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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Randy Stonehill talks about his friendship with Larry Norman

By Dan Wooding
Founder of ASSIST Ministries

SEAL BEACH, CA (ANS) -- American singer Randy Stonehill has released a statement on his friendship with Larry Norman, the original “Jesus Freak” and a true pioneer of Christian rock music with hits like “Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music” and “I Wish We'd All Been Ready,” who died on Sunday morning after a long battle with heart problems.

In a statement carried on his website -- www.randystonehill.com --

Randy Stonehill performs with Larry Norman

and also on www.bullypulpitnews.com, Stonehill said, “I knew Larry Norman perhaps better than anyone, yet to this day I'm not sure that I really understood him completely. For as brilliant and insightful as Larry was, I'm not sure that he understood himself completely. This issue became apparent in the way he consistently seemed to ‘derail’ relationships through out his life.

“Larry is the man who introduced me to Jesus. He led me to the door of eternal life, and for that singular priceless gift I am eternally in his debt. In my relationship with Larry, I experienced the beauty of brotherhood, the richness of creative collaboration, the mystery of human brokenness, and ultimately the overshadowing wings of God's all encompassing grace.

Larry Norman

“After 20 years of friction and distance between us that began around 1980, Larry and I realized that what united us in Christ was far greater than what had separated us in our personal frailty and pride. We worked together on the re-issue of the ‘Welcome to Paradise’ recording and talked and laughed together over the phone from our respective homes in Seal Beach California and Salem Oregon.”

Stonehill went on to say, “We stood together onstage for what would be the last time at the Cornerstone Festival in July of 2001 and it felt to me like being home. Then he ‘disappeared’ into the mist. I wrote it off to the busy pace of life and his consuming health problems but I still couldn't help but scratch my chin and wonder.

“He graciously agreed to sing with me on my song, ‘We Were All So Young’, for the ‘Edge of The World’ project in 2003. We accomplished that performance process long distance through computer technology. Then he was silent again. I had hoped that in these last years we might continue to build on our recent reconciliation and even get together for some song writing and recording, sharing what we had learned about life and about our craft to offer something better than ever to the world.

“Death is so final. We are out of time, at least in this life. No more conversations, No more plans, No more songs. It's a strange sorrow that leaves you feeling hollow, like someone knocked the wind out of you. The light of hope, however, that lifts my spirit is the knowledge that Larry's profound contribution to the work of God's Kingdom is eternal and that his struggles with his own demons is over.”


Dan Wooding, 67, is an award winning British journalist now living in Southern California with his wife Norma of 44 years. He is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS). He was, for ten years, a commentator, on the UPI Radio Network in Washington, DC. Wooding is the author of some 42 books, the latest of which is his autobiography, "From Tabloid to Truth", which is published by Theatron Books. To order a copy, go to www.fromtabloidtotruth.com. danjuma1@aol.com.

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