Saturday, March 7, 2009

Phantasmagorical Freek Friday by KM Wilsher

I’ve seen some reminiscing about smashes from the past lately. 80’s music, leg warmers, Young Guns, Lost Boys, big hair, and legs on your jeans as narrow as a stove pipe!

As my mind wandered down the road of memories, I started thinking of 80’s metal bands. Remember that they used to call them 80’s hair bands? I heard one remark that the rockers with teased hair looked like a bunch of alcoholic housewives. haha

Well, Phantasmagorical Freek Friday is all about Christian hard rock, and so you will not be surprised that while I walked the halls of mohawks, Ray-Bans, and boom boxes, I suddenly I saw “ebony and neon gold ribbons” and Stryper came to mind. Does anyone remember Stryper?

Stryper, formed by two brothers Michael and Robert Sweet, were originally components of a secular rock band, Roxx Regime. At jam sessions for Roxx Regime, their friend Kenny Metcalf, would witness to the Sweet brothers.

People Magizine told the story like this, in 1986:
"During rehearsals a friend of the Regime kept stopping by to witness about the glory of dedicating their music to God. A year later the rockers dropped to their knees for a prayer session that changed their lives."

I’m sure you remember seeing the” Yellow and Black Attack” at some moment in time in your 80’s history. They were the first Christian Metal band on MTV. For that matter they were the first Contemporary Christian Band shown on MTV.

The name "Stryper" came from a passage in Isaiah 53:5:
"But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed."

My initial encounter with those awesome bumble bees in stretch pants came one day after school at my then boyfriend Kelly’s house. He was not Christian, but he put the vinyl for this song:


I lay on the couch, my pink slip on Van’s with palm trees hung over the arm of the couch, and cried my eye’s out.

I remember one of Kelly’s friends saying, “What’s a matter with her?”

Can you see it? Two guys standing there looking at the phenomena of a crying female. Sort of like onlookers at a lamenting effeminate wildlife park.

I was a little embarrassed, but Kelly’s words were kinda great.
He answered, “She’s really moved by that song.”

"HONESTY" is Stryper's most-known song. It peaked at 23 on the Top 40 Billboard charts.

So what was your favorite Stryper song?
You can visit them at


Lifespring said...

How cool to read how Stryper's music touched you when you first heard it.

You might enjoy an interview I did with Kenny Metcalf recently. He recounts how he shared Jesus with Robert and Michael Sweet and Oz, along with a very real modern day story of Job that happened to him. Kenny has an amazing story!

If you care to listen, it's at


Billy Coffey said...

"Calling on You."

I STILL listen to that song...

Anonymous said...

AHHHH.....Stryper. I've heard of them, even a couple of their songs. I don't have a fav, but I like their story. Thanks for sharing. Great stuff here, Gzusfreek!

gzusfreek said...

Billy Coffey! yeah... "Calling on You." Love it!
Thanks for the comments, Lynn:)

Kat Harris said...

Oh thanks goodness you reactivated the comments!

*Happy happy joy joy Happy happy joy joy*

I sang Stryper's "Honestly" at my high school graduation. What an incredible memory!

gzusfreek said...

Lifespring! What a great surprise to see you here. Thank you for the links. I enjoyed them :)

Kat! - I can imagine you doing "Honestly". What a joy for everyone listening! You are such a great girl! Thanks for your encouragement and I love seeing you here! (and love your blog)

Avily Jerome said...

I remember knowing of Stryper, but I don't know them well enough to have a favorite song of theirs.

It was fun listening to those though- very good times! Thanks for posting!