Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Zappa and Hackett lead in prayer...finally


I found the two guitar solo songs online that I have blogged about under the titles:
"Praying through guitar" and
"Praying thru guitar again..in tongues this time"

These are two transcendent songs
that to me are passionate,
aching, dreaming,
reaching, wordless prayer.

Both players are known as virtuouso geniuses..neither are noted as being "Christian."

No wonder they play and pray so honestly and well....with no (pun intended) strings attached.

I challenge you two find two officially "Christian" guitar instrumentals that incarnate a feeling/prayer/God-shaped hole like these two (Andy Prickett and Michael Pritzl are of course in this league...I don't even need to mention the Artist formerly known as Dave Evans.)

First is Frank Zappa's "Watermelon in Easter Hay," long hailed by aficionados as one of the most emotive classic solos.

One can see why it feels like aching prayer; it comes in the context of the raunchy (at times) and prophetic (at times) rock opera, "Joe's Garage," as the title character is in prison for believing in music in a world where music is banned. The whole song is Joe's imaginary guitar solo from his "ugly little room...dreaming his last imaginary guitar solo." Just a headsup, the spoken (whispered) intro is Zappa's voice playing The Central Scrutinizer; the narrator and honcho of this musicless Matrix world....and it includes the F-word (Don't some of your prayers?)

This whole "bucking the oppression of the sysyem" storyline also dovetails with Walter Wink's definition of intercession: "spiritual defiance of what IS, in the name of what God has promised."

The second is Steve Hackett, brilliant guitarrist from 1970s Genesis; and many wonderful solo records, offering a live versions of the early solo track, "Spectral Mornings."  George Starosin reviewed this song as "simply blistering, a guitar-cry of love and hope and everything that's beautiful.This era Hackett is especially Godhaunted and mystical, from "Voyage of the Acolyte" to C.S. Lewis references.

I dreamed to/prayed to both these songs in the years before I "knew" how to pray; or had much clue about Christ...

Of course we are all still largely clueless; even in the Kingdom. But somehow these two offerings prayer in reverse ("reversed thunder") Jesus' apocalyptic invitation to Johnto "Come up here..." and experience a foretaste of heaven.

If the songs don't work for you; fine. To each is own. But I don't any intentional readers of this blog would trade these in for a Gaither download...

Enjoy...best prayed through those old fashioned, pre-Ipod headphones; or in church:


  1. Only on Dave's blog will Hackett and Zappa be found emoting prayerful solos. Love it, love it.

  2. glad to be of service, John.

    But there must be some other holy heteroclites out there(:


Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!