A press photo from Negativland’s It’s All in Your Head
Pastor Dick had good news to share on April 1, 1999. “This is a song I just wrote backstage with Steven Curtis Chapman!” Dick announced, as “Home Run”—which is in fact by the Christian rock juggernaut Geoff Moore & the Distance—blared from the speakers and rows of white crosses glowed on the screen behind the stage.
As Geoff Moore gave way to a church organ, Dick laid out the reasons to be glad: Satan’s plan to corrupt America through pop music, like San Francisco’s scheme to drag the God-fearing people of nearby Concord down into depravity, was coming to light. Almost imperceptibly, the organ music shifted into “Lay Lady Lay,” and Pastor Dick began to inveigh against the sinful works of Bob Dylan. Citing his recent audience with Pope John Paul II as evidence that the singer was “no longer walking with the Lord,” Pastor Dick concluded his homily by wishing that “another heart attack or stroke or age-related illness” would cause Dylan to repent.
Much of the rest of this half-hour cut of the show consists of Dispepsi-era Negativland material; happily, Negativland is the rare group whose music can stand up to choppy editing. Towards the end, the Weatherman completes the transition from faith to empiricism, demonstrating the sounds you can make with a bicycle horn submerged in a bowl of water, a bottle of Vaseline® Intensive Care™ hand lotion, and an ordinary cable TV remote control.
Courtesy of Puzzling Evidence’s Vimeo channel, here’s Positivland’s April Fools show from nearly 20 years ago. No, there’s nothing wrong with your equipment: the sound cuts out from 33:06 to 33:40.
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Dove, the Band of Love: DEVO’s Christian alter-ego