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24 September 2007



So, it sounds like (from the 'trust me, it's nothing) - that you've seen the cover?


I remember it better than I do his music, which has left no imprint on my brain at all. Although, like many white gospel performers, Larry Norman would take "breaks" during his concerts to preach, and I recall one of his sermons where he exhorted his audience to (a) bring winos home with them, and (b) take Jesus to lunch at a real deli with real mustard.


Well, perhaps I might like him then? Interesting.

So he was...just wearing boots and standing by an applie?


As I recall, they were thigh high snakeskin boots (it was the 70s), and the photo was of two legs from, say, mid-thigh down, with the apple.

The photo of him impersonating Farah Fawcit is also perfect, IMHO -- sums up the 70s.


Yeah, that is pretty good.

The apple is really the funniest part of the whole image though.

Ray Fowler

So Long Ago the Garden is one of my favorite albums. I own the original LP, plus several LP re-releases and CD versions. You can view the original album cover at http://www.meetjesushere.com/so_long_ago_the_garden.htm along with all the re-released versions.

BTW, where did you get the Larry/Farrah photo? That is hilarious!


Thanks a lot for posting the link, Ray. (although I see that my memory failed me, and the boots are not mid-thigh).

The Farah Fawcet photo came from Larry's website .... But now, as someone who knows the album -- and Larry Norman -- far better than I do, can you explain what the deal was with the photo? He was blackballed by Christians because of an *image*. What do you remember about it?


Pretty cool boots, I'd say. But enough to blackball him? I'm guessing the apple was the problem.

Ray Fowler

Well, as I recall, the problem was that he was naked on the front cover of the album. Even though you couldn't see anything (the blend with the lion and the jungle brush strategically covered the appropriate parts), most Christian record stores were not prepared to stock an album with that type of cover back in 1973. (I wonder if they would even be able to do it today!)

As you can see from the photos in the earlier link, some of the later releases cropped the photo much higher so that you just saw a bare-chested Larry instead of a fully naked Larry.

I think the album cover is pure genius. The theme of the album goes back to the Garden of Eden, and so Larry is Adam naked in the garden, and the lion is a symbol of God. The blend of the two photos puts the lion "inside" Larry symbolizing the fellowship man enjoyed with God before the fall. I also love the way Larry's hair and the lion's mane blend together in the photo.

The symbolism of the photo of the snake boots and the apple with the two bites taken out of it on the back of the LP is obvious enough.

Here are Larry's liner notes about the photos from the original 1973 LP:

"the album cover was photographed by me. the lion is a friend of mine. the other is a self-portrait shot at 5:30 in the morning in rhodesia several days after the zambian shootings. (nikon ftn fitted with a 135 mm lens. exposure 1/125 sec. at f2.8 on ektachrome).

the back cover i shot in england. i could only find green apples, so fingernail polish was used to make the apple red.


hmmmm ... It's true that the album description posted on the Larry Norman Website talks about him being naked, which you refer to, but the album description also refers to the snakeskin boots. I guess both photos caused him trouble. And looking at the photos today, it's nearly inconcievable that such benign images would rock Christians so badly and derail his career. What do you think, Solid Rock Army, who are said to be lurking here like the breath at the end of our nose?

Ray Fowler

What? Is the Army here? Feel free to jump in guys. YOu know a lot more about this stuff than I do.


Yes - they've been checking in for the past few days, a bit more sporadically now. It would be very interesting to hear from them.

jacob freshour

unday, February 24, 2008

Larry Norman...RIP
Current mood: sad

I just received a e-mail that one of my musical inspirations passed away today. Larry Norman inspired me in so many ways....I can't gather all my thoughts right now...Many only knew him from the song "I wish we'd all been ready", that is a true shame. Right now I am just numb..I feel like I have lost a member of my own family. I can see you right now...the first picture I saw of you...on the cover of Campus Life magazine...seems like just a few years ago...but it was mid to late 70's...

I will comment more later in the week....but for right now all I can say is, Larry Norman....Thank You, you challenged me to be a more real and caring person....You will be missed by many...

(below is the e-mail form Solid Rock Music)

MESSAGE FROM SOLID ROCK (http://www.larrynorman.com)
Hello everybody.

Our friend and my wonderful brother Larry passed away at 2:45 Sunday
morning. Kristin and I were with him, holding his hands and sitting in
bed with him when his heart finally slowed to a stop. We spent this past
week laughing, singing, and praying with him, and all the while he had
us taking notes on new song ideas and instructions on how to continue
his ministry and art.

Several of you friends here got to come and visit with him in the last
couple of weeks and were a great source of help and friendship to Larry.
Ray Sievers, Derek Robertson, Mike Makinster, Matt Simmons, and a few
more. Thank you guys. Larry appreciated your visits very much. And he
greatly appreciated the thoughts, wishes, support and prayers that came
from all of you Army members on a daily basis. Thank you for being part
of his small circle of friends over the years. Yesterday afternoon he
knew he was going to go home to God very soon and he dictated the
following message to you while his friend Allen Fleming typed these
words into Larry's computer:
____________ _________ _________ __

I feel like a prize in a box of cracker jacks with God's hand reaching
down to pick me up. I have been under medical care for months. My wounds
are getting bigger. I have trouble breathing. I am ready to fly home.

My brother Charles is right, I wont be here much longer. I cant do
anything about it. My heart is too weak. I want to say goodbye to
everyone. In the past you have generously supported me with prayer and
finance and we will probably still need financial help

My plan is to be buried in a simple pine box with some flowers inside.
But still it will be costly because of funeral arrangement,
transportation to the gravesite, entombment, coordination, legal papers
etc. However money is not really what I need, I want to say I love you.

I'd like to push back the darkness with my bravest effort. There will be
a funeral posted here on the website, in case some of you want to
attend. We are not sure of the date when I will die. Goodbye, farewell,
we will meet again.

Goodbye, farewell, we'll meet again
Somewhere beyond the sky.
I pray that you will stay with God
Goodbye, my friends, goodbye.

____________ _________ _________ _________ _

Thank you to all of you who were so nice to my brother over the years.
Kristin and I will post funeral information in the next day or two.
Right now we're not able to function very well, but the whole family is
here... our mother Margaret, our sisters Nancy and Kristy, Mike Norman
and his new wife Tiffany, and Silver.

We miss him beyond words. Thank you for everything.

Peace to you all in Christ,

Charles Norman


Jacob, thanks for passing this news on. I am sorry for your loss. What an interesting and meaningful life Larry seem to have led.

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