Friday, February 10, 2012

Flashback Friday: REZ

In my continuing pursuit of audio excellence here at The Night Beat, I am introducing a few regular "columns" to my Blog. The first one to appear will be known as Flashback Friday and will bring my loyal readers up to speed on the "Pioneers" of "Founders" of the Christian Contemporary Music industry. For a quick cliff-notes on the Jesus Music/Early CCM era a great source is the Skit at the end of Servants Jungle Music

S: Dr. Livingston I presume!
L: Why Stanly Ole chap, did you bring those rock and roll tapes that I requested?
S: Yes I did Doctor, I brought some Resurrection Band
L: Capitol! I was Awaiting Your Reply.
S: However, I lost the Daniel Amos in the river. It was a pity.
L: How Alarming.
S: But I did manage to get some DeGarmo & Key This Time Thru.
L: Splendid! This Ain't Hollywood you know. You can't get any decent rock and roll out here. It's a beastly jungle. I say, how's your old colleague Barnabas?
S: Oh, you know Barnabas. Never Say Die type that. I left him in Egypt studying Petra glyphs.
L: Jolly good. Jolly good.
S: I say, do you fancy Fireworks?
L: Why they're strictly forbidden. It Shatters the Darkness. One shot and the animals go quite crackers. The rockets red glare and all that.
S: Steady on. Steady on old boy. I think what you need is a little bit of Sweet Comfort.
L: Bless you Stanley! Why, I drink it all the time. Hold on Tight. You get the
glasses and I'll be Breaking the Ice!
S: No, no, Doctor. You've got it all wrong. Oh well. Now then, I also brought you some Servant.
L: Oh what a stroke of luck! Why two of my servants ran away last week. Larry and Normanly. They ran into the Shallow Water and the crocks got them. Poor blighters. Well, I suppose they're In Another Land now?
Of course referenced in this short bit are Resurrection Band, Daniel Amos, DeGarmo & Key, Barnabas, Petra, Fireworks, Sweet Comfort Band, Servant and Larry Norman. There is no better place to Begin than at the end. At the end of every post I sign off with Awaiting Your Reply. Which is the title of the "Debut" release by Chicago, IL Pioneers of Christian Metal Resurrection Band, aka REZ. One of Two Commune Based Bands (The other being Grant's Pass Oregon Based Servant which will be covered in another post.) The Core of REZ from the start has been the Husband-Wife Team of Glenn (Vocals, Guitar)  & Wendi Kaiser (Vocals). Wendi Was the Headbanger of the Duo and Glenn gave the band a Blues twinged sound. After the Band broke up Glenn released several blues albums. Stu Heiss (Guitar, Keyboard) and John Herrin (drums) were the other "rocks" of REZ, during their 28 year run (1972-2000) they went through 3 Bass Players. Pretty good considering how some of the bands of today burn through members.

With two Indie Cassettes under their belt (1974's Music to Raise the Dead & All Your Life) the band was ready for the big time and released Awaiting Your Reply in 1978. Once the Industry recovered from their faint (It wasn't exactly Nancy Honeytree or The Imperials) came the second punch. This band wasn't exactly content to do Jesus, Jesus, Wo, Wo, Wo songs. They Took on Lying (Ananias and Sapphira) but soon turned their attention to Apartheid (Afrikaans on Rainbows end 1979) Abortion (Benny & Sue on Colours 1980). A Picture (with Sound) says a million words. Here is Love Comes Down as part of their XX Years Video.
Even from before their beginning REZ was more than just a band. Cornerstone Magazine started back in 1971, before the band even started, and had a long run, finally going out of print in 2003. By the time I got it, though, the love for the "Least of These" led them to unashamed support of the fictional Palestinian crisis. It was the only magazine in my remembrance that I asked to be removed from the mailing list.

One place they did shine, however, was in Music. The Cornerstone Festival began in 1984 and has been a 4th of July Staple ever since. Coming as they have from the hard Rock/Metal background, the festival (known as C-Stone) has been a launching pad and a welcome venue for acts like Red, The Devil Wears Prada and others who would hardly be invited at other more enlightened festivals. This Summer at C-Stone, which was the 30th Anniversary of Jesus Making the Cover of Time, they had a Jesus Rally that was attended by REZ, Daniel Amos, Servant, Petra, Randy Stonehill and others. I am still hoping that some of these legends, other than Classic Petra, restart touring and recording.

I have a second bonus for you. This is the full set from the Jesus Rally. Enjoy.

That concludes my first Flashback Friday. I'll see you next Friday with another walk down CCM's History. Until then, I am Awaiting Your Reply.