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Rockers who “find Religion”

Posted in: General by David Nantais on June 25, 2011

Brian “Head” Welch, one of the founding members of the band Korn, recently visited a Christian church to speak about his conversion experience and how he was able to kick a severe drug habit. The Huffington Post covered it here:

I am fascinated by the phenomenon of rock musicians “finding God” and then leaving their careers in secular rock music.  I first heard about this in the early 90′s when I was delving into the music of Kansas.  Founding guitarist and songwriter Kerry Livgren, who is responsible for the band’s biggest hits, “Dust in the Wind” and “Carry On Wayward Son,” left the band in the mid-80′s after he converted to Christianity and started writing and recording Christian rock.  Interestingly, on his first solo album, Livgren recruited then Black Sabbath vocalist Ronnie James Dio to sing on the overtly religious songs, “To Live for the King,” and “Mask of the Great Deceiver.”  To me, this music sounds like Kansas but with Christian inspired lyrics–not a radical shift from LIvgren’s former work.

Other musicians who have reported Christian conversion stories include Neal Morse (formerly Spock’s Beard), Dave Mustaine (Megadeth), Alice Cooper, and Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad), among others.  Almost all of the rocker conversion stories I have read about include a battle with substance abuse and usually conclude with an acceptance of some form of Evangelical Christianity.  I find this fascinating.  I would love know if anyone has done in-depth research about how/why this happens–R&T readers–are there any such studies that you know of?

Dave Nantais

Detroit, MI

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1 Comment »

  1. Can’t believe you have no comments on this!! I find it so fascinating as well. I find it interesting the number of musicians that are Pastor’s kids or who come from religious households. Alice Cooper is a great example but more recently the guys from Need To Breathe are as well. Also, many non professionals that I have run into over the years. I really believe that music has a spiritual component and that musicians and other artists approach life a little differently–using a different part of their brain for what they do–seems to preclude them having a heightened sensitivity to the spiritual realm. They spend alot of time delving into the meaning of life, relationships, feelings etc. Love too that so many explanations of near death experiences speak of hearing beautiful music and of course the Bible speaks of music as well. Also, people like Rik Emmett of Triumph who supposedly is not a believer but speaks so many spiritual truths in his music–Fight the Good Fight is my favorite. You are definitely on to something. Don’t have any official research but have so much allegorical evidence. There is a story here. I’ll do some research and let you know what I find.

    Comment by Nancy Monfredo — February 9, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

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