Squarely under the heading of "It's none of my Business"...

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'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.


Mimi said...

Well, I am not an Amy or Vince fan, but I LOVE Johnny Cash and I particuarly like his work with June. So, it is exactly the same situation, I think.

I also thought Amy's ex's comment was funny, though.

And, I also like John Lennon, who was a complete jerk to his first wife, and not all that much better to Yoko.

The Scrappy Bee... said...

I, too, love Vince Gill's voice and always enjoyed AG's music as well. When the whole thing came about years ago I was annoyed by it, but over time have actually admired them for having the courage to do what they did.

Anonymous said...

I have said and done wrong things in my life but luckily I am not "important" enough to be in the tabloids. I can't imagine my every mistake being broadcast !
I choose to enjoy the positive parts of people and leave the rest to them and God. It's not my business.
If I understand my Bible, ministers, pastors, etc. are held to a higher standard. I believe I do expect more of them than other people. Not that I think they can't be human and make mistakes, but when they are doing what they are teaching others not to, they need to step down and not be in a position of leadership.

Anonymous said...

Just an FYI, Amy and Gary had a troubled marriage for a long time. Gary has had drug addiction problems for many, many moons. She was very strong to try to make it work for so many years with him, the father of three of her daughters. Vince was also separated from his first wife for a long time and divorced her a long while before Amy and Gary gave it up for good.

Quick judgements are easy to make when you don't have more information. Don't always assume you have the whole story.

Sarah said...

Wow. I've gotten more email about this post than anything else I've ever written.

I think each of us is entitled to our opinions about such matters, even those that are private. In case you missed it...I did say I'm just an outside observer.

The facts remain, no matter what the circumstances with their original spouses. I don't think it's right to say that their original marriages were "mistakes". Choices. We all make choices and we all live with those choices. Good or bad.

From my vantage point, I have difficulty with almost anyone who gives up on their marriage vows--celebrity or not. I hate divorce and I do think it happens all too often in our society. Of course, there are times when divorce is the only option. I get that. And of course, I am in no position to say yes or no to whether or not anything else could have been done in this situation.

In Amy's first interview with CCM post-divorce, she was quoted as saying that she felt "God released her" from her marriage to Gary Chapman. Who am I to say that's not the case?

Life is sticky. Especially when you lay yourself out there on the Oprah show.