Saluting “Back to the Future”—and Biff Tannen, Catholic!

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Who knew?  Well, anyone who hasn’t been living in a cave knows that today is a big deal for “Back to the Future” fans.

What you may not know is that the iconic villain of the trilogy, Biff Tannen, was played by a devout Catholic, Thomas F. Wilson.

He now has his own website, promoting his Christian music:

Before I was performing in any other arena, I was playing the guitar and singing at church. Yes, I was a late sixties “Jesus freak,” and I can say with total honesty that if you’re going to be a freak, which I am…be the right kind. Along with my wife Caroline, who plays keyboards and sings, I sing at church as often as I can. We’ve sung and spoken at countless spiritual retreats, and conferences and Masses, and are kept busy with the requests to sing at more of them. As an offshoot of my music, I’ve been invited to speak at Christian churches of every denomination across the country, and have enjoyed the opportunity to talk to people from all over about the more personal aspects of my life, including my faith in God. I’ve spoken at giant rallies and tiny retreats, and though it’s a new and scary area of my life as a public person, I figure, I’ve been an honest person so far, so why stop when it comes to the big questions in life?

After a lot of hard work, late nights, and quiet prayers, In The Name Of The Father, my CD collection of contemporary Christian music is now available. Produced by Emilio Palame, a talented musician who’s worked with a wide spectrum of musicians from Chuck Mangione to Peggy Lee and a who’s who of the music industry, and featuring the musical talents of Stan Sargeant, John Chiodini, John Ferraro, Johnny Friday, and Doug Norwine, the production and playing is breathtaking.

“In The Name Of The Father,” the title song, is a Christian anthem celebrating 2,000 years of faith, and the history and triumph of the sign of the cross. “There Is An Angel,” is a reminder that no matter our circumstances, we’re not alone. “I Forgive You,” is a simple song of meditation, giving the listener the opportunity to put the words of Jesus into action, in both forgiving and asking forgiveness. “I Stand At The Door And Knock,” is a lively reminder of exactly who’s at the door, and “Jesus Falling Down” is a song of sacrifice and pain, reminding us that, as often as we see a cross and identify with it, we all too often ignore what it really represents. A lively and thoughtful trip through musical genres and prayerful attitudes, “In The Name Of The Father” is both fruitful music, and powerful testimony.

He spoke about his faith and his upbringing in an interview a few years ago with Charisma magazine:

Wilson grew up in a loving and unconventional Catholic family. In the early years of his adolescence he was first introduced to the charismatic Catholic renewal in the late 1960s by his mother. Wilson began attending a charismatic prayer group in Villa Nova, Pa. At the same time, both of his parents were going to similar meetings at Villa Nova Catholic University.

“That is where the charismatic Catholic renewal spread like wildfire, on the college campus among students who were searching for a real and meaningful spiritual life,” Wilson said.

Soon after those meetings, Wilson began visiting Daylesford Abbey, a monastery for Catholic monks, and attending large interdenominational prayer meetings on Wednesday nights. The charismatic experience became a normal part of Wilson’s spiritual life. “At that time I was about 13 years old, and I found great comfort in being with my new friends. I felt I had a place to go where I belonged, and a place to worship God and have fun too.”

Photo: Wikipedia


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