Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat is the book's title?
God's Not Dead (And Neither Are We). The front cover carries the subtitle "The story of Christian rock's neglected pioneers as told by the artists themselves."
But doesn't it have a different title?
Yes. God's Not Dead (And Neither Are We) is the original title. It was rereleased in December of 2011 as First And Forgotten with the subtitle "The story of Christian rock's neglected pioneers as told by the artists themselves."
Why the change?
Someone who works in both the print and music industry, with an unimpeachable track record in both, suggested the name change. His thought was the title should more accurately reflect the darker side of what these artists have gone through, as well as their present status in the Christian music industry. That is to say, unknown to the fans of the artists, such as Switchfoot and the like, who without the pioneering efforts of the artists before them would not be enjoying their present level of success.
What are the differences between the two versions?
When first released, First And Forgotten had an additional chapter, better editing, some updates where required, and was in a far easier to read physical format (larger print; handier physical size). Both titles are now identical with the only difference being a slight difference in the front cover photo. Plus the title, of course.
What is the book about?
Ignoring the "about 256 pages" cutesy answer, it's the collected stories, both personal and professional, of the people who pioneered Christian alternative rock. The first wave came from the late Larry Norman and his contemporaries in the late '60s and early '70s; people and bands such as Randy Stonehill, Randy Matthews, 2nd Chapter of Acts, Love Song, and so on. Later on in the decade, a second wave started coming out of southern California, home base there being Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa. From it emerged bands like Mustard Seed Faith, Gentle Faith, and so on. In the '80s, a third wave started to make its presence known. Originally it was from the Calvary Chapel scene, its artists reflecting the church's aggressive evangelism only this time fused with music far more akin to what was happening in the punk and new wave movements. After a few years as the artists became more street level, Calvary Chapel discontinued active support and the movement became less centralized as artists, along with record labels, came and went. These artists, along with other seminal figures from that time, are the ones featured in the book.
So it's a history book, then.
Yes and no. Of course there is history, with everyone going into detail about what they did and what it was like back in the day. That said, I'm not making an effort to lay out a timeline of events. Each person whose story will be in the book speaks for him- or herself, so there are a few moments where different people remember something differently. Each person has a chapter devoted to him or her individually and as an individual; there are no 'band interview' scenarios involved. Also, the book is just as much about where they are now in their life, and how they got there, as it is a chronicle of their tenure in the Christian music spotlight. Getting back to the history thought for a moment, when you read all of the stories, by putting them together you do get a very real sense of what happened during that time, how it happened, why it happened, and who the people are who made it happen. It's living history.
Why did you write this?
Because God's not dead and neither are we! Even though the artists have gone in all kinds of different directions as far as what they're doing now, and they are anything but marching in lockstep as far as how they see things, the work they did back then is still bearing fruit today. There is a far greater number of people in the world right now whose lives these artists touched in a positive, powerful way than most anyone realizes. There are ministers, missionaries, Bible teachers, of course musicians, and everyday folk walking the walk as living witnesses who can trace this directly back to a song, an album, or a concert given by these artists. This isn't a nostalgia trip about when we were kids on fire for Jesus and gee wasn't that a great time. This is here and now. The Spirit still speaks through these artists. Whether their albums are still in print or they play shows is irrelevant. Again, the Spirit still speaks through these artists. This is why their story matters. Also, during their time these artists played to hundreds of thousands of people and sold as many records. Ever since I first announced this book, I have heard from a steady stream of people from all walks of life who remember these artists and the impact they had on their lives. Again, this isn't about an '80s nostalgia trip.
Will the book have a music CD with it?
Unfortunately, no. The cost of licensing material plus manufacturing and the like is way beyond my reach. However, there is a DVD coming of the August 2005 Broken Records reunion concert that created the spark from which the book has come. Many of the artists in the book played at that show.I can't emphasize strongly enough how terrific and powerful it is, and if you buy the book it'd be criminal not to buy the DVD as well!
The plan was to have both come out at or about the same time. The book made it first. However, I have been assured the DVD will be released sometime, hopefully in 2010.
List price is $17.95 as set by the publisher. You can usually find it for a bit less on Amazon. It is also available for the Kindle at $7.99.
Where is it being sold?
It is available at Amazon. It should be available for ordering at all major bookstores, both those with physical locations and online. And you can buy an autographed copy (by me -- sorry, I don't have any artist autographed copies) here in the Online Store area.
You have photos in the book, right?
Unfortunately, no. I would have dearly loved to, but it would have driven the price up too high.
So will there be another book?
Working on it ...