One of the finest but least known guitarists of the British Invasion was Caleb Quaye. He and Dale A. Berryhill offer a fascinating behind-the-bands look at the American and British rock scene of the sixties, seventies and early eighties. Beyond the glamor, the fame, the sex, the interminable tours and the haze of drugs, Quaye wondered several times: “Is this all there is?" Quaye writes: ”“When I was hobnobbing with some of the biggest stars popular music has ever produced – Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Pete Townshend, Lou Reed, Hall & Oates and most notably, Elton John – I thought I had what matters in life. If I had stopped to think about it, I would have dismissed the idea of religious faith as something unreal. Today, I see that it was the fame and the success that were unreal and transient and that it is my religious faith that is meaningful and lasting,”
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Caleb Quaye was born and raised in London, England. On his paternal side, he is descended from four generations of musicians, extending back to Ghana, West Africa. During the late sixties and the seventies, he was a well-known studio musician, as well as Elton John's guitarist for ten years. An ordained minister, he is the founder of New World Music Ministries, Inc., based in West Covina, California.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
It happened on October 9, 1979, my thirtieth birthday. I had been on the road with Hall & Oates for six months straight. We played the Omni Theatre in Atlanta and after the concert, the band threw a surprise party for me back in my hotel room. The roadies brought in cake, booze, women and cocaine and we just all went nuts until around five in the morning. When it finally ended, I was left alone in my hotel room. I sat there in a chair, just cooling off before getting into bed. I wasn't thinking about anything in particular, when all of a sudden I heard a voice. It was a voice I had never heard before and it was so loud and so clear that it seemed to come from inside of me and from outside of me at the same time.
"Caleb," the voice said, "from this point on, your life is going to be completely different. Nothing is going to be the same for you ever again."
I snapped up straight and said, "Who's that?" The voice was so clear that I actually turned around to see who was standing behind me. The only thing behind me was the hotel window -- we were on the ninth floor of the Omni Hotel.
I had no idea who the voice belonged to but I knew something significant had happened. I made a promise to myself to find out more but I didn't know where to start. I had grown up in the church and I had attended Anglican Church schools but with all the fancy sermons I had heard condemning every kind of sin, I had never heard the gospel preached. I was never told that I could have a personal relationship with God or with Jesus. I knew God was out there somewhere -- I was never an atheist -- but I didn't know what it meant to have a relationship with God.
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