Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Project Update


So much has been happening lately, that a blog is in order to update everyone interested in all things Love Song - Girard.

Love Song:

Original tapes on all 3 projects (“Love Song”, “Final Touch”, and the live “Feel the Love” albums) .have been re-mastered at one of the finest labs in the world, Mastering Lab, owned by Dog Sax. Friend and world-class recording engineer Bill Schnee assisted Tommy Coomes and myself in “dialing it in”. The drum solo has been re-included in the live album, which will mark the first time that there has been a full digitally re-mastered version of that album.

A deluxe box set is being planned for release early next year. It will include remastered versions of the 3 albums, and planned is a ”bonus” cd of what we called the “Livingroom Tapes”, This is a recording of most of our catalog done in someone’s livingroom, circa 1970-71, gathered around an old 2 track reel-to-reel tape machine with that classic “slap echo” that was built into the machine. These versions are completely “unplugged”. No drums, no overdubs, and performed just a few weeks after we got born again. There may be some other bonus materials as well.

We are considering a fifth disc for the box set, that might be a DVD of a1973 concert we did in San Antonio. This disc has already been technically restored, but we are going to do some minor editing to the existing version, to tighten things up a bit. Other option for a fifth disc are also being explored.

We are considering producing a short Quicktime type video which will tell the story of the making of each album with audio quotes from the band members, and vintage photos and footage. We are awaiting the fate of some a 40 year old 16 mm film footage taken of our whole driving trip and experience of Explo ’72, which has never even been developed. It is being worked on by one of the finest labs in the country to see if it can be restored. If we can accomplish this these videos will be added to the individual cds as ”enhanced CDs”.

The box set will also include an extensive booklet, filled with never before seen pictures, culled from hundreds which have been recently digitized from old film strips and slides. Tommy and I have had a ball going through them, cherry picking the best ones.

Single releases of the 3 main albums will occur shortly after or simultaneously with the box set. Look for this somewhere in the first quarter or 2010.

TOURING: There is serious talk if a tour of some sort being mounted in 2010. Right now we are thinking of testing the waters with some local to Southern California Calvary Chapel dates. Pastor Chuck Smith is excited to accompany us on selected dates (selected by him) where he would introduce us and give the invitation at the end. If response warrants, we would then go wider, and might actually wind up doing some extensive touring, should this appear to have the stamp of approval from the Lord.

Other long range ideas we are exploring include a video of the history of Love Song and early Calvary. A few weeks ago, all members of the band and Chuck Smith sat around on the platform at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa (CCCM), and reminisced for 3 hours while the cameras rolled. We are planning to edit these tapes slightly, and insert amazing rare photos, footage and other visuals to present a first hand history of the early days of CCCM, Love Song, and the Jesus Movement.

Moving along to:



Basic tracks are all recorded, and the piano and “sweetening” layers are almost finished. Kristin flies in to Nashville toward the end of the month to start lead vocals and be here for the guitar overdubs. The tracks will at that time be basically finished. Vocal overdubs will then commence, and photo shoot for the cover etc., will also be in progress.

Lyrically, the album is leaning toward worship. The blend of the vocal harmonies is going to be nothing short of amazing. This album will transcend age demographics, and be something young and old alike will enjoy.. I think it will be a real crowd-pleaser.

Alisa wrote more about this in greater detail. Check it out here: http://alisachilders.blogspot.com/2009/10/big-announcement.html


I have also started a new studio album, my first since 1991, “Fire & Light”. Of course I have produced the 2 worship albums and the Christmas album in the interim, but the worship albums were more of a “live” affair, and the Christmas album was all me. I am only starting with 2 songs right now, so as not to clog the pipes with too much stuff going on at once. I am favoring a new patriotic call-to-arms song, which is very timely in light of the state of our country right now, and a repentance song which has received some interest from some parties who might want to promote it to radio, etc. After the Girls album is done, I will seek the steps to finish my album. I ordinarily do not re-cut my songs, but a young band in Australia who backed me on a DVD shoot down there last couple years, came up with an amazing U2-ish treatment of “Blessed be The Name Of My Rock”, which cries to be recorded. This arrangement practically reinvents the song, and will be a cut on the new album.

In the mid-90s, my first solo album “Chuck Girard”, was released on CD, digitally re-mastered. I recently obtained the digital re-masters of my other 4 albums from that era, and will be releasing all the older albums on iTunes soon. (Soon being possibly by the end of the year). When I can afford to pay for repackaging the CDs, I will also be releasing CDs of all the albums. That will include:

Chuck Girard

Glow In The Dark

Written On The Wind

Take It Easy

The Stand.

