70s Jesus Music Provides Therapy

Talk about Petra albums, songs, and concerts.
Lirpa Loof
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70s Jesus Music Provides Therapy

Post by Lirpa Loof » Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:50 am

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO - A song from the early years of a Christian rock band had been helping patients return to normal in a New Mexico mental hospital. The song is called "The Coloring Song," and it seems to connect with patients on a level that other music does not.

"In the common room, we generally have some soft music playing," says Parler Bidon, who runs Peace Restoration House in Trazione del Piedino, New Mexico. "One day, someone had turned on a Christian radio station, the kind where the music is very gentle and doesn't upset the patients. 'The Coloring Song' came on, with the flutes at the beginning, and I thought it was just beautiful."

So did one of the patients, Peter Mayhew. "Peter has been largely nonresponsive for the past twelve years," says Bidon. "Every day someone puts him in a wheelchair and rolls him down to the common room so he can be in the sunlight and around people. When 'The Coloring Song' came on the radio, his chair was next to a small table which someone happened to have left some crayons on. Pete looked like he had woken up from a dream!"

Peter started coloring.

At first there was no paper on the table; the patient who had been using the crayons had taken his picture to show to another patient. Peter started coloring directly on the table, and when Bidon noticed what was going on, he brought some paper.

"He colored that paper completely," Bidon recounts. "There was no white left. Then I brought another page, and he colored another one like that. I brought more paper, and Pete started drawing a picture of a girl."

When the song was over, Peter Mayhew lapsed back into his vegetative state, but Bidon was intrigued.

"I called the radio station and found out what the song was called, and then I got on the Internet and bought a copy of a CD of it. It turns out most of the music from the band that recorded the song is too energetic; it agitates the patients. But the next time I played that song for Pete, he started coloring his picture again."

It turned out that the finished picture was a remarkable likeness of Mayhew's daughter, as she looked as a teenager, 12 years ago.

"When I saw the picture, I started to cry," Denise Mayhew said. "It looked so much like me at 13 that I finally knew for sure that my dad was still in there."

None of the other ballads from the band Petra woke Peter Mayhew out of his mental state, but whenever they played "The Coloring Song" for him, Peter could communicate with the world through crayons. First he only colored pictures: pictures of family members, pictures of pets, pictures of other patients at Peace Restoration House. Then one day, as he listened to "The Coloring Song," Peter did something different.

"I looked over his shoulder and saw that he had colored a picture of a dog," Bidon tells us. "Under the picture of the dog, the word "Bob" was clearly written in capital letters." When he asked Denise Mayhew if she knew anyone named Bob, she said that she had a dog named Bob. Bob had been less than a year old when Peter had become ill and wound up at Peace Restoration House.

"After that point, Pete's pictures became more and more realistic. He began to draw more pictures of things from the world outside... taxicabs, children playing baseball, horses, airplanes, fire stations. Just random stuff, but I could see that he was regaining his grasp of the outside world. There were more words in the drawings, too. Sometimes the words were like captions underneath the picture. Sometimes the words were within the picture, like a sign on a building with the name of the building on it."

While he still lapsed into nonresponsiveness when he wasn't listening to the Petra song, and he had not yet spoken verbally even when the song was playing, Bidon was encouraged by his progress. Then one day, Bidon was startled when Peter did something different with his crayon.

"I played the song for him, and he picked up the blue crayon, but instead of drawing, he started writing."

When the three-minute song was over and Mayhew had regressed back into his mental cave, Bidon found a two-page letter to Denise Mayhew.

"I cried when I saw it," she remembers, "It was all about how he loved me and missed me and wanted to be with me again."

The next time Parler Bidon played "The Coloring Song" for Pete Mayhew, Denise was there.

"He picked up the crayons without even noticing I was there, but I started talking to him. I just said, 'Daddy, I love you.'"

Peter Mayhew looked up at his daughter, recognized her, and slowly said the first words he had said in twelve years: "I love you too, Pumpkin."

Peter and Denise began talking, and when the three-minute song was over, the conversation continued. Peter never again lapsed into his semi-comatose state. Within days he had been released from Peace Restoration House. He moved into his daughter's house, and within months not only had he gotten a job as managing editor of the Trazione del Piedino Gazette, but he was leading the polls in the upcoming race for Governor of New Mexico.

