Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Lord is My Happening: Pastor John Rydgren


I posted a documentary awhile back about the Jesus Freak movement, that incongruous and amusing marriage of hip counterculture and Christian revivalism that flourished in the late 60s and early 70s.  Before Jesus Freakdom, however, there was Pastor John Rydgren, a straight-laced Lutheran minister and radio deejay who felt that the Christian message needed to be translated into the slang of the Now Generation, circa 1967:


Over time, Rydgren's Silhouette radio spots would become cult items among curio hunters and potheads, finding an audience more inclined towards a cosmic fit of giggles than any resurgence of piety or religious sentiment.  Then again, if the Almighty were anything like the figure that emerges in Rydgren's gonzo baritone rhapsodies, then He might dig where that scene is coming from too:

Man, that stuff gives me the giggles.  May the Big Cat forgive me.  Anyway, if you still feel like grooving behind the Sacrament, here's a track from Mass in F Minor, the third record from the Electric Prunes, largely a showcase for the Godlike production and arrangement of David Axelrod:


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