These albums have been available for some time on my web site, but they have been home-made affairs, and 3 of the albums were mastered from vinyl. Despite excellent noise removal software, they still have a few LP clicks and some splattering “S”s in spots. They are excellent despite coming from vinyl. However, the new releases will mark the first time my catalog has been available with masters from the original tapes. By the way, no one needs to feel cheated, as these earlier homemade versions were as good as we could offer, and we used excellent professional quality audio blanks, not over-the-counter blanks from Best Buy or whatever.

CCCM also will be releasing a “best of” soon, songs to be chosen by me.

So as you can imagine, life has been busy, and we are excited to see what the Lord has planned for these old war horses, as He may call us back into the front line. If you are not my Facebook friend yet, please friend me. I am friend to all, and refuse no one. That way, you will be able to stay abreast of developments, as this has become the place for updates, as opposed to the “What’s New” section of my website, which rarely has anything new. Stay tuned…..

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I have been archiving a load of old print, sound and video media, with the recent acquisition of a large amount of historic material. I have already posted a number of music clips on YouTube, and have started this blog to share my thoughts from time to time, as I wait on the Lord for direction as to His intent for my older music, the music and ministry of Love Song, and other considerations. February of 2010 will mark the 40th anniversary of the day that Love Song first played at the little chapel in Costa Mesa CA, on Greenville & Sunflower Sts. There is a real sense of a new stirring in regard to this anniversary, which also happens to mark a biblical generation.
I will be sharing more in days to come, but for now, I am posting this interview I scanned from an old ragged publication that turned up recently. This interview appeared just before the release of my first solo album in 1975. Some of you will really enjoy this.


*What are you doing now, lately?….

My main energies are being concentrated on a solo album with which I’m about 80% finished and hope to have out by the end of the year. I’ve been doing a lot of weekend type ministry. A lot of “continent-jumping”. I’ve been getting to the East coast for example, often for 3-4 days at a time, then home. Doing some local things too, you know….just enough o keep my family supported and to stay in it, because I really want to continue to enjoy the ministry end of things, not just concentrate on the record 100%. I do feel, however, that the record is my main thrust for the Lord right now. I feel that the lord will use the record to re-establish me if you will, because right now, the group has been disbanded for over 10 months and I think it’s important that people know what I’m doing on my own. The record will have a lot to do with establishing the solo ministry.

*What’s this record going to be called?….

Well, I think “Rock and Roll Preacher”. There’s a tune on it by that title, sort of an autobiographical tune. Since my main thrust in cutting records is for non-Christians, I figure that the title would be a curious one, and might arouse some questions and curiosity and ……

*Under what label will this one be issued?…

This will also be on Good News Records, the same one as Love Song albums. It’s distributed by Myrrh Records.

*Let’s backtrack a little and talk about Love Song. The “Final Touch” album came out recently. How has the reaction to it been?…

As far as sales go, it’s been very good. There’s been something in the neighborhood of 40,000 copies in the first 3 or 4 weeks, which is really good. It had the highest pre-sale in the history of Word records, the parent firm of Myrrh. The reactions to it have been varied. Some people have said they like it better than the first album, others say they don’t like it as well. The main criticism that people have is that they feel the music overpowers the words a little. I am inclined tom agree to a degree. Just varied reactions, you know…

*How do you think it compares to the first album?…

(pause)….I don’t know. I am sort of partial to the first album. It’s possibly a little warmer. I think they are really different, considering the material was written around the same time as the first. The first one has a little more innocence in it, maybe. I think I lean towards the first one

*It’s amazing that the sales have been so good, seeing that there haven’t been any promotional tours at all because the group actually disbanded several months before the release of the album....

You know, it’s sort of funny because during the two years that the album was due to come out, it sort of built a “mystique” about it, sort of like “when’s it coming out?”, or “is it really coming out?”, and “is there really a second Love Song album, or is it a myth?”. So, when it came out, a lot of people were really excited about it. That has helped maintain the interest in the album.

*You’ve been to our area several times, and been well received. Do you plan to come up as a solo performer?…

Well, I have no concrete plans. The way I feel about my ministry right now does not include a band of any kind, is that I’m really waiting on the Lord. I feel that my music demands a band situation to really bring it out. It’s not really the kind of folk music you can do with just a guitar. It’s been received well, the way I’ve been doing it with guitar and piano backing, but I kind of look forward to having a band again someday. I’m not rushing into it.
As far as coming to Vancouver again, I have no immediate plan to do so, but if there was an interest there, I would probably make arrangements to come. It would be fun, but I’d rather have a band when I do.

