Tripping Jesus


Pastor John Rydgren
“Silhouette Segments”
1968, The American Lutheran Church #8531

So it’s not a Christian musical, but it is possibly the greatest psychedelic beat-hippy jesus-freak records ever recorded.  The tracks are bits taken from the radio show of pastor John Rydgren, whose narrates and acts out strange skits in a Joe Frank meets Ken Nordine voice, often over a mashup of popular song clips and found sounds.  Amazing stuff.

WFMU fills in some info about Rydgren here.

John Rydgren & Peter Tork (The Monkees)

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“This Silhouette montage of music, voice, and sounds was actually inspired by the thousands of teens who have talked to John or written to him expressing their search for a personal, everyday “experiencing” of Christ.  The production dramatizes where they are, where they search… cars, a Monkee concert, the surf, problems… represented by the train, elephants (ala Bill Cosby’s “Little Old Man”) a trip, and in the middle of all this… the answers they have found.”

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“A natural phenomenon… watching girls.  A special attention… girls… designed for man by God.  The beautiful girls today, the colorful music provided by the Bob Crewe Generation, along with the fact that God did design a most special creature to keep man company… provided the inspiration for the Silhouette production, “Music to Watch Girls By”

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“A Creation by John dramatizing with humor the near tragedy, or at least unfortunate, condition of shallow opinions.  The Silhouette production portrays the almost mechanical responses given by many people regarding what they believe about God, social concerns, or what they expect from life.”

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“At John’s request, kind of a hippie D.J. wrote his version of the 23rd psalm.  The purpose of the Silhouette production was to help prove that something as ancient as a psalm from the Old Testament could fit right in the middle of today.”

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