Date: 08 May 1999
To: RichMailList
Subject: [RichMailList 237]: Another St Louis, MO 04/16 review


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Review of the Homeless Man Tour in St Louis, 4/16/1999
as posted to the Ragamuffin Mailing List by Rebecca McDonald

Date: Tue, 20 Apr 1999 23:43:28
From: Rebecca McDonald
Subject: [ragamuffin] St. Louis Ragamuffin Concert Review

RAGAMUFFINS COME TO ST. LOUIS!!!!!!!
April 16, 1999 @ St. John's Lutheran Church, Ellisville MO

Performing were: Rick Elias (guitar, harmonica), Mark Robertson
(guitar), Jimmy Abegg (guitar), Aaron Smith (percussion), Carl Hengesell
(keyboard), and Michael Aukofer (rhythm, dulcimer)

My brother, sister, and I arrived at the church about 6:45. The concert
didn't start until 7:30, so we just wandered around. First we started
walking down the hall to one of the tables, and something caught my eye,
so I turned my head only to see Dave Mullins walking up the hall! I just
kind of stared at him for about 10 seconds, and then I turned to my
sister and started squealing, "It's Dave Mullins, it's Dave Mullins..."
Then I let out a little screech, ready to collapse. My brother was like,
"What's the big deal?" :-) I was still going on and on about it with my
sister, but that didn't last long, because I saw someone else coming
down the hall. At first I couldn't see who it was, but they pulled of
their hats, and POW it hit me, that standing about 7 feet away from me
were Rick, Mark, and I think Carl. Rick glanced over at us, but they
kept on walking up the hall. After they'd gone into the auditorium, my
sister and I started squealing again, and my brother just smiled. By the
way, Rick hat was red (totally clashed with his coat) :-), and boy was
their hair ever messy! They must have just gotten to the church, because
it looked like they just came in from outside. I'm not sure...

So after we got over that, we headed to the other side of the hall, and
looked at the table set up for the Legacy and also the one with the
t-shirts, Jesus Record, books, etc. They have a lot of cool stuff there,
I must say! I noticed that Dave Mullins was standing over at the Legacy
table, talking to some people, so I took advantage of the moment and
took a picture of him. (I hope it turns out!)

By then a lot of people had arrived, so we went into claim some good
seats. Since we had the good tickets ($4 extra), we got to sit just 4
rows back from the front. Really good seats in my opinion, considering a
ton of people were stuck up in the balcony! We pretty much sat in there
for about 30 minutes, watching everyone flow in.

The concert began just a couple minutes late, but I suppose the guys
were still getting ready. I think (if my memory serves me right) they
simply walked on to the stage and I believe didn't say anything, but
almost immediately started into "My Deliverer". It was very powerful,
and I said to my sister, "It sounds almost exactly like the CD!" :-) It
was a really good performance, and powerful.

Immediately following "My Deliverer", they went into "Surely God Is With
Us". After that, Mark said, "It's good to be back!" (it was the same
church they came to last time with Rich.) He said something like, "I
can't see you, but assume you guys are out there, right?" The whole
audience screamed "YEAH!!!" And he's like, "Great... now do any of you
guys like hillbilly music? (more screaming from us obsessed fans) Cause
we've got an awesome song for you guys... it's called "You Did Not Have
A Home". A very lively performance indeed. :-) Rick had a little
harmonica thing that I think hooked around his neck. I got some good
pictures!

Rick then started talking, and I think he said he would share later
about something that happened last time they were here, but he never
did. (probably wasn't supposed to happen from my observations) :-) Then
he went on to talk about the first time he heard some of the songs that
were to be on the Jesus Record. He'd gone down to Rich's hogan in Window
Rock, and Rich pulled out a tape on which he'd recorded some of the
songs.  He stuck it in the tape player, and it immediately began eating
it up! So they took it out and wound it up, and (I think this is what he
said - forgive me if I'm wrong) they pulled out another tape player and
put in the tape. Rick said, "This was the first song"... and preceded to
play "Hard to Get".

