Boneyard Media

Sunday Service/Album ID: Dave Bixby


As you listen to this ultra-rare acoustic guitar/vocal LP which has been making the rounds on record-freak websites lately, you’ll at first feel touched by the enigmatic Bixby’s childlike, confessional lyrics and guileless delivery. He was once enslaved by drugs, he sings in the opener, but now Jesus has set him free. He should have listened to his mother, Bixby later tells us. She had tried to teach him about Jesus while he laughed at her, but she died before she could see him turn his life around and at once thank her for her efforts. But halfway through the record, your feelings of fondness morph into a certain kind of pity as its childlike qualities start to ring like submissiveness. And after you’ve listened to the whole thing straight through, having been hopelessly hypnotized by it, you’ll feel mostly unsettled. Then you’ll google him and discover that the record was likely midwifed by an intense Jesus cult he was involved in and you’ll start feeling outright scared of (and for) the guy.

The record has no year on it and no one seems to know for certain what it is. I’m guessing 1971, the year after the John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band album helped ease such earthy, nakedly confessional sounds into the pop music vernacular. (By the time the record’s lonely reverb and tape delay sink into your system, in fact, the JL/POB comparison is inescapable, as are thoughts of early Elvis sides like “Blue Moon.”) The year 1971 would also place it squarely in the middle of the all-pervasive Jesus-pop trend. Whatever the year, it’s a treasure in my book. (Absolutely no clue what the title’s misleading reference to Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec god, is all about.)

[See this update for more info on Bixby and the album: Ode to Quetzalcoatl redux.]

Dave Bixby – “666”

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2 Responses to “Sunday Service/Album ID: Dave Bixby”

  1. David L. Henrickson Says:

    This was definitely recorded in early 1970. I was an early member of this group and was trying to sell copies of it at a flea market at Grand Valley State Univeristy in May of 1970. I heard him sing these songs as early as summer of 1969 at our meetings.
    Dave Henrickson

  2. Boneyard Media » Blog Archive » Sunday Service: Ode to Quetzalcoatl redux Says:

    […] Bixby’s moody and fascinating Jesus folk album, Ode to Quetzalcoatl, which I wrote about here, is now available on CD via the Guerssen label in Spain. I’ve since gathered a few more […]

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