I've made no bones telling about how much Steve Ladd means to me. It was a chance deal that he showed up on social media somewhere and said the right thing that spoke to me. It was him that talked to me and prayed for me, with me whatever, and I'll never forget the feeling that day when Jesus said come on back to the house you crazy kid. It was Steve who helped me get through the stress of my very first solo concert (which he was kind enough to perform on), but there were a few more before Steve, and even Andrea Brown who helped immensely that I've never bothered mention. Like the guy who got me to seek out my childhood heroes in the first place.
Back in 2007-08ish, I was in a dark place. Things in life had gotten the best of me, I'd become very bitter, angry, drank some, became obsessed with my job, my money and so on. I had also not been attending church and had walked away from God, I'd lost my girl, my Christian singing group "family" I felt had betrayed and forsaken me, it was tough.I'd even given up on the music (all forms) that I loved dearly. I was working at a local television station and was very unhappy, and surrounded by musicians. I had a director named Casey Wertz, whom I though was cool, but kind of a dork. He was in a Christian "Screamo" band, and he was well, different but a good different, a Christian different.
I remember being at work one day, and we were talking in the headsets and Corey Riley (Great Musician) and Casey were going on about music stuff and Casey chimes in "I'm Going On The Road To Play For Jesus" and I remember thinking "I'd love to do that, but I've got this job." That statement got me thinking though about my childhood dream to be a singer, and then Corey started in about a gig that weekend and how awesome it was gonna be. Carey plays in one of my favorite bands which features a couple guys I grew up watching with my friend (more like big brother sometimes) Rusty. (The Band in Question is Blue Oyster Culture Club and they play sweet sweet 80s music, and I look up to them as artists and hope maybe one day they'll be kind and I can do a guest vocal with them but I digress. Check 'em out. I've got one of their shows on my youtube page)
Anyway after my shift at the two, I made it home and pulled out old New G stuff, and several old Southern Gospel cassettes and began to sing along and was re introduced to The Anchormen Quartet and their Tenor Mr. Ladd. You all know the story, if you know me at all, of how I so wanted to sing like him (still do). Anyway that led me to look for him on Facebook, MySpace, wherever it was.
So...I said all that to say this, in my dark time, when I hated myself, my life, and almost everyone around me, God put awesome people like Corey and had Casey not said what he said it wouldn't have reminded my of the desires of my heart. I'll never forget the moment I lost my job and hearing those words again "I'd Go, but I have my job". So Go I did, and I've been blessed enough to sing with my heroes, and make friends with MANY of them. So Thank you Casey and Corey.