Jesus is Better than Hash
1971 HFP, Volume 3 Number 7
This was a special edition printed to be distributed at the Resurrection Festival.
U.S. helicopters airlifted 1,000 South Vietnamese soldiers out of a failed operation in Laos, dealing another blow to the Nixon administration's plan for Vietnamization. Support for the war began to crumble within the U.S. military, as two platoons in Vietnam refused their orders to advance. East Pakistan declared independence and became the new nation of Bangladesh. Guilty verdicts were handed down for Charles Manson and three of his followers in the Tate-La Bianca murder trial.
"Five years ago," Larry Norman wrote in this issue of the HFP, "Capitol Records told me I couldn't sing about Jesus. It would be too controversial and most assuredly ruin my career." But by 1971, Capitol and other labels had decided that "Jesus rock is going to be big," and were begging for artists and bands who could headline with the new "Jesus fad." As Norman saw it, they were "trying to reduce the spiritual revolution to a top twenty single." The results, he said, were little more than "brotherhood, peace, we-are-all-one songs" in which Jesus was mentioned as "a culture hero with peaceful intentions," but no true Jesus music presenting Him "as the Son of God who died for our personal salvation." Without an outpouring of both the music and the message on radio, Norman predicted, the commercialization of Jesus music would die and the record industry would simply go "suck the bucks from another source."
Easter was less than a week away, and a Resurrection Festival and Jesus People "family gathering" was planned for the Hollywood Bowl. Larry Norman, Country Faith, the Chromatics and others were scheduled to perform, and speakers included Sunset Strip evangelist Arthur Blessitt and our own Duane Pederson, editor of the HFP.
Dale Yancy created our front page cartoon depicting a young man who climbed the mountain to ask a clueless, bemused guru the meaning of life. Another of our friends, Rick Crippen, drew our back page poster, a parody of a then-popular Prudential insurance advertisement: "Own a piece of the rock."
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