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Behind the Scenes at GMA Week Part 5 April 19, 2009

Posted by markgeil in Music.

It occurred to me that these are not really “Behind the Scenes” updates. In fact, I haven’t been behind a single scene since I’ve been here. I supposed they should be called “In front of the scenes” updates. Alas, you start with a name and you’re stuck with it.

It’s Sunday now at 5:30. Things are picking up in the hotel with a steady stream of arrivals. Radio stations are setting up fully functional glassed-in portable studios for live broadcasts. Christian music is now being pumped through the hotel’s speakers, which is kinda fun.

Last night I partied at a Promoter’s showcase at Rocketown. Unless you’re old like me , the following exchange won’t mean much, but for the rest of us, here’s what dated me. I was being given a tour of the facilities by one of the friendly young people who work there. She asked if I already knew much about Rocketown. I said that I mostly knew the song. See, Michael W. Smith wrote this song 100 years ago about a seedy bar called Rocketown that all the locals would frequent and a kindly preacher man who stood outside and told the patrons about God. So, when Smitty decided to open a safe facility for young people, he called it Rocketown, after the cool name in the song. When I told my tour guide that was pretty much all I knew about Rocketown, she replied, “Yeah, I had heard there was a song. I’ve never heard it. Do you know what it’s actually about?” Egad! I thought the song would be on a continuous loop on loudspeakers throughout the facility and the surrounding streets, and she had NEVER HEARD IT! Something must be done about this. Immediately. I’m serious.

Evening culminated in the North American debut performance of Bluetree, the newish band from Belfast. They wrote “God of this City”, which Chris Tomlin covered on his latest album. Great show. I got to chat with the guys this morning, and they have a refreshing earnestness. The guitarist is 19 years old. My oldest daughter is 15. I really am that old. He’s probably never heard the Rocketown song either.

Got to the hotel about 1:00 and crashed, with the pleasure of not even setting the alarm, since Sunday morning worship was at 10:00 and I couldn’t sleep that late if I stayed up until 9 am. That Sunday morning worship was a powerful experience. Matt Redman led the music, with overqualified backup by Christy Nockels. I got a repeat performance of the new song I heard at the Good Friday show, and I still love it. There’s also a particular joy of being in a room of so many brilliant singers. I think there was 4-part harmony during “Everlasting God.” Louie Giglio preached on Psalm 40 and told the moving tale of Ashley’s Diary, which you can probably find somewhere if you haven’t heard it.

The first of only four interviews followed. In between I got the chance to go over to the Music City Walk of Fame induction ceremony. They hold it every year in conjunction with GMA Week. It’s a “stars on the sidewalk” thing like in Hollywood. The ceremony was moved indoors this year since it’s rainy. I intended to just pop my head in, but I somehow got checked in as “Media” and wound up a little bit stuck with a bunch of photographers and very famous music people in a very crowded room at the Sommet Center. That only became a problem when it was time for my next interview, and I had no escape. I wound up having to walk out in the middle of a speech my Mike Curb, one of the most influential people in music today. There goes my chances of getting signed to Curb Records and becoming the next Tim McGraw. I did quite enjoy getting a full hour to marvel at Marty Stuart’s hair. I wished Mom and Dad could have been there, because there were some country music folks there they would have really enjoyed seeing.

Dinner with a group of publicists is next, then possibly a songwriters showcase, then moving to the next hotel, then breakfast with Matthew West tomorrow morning. I have six big interviews tomorrow. I hope I can maintain the energy!



1. Behind the Scenes at GMA Week Part 5 - April 19, 2009

[…] Original post by A Window in the World […]

2. amy Geil - April 20, 2009

Rocket Town, Rocket Town, Rocket Town…

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