Larry Norman With His Lord
The sad news has just reached us that Christian rock pioneer Larry Norman has passed away.
Larry died early last Sunday morning and will be mourned and missed by the many thousands of people worldwide who were touched directly and indirectly by his song-writing, Christian witness and pioneer spirit.
Goodbye, farewell, we'll meet again
Larry has often been dubbed the grandfather of Christian rock and his ground-breaking album 'Only Visiting This Planet' was voted most influential Christian rock album ever several years ago.
Mal Fletcher, director of Next Wave International, a Christian mission across Europe, says: 'I followed Larry's song-writing and recording output for many years - from the time I was a teenager, in fact.'
'Years ago, when I was leading Youth Alive Australia in my homeland, I had breakfast with Larry. He had just been through a difficult period in his life and I sensed he was trying to reach out to the Lord for direction.'
'At one point in our conversation, I told him how much his music had always meant to me, especially in my formative years as a Christian and a leader. Growing up in suburban Melbourne in the 70s, I'd found him to be one of the few Christians I'd heard or seen in concert who spoke in the popular venacular about the real issues people in our generation were facing.'
'I remember he seemed quite surprised by this and said: "Well, thank you. Coming from a leader that means a lot." I then prayed for his voice, which had been strained of late.'
'It was not much to give back to a brother who had, along the way, given so much to people like myself. This was the only time we met personally, though I still have a lot of his music on my mp3 player today - and I've quoted him in books a few times.'
'Of course, Larry's influence lives on through the many artists and others who've adapted or built upon the pioneering work he did in Christian music.'
'He was a thinker, a poet and an artist and, though he had his rough times, I think he always maintained an underlying love for God. He certainly loved to share his faith with real people "at street level".'
The words of one of Larry Norman's hundreds of songs seem appropriate at this time:
Somewhere beyond the sky.
I pray that you will stay with God
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye.
For more information about Larry's passing, news about his funeral and an opportunity to leave messages for his family, visit www.larrynorman.com. For more on Larry's music and legacy, visit wikipedia.org.