August 15, 2005, 6:54 am
Filed under: uncategorized

So I was thinking a day or two ago, that being 35 years old, I’m doing a better job of maintaining my youth (at least mentally) than a lot of my friends who are actually a few years younger than me. It probably has a lot to do with not having had kids myself, it probably has to do with being into pop culture a bit, and tracking what’s new (or supposedly so) on the scene, and I actually think that being a part of the whole emerging church thing has kept me feeling young – in a punk rock sort of way.

Well, in an ironic twist, I am now officially in the category of “old guy.” The tragic blow came when I saw an ad on the web for a reunion concert – one that produced an immediate and shocking response in me like, “Oh, I totally want to go to that!”

The irony, is that the band I want to go see is Undercover – the first Christian punk rock group in history. This group changed my life. Seriously. I quote you now, from memory, the screaming anthem of the title track off of their debut album, “God Rules:”

Last time water, this time fire,
Days are getting down to the wire,
I’ve heard Jesus mocked, now I’m tired,
God is true, men are liars,
God rules, God rules, God rules, God rules

If I had a web cam shot of my face as I type this, you’d see a crazy, dorky grin on my face, from ear to ear.

The first time I heard those lyrics was at one of those Christian music mini-festival nights at Sea World in San Diego. I think I was about 14. As Ojo Taylor tore into those words, and Gym Nicholson on guitar thrashed around with the world’s coolest ever mohawk (it’s still the best I’ve seen, including the “authentic” ones I saw in London in 1982), something came alive in me. I knew that if my dad had seen me there, I would have been way busted – because all rock music, including the kind with lyrics like this was evil . . . I mean EEEEEEVILLLLLLL. But that was the first time I felt like being a Christian could be a little bit dangerous.

Also on the bill that night were the bands Altar Boys, 441, and Crumbacher. While my reaction to them wasn’t as strong, they too gave me the sense that listening to Christian music didn’t have to suck. I’ll admit it, I enjoyed Petra as much as the next church kid, but this stuff was so much better.

Anyway, back to being old – the ad I saw was for a reunion concert for Undercover, Altar Boys, Crumbacher, 441, and The Choir (which way back then I believe started as “The Youth Choir”). Actually, the Choir doesn’t need a reunion show – they have continued to do music – stellar music, really – and released a new record earlier this year. Yeah, I’d definitely go if I could. And in saying so, I know I’m admitting that it might not be too soon to start collecting the early registration cards for AARP.


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I know this is an old post, but I was googling around for one of those band names, and ran across you.

Being 35 (36 by now), is it possible you remember the old Dance of Joy that used to take place at the Redmond VFW hall every other Friday night? You would have been a year or two younger than most of the kids that hung out there, but it was a hotspot for fans of the “Jesus Underground” bands you (and I) liked so much.

I still have my “Rebel for Jesus” T-shirt from my first Altar Boys concert in ’86. 🙂

Comment by Joel

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