Kerosene Halo (aka, Mike Roe and Derri Daugherty) at my friend’s house in East Atlanta

Mike and Mike

If you told me 25 years ago that Mike Roe, lead singer and guitarist of my favorite band at the time, the 77s, would be playing in a good friend’s basement, my head would have exploded. But here he is in East Atlanta, at Michael Hester’s house! As it happens, I was on a cruise in the Gulf of Mexico, so I missed it. (I’ve seen Roe elsewhere in concert with both the 77s and the Lost Dogs.) But this video nicely captures a performance of one of the 77s’ best songs, “The Lust, the Flesh, the Eyes, and the Pride of Life.”

In its original incarnation, this song was an homage to mid-’60s Byrds, even featuring the Byrds’ Chris Hillman on bass. Here, Roe’s stripped-down country performance diverts my attention to the words, including this fine verse:

And I love it when folks look right at me and what I’m doing or have done
And lay it on about how groovy I am, and that I am looking grand
And every single word makes me think I’ll live forever never knowing
That they probably won’t remember what they said tomorrow, tomorrow I could be dead

As I’ve said elsewhere, Christian rock, in its early days at least, wasn’t always and everywhere a bad idea. Not by a long shot.

By the way, all the 77s’ stuff is now on iTunes, so do yourself a favor and buy some. My favorite album of theirs is All Fall Down from 1984.

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