Clone Club News Flash Spring/Summer 1984

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Meltdown Video Released

HOLLYWOOD--Got your attention, didn't I? (Unless you don't read, in which case I could write something like "MELTDOWN VIDEO CRZZSCWQTB" and you wouldn't know the difference.) You hold in your hands the premiere issue of CLONE CLUB NEWSFLASH, a semi-annual, high-brow publication that gives new meaning to the words "propaganda" and "hype". Contained in these pages, you'll find the answers to important questions like, "When will Steve Taylor be in my town?" and "Did I really pay money for this?"

First of all, a big thank you to all of you who are dues-paying, Clone Club members. Because of your generosity, my manager's wife and four children are healthy, happy, and reasonably well-fed. We would have enclosed a picture, but they boiled the camera and ate it.

I know you're all desperate to find out what the headline "MELTDOWN VIDEO RELEASED" means, so lets drop the formalities and get on with the real purpose here--making me look good. Your friend, Steve.

HOLLYWOOD (deja vu)--Sparrow Records has announced the release of the video clip "Meltdown (at Madame Tussaud's)", the title track from the new LP by Steve Taylor. Produced and conceptualized by Taylor, the video was shot on location at the Hollywood Wax Museum, with additional live concert footage filmed in Thousand Oaks, California. Award-winning cinematographer Michael Brown was behind the camera, with editing done by Millie Paul (who just completed work on "The Making of Michael Jackson's 'Thriller'"). Special effects were handled by Ken Horn, a veteran of over thirty feature films including "Superman The Movie". The video also features a guest appearance by Lisa Whelchel, star of NBC's "Facts of Life" sitcom. Sparrow will be releasing the "Meltdown" video to national cable and network television outlets, as well as making it available for in-store play, and Taylor will be taking the clip along on upcoming tours.

[Photo and caption: Steve prepares for "take one" as the Queen prepares to "lose face" on the set of "Meltdown (at Madame Tussaud's)".]

Straight Talk

Steve Taylor's thoughts on the songs that make up his new LP "Meltdown."

"MELTDOWN (At Madame Tussaud's)" -- The most popular tourist attraction in London is the world famous wax museum, Madame Tussaud's. I visited the museum like any other tourist, but while everyone else was staring in awe at the wax figures of history's illustrious men and women, I remember wondering what would happen if someone turned up the head. Jesus said, "What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?" "Meltdown (At Madame Tussaud's)" simply uses a new metaphor to ask that same question.

"COLOUR CODE" -- There is a college in our country with a history of racism that continues through to the present day. The urgency behind "We Don't Need No Colour Code" comes from the fact that this school claims to be a Christian college. Racism in Christianity isn't new. In Galatians 2, Peter had come to Antioch and fellowshipped with the Gentiles. Then his Jewish friends arrived, and he suddenly acted as if he had no association with the Gentile believers. Paul writes of Peter, "I opposed him to this face, because he was in the wrong." The situation was the same--racism in the Body of Christ. To love the Church is to want to see it conformed to the image of Christ, but that can never happen when racism is in our midst, violation the Biblical principles upon which the early Church was founded. This song was written as a broad satire to make the point that regardless of whether it's a Christian college in the South or a segregated church in South Africa, racism in the name of Chrisitanity can never be tolerated.

"AM I IN SYNC?" -- When asked if he hoped to achieve immortality through his work, Woody Allen replied that he'd rather achieve immortality by not dying. It seems that we as humans are at our most comical and pathetic when we're striving to gain some type of immortality, whether it's a kid waving at a t.v. camera, a doctor working for international recognition, or even parents having a child to insure that their name and legacy will live on. "Am I In Sync?" uses a man versus machine musical framework to take a light- hearted look at today's substitutes for eternal life.

"MEAT THE PRESS" -- takes aim at arrogance in the national news media, particularly in their condescending coverage of religion (or lack of it). While I don't believe there's a planned conspiracy going on, I have to wonder why the only time Christianity hits the front page is in a headline like "Fundamentalist Preacher Boils Puppies."

"OVER MY DEAD BODY" -- When persecution hits the church, it separates the wheat from the chaff. Last summer I took my second trip behind the Iron Curtain to the country of Poland, and once again met with people who have counted the cost and decided that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is more important than personal security and possessions. While in Warsaw I walked into a church courtyard and saw a huge cross on the ground made of thousands of flowers. Pinned to the cross were photos of a young man, and I asked a person next to me what their significance was. He explained that the young man was a member of the church who had volunteered to obey the Lord's command to visit those in prison by delivering food supplies stored in the church basement to imprisoned Solidarity members who were being underfed. The Polish secret police found out what this young man was doing, and one day in May, 1983, they stopped him on the street and beat him to death. 1 John 2 says, "The man who says, 'I know God,' but doesn't do what he commands is a liar...but if anyone obeys His word, God's love is made complete in him." "Over My Dead Body" is both a memorial to this young man's faith and courage, and a cry of outrage against the government that pulls the strings of the Polish regime.

