Saturday, November 8, 2008

Ok, This Is Just Creepy!

Three people have approached me and claim that I look like Ralph Covert. You be the judge. It's scary to me.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Visited My College Roommate/Bandmember, John, and Walked Away With Some Insight.


John's studio at Magic Box Music, north view

So I drove down to L.A. to visit my college roommate John Sponsler. We have not seen or talked to each other in 21 years. I found John by doing a Google search as well as searching on MySpace. Luckily his sons set up a MySpace for John as a gag.


Same studio, south view

John looks the same as he did back in '87. A little older, a little wiser. We talked about recording, film scores, movie trailer tracks, old bands, family and so on. It was like those 21 years had never passed. We got along just as well as we did back as roommates and band members.

John is the co-owner of a company called Magic Box Music which does movie trailer music, commercials, and movie scores. John has worked with John Williams, Hans Zimmer and Trevor Rabin in addition to many others.

His studio is very streamlined and comfortable while a set of french doors opens up into a spacious area as a getaway from all things brain clouding. He was currently working on tracks that were recorded last week. The recordings were made via cable hookup between his studio and a recording studio in Prague, Czech Republic. Between a live video feed, orchestra translator and mp4 transfer, and some software that syncs the signal to recording real time, it was as if the orchestra and choir were performing in the next room. John never had to leave his studio or even make a flight out of the country. This event took a few weeks to coordinate and although John had to record this event between the hours of 12:00 AM to 8:00 AM (in Prague it was 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM) John seems to be pretty happy with the results.

After catching up, John and I headed off to lunch where we discussed our new common interest, Jesus Christ. When I say new, it's because we were not believers the last time we were together. John's been a believer since the early 90's, I became a believer in 2003.


(My first Cops in Concert gig. L-R; Ricky, John, Diane, Larry, Tim, and me....with a mustache, click on image.)

After talking for a good 45 minutes, I could clearly see how much John has grown in his faith. Out of nowhere in the early 90's while John was a parking lot security guard for the set of "Tales From The Crypt", John took it upon himself to read the Bible from front to back. From start to finish, John read about 6 hours a day without worry of critisism from passing celebrities.

All of John's connection with Christ came while there was no encouragement of other believers. In fact, John was alone in his beginning journey with Christ, no fellowship, nobody to ask questions to difficult passages. I was at the edge of my seat listening to how God started working on John. It would take literally paragraphs to explain what John went through to get where he is today. His story is incredible yet inspiring.

John in addition to recording amazing trailer music and movie scoring, (National Treasure, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Matrix, Memoirs of a Geisha, commercials for Scion, etc) he also is a worship leader in his outreach Saturday services. He had some great insight regarding worship music and those who come to critique rather than worship and celebrate God's love (I'll have to share some great advice for Epic Beat.)

This meeting with John was much needed right now in my life. I have been feeling like such a fraud in my own faith. I've been pushing God away from my life out of frustration and for selfish reasons. I have not been understanding God's plan or timing with the events that have occurred in my life this year.

During the whole ride home from John's studio, my mind kept recalling John's enthusiasm for God's love, God's plan for us, and how I need to allow His love to work into my life. John totally gets it. John was more than happy to express in detail God's patience, awesomeness, and His truth to me. It's a level that I have been scared to reach.

So John and I were about to leave the restaurant when he says, "I had this feeling you were a believer". I don't in any way think that this reunion was about a get together among friends. This was meant to be God's drop-kick to the butt for me. "Wake Up, I Love You, allow me to work in your life again. -perceived lesson quote from The JC."


Stew, October 1987, right after disbanding with John and Voyager.