Ambassador Auditorium Flashback - Aug 22, 2009

I never thought I would share this story with the public - But since it is over and done, why not? :-) My album release on August 22, 2009 was a day I will never forget. A great group of people helped put on a fund-raising concert that would raise close to $25,000 for the internally displaced war victims in Sri Lanka. We won't even get into the controversy, the backlash, and the haters involved - To this day, I'm trying to get my Grammy speech right and involve them in a way that doesn't give them too much attention, but lets them know who G-Vo is - ya dig?

August 22, 2009 was very precious to me - b/c people paid money and took their day out to come see G-Vo perform - It wasn't a shared stage - It was just me - It meant way more than performing in front of thousands. As always, I became a monster backstage. I was yelling at sound people, going over lighting cues with 7 different people, and even went to the extent of quizzing my musicians randomly about song transitions. Working with me is very difficult because I act like I'm the best living artist known to man, and I pretend that I'm on a million dollar budget :-) I always have closed practices, because I never want people to see that side of me - It's quite embarrassing actually, but I will die for my music and the G-Vo brand. It gave me a reason to live when all I knew was darkness. I am loyal to music like I am loyal to a friend or family member.

I want to take you to this scene - remember this?

So what you guys saw was me coming up from the bottom of the stage in very super fresh red jacket (shot out to Live Mechanics - You guys are fitting me again for my next concert!). It was pretty cool actually and I was so giddy and excited for you to see what I had up my sleeve :-) So that's what you saw - this is what happened.....

The chief sound guy gets me from my dressing room - we walk 3 minutes to the isolated room where the stage is - longest walk ever! - he gets me in - secures the door - gives the head nod - I wink at him, and put on my shades - game time - I do this in my sleep. The nerves are getting to me - I'm light-headed as always - this is my pre-game routine - my heart starts pounding but I'm married to this music - so I know she won't let me down - and I can trust her - she loves me, and has my back - I have given her everything I have - Jonathon Walton comes up - blows everyone away with the intro - the strings play - everything is right on cue - My tyrant like approach has worked! Everyone is on their game....there's just one problem..

The stage starts to lift, and the monitor wires are getting stuck between the stage and the moving part of the stage - one of the sound guys forgot to hold up the wires from the top as the stage was coming up (it was in the performance notes- helloooo!)- so the strings are playing, and all I see are sparks on my portion of the stage that is coming up - I am running back and forth while the stage is coming up holding the monitors - trying to pull the wires - doing whatever thing I can in absolute futility. I'm trying to get anyone's attention - I can't - it's completely dark -

My soul was dying - In 30 seconds, everything I worked for was over - I thought the sound was going to snap - I thought the stage was going to stop moving up - I thought it was over - I was literally going to cry. The wires started to snap (if you listen closely to the above video when the strings are playing - you will hear snapping noises) - at this point, I thought the entire building was going to lose electricity b/c if you saw the sparks I saw, you would think the same thing....I am still light-headed thinking about that moment...

Imagine this - everything you worked for just collapsing. Imagine being so dedicated to your craft and so into the quality of what you do - and then everything being ruined b/c of such an elementary mistake. Imagine having to perform the show of your ephemeral career and it finishing before it starts. The stage for some reason went up fine - the wires that snapped didn't affect the sound - and the monitors still worked - when they came up, they were remarkably crooked - but one of the sound guys fixed it. I knew the second when the audience would see my head, so I stopped running and assumed my position - grabbed my mike - and the rest was shall we say - History.

You have to be able to move when the externals are full of flames. You have to be able to remain incredibly calm and poised when nothing is going right. Inside, there is a deep trust in Someone who holds history in His hands - this becomes unshakable - this becomes rare - this becomes all you have - but this becomes the thing that destroys the Enemy. This is all I have - this is all great people have. This is the thing normal people don't have. This is a key to becoming endangered. Walking on water defies everything normal. It is a bit bold for me (even for me) to use myself as an example of such a great proclamation. But this helped me see firsthand how I could operate in the midst of losing the most precious thing to me at that time - my music - I believe I was being trained at that moment - I look forward to hearing how you are all being trained - when your stage sets on fire. Endangered since 1984. Peace, and much love to you - John Baptist!


  1. This is one of the best blog posts that I've read thus far. Probably because I had absolutely no idea that all of that was happening even though I was there on stage with you. You came up so quietly and posed that it's hard for me to believe, even after reading this, that seconds before that you were trying to prevent a stage from collapsing and your head from catching on fire like Michael Jackson.

    It is humbling to think that all that we work for can collapse in seconds if a simple miscue happens. A mistimed turn can turn a wedding day into a funeral. Forget Allstate, thank God I'm in good hands with the All-mighty.


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