise for us to consider these words that come from the prophetic pen of the Apostle Paul in his letter to Timothy.
"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them." (2 Timothy 3 : 1 - 5. NIV)
As it is with most things, especially in this age of advancement and change, nothing stays static. That which is new and enchanting today invariably becomes old and replete tomorrow. In the field of music this is also the case. Of course this does not mean that the old becomes redundant. The very nature of musical expression ensures that old concepts and ideas will continually, especially on the creative side, be resuscitated and reinvented time and time again. Another reason for this continuity is the fact that we have become somewhat slowed in our musical inventiveness, particularly in the field of commercial music. This is largely due to the dictates and trends set forth by the industry controllers themselves. A working recipe has proved itself to be an effective means of financial growth and so although some elements have been adjusted and reshuffled, the basic musical thrust has remained the same. The public have tasted, assimilated, regurgitated and re-ordered variations from the same musical menu for decades and decades, and so the demand for the intrinsic elements of 'Popular Music' have remained largely unchanged. These elements, loosely specified, are beat, repetition, catchy melodies (catchy melodies would not include rap, certain forms of techno and elements of rave) and a performance duration of roughly 3 minutes. The psychology behind this format is indeed interesting as I have alluded to earlier on, because its success is founded on the indoctrinatory and hypnotic principles of repetition. The consistency and repetitiveness of the rhythm section (the beat) causes an instantaneous mental and physical response, while the catch phrases and repetitive melodies ensure the retention of the message and its ability to be recalled at ease. These elements are the staple's of 20th century commercial music, and for all intents and purposes, will remain this way deep into the 21st. But there have been some amazing advances in the recent past, especially in the field of technology and computerization, that have opened up some new and interesting possibilities for the modern musical media. CD's, sampling and digital recording are already ancient history, so I won't even spend time getting into these. But on the front of clubs and disco's (the participative side of the industry, from the public's perspective); where popular music is actively lived out and where its true capabilities can be visibly manifest, there have been some changes and developments that must be mentioned to make this section complete. For those who have been around for a time though, it will also be clear, that even in this field, there is much that has remained the same. I begin with the latest world wide trend, 'The Rave.' In the March 1997 issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine, Nick Paul, describes the philosophy of' Rave in an article entitled "The home of the Rave."
"All words are subordinate to the beat, all politics are subordinate to the party." ( pg. 74 )
He goes on to describe the spiritual content of the 'Rave.'
"And the easy spirituality of rave is appealing to kids who've rejected the old, uniquely South African gods of their parents but decided that they do need a god after all. At a time when ecological issues have elbowed their way into the popular consciousness, the neo-pagan earth-worship of some adherents of rave is becoming increasingly popular." (pg. 75)
And the continuity of the popular music trend, borrowing from jazz to classics, yet relying fully on the beat, still remains the bottom line of the rave.
"Some experts liken contemporary dance music to jazz, some to classical. Its sources are varied, from early rap, to disco, to the pioneering electronic ambient music of Brian Eno. In the last five years it has mutated wildly, and now encompasses perhaps 20 identifiable styles, from the happy, vacuous radio-friendly tunes of Whigfield to the dark rhythmic crescendos of Goa trance, from the fluid meanderings of acid jazz to the crippling 200 beats per minute of Gabba." (pg. 76)
There is no doubt that the music makers who find themselves on the edge of earth's greatest millennium are desperately trying to find the ultimate expression of art through sound and music. They have long since come to realize that, in the words of Jimi Hendrix, 'music is in a spiritual thing of its own,' and are today cashing in on the surfacing spiritual consciousness of the late 20th century mentality. Hellenique Angerou, an honours student in psychology is researching subcultures, specifically the rave culture. She shared her views with Nick Paul in this same Cosmpolitan interview.