Jimmy talked about how they knew hardly any of Rich's past works, so
they were going to do all the songs we already know. Then he announced
that he needed a good stretch, so well, he got a good stretch. :-)

They played "Boy Like Me/Man Like You" really well. I noticed when they
started that it was in a different key, and the style was a lot
different. It sounded really great. I enjoy listening to different
versions of those songs.
Following "Boy Like Me/Man Like You", they went into "The Color Green".
Naturally, the lights switched to green, so I got a picture. :-)

After that, Rick asked, "Does anyone know who Reed Arvin is? You only
would if you're one of those people who like to read the liner notes!"
(I do all the time!) But he shared the shocking news then, of how Reed
Arvin just found out the week before that he has cancer. He reportedly
has had surgery, removing a cantaloupe sized tumor out of his lung. Reed
is in an encouraging condition, however, it could be better. Rick
requested that we pray for him in this hard time. He said (something
similar to this), "This is an appropriate song for this occasion." And
they began to play "Nothing is Beyond You".

Mark talked about how Rich didn't really want to sing on The Jesus
Record, and that he wanted the rest of them and other singers to do it.
Mark said, "And of course, as usual, Rich got his way." He also said
that he absolutely refused to sing "Man of No Reputation" - only the
song's writer should. "And fortunately for all of us, the author of 'Man
of No Reputation' is here tonight... Rick Elias!"

Rick said that he wrote "Man of No Reputation" at a really hard time in
life when he was unsecure. Then he made some smart remark of how he is
even more so now. :-) He also said that he wrote the song in just 20
minutes, with no rewrites. (Amazing or what?)

After Rick sang his song, Aaron came out and recited the last part of
Ephesians 6 - The Armor of God. (He'd make a good preacher!) Following
that, he said that from here on out almost all the songs would be for
everyone to sing along. He led us in "If I Stand". I have to admit that
it sounded like not even 1/3 the entire audience knew it! It was
interesting  listening to everyone try to figure out the words. :-)

Following "If I Stand", Rick said that they are only trying to glorify
God - they aren't trying to become celebrities. He thinks that CCM is
mostly full of people trying to make money, and that's not what they
want of themselves.

Before the intermission David Mullins came onto the stage to speak about
the Legacy. He requested that they turn down the lights on him, and turn
up the house lights. "I'm a preacher, so I'm used to watching people
sleep in the pews. I want to watch you guys sleep while I talk." He said
that just recently he had gotten back from something they did in (I
think) New Mexico with a group of  50 4th-6th graders. It was I guess
kind of like an art camp. They were making masks and other things. Some
of the kids even came back in the evening to do more, instead of playing
basketball. He was very impressed with the results. Dave talked about
what we can do to help the Legacy, whether we help directly, or
contribute money or instruments. He also announced that there would be 3
retreats in summer/fall. I don't remember exactly what they were all
for, but there is more information at: http://www.legacyministry.org/

**********************************
INTERMISSION (lasted about 15 minutes)
**********************************

When the intermission was about over I walked into the auditorium, and
they had a table set up, with Aaron, Jimmy, Carl, and Mark standing
behind it. "OK, here's the cup song. For those who haven't come back in
and are still out in the hall, it's their punishment that they missed
it. We've only gotten this perfectly a couple times, but let's see if we
can do it again." It was really entertaining, I must say! Mark started,
then passed the cup onto Carl, taking another cup for himself. (There
were 4 cups.) They kept on doing their little thing, then passing their
cup to the next person, taking another cup for themselves. Aaron was at
the other end (the last person in line) with the microphone. He did a
marvelous job of singing and doing sound effects. :-) They also
performed it absolutely perfectly! Rick was sitting on the stage
watching them, and after, said that it was starting to get a little
scary that they could do it so well. "I like it better when you mess
up!"

After they got the table and cups off the stage, Mark said that when
they would perform with Rich, he would give them a list of almost 60
songs to practice. Then before they would go on stage, Rich would take
out half the songs and hand them another list of songs that he forgot to
give them. "He would always take out the ones we knew!" He said that for
some odd reason, they had never sung "Here in America" with Rich. "But
now we're going to sing it for you."

After finishing that, Rick said, "OK, now I KNOW you all know this
song." We all sang "Sing Your Praise to the Lord" VERY LOUDLY. Then Rick
introduced Carl, who played "Elijah". Before he started, he told us that
it's one of his favorite songs.

Jimmy said that their singing is not about Rich, it's about bringing
glory to God. Rick also said that they didn't come to put on a show.
They came to worship with us. Jimmy led us in "Hold Me Jesus", and Rick
& Mark led us in "Peace". They did "Calling Out Your Name" (one of my
favorites), and Michael did an excellent introduction to it with his
dulcimer. They did "I See You", "Awesome God", and "Creed".

Mark decided to talk about the SpiceMuffins thing. He said, "Some people
have been getting a little offended by something that was on Rick's
website." Rick interrupted, "It's still there!"

