Today is ground zero on "Conversations From The Bus Stop". This will be the first in a series of rants detailing the origin and the long strange path that this musical has taken in its journey to fruition. Many unusual things have occurred along the way that can only be seen as God-incidences (not coincidences). If I had invented some of this, even I may not have believed it…
In order to understand where my play came from, I must go back to my late teenage years when I first heard the music from “Jesus Christ Superstar”. Today, I am ultimately grateful to my Catholic mother who made sure the five of us kids all went to church every Sunday. Back then, however, I was certainly not grateful, but we all knew better than to argue with the maternal unit. I was the first person to carry a guitar into our local church in the late 60’s and was thoroughly chastised by the blue-haired crowd for doing so. The criticism didn’t stop me, because the youth group leader stood behind me. By the time I heard “Superstar”, I was already disillusioned with the hypocritical world around me. As soon as I graduated high school and moved out, I belonged to the world.
"Superstar” was a mystery to me. I loved the music. Ian Gillan's singing ignited my innermost rocker. This was a Jesus I could love...or could I? Who the heck was this Jesus that was being depicted in this story? For the next four decades I never knew what the authors of that production were trying to say. Was Jesus a lunatic philosopher or was He the Lord? I had to know.
Over the years that ensued, I read and studied with people from every possible spiritual discipline. They all tweaked my interest, but none stuck. Not one rang true to both my heart and my intellect.
Music owned me during the late 60’s and throughout the 70’s. I was a driven man. It was not unusual for me to practice my guitar for 10-12 hours per day. My guitar was my idol. My god lived in my 1959 Les Paul.
After 10 years of living in hotels, playing clubs 6-7 nights per week on the road, I had had it. I had had it with being married to a bunch of guys whose primary goal in life was getting high and getting girls. I quit. I had failed in my endeavor to be the next great guitar god. It was time for a change…