Here is the intro video, followed by the presentation video, the slides (click to expand) and some questions for conversation. Please leave comments with your thoughts on this topic. Following the questions, there are several extra video and text items not included in the original presentation, to further develop the topic.
Intro Video featuring Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath & Alice Cooper:
Video of the Presentation:
Can artists known for their lyrical & theatrical depictions of evil, effectively reinvent themselves as prophets & saints?
How do you think the hard-core fans of Iron Maiden, Black Sabbath & Alice Cooper feel about band members expressions of Christianity? How do you think traditional Christians feel about it?
Is the kind of Christian faith expressed by these unlikely adherents more or less palatable to you than what you’ve experienced in the past?
After Forever performed by Black Sabbath (with an aging Ozzy givin' 'er despite being very ill):
After Forever (Black Sabbath) Lyrics:
Have you ever thought about your soul - can it be saved?
Or perhaps you think that when you're dead you just stay in your grave
Is God just a thought within your head or is he a part of you?
Is Christ just a name that you read in a book when you were in school?
When you think about death do you lose your breath or do you keep your cool?
Would you like to see the Pope on the end of a rope - do you think he's a fool?
Well I have seen the truth, yes I've seen the light and I've changed my ways
And I'll be prepared when you're lonely and scared at the end of our days
Could it be you're afraid of what your friends might say
If they knew you believe in God above?
They should realize before they criticize
that God is the only way to love.
Is your mind so small that you have to fall
In with the pack wherever they run
Will you still sneer when death is near
And say they may as well worship the sun.
I think it was true it was people like you that crucified Christ
I think it is sad the opinion you had was the only one voiced
Will you be so sure when your day is near say you don't believe?
You had the chance but you turned it down now you can't retrieve.
Perhaps you'll think before you say that God is dead and gone
Open your eyes, just realize that he's the one
The only one who can save you now from all this sin and hate.
Or will you still jeer at all you hear? Yes - I think it's too late.
Alice Cooper & the Muppets:
"I was trying to make the point that you don't have to buy into it. I was trying to make the point that, Hollywood tells you, ??If you're 15 and you haven't been laid yet and you're not high all the time, then there's something wrong with you.' I think that's the worst message that you can give a kid. He's got all his life to deal with that. Why are we forcing him into all these heavy things when he's 14? Well, it's because it makes money. That album in particular was saying, ??Don't buy into it. You don't have to.' In fact, you're the hero when you don't buy into it. Now, for Alice Cooper to be saying that, it obviously makes people that were Alice Cooper fans before kind of take a step backwards and say, ??What a minute! This is the same Alice Cooper that was selling sex, death, and money!' And I'm like, ??Exactly, but I'm not him anymore. Now Alice . . . there's a change of heart. There's a change of what I believe. Now I'm telling you, with more authority, that you don't have to buy into that.' And when they say, ??How dare you!' I go, ??Well, you know, I'm not going to sell as many albums doing this, but I don't care about that. The fact is, there may be some kids out there that listen to that and go, ??Wow, good. The pressure's off. Now I don't have to go try to get laid every weekend. Or I don't have to try to get stoned just so I can be part of the guys. I can be like Alice. I can do what Alice does.' And really, it's not what I'm saying, it's what Christ said! I'm just trying to echo what He would want you to do. But it's funny that I have to use the Alice Cooper character to get that point across.' - Alice Cooper (HM Magazine Interview).
Iron Maiden Interview:
“The usual question I’ve been approached with is people coming up to me and going, ‘How can you play Number of the Beast?’ Well, ’ang on, it’s a story. If you look in the Book of Revelation it tells you about all that, all that grief, all that business. And that, by the way, was a song written from a nightmare that Steve had.
“And my opinion is, well look, one of the greatest tricks the Devil ever pulled was making you think he didn’t exist, and I can tap people on the shoulder and say, ‘I’m not glorifying him -- if I was then I wouldn’t be Christian.’
“Because I understand, and most Christian people understand, that sin is the Devil’s domain, and the ultimate sin is death, but we have a way up, and that’s where your faith and your Christianity comes into play. Sometimes I’ve had an opportunity to talk to people about my faith, and what I feel, and maybe that’s the way the good Lord’s working with me.
“To still be able to be in such a great band, where people think we’re demonic or Satanic, most people that know and have a modicum of sense and intelligence knows that not to be true. It doesn’t take an Einstein to listen to the records and listen to the lyrics of the songs to know what’s going on." - Iron Maiden Drummer Nicko McBrain (Canada.com interview).