Date: 18 Nov 1995
To: RichMailList
Subject: [RichMailList 44]: Henry is...

>Any one out there care to give us a better description of Henry's 
>performance and the background, keeping in mind that some on the 
>list may not see the show?


Henry comes out and takes many cues from Jimmy A about how to be a Ragamuffin. The dances and plays along with his mom on a toy guitar and everyone in the crowd is immediately putty in his tiny hands. Also, if you hang around after the show you'll see a plethora of tots sitting around on the stage while their parents are discussing stuff with fans. It's a great family tour, it's amazing! Rich said during his Knoxville Concert that during when he left this home with Beaker and Mrs. Beaker (?) the whole street had kids exactly nine months and one week later. Considence? He thought not.

It's the only concert that I can remember crying heavily at. I was really convicted of being so apathetic about a lot of things, I think in the comfort that Rich gave to sinners, I found conviction.

Mike Karlesky writes:

Well, here's the Grand Rapids experience. Ashley tells a story of a gentleman who writes her a veritable novel, he's a fan of her work but gives a dissertation of a review of all her songs. He presents himself as a very intelligent and theological man. He concludes by asking about her song, "Regarding Henry" (I think that is the title- I could be confusing it with a movie though). At any rate, this fan is rather struck with her lyrics concerning a very special someone named Henry. He seems to have this innate simplicity and sincerity that just blows this guy away when he reads Ashley's lyrics. He is very curious about him. Keep in mind, we of the audience don't know who Henry is yet. Ashley describes her letter of response and tells us all she would like us to meet Henry. Out saunders an adorable young man of perhaps, 4 toy guitar in hand. Of course there is a huge laugh among the crowd. She starts her Henry song and the little guy is a natural. He rocks along with Mom on the guitar and does all the classic stage guitar moves. Hilarious by all accounts!

Melanie (and Chris) Castleberry writes:

I got a letter from Carolyn Arends before the tour, and she said that Ashley had THREE children. I saw a picture of Ashley in the latest "Release" magazine with Bernie Sheahan and she was holding her baby girl Lily. I know about Henry, who is three, so it's only the third child that remains a mystery to me. For some reason a daughter that's older than these two jumps in my mind, but I could be getting that mixed up with someone else. Anyway, when we saw her in Houston, we just got the privilege of seeing adorable Henry. He didn't play a guitar though. He just stood there nonchalantly while his mother jammed! He has kind of blondish hair (from what I could tell in a dark arena) and it was kind of long in back. He just looked real darling. I wish I had all the lyrics to this song. It's on her "Bus named desire" album, which has been on my list of "wants" for a while. The song basically talks about how she (all of us grown ups!) worries about so many things, but 'Henry doesn't care'. The gist of the song is that we need to be more like children and cast our cares on Jesus. Amen! Hope that helps. See ya!

Tim Rice writes:

Wish I could tell you more about Henry. He was on the opposite end of the stage from us in Peoria. Our guess is that he's about 4 yrs. old, and he has a toy guitar that he comes out with and pretends to play. Actually, he didn't look to be getting really into it until toward the end of the song, when he did a couple of fancy moves. Memory's not clear, but he may have had on shades. It sure got a big reaction from the crowd. 6 days until I get another chance to see and hear it all, this time front and center!

BTW, the song is about Henry as a baby. It's a great cut from 'Bus Named Desire'. Unfortunately, it probably is already less true than it used to be, with Henry growing up every day and becoming more like us.

Anna Welborne writes:

Ashley introduces the song "Henry Doesn't Care" by telling about a letter she received some time after her album came out. This person critiqued her songs inside and out, but was totally unable to figure out this song. It seemed to him/her that Henry was the kind of person we all should be, and it was driving this person crazy, trying to figure out who Henry was or what Henry represented in some figurative sense. Then Ashley tells us that Henry is her son.

In a word, Henry is a show-stealer. He's about 4 years old, blond, with a Fischer-Price (?) My First Guitar-type of guitar. He comes out when Ashley sings "Henry Doesn't Care" and jams on stage with her. It's totally adorable! Then towards the end, when *everybody* is on stage, he comes out again. At the South Bend (IN) show, Henry and Beaker were jamming together big time! When I say he jams, he's got all the right moves down (knees, facial expressions, walking up and back, etc). In South Bend, towards the end of the show, the crowd was chanting his name. Rich told us to stop, because we were making him totally rotten and impossible to live with (all the while, Rich was grinning at Henry).

Having Henry there puts a lot into perspective for me. Ashley isn't just some voice (and what a voice!) on the radio now. She's a MOM, and a working (outside the home) mom at that. I think often, I listen to the songs in a vacuum, without the context of the person's life. Henry put a context on Ashley's music for me. And Aidan's "Let Mercy Lead" does too. These are *real* people with *real* struggles trying to live a *real* faith. Much like Amy Grant's "House of Love" album and some of Gary Chapman's songs on "The Light Inside" - real songs about a real marriage and a real faith.

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