“What a gathering! Perhaps 500 (?) of us poured into a church in Salem this morning to pay our respects to Larry. As we entered we were handed ‘circus programs’ (instead of a boring pamphlet) that read: Larry Norman Presents: A Going Away Party.
It was a gathering of friends, family and fans alike. As people caught up with one another organ music filled the air. Then, all of a sudden: SCREEEEEEETCH! It was the sound of a record player needle ripping across vinyl.
‘I ain’t knocking the hymns,
Just give me a song that has a beat.
I ain’t knocking the hymns,
Just give me a song that moves my feet.
I don’t like none of those funeral marches
I ain’t dead yet!’
What followed was a wonderful montage of music, photographs, and videos of Larry throughout his life. Friends and family spoke and there were a few performances. After it was all over we ate hot dogs, popcorn and Cracker Jacks! A party. Just like Larry wanted.”
“There were greeters at the door handing everyone a carnival ticket, a program that says, “Larry Norman Presents… A Going Away Party” (program front/back — program inside) and a CD of In Another Land (30th Year Edition).
I think many of us expected a bunch of famous musicians giving testimony of the greatness of Larry. Instead, the family gathered a bunch of everyday people who’s lives were touched by Larry. After the musical collage, a man came on stage and said, “Hi, I’m Jerry, Larry’s mailman. For years I have delivered Larry’s mail” — he spoke of Norman’s kindness and love for him.
After the service there was a reception with popcorn, Cracker Jacks and hot dogs.”
- Larry Norman’s Message to Those Attending His Funeral
- The Salem Statesman Journal also ran an article on the service in addition to a photo gallery of the event on their site.
- I’ve added these to the Metapost I’ve been building on Larry Norman and responses to his recent passing.