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The Misfit and Why I did it ....

Part I - Why Classic Music Is Important
When you read Part II, It'll make sense why I wrote this. It's not to promote myself, it's just an important part of the story. God has directed me in such an amazing way through this whole "Misfit" CD release process, and the story is worth telling, if only in cyberspace.

Through the passage of time, music moves on and off the charts, and in and out of our memory more quickly than we change the oil in our cars. Good Music has a lasting impression and sometimes defines if not who we are, at least where we were, and helps us mark important occasions and passages in our lives. I still remember Gina Greyson singing, “I want to hold your hand” and teasing me on the bus when I was in the ninth grade when she realized I had a huge crush on her. I can still remember hearing Phil Keaggy’s “Master and The Musician” at a party in 1979 and saying, “Who is that playing?”

In 1979, I also remember hearing “The Misfit” on the stereo of my future brother-in-law(Thanks Mike P. ) and borrowing it for what would have been almost a year. You see my father died on June 23rd, 1979. I had my faith, but everything in my life was upside down. “The Misfit” touched me in a way that no other album ever had. To quote Bob Bennett from his comments about The Misfit, “… it was a Gospel with a little dirt under its fingernails. A Gospel where there might really be place for me …”

The Misfit is still unlike any album I’ve ever heard. It was definitely ahead of its time. It was designed as a concept album and as a crossover album. It is the story of a person who is lost and asking questions who with the help of a messenger and an Angel, finds truth and the hope that we are all promised through new life in Jesus Christ! It is not hard preachy, but gets the point across with rock-solid music and an innocence often found in some of the earliest Christian music projects before fame and touring seriously entered the world of Christian Music.

With permission from Maranatha! Music, and with some wonderful input from Erick and Michele, I took the music from The Misfit and wrapped it in a modern shell. I captured the thoughts and visions long thought lost from the artists, some of the players and composers, and from peers in the industry, and added them as enhanced, web-based content both on The Misfit website and on the CD itself. There are also photos and never before heard Erick Nelson Songs in MP3 format.

Great music is great music, and when great albums are envisioned and then created, they should continue to hold a place in our hearts and should be available to share with each successive generation. I had someone in the industry tell me, “Why do you keep worrying about that old stuff, make new stuff.”

It’s funny how we don’t feel that way about our favorite hymns, or about our favorite secular artists. We don’t discard great songs like Amazing Grace, or How Great Thou Art, or Rock of Ages, but so many worthy CCM albums have been released to a vinyl death just because the technology changed. We often find an album by a mega artist like Amy Grant, or Keith Green, or Rich Mullins, but more because of the artist, not because of the Album.

So, my company, Spare Room Productions, has enhanced and re-released “The Misfit” to CD, and will continue to make copies until the demand stops. I appeared with Michele Pillar (Carlton) on the Brian Mason show Sunday Morning, October 6th, on a show covering the release of “The Misfit” to CD. The CD can be purchased online, or at select area bookstores. You can check out the website at: http://www.the-misfit.com It can be purchased through the shopping cart at: http://www.spareroomproductions.com/shop.htm

Part II - A Twisted Path
Read Part I for an overview of why I feel this is important...

Realize while reading this that I am not a record exec. I am a Singer/Songwriter at heart, and a part time producer. I am a full time Senior Software Engineer for Becton Dickinson, and a full time husband and father. I have a calling to be an evangelist and to assist other musicians that need help with their products. The opportunity to release The Misfit was a gift from God from a path I never could have imagined for myself. I am learning through practice that serving others is so much more important that those things I accomplish for me...

In September, 2000, I performed the song, "Take This Kiss", written for my 2 daughters,

at a local music festival.  A friend(Emory Stagmer) who was listening later and said as many do, "Man, that song needs to get on the radio!" He then asked if I remembered "Erick Nelson"
and I said of course, he did one of my favorite all time albums, "The Misfit", "So??" Emory said, "He has a website where you can email him!" To which I stated, thats nice, but why would I write him? He went on to say that Erick was a friend of Bob Carlisle's and in fact had given Bob his start in the band Good News. I was still blank until he reminded me that Bob did Butterfly Kisses and I could maybe get Erick to pass "Take This Kiss" to Bob. OK, why not. Well needless to say, I very honestly asked Erick, who did in fact pass a link to my song to Bob and absolutely nothing happened.  But.... Erick and I struck up an online friendship. Erick is an amazing writer of apologetics and is very dedicated to his job, his family and especially his faith. This was the man I hoped to find at the heart of a great album like The Misfit.

Sometime later, I asked Erick if Maranatha! Music was ever going to release it to CD and he said that although he had approached them several times, he had been turned down. I aquired a copy of the LP over Ebay(never could afford my own when I was younger), and at some point the idea just hit me. I should release The Misfit to CD! Erick gave me permission, and I contacted Michele(that was a miracle contact all its own)

who gave me her blessing. I now had to get permission from M!M. I finally got license to do so, and with a lot of prayer and good advice, created the CD package that is now available. If the cover looks dated, it's because I wanted to preserve enough of the look and feel of the LP to allow a reminder to those who were looking for it. Jonathan David Brown, the original co-producer, created the digital master from the master Analog tapes that Erick had preserved all those years. It sounds wonderful.

This page can barely capture the experience I have lived in reviving this classic. I have gotten to know Michele very well and am working on creating her first website at: http://www.michelepillar.com

Michele is herself a 3 time Grammy nominee and is married to guitar Legend Larry Carlton, who is currently part of the Jazz supergroup Fourplay. Larry is a 4 time Grammy winner.  Michele has been writing new songs and is preparing to go back in the studio. It has been a thrill to work with these wonderful people.



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