Pardon My Music

Brother John Reborn!

by John Cog

Amidst fire and brimstone, the evangelical world faced chaos!
GENESIS OF A THROWBACK MUSICAL IN TWO ACTS: Suddenly that summer, composer/lyricist John "Cog" Coggeshall and book author Jon Thompson had run out of time, money, friends and alcohol. South of the Mason-Dixon Line, mid-1980s, and everyone was angry. Actors had gotten paid ten dollars apiece. Some didn't bother to show up, and those who did were given double and triple parts to play and told to honor a "hallowed Elizabethan tradition", i.e., suck it up. Luckily, a brilliant but easily distracted keyboard player had been chained to the orchestra pit with stacks of stolen synthesizers, percussion machines and pre-made tape loops. Also prevented from leaving: one gutbucket guitar guy, a half daft drummer, two rough sax men and several squabbling backup singers who sometimes appeared for rehearsals. Recording the show were huge reel-to-reel decks that, from the back, looked like old refrigerators overheating. It was good that the audience hadn't run out of alcohol. But this was happening! Amidst fire and brimstone, the evangelical world faced chaos.