"SIN FOR A SEASON" -- Hebrews 11 says, "By faith Moses...chose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season." Paul wrote in Galatians, "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps with he sows." God's forgiveness is always available, and His forgiveness is always complete. But "Sin For A Season" was written as a reminder that God's forgiveness doesn't necessarily remove the earthy consequences of our sin.

"GUILTY BY ASSOCIATION" -- takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the guilt by association mentality we sometimes find in Christianity. So often instead of searching the Scriptures, we let other people do our thinking, telling us that God gave them a message for us to "send money to support this" or "not to listen to that." Without the Bible backing up what we say, it's impossible for us to speak with authority, which is the theme behind this reggae-flavored song.

"HERO" -- is the most personal song on the album. I remember as a boy I'd pull a book out from under my bedcovers after my parents had turned out the lights and read by streetlight outside my window. My favorite books were biographies of presidents or generals or kings and queens, but as I'd grow older and read more in-depth accounts, I'd discover that my heroes weren't all they were made out to be. Yet the more I read about Jesus, the more I realized that He was the one hero who wasn't going to disappoint me, and that I could pattern my life after Him.

"JENNY" -- The song "Jenny" is really an allegory for America--the story of a girl who runs away from the Bible Belt values she's grown up with, only to find out too late that those values held the truth she was looking for.

"BABY DOE" -- A baby was born in Bloomington, Indiana with Down's Syndrome, and despite numerous outside pleas for adoption, the parents and doctors agreed to allow Baby Doe to starve to death. I began writing this song with a sense of outrage that points a finger at those responsible and demands justice. But the more I thought about what had happened, the more I realized that I shared in the blame--that my silence had helped to clear the way for Baby Doe's suffering and death. "Baby Doe" is only a song of hope if it causes people to take a stand and say, "Never again."

Mr. Manager Biz

To those of you who have been wondering when the first Clone Club newsletter would arrive, I'd like to take a moment and explain why it's late. I could make up elaborate excuses in an attempt to cover up my negligence, or even try to pass off the usual "printer was late" nonsense that you've all heard before in a cheap attempt to gain sympathy. But the simple fact is, my dog ate it.

That's right, not only did my dog eat thousands of newsletters--he also swallowed the entire mailing list, and it was months before he finally revealed your names and addresses under hypnosis. I apologize for my dog's actions, and let me assure you that he will never do such a thing again, assuming that the shock therapy worked.

(Please note that if you joined at any time in 1983 we've begun your membership in January of 1984. You'll find the date when your membership expires on your mailing label. By that time I may have six kids, but still just one wife.)

Rob Marshall
Mr. Manager

Bio Graphical

Steve Taylor was born in Brawley, California, a small town some 50 miles north of the Mexican border. His father Roland, a Baptist minister, relocated the family to Northglenn, Colorado, a suburb of Denver, when Taylor was six. There, as the eldest of three children, he attended Northglenn High School where he graduated in 1976.

"My musical studies began in the sixth grade," recalls Taylor. "First I tried to learn the trombone, then the piano, and finally the bass guitar. My playing was directly responsible for the demise of several promising garage bands, so I decided I wasn't meant to play a musical instrument and sold them all for a plane ticket to California."

Upon his arrival in California, Taylor applied and was granted a scholarship to Biola University in Los Angeles. In the summer following his freshman year, he auditioned and was selected to attend John Davidson's Singers Summer Camp, after hearing about it one night on the "Tonight Show." The experience proved to be a month-long learning session for pop singers/entertainers supervised by Davidson, with training in all the essentials of the music business except "where to buy food stamps."

Full of new enthusiasm, Taylor returned home to Colorado and enrolled at the University of Colorado at Boulder, to study "serious music."

Taylor put himself through school as the youth directory for his church in Denver. (One of his more unique activity nights came to an abrupt halt when his youth group was removed from the Denver airport for plahing "Capture The Flag.") After surviving a faculty recommendation that he be kicked out of school for an inability to sing opera, Taylor graduated in 1980. He now describes his Bachelor of Arts Degree in music/theater as being worth "slightly more than the cash value of a Pizza Hut coupon."

The year 1980 also saw the opening of Nothing To Lose, a pop musical comedy written and directed by Taylor based on the Biblical parable of the Prodigal Son. The show had a short but successful run at a local Denver community theater. Later that year, while pursuing graduate studies at C.U., Taylor became involved in film making, producing a comedy short entitled The Shocking Truth Behind The Gas Shortage, followed by two narrative sequences for Nothing To Lose (used in conjunction with the musical.) He also write and starred in the movie short Joe's Distributing, a satire on avant-garde film making.

It was during this same time period that Taylor started writing songs and producing budget demo recordings of his material. Two years of rejection letters by every major record label followed, during which time he did some writing for Contemporary Christian Music Magazine (which earned him an Evangelical Press Association Award) and the popular Wittenburg Door.