*Let’s talk about your background, your conversion, and maybe even a little of your life before you met the Lord. Do you come from California? What kind of things were you into?…

I’m a native. How much time do we have? (laughter). I was born in (L.A.), and raised in a denominational background from which I didn’t receive any kind of feeling of knowing God, so I rejected the church when I was about sixteen. I’m thirty-one now, so when I was a teenager, there was no drug scene. We just drank. For about eight years, I was involved in the whole drinking alcohol trip.

*Were you performing as a musician then?…

Yeah, I was about fifteen when I started drinking, and about eighteen when I got into show business. After about five years, I got involved with drugs as a natural progression. I was very curious because I had read a lot about drugs and was just smoking marijuana for about a year. Then I started reading about the hippies and the L.S.D. movement. I was curious and began taking L.S.D. That was what got me interested in spiritual things, really. There is a pseudo-spiritual thing which happens on L.S.D. and I like to point out to people that it is very easy to feel you have made contact with some kind of spiritual realm. I believe that if you have never tasted of the Holy Spirit, it's very easy to accept anything that seems spiritual as being God, even though it's very ordained of Satan -- the type of experience that you have L.S.D. I was very deceived, you know; I never saw demons coming out of the walls or anything, -- it was very subtle --spiritual pride; thinking that I was someone. I was reading books on Buddhism and even the Bible. There were about 8 of us on this spiritual quest. We were constantly looking forward to the next level -- you know there's a lot of level-seeking in L-S.D., and we were slowly but surely starting to eliminate some things. I think the Holy Spirit was using the situation to draw us toward Jesus . You know, when you jump off a bridge and break your leg that isn't really God's will for you to do that, but He can use that situation to speak to you.


I really try to make it clear that I'm not by any means trying to build up the drug situation, but that He will use it to speak to us, just like He'll use any situation. He was starting to get us to eliminate more wrong things. I was really honest in my search. I really wanted to find God, and I would do anything to find Him. We were getting into the Beatles at that time and they put out Sgt. Pepper then. We thought that there was a lot of spiritual revelation on that album. They (the Beatles) were going to visit the Maharishi in India about that time. We thought the Beatles were locked into it. We really thought they knew what was going on spiritually, and they were sort of a 'messiah-type' Then 'Magical Mystery Tour’ came out and there were more songs with spiritual connotations to them. We just knew the next album after 'Magical Mystery Tour’ would tell us who God was. The next album was the “white album” (Note: called simply 'The Beatles') and it had such spiritual songs on it as 'Rocky Raccoon', “Why Don’t We Do It In The Road”, and you know ••• (laughter)

*Yeah, right ... (laughter)

We got kind of blown out with that and felt kind of ripped off. At this time, we were reading the Bible a lot and getting distorted ideas about what scripture meant. We were reading Revelations, and had devised this theory that the New Jerusalem would be the island of Kauai in Hawaii. We sold all of our possessions and went there to wait for the rest of the world to burn itself out with wars and social and economic disasters. We believed we were actually going to be the people who would start the Millennium Period. We had a lot of the stuff in a semi-perspective, but it was just distorted enough to where we really didn't have it together at all •••

It was funny because we really did go over to Hawaii, sell all of our possessions and everything; and met other people there whom we didn't know before who had had the same revelation. I really feel personally, that there was a massive effort which was involving conspiracy in the high places of evil to really come down on a whole generation of people who were involved in drugs. There were many people who were seeking God through the drug experience and I think Satan was attacking those people going through the same changes at the same time. We got over to Kauai and became impatient waiting for God. After a couple of months, we returned to the mainland and started to get into trouble with the law. This is where God started to deal with us in a new way, because we felt like we had learned about all we could from taking drugs, but we couldn't stop taking them. We were kind of psychologically addicted to them.

