The Jacob's Trouble Video Archives

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Story Continues...

So a few months back I posted an excerpt from my personal journal of JT memories. I decided to go ahead and tell the next part of the story for anyone who might be interested...

After that night (the night we decided to be a Christian band -- Jerry), things began to move really fast for us. God began doing things that only He could have done. We began writing songs. They came fast and furious, too. One of us would bring in an idea and we would all hash it out.
One of the first songs we wrote together was “Psalm 151.” Mark had the music all worked out and played it for us one night. I began to work out a vocal melody. It felt like a praise and worship type song so Steve and I began looking through the Psalms for lyrical inspiration. We all added lines here and there, some from scripture, some from our own ideas. The hook line became “Your name is the Great I Am.” We called it Psalm 151 as a sort of in-joke for the biblically literate. There are, of course, only 150 psalms and this was a new one so…
It is amazing how many people have come up to us at concerts and said, ”Wow! I love how you guys put Psalm 151 to music!” One guy even told us tearfully of how he looked it up in his Bible to follow along!

Other songs came to us around that same time. I had ideas for “Million Miles” and “Wind and Wave.” Mark brought in an old demo of “If You Believe” that he had recorded with another band earlier. Steve and I played Mark our recording of “Eden Again” that we had done with Transit (an earlier band that Steve and I had played in -- Jerry). We changed some of the words to make it more doctrinally sound (Although I heard it the other day on my son's iPod and I think it is too "works" oriented, personally -- Jerry). Before we knew it we had a nice little set of music, between our originals and our covers.

All we needed now was a name. We kicked around a few but the only one I remember was Zilch. It was a favorite Monkees’ track off their 1967 album Headquarters. Not only was it a hip nod to the influence of the Monkees but we felt it had some spiritual significance because as the Bible says, “Without Him we can do nothing.” Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Get it?

Well, it wasn’t great but it was all we could think of. Then one day I was watching a videotape Mark had let me borrow. It was one of those old 70’s end times movie from Mark IV productions, I forget which one. But one of the characters in the movie mentioned that the Bible called the seven-year tribulation right before the return of Christ as “the time of Jacob’s Trouble.” I sat straight up. What was that? I rewound it. “The time of Jacob’s Trouble.” I ran to find a concordance. There it was in Jeremiah 30:7. How cool was that! It had everything; it sounded like one of those hip college radio bands and it had spiritual significance. Heck, it was even in the Bible! I called the other guys on the phone. They all liked it and so the name became Jacob’s Trouble.

The very first Jacob’s Trouble concert ever was in August of 1988 at the church Steve and I attended, First Baptist Acworth. We only knew about 8 songs and we played all of them. A few of them twice, I think. We called in an old buddy from high school, Brad Nash (later to be sound guy and recording engineer for Janah -- Jerry) to run sound, which was whatever the church had on hand.

Anyway, we were booked by the youth pastor to be the opening act for a Billy Graham film they were showing. I have the flyer for the gig in a scrapbook somewhere. I think there were a total of maybe 12 people there. In spite of the somewhat humble circumstances, we were a hit! Mark was whirling and spinning and windmilling and jumping. They loved us and we had a pretty good time playing. A splendid time was had by all.

1 comment:

J. Jackson, Lead Singer, ApologetiX said...

I was in the back of our tour bus doing some stuff on the computer and I happened to check out this site and read this post. The funny thing is I happened to be listening to "Million Miles" and "Psalm 151" on my iPod just as I read about them in the post. Your work continues to inspire and impress me.