Shouting “Meaningless!” at the Devil: On Mötley Crüe and Ecclesiastes

This blog post is adapted from my manuscript, The Stained-Glass Kaleidoscope: Essays at Play in the Churchyard of the Mind, currently searching for a publisher.

As the son of a minister, I grew up on a musical diet that consisted solely of albums by Christian artists. In a way, I was the musical equivalent of a vegetarian.

When I was in junior high, however, a high school senior at church named Brad introduced me to musical meat in the form of Mötley Crüe.

On a youth group trip, he played the band’s most accessible song, “Home Sweet Home,” for me on his Walkman as if it were a suitable bridge between L. A.’s Sunset Strip and the padded, protected world of the Christian music nursery where I slept and suckled.

To my surprise, I liked “Home Sweet Home.” [Read more…]