Through a meeting with Christian Artists president Cam Floria, Taylor was invited to travel with the organization's Continental Singers to Poland for a series of Solidarity-sponsored concerts behind the Iron Curtain. Upon his return, Taylor began work on a new film project, Baby Talk, a comedy short he wrote and directed along with Academy Award nominee Jerry Aronson, based on the true story of a man and wife who attempted to trade their infant son for a sports car.

An eleventh hour addition put Steve Taylor and band on the line-up at Christian Artists' 1982 Music Seminar in the Rockies for their first live performance, and a decidedly middle-of-the-road crowd responded to the song "I Want To Be A Clone" with a standing ovation.

Sparrow president, Billy Ray Hearn, who was in the audience, was so impressed with Taylor's performance that he signed him to a recording contract. Shortly following the release of his six song mini LP "Clone," Taylor began a nine month tour as director of the nation's premiere Christian musical comedy group, "Jeremiah People." In addition to his directing and recording responsbilities, he wrote the songs and co-authored the script for their production "The Reunion." While on tour, Taylor wrote the "rap music" style narrations of the Dove Award winning "Dreamer," a contemporary musical produced by Cam Floria and released through Sparrow, based on the Old Testament character of Joseph.

Steve Taylor & Some Band are now taking their brand of new music on the road, which includes concert tours this year of the United States, Canada, Europe and South America, as well as several appearances with Chicago's Rez Band.

Despite his hectic schedule, Steve still leaves time for outside hobbies that include trying to invent a musical instrument easy enough for him to play, writing his own bios and collecting rubber "Confidential" stamps.

Nasty Letters


Paid Advertisement - The Clone Club

Clone Club: a blatantly commercial attempt by management (not Steve, of course - he's above that kind of thing) to keep Some Band off the street.

Membership Will Include:

  1. Clone Club Newsletter
  2. Steve Taylor & Some Band Tour News
  3. Latest on T-Shirts, Buttons, etc.
  4. New Record Release Info

The "Clone Club" will operate on a $1 a year membership basis.

Where Does Your $1 Go?

Steve Taylor & Some Band Visit Chile

(Reprinted From Contemporary Christian Magazine, June, 1984)

CCM: Tell me about your recent trip to Chile.

ST: For starters, let me say that the concerts we did confirmed in my mind that music is the strongest "drawing card" there is for international evangelism. Not everyone will come to hear a speaker, but just about anyone will to to a concert. Over twenty thousand people came to the two free concerts, not because they know who Steve Taylor and Some Band were, but because they wanted to hear "American New Wave Rock."

CCM: How did those concerts come about?

ST: The pastor of a fellowship in southern California, Raul Ries, had been to Chile and felt that the country was ripe to hear the gospel. Although he speaks fluent Spanish, Raul and his congregation believed they could reach many more people if they also brought a band along.

The first concert in Santiago almost turned into a riot. Seven thousand pople had crowded into the outdoor Velodromo that night, and were drowning out the warm-up act by chanting anti-government slogans and throwing bottles at the police. The police, in turn, used the occasion to bash heads with their nightsticks and haul audience members off to jail. We came on just as they started to chant "Kill the President" in their native tongue. My keyboard player was certain that we were going to be the first victims of Chile's next revolution. Thank God they liked us! I might add that police security at the next concert switched from nightsticks to submachine guns.

The vision of this southern California fellowship resulted in thousands hearing in their own language the message of Jesus Christ, and the growing churches they've established in Chile are a direct result.

Tour Dates

5/12 Rainbow Music Hall Denver, CO
5/24 * Bakersfield, CA
5/25 * Lancaster, CA
5/26 * Ventura, CA
5/28 * Chico, CA
5/29 * Eureka, CA
6/1 * Medford, OR
6/2 "Youth Festival of Joy"
Puyallup, WA
6/21 * Sacramento, CA
6/22 * Fresno, CA
6/23 "Exit Festival"
Azusa, CA
6/28 "Cornerstone 84 Festival"
Chicago, IL
6/29 National Youth Congress
Estes Park, CO
6/30 "The Great Day Festival"
Cleveland, OH
7/3 * Brandenburg, KY
7/6 * St. Merritt Island, FL
7/7 * Lakeland, FL
7/9 * Naples, FL
* Dates with Canada's QUICKFLIGHT
7/28 - 8/4 "Christian Artist"
Estes Park, CO
8/9 - 8/25 EUROPE TOUR '84
Svalkan Festival, Sweden/
Christian Artist: Debron, Holland/
Flevvo Festival, Holland/
Greenbelt Festival, England
9/14 & 9/15 Luis Palua Crusade
Colorado Springs, CO
10/11 National Youth Workers Convention
Portland, OR
10/25 National Youth Workers Convention
Atlanta, GA
Sept. - Nov. U.S. Tour -- to be announced