“The Reverending Story is designed to explain the strange workings in my past lives,” says North Park resident Reverend Stickman of his musical stage show debuting June 24 at Swedenborg Hall. “The idea behind the production came from the fact that my songs are generally stories from some place or time in my life. I’ve never been much for writing love songs, but I do have some wild tales to tell during the show.”
The multimedia production includes film footage, spoken-word skits, dancing (“of a sort”), and several guest performers, including a choir. The debut event also serves as a release party for the accompanying nine-song CD, Half Alive: Stories from Under the Black Hat. “We actually cut 13 songs in a six-hour studio session,” says the folk-blues rocker. “The concept behind the recording was to lay down the basic tracks — bass, drums, and guitar — live in the studio and then add vocals and solos via multitracking. ‘Half Alive’ stems from the fact that it was recorded that way.”
Produced by Sven-Erik Seaholm at Kitch ’n Sync Studios and mastered by Paul Abbott at Zen Mastering, the CD features a full band, with Stickman covering 6- and 12-string acoustic and electric guitars, slide guitar, and lead and backing vocals.
So, how did the Reverend attain his ministerial credentials? It all started with two friends who wanted him to officiate their marriage. “After quite a bit of preparation — i.e., writing a money order — and profound thought — i.e., drinking — I became a mail-order reverend. I can marry, baptize, and perform legal unions, but I do not preach, and I’m not affiliated with any single religious belief. All faiths and denominations are honored, even if not always understood.
“Spirituality is something we can all feel.... Religion divides us from each other.”
Reverend Stickman can frequently be seen walking through Balboa Park with his guitar and Jack Russell terrier, or hanging out at the Stage Saloon downtown, where he appears nearly every Saturday night from 7 to 8 p.m.