Southern Scribe
    our culture of storytelling


Inspirational Memoir Review    



Jesus Sound Explosion   
by Mark Curtis Anderson
University of Georgia Press, 2003
Hardcover $29.95 (269 pages)
ISBN: 0-8203-2554-6

Mark Curtis Anderson is the son of a preacherman. His father, a Baptist evangelical minister, discouraged his children from listening to rock music in the church-owned homes of his congregations. Young Mark yearned to listen to the radio, learn the lyrics to popular songs, and buy records like everyone else in his class at school.

His parents exhorted Mark, his older brother, and younger sister to live "in the world, but not of it." They didn't know what to make of "jazzy music" (defined as almost anything from Elvis Presley to the present). They took their children to church, sent them to Baptist summer camp, and tried to balance their children's academic educations as well as their religious heritage. Mark, trying to live up to the expectations of his father's congregation and his parents, came of age during the early 1970s when the "Jesus Movement" attempted to fuse with the counterculture. Rumors were rampant as to which rock star had been "born again." When Anderson watched Billy Graham's "Expo '72" on television, he knew he wanted to be onstage alongside Johnny Cash and the longhaired Jesus freaks playing guitars and drums.

Years later, when the author found a copy of the record album, "Jesus Sound Explosion," he started writing about his memories of growing up in Minnesota and California as part of a minister's family and his love for rock and roll music. Taking its' name from the album, Anderson's memoir, is hilarious, affectionate, and irresistible.

Mark Curtis Chapman, who lives in St. Paul, teaches at the University of Minnesota's General College. He has worked as a clerk for the Electric Fetus Record Store and has been a drummer for several Twin Cities bands, including, Mercy Band, Oren Goby, Bad Trip, and Idlewilds. His writing has appeared in Spout, Nightbeat, Buzz, and the Minnesota Daily. Jesus Sound Explosion won the Associated Writing Program's Award for Creative Nonfiction.

Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

2003, Southern Scribe Reviews, All Rights Reserved