I could probably count on one hand the number of times I have watched Oprah but I did manage to DVR her show the other day where Vince Gill and Amy Grant "stopped by" for a visit with the first lady of talk show tv. I recorded it for the music--I could listen to Vince Gill sing the ABCs and be a happy camper.
But the point of their visit (PR for the new book) seemed awkward and it, honestly, made me really uncomfortable. Oprah asked Amy to talk about how they met. Amy recounted the details of where and when and how she was so moved just by talking to him, etc. She seemed to come just short of saying it was love at first sight. Could she really admit that on national television... because as Oprah, of course, pointed out-- they were both married to other people at the time. Hmm.
And then, Vince revealed that soon after meeting Amy (while still married to his first wife) he penned that amazing song - "Whenever You Come Around". Fine...break my heart. That song is why I like his music. But now...ugh.
Now I think I find it harder to hold their story up as a grand love story (yay, even tho he's the nicest guy in country music)...and to admire their ability to communicate and understand each other (something Amy spoke of extensively). I don't know...it's kindof a nagging detail. How much of a musician's life choices should influence my musical choices? And then there's the whole Christian icon thing. It's a little distressing to me that this woman who was the "darling of Christian radio" for so long felt it was OK to abandon her marriage for a new love. It just seems unsettling to me.
No, this "revelation" wasn't really new information. It was somewhat scandalous when it happened and Amy did have the good grace to lay low for a while (at least as far as CCM was concerned). Rumors abounded and it's pretty common knowledge around here that they broke up two marriages to be together. I guess I was just a little shocked to see it embraced so openly on Oprah.
OK I just re-read that and I should really just embrace my own naivete. Life goes on. Joal has seen them at Starbucks a few times...what else is new?
I'm sure my opinion has no real value and of course there could be circumstances of which I am unaware. I get that.
On a related note, in 2005, I was listening to the Brian Mason Show--a local Christian music radio show that airs on Sundays. Brian was interviewing Gary Chapman, Amy's first husband, who is also a singer/songwriter. Brian asked Gary Chapman "So, who's discs are in your car these days?" Without missing a beat, Gary said "Well, you can be sure there's no Vince Gill's Christmas Album in my disc changer." Dude. That was funny. And totally unexpected. I think Brian 'bout fell off his seat.
And it occurs to me that I do like lots of music that is made by people who's life choices I might not really agree with. An easy example - the Dixie Chicks fiasco. Obviously, can't stand Natalie Maines' decision to pontificate about her lack of respect for the American President while on foreign soil, but "Fly" and "Wide Open Spaces" are still in regular rotation on my mp3 player. For the most part, I don't find it so difficult to separate the musician from the music, even though sometimes I think they should just shut up and sing.
But it's a little different with people claiming to be standard-bearers of Christ. Or at least it should be. Shouldn't they be held to a higher standard? "To whom much is given, much is required" right? When you stand in the spotlight on a very large stage, don't you have a responsibility to represent with some integrity? I don't know. It's after midnight. I should go to bed and think about this tomorrow.
Sleep tight, ya'll.