*Were you living in this area at the time?…(Southern California)

I was living in Laguna Beach at that time. A bunch of us were awaiting trial on different drug charges. Three of us were arrested in Las Vegas -- that's a pretty heavy place in which to get arrested. God was using this period of our lives to really bare down on us and get us to listen. At this time, we heard about Calvary Chapel ~ We finally got invited to attend a service there. I was very skeptical and didn't know what to expect. The night I attended was unbelievably heavy because I thought everything (in the service) was just for me. It was such an experience. First of all, the music got me. The people were just praising the Lord. The Word of God says that He inhabits the praises of His People and He really did there! I could feel Him in the room. I could feel that the people did have a communication with God and I felt on the outside of it, but yet I was spiritually proud. Still, God was breaking down my walls. Looking back on it, I could see a tremendous spiritual battle going on in me because Satan was trying to keep me from receiving. Such a conflict was going on in me during the service. When the pastor got up to speak, he gently shared the love of Jesus. I had never had that kind of an experience where someone just simply explained to me who Jesus was, how He related to me, and the 'love' aspects of it more than the kind of preaching: "repent or you are gonna go to Hell" and a real fear-trip. It was the first time I realized that God wasn't sitting "up there" with a big whip, ready to crack it over my head every time I made a mistake. It all made sense to me. I committed my life to the Lord that night, and about 3 days later, a friend prayed for me and I received a full experience of the Love of God. That really cleared things up for me. I felt God's Presence in a heavy way.

Then, being musicians, we began writing tunes about our experiences with no idea of starting any new music or anything. Before long, it turned into the Love Song ministry which hadn't been planned. It just happened. We didn't change the style of music we liked--we just added meaningful lyrics to it. It turned out to be the fore-runner of what is now called "Jesus Rock" I never thought about it being anything different.

*How long was Love Song in existence? …

Well, it was right from the beginning when we were saved. About two weeks after, we started participating in services on a regular basis and being invited out to other churches and things. We were together a little over 3 1/2 years, I'd say.

*Did the original members appear on both albums?…

No. There was one guitarist who was with us for about 1 1/2 years and he left the group just before we started getting into the first album. In fact, he co-wrote a lot of the tunes on the two albums. You'll see his name on many of the songs because he and I wrote a lot of them together. His name is Fred Field.

•And he was replaced by Bob Wall?…


*And Bob was replaced by Phil Keaggy?…

Right. We had a lot of traveling guitar players. (Laughter)

• Tell us where the (members) have gone*

Phil went back to 0hio and the last I heard, he's back with the Scott Ross Ministry in Freeville, New York. Scott, as you probably know, has that syndicated Jesus Radio Program. Phil has a playing partner, Peter York; and I think he's doing some things with Paul Clark. Paul put out the 'Songs from the Savior' albums.

The remaining nucleus members: the drummer, John Mehler, the bass player, Jay Truax, and the rhythm guitar player, Tom Coomes, have started a new group with one of the former members of Country Faith and they call it "Wing and a Prayer." They are ministering now, and just came back from Hawaii. They've been doin' pretty well.

*And you are operating as a solo performer...

Yeah, I'm really open to the Lord. I'm not sure what the future will bring, except that I know I'm trying to cut the very best album I can.

*Okay, we'll look for that around the. beginning of next year...

Hopefully, the end of this year, I'd like to have it out by Christmas. That's my goal, Lord willing •••

Friday, August 14, 2009

My "Girard Girl" experience

I have received so many wonderful comments in regard to the "Girard Girls" video, that I thought I'd share the experience I had that day. My daughter Alisa had been booked to play services at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, CA that Sunday. I was in town, and came along to help in any way I could. Alisa did the 3 morning services by herself, and after the services, we went back to the hotel to rest for the afternoon. Later when it came time to go to sound check, I was informed that I needed to stay behind to watch my grandson Matthew. I was glad as I was tired and didn’t really want to go early. What I didn’t know as that the performance was planned and being kept secret from me. I arrived a few minutes before service started, and saw that my daughter Kristin had come down for the evening service. I still suspected nothing, and went into the sanctuary to get a seat toward the back so I could slip out after Alisa sang. Alisa started with a couple of congregational worship songs, and then went into the setup for “Little Pilgrim”. As she began to sing, I was already getting pretty emotional, as I’d never before heard any of my kids perform one of my songs publicly. Then these women walked out on stage. My first thought was “Who’s crashing Alisa’s party?” It has been very rare, but I have had singers and even musicians come on stage to accompany without my permission, and thought that’s what might have been happening. It took a minute to realize who the ladies were, and within seconds, I was reduced to a pile of goo right where I sat. I had really never heard my granddaughters sing, and was amazed by the maturity in their voices. When granddaughter Lauren started to sing, I had to look carefully as I thought that voice couldn’t be coming out of one so young. Granddaughter Kailyn harmonized with Alisa like an old pro with rock solid harmony. I had only heard daughter Kristin at church leading worship, and was amazed by the overall sound and anointing on these handmaidens of the Lord. Altogether, an awesome, wonderful, thankful, humbling moment in my life.

For those of you who have commented, there is some talk about doing a CD. We are waiting on permission and direction from the Lord. We will keep you posted.