"We've compared ourselves to the Spice Girls, and came up with some very
interesting results. If you check out Rick's website, you'll see
pictures of us morphed into pictures of the Spice Girls." (The audience
thought this was absolutely hilarious.) He introduced each of the
ragamuffins with their spice girl name, noting that Michael was just an
honorary ragamuffin, and didn't yet have a spice-muffin name.

Mark said, "OK, we're going to do a little song. Guys, you follow me.
Girls, you follow Gingermuffin (Carl)." Carl stood up on his stool and
started waving. We had a little trouble going into the song though. (It
was "That Where I Am, There You".) All the girls kept following Mark,
because their turn hadn't come yet. :-) After singing the song, they all
went off stage for some reason, and came back out in about one minute.
After that, they settled down with "Sometimes By Step", and then
"Doxology", walking off stage in the middle, leaving us to sing by
ourselves.

The lights came on and I was like, "Already?" But we went out and we all
bought the tour t-shirts. All of the guys came out for autographs except
for Michael, and they pretty much stood behind the table with the
merchandise. SOME of the stuff we got autographed was the HOME book, the
CCM special magazine for Rich Mullins, TJR music book, LLRB music book,
TJR CD pamphlet cover, and the t-shirts. I didn't even think to bring
the Homeless Man video. But I also got Jimmy and Rick to sign next to
their pictures on the LLRB pamphlet. We also got Carl to sign our stuff.
We got our picture with Rick, Mark, Jimmy, Aaron, and Carl. We sort of
stood around after that, until we realized that we hadn't gotten Carl to
sign our t-shirts. So we found him in the sanctuary and asked him to
sign our shirts. He said, "Certainly!" Then I asked him if he would get
Michael off the stage (he was cleaning up) to autograph our stuff, since
he hadn't come out. He yelled, "Hey Michael!" And he threw his Sharpie
pen up to him. (They all carry around their sharpie pens.) :-) Michael
came down and seemed kind of surprised that we wanted his autograph, but
he's like, "Hey, how're you doing?" We were having them all sign the CCM
magazine on the page that the article starts. It has the picture of Rich
sitting on the hill with his head down, praying. Michael looked at it
and said, "I just love this picture." He stood there and stared at it
for about 5-10 seconds. While he was signing our stuff, the guys kept
coming up to him and annoying him (not sure what they were doing), and
Michael's like, "Argh! They're out to get me!" We got our picture with
him too.

When we went back out to the hall, almost everyone had already left. But
we found David Mullins, got him to sign all our stuff, and we got a
picture. We talked to him for about 20 minutes. He told us that he has
two kids, Jonathan who's 8, and Casey (sp?) who's 4. When we asked him
about Reed Arvin, he said that he'd only found out about it on Wednesday
(two days prior to the concert) over e-mail. He'd heard that he had
surgery, and they removed a tumor from his lung. He said that it had
gone through his heart and into his arteries - they were going to check
if it had gotten into the lymph nodes. He  told us that Reed's got a
long road ahead of him. Dave said, "It was a really bad tumor... well
then, I guess all tumors are bad. Oh yeah (sarcastically), this one's a
good tumor!" LOL :-) It was pretty funny. When my sister asked him what
he thought about the Dove Awards, (I hope no one is offended by this.)
he remarked, "Oh, it's all a joke! There's no need for it!" :-) "It's
good for recognizing people who are doing well, but it's not necessary.
I certainly don't enjoy going up in front of millions of people, going
"uhh... Hi, how're you doing?" :-) He obviously doesn't care for the
Dove Awards... but then, neither did Rich! He asked how old we were, and
when my brother told him he was 20, Dave said, "Oh... you're getting
old!" LOL  He said, "I used to think that 50 was so far off - like
REALLY far. But well, now that I'm almost 32 (I think that's what he
said), and have an 8 year old, I'm starting to change my mind. I feel so
old!" We had a good laugh about that. While we were talking, he was
taking down the board (like a felt board) for the Legacy. He pulled out
this huge box/container to put it in. I asked him if it was really that
important that it needed a special box, and he said, "Well, yeah it is,
because it's the only one we've got!" I said, "But I bet the box is more
expensive then the board." And he said, "I think you're probably right!"
We talked a couple more minutes and decided to leave, considering no one
else was left there except for people cleaning up. We said good-bye to
Dave, and on the way home, I told myself, "I'm never going to forget
this night."

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