New Flash Fiction: The Crazy Christian Music Lady
Back when I owned and ran a record label, I was on the hunt for new artists to represent. I went to shows and my colleague, a brilliant rapper in his own right, would bring me demos to listen to. This particular artist I believe I found on craigslist. I had posted as ad for people who had recorded a demo with decent quality and wanted to work with a local label that already had a track record. We had already been releasing some compilations, and I was booking bands in venues. She had a pretty nice country sound, and it didn’t appear to be overtly Christian, so I agreed to meet her.
I traveled down to her home in West Denver. They were in the middle of building the first spur of the light rail, just a few feet from her house along Colfax/US40. Piles of dirt, construction equipment, and orange fencing were strewn about. Some houses would be getting a new rail neighbor, while other houses that were simply in the way were bulldozed. I managed to find a bit of parking amid the upturned sidewalks and the scraps of asphalt not assaulted by the construction, and made my way into her home.
We met and had a pleasant enough conversation, at least at first. However, I noticed immediately that there was Christian paraphernalia everywhere. Crosses, crucifixes, and all sorts of religious detritus abounded in her home. It could have been a shrine and charged pilgrims a small fee.
I grew up evangelical, and so I wasn’t made uncomfortable by it. If anything, it would make for good marketing. The Christian music market is vast and if she was a fit and the music was good there could definitely a market for the music which would generate album sales and tours (this was before streaming really was a thing). We sat down and began to talk about music.
She had started in music in the late 1970s. I was impressed that she was still considerably attractive, considering she smoked Marlboro reds like a chimney and had lived a hard life. She also liked to keep a little shooter of whiskey in her pocket and take little sips, of which she took three during our meeting. Those habits don’t lead to aging well. However, she had managed it. I could tell she had been around the block many times and had lived a good deal of life. We put on her album and listened to a bit. I liked what I heard, and I wanted to work with her.
Somewhere in the conversation, she remarked about her love of animals. I replied, with pleasure, that all my friends in the pagan and the LGBT community were also passionate about their pets and loved them to death. This idea set her off immediately. She was convinced that pagans kill animals. I tried to convince her that the opposite is true. Anyone who has hung out in circles of people where alternative spirituality is practiced know that people love their dogs, cats, birds, etc. You will often find these nature lovers at any protest against cruelty to animals. The LGBT community is a famous defender of cats and all animals in general. Both communities boast people who are vegan and vegetarian. I’ve been to more than one spirituality weekend where there were multiple dietary restrictions, not the least of which was vegetarianism and veganism.
I tried to convince her that her idea about pagans and the LGBT community was absolutely nuts. She flew into a rage. I told her I would reach out to her again in the future. I tried to take the CD of her album she had offered me. She then screeched that she could never work with me, and now she was out $20 for the CD. I ended up buying her CD that she was going to give to me. I liked her sound and I thought I could do something with her as a career, but we ended up not working together for obvious reasons. I walked out of her house with only a brief look over my shoulder. I didn’t understand her response or simply not believing me when I explained what I had said. Looking back, it was the anticipated response. She was not quite as into the New Age I had anticipated. I was young and didn’t quite know how to handle these situations the way I would now. I often wonder whatever happened to her and her music. I hope she plays on.