From bellbottoms and Bible camp to a career center stage, this beautifully written, heartfelt memoir, written in the style of Mark Twain, is both a coming of age and American success story.
The first person in his family ever to graduate high school, Elrod made the unprecedented decision to leave his redneck region behindthe coalmines and poverty of Appalachiaand seek, instead, something more from life. Early musical success enabled him to explore the world in renaissance meccas such as Paris, Rome, Florence, and Barcelona. He also served as the Music and Arts Pastor at two of the most influential American mega-churches. Still, with each new accomplishment, he felt even more unfulfilled.
After three decades of performing for tens of thousands, a growing disillusionment with the church, and life-altering circumstances, he stepped off stage. Returning home to pick up the pieces of a shattered life, he discovered what had been missing all along.
Hilarious and irreverent, the characters and tales are as unforgettable as they are entertaining. So pull up an easy chair, grab a glass of wine, a shot of moonshine-or if you're Baptist-some sweet tea, and get ready to laugh out loud and perhaps shed an empathic tear.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.50(d)|
About the Author
Randy Elrod is described by his friends as a Renaissance Man. He is an artist, musician, speaker, and mentor. An ordained minister, for twenty-nine years, he served as Pastor of the Arts at two of the most influential mega-churches in the world. A native Tennessean, he currently lives outside Nashville.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Me, Myself and I. A victim, and it's all religion's fault. Everything. That's a strong statement, but this book brought out strong emotional reactions and feelings in me, not all good. The author claims to be sensitive and "empathic", but the way he lashes out at Christians causes just as much, if not more pain than he claims to have experienced at the hands of the "religious". I also have experienced rejections and rocks thrown at me Mr. Elrod by religious people, but I don't go around blaming religion for everything. We are supposed to look to Christ, remember, NOT people. But that's religion's fault too I guess, huh? Quotes like this one didn't help my opinion of this book: "It seems that most churches I've known are filled with rejects from normal life and little people who finally have a chance to act big, even though they haven't earned the right to wield power in real life." (pg 33) *** Hmmm, thought I was a fairly normal person, and not a reject from life... Little person, okay, I weigh about 110 lbs... "It's here that you see the hand of that awful power, the fundamentalist church. In the past hundred years, it has tried to convert a culture of innocent people into a culture of worms." (pg 38) ***Last time I looked, I wasn't a worm either; neither were my neighbors, friends or fundamentalist people in our community. There were plenty of other ad nauseum statements, but I'm not wasting more time typing them in. According to the author's own account of his life, he came from a poor, albeit, good and loving family. His dad was a good, hardworking man who loved their mother and his children. His mother was a good woman who loved her husband and children. There were no words of abuse or mistreatment written. I know a lot of people who would have loved to have had Mr. Elrod's parents growing up. During the era he grew up in, he had to struggle with his father over things, (in which his mother usually intervened), such as to be able to wear bellbottom jeans or have long hair. A struggle which he blames on their religion. He also was not allowed to play with dolls, watch television, wear shorts or platform shoes... Well, you get the picture. During the 1960's and 1970's, everything (except television) was not a religious thing, it was a "parent" thing. How do I know this? Because I had 3 older siblings and vividly remember the same issues occurring in our family (which was not religious). My friends' families struggled with these same issues, and their struggles were not because of religious reasons. The news seemed to bring up discussions over the same things during that time period, so there were families all across America dealing with the same clothing, hair length and music changes. *Some were dealing with worse: sons in Vietnam, drugs, etc. I strongly feel that the author has unfairly treated those he considers "religious" in this book. It seemed as though there was an underlying anti-religious current running through Mr. Elrod's story from the very beginning, however subtle, (or in some statements), not so subtle. After reading this book, I also felt the synopsis was very deceiving. It sounded humorous to a point, however, I found very little/next to nothing to laugh at. This is not a funny memoir, in fact it's downright offensive in many places. It should have been titled, "My beef with religion: Let me drag you the reader into it and rub your face in it". Mr. Elrod succeeds in throwing the baby out with the bath water, and doing so in a non-empathetic way. He also succeeded in making me want to throw the book at a wall, more than once. Think I'll settle for the trash.