"She sees rave as a positive spiritual force in many young lives, and is interested, she says in the fact that it combines archaic, ancestral, tribal influences with technology and cyberia." Notice how she focuses on the beat aspect. She points to "trance music and drumming as 'a possession of the id impulse', and lofty andas that may sound, there is something truly primal and compulsive in the way the rhythm and lights capture one at the rave." (pg. 76)
Something truly momentous is being put into motion in this period of our history. The spiritual, primitive, the modern and 'plastic' have reached out and clasped hands as if to make one final frenzied push into the new age of the seventh millennium. Not a soul is really sure where this new phase is going to lead mankind. All concerned seem to have their own agenda and are trying desperately to be as optimistic as possible. Yet, when one looks at the faces around this little globe called planet earth, when one sees the news that explodes onto the headlines and news broadcasts like somenightmare, you can't help wondering if the words expressed by Nick Paul in Cosmopolitan do not hold more than just a little truth.
"Perhaps rave truly is the music at the end of the world . . ." (pg. 76)
It is not at the rave where this new onslaught of the music kingdom ends. In fact, it is in these modern temples of paganism (dressed up in fashion and technology), that the rest of the 'musically voodooised' picture continues to unfold. Computer boffins and the 90's club scene have now got another smoke bomb to pollute the already saturated atmosphere of dance culture.
The virtual nightclub is a hot new item designed by Icelandic computer wizards 'Oz', creating a virtual club-world where all is not what it seems. The clubs can be accessed in your home via computer. You will be able to talk directly to other club characters (bouncers, bar staff, etc) once this service is connected to the internet. It will also be possible to enter a variety of three dimensional club environments. It seems obvious in this coming era of club technology that the potential for record companies to promote their products worldwide will be massive. But it is the potential for the musicians themselves that hold the most far reaching implications due to Oz's new method of creating music. Issue number 11. Feb. 1997 of BLAH, BLAH magazine tells how 'Gudjon Mar Gudjosson', 24 year old CEO of the company Oz, has developed a method of recording electronic music using a built in 'intelligent agent' which causes a track to adjust itself according to its environment.
"The sound is influenced by space" explains Gudjon. "Information about what's happening externally is streamed into the computer creating the music which responds accordingly. If a lot of people are up dancing or the club is very busy, the tempo and type of music will reflect that. In future all music will respond to its environment. We won't need DJ's at clubs either."
Exactly how this revolutionary method of creating music will ultimately be implemented and utilized by the musicians themselves is anybody's guess. One thing is clear though. The music industry is poised, yet again , for another major transition. The public, already saturated and over exposed to the information explosion of the late 20th century will now be looking forward to musical innovations that have managed to discover the ultimate method, via technology, of manipulating sound and implanting their message more effectively into the soft, pliable recesses of the human brain.
Even though the statements that I have presented in this article, statements from the pop-rock industry itself, are often harsh and in many ways incriminating, it is by no means a condemnation of the individual people that made them. I would urge you not to view it as such. The things that the musicians, sales representatives, reporters, industry officials and music media have said are merely coherent expressions based on personal experience of the institution that they are a part of. It is this institution, with all its trappings of rebellion and darkness that I am primarily concerned with. People come and go; Satan uses them like disposable trash, the same as he attempts to use you and me and then mercilessly discards them when they have outlived their purpose. One thinks immediately of the many deaths by drug overdose, assassinations and fatal accidents that have been a trademark of this devilish cause and all one can do is stand back in horror as one witnesses the destructive power of Satan. I do not condemn any one of these souls. Jesus died for each one of them, and bears the sins of every repentant soul. He loves every one, from Elvis to Madonna, very dearly. We ought to have the same attitude and should present their souls to God in prayer.
Does this mean that it would be okay to go out and buy their records or listen to their music? No, it does not. When someone or an establishment, is being used as a dedicated instrument for Satan then, it is our duty, for our own best safety, to 'have nothing to do with them' (2 Timothy 3:1 - 5). But I stress, this does not mean that you should not pray for them. Indeed, they all need our prayers in a very positive way.
Let us present all that we are, sinful and needy, together with the lives of these broken people before God for healing.