"It's amazing that the power of Christian rock and roll could do this for me," Peter tells us. He still signs contracts in blue crayon, and he has a box of Crayolas prominently displayed on his desk. He has a framed copy of Petra's album Never Say Die containing "The Coloring Song" on his wall.

"I was never much of a Christian rock music fan, but now, no pun intended, I've changed my mind," he says. "If I am elected Governor, my first act will be to declare 'The Coloring Song' the state song of New Mexico. And if I can find him, I'll have Mr. Petra play at my inauguration."
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Re: 70s Jesus Music Provides Therapy

Post by calicowriter » Thu Apr 01, 2010 9:01 am

Where do you come up with this stuff? :D

Good one.
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Re: 70s Jesus Music Provides Therapy

Post by Shell » Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:01 am

Aw, good ol' Lipra Loof...Good one. 8)
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Re: 70s Jesus Music Provides Therapy

Post by sue d. » Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:21 pm

Hehehee.... Lirpa makes his yearly appearance... then disappears into the shadows for yet another year.....
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Re: 70s Jesus Music Provides Therapy

Post by Enosh » Thu Apr 01, 2010 10:19 pm

The funniest thing about that whole story has been sorely overlooked....

Peter Mayhew is the guy who played Chewbacca in Star Wars.

Chewie loves Petra. :) Nice one Lirpa Loof
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Re: 70s Jesus Music Provides Therapy

Post by pmal » Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:12 am

hehe, I didn't miss it but was wondering who else caught on ...
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Re: 70s Jesus Music Provides Therapy

Post by Jan » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:21 am

Ok, I wasn't going to admit this, but then I thought...why not? These people don't know me anyway. So, being a newbie here, you had going for awhile on this. I was thinking "this is cool!" all the way up to the dog named Bob. Then I thought "this is sounding a little.......suspicious...."

Anyway, congratulations Lirpa, you found a sucker. :lol:

I went back and read some of the older ones. The Head East one is hilarious!! Even I wouldn't have believed it, but it WAS funny!
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Re: 70s Jesus Music Provides Therapy

Post by Shell » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:51 am

Don't feel bad, he (or she) fooled some of the rest of us too...And some of us had been posting for awhile when Lipra started making these posts. :mrgreen:

Hmmmm...Maybe we should have some sort of debate about who this might be....Enosh and Jonathan are crazy enough to do this, but if they have something to say they usually just say it; I sort of doubt they would need to make up a name. Brian is crazy enough but he hasn't posted here in quite awhile. I'm crazy enough but I'd never have thought up something like this on my own...Elo and I together maybe, but not by myself, and Elo doesn't post real often anymore either. Who does that leave? Anyone want to confess? 8)
Last edited by Shell on Sat Apr 03, 2010 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 70s Jesus Music Provides Therapy

Post by p-freak » Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:59 am

I vote for Jonathan 8)
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Re: 70s Jesus Music Provides Therapy

Post by pmal » Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:58 am

My fav is from a couple of years ago about Lucas McGraw being named the top christian rock song of all time.
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Re: 70s Jesus Music Provides Therapy

Post by Jan » Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:38 am

I vote for Enosh.
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Re: 70s Jesus Music Provides Therapy

Post by sue d. » Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:17 am

No....

It's someone who doesn't post that frequently any more but who used to be rather active here.

A year or two ago Micah checked into the IP addy of the poster - and so that's how he discovered who the person is.
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Re: 70s Jesus Music Provides Therapy

Post by Shell » Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:26 am

Hmmmm.... Mat maybe? 8)
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Re: 70s Jesus Music Provides Therapy

Post by separateunion » Mon Apr 05, 2010 10:01 am

Shell wrote:Hmmmm.... Mat maybe? 8)
That would make sense, actually.
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Re: 70s Jesus Music Provides Therapy

Post by Shell » Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:32 pm

Yeah, he was/is a lunatic... :lol: He made some very funny posts, I've missed him too. Sigh, I know there's no way for things to always be the same, but I miss those old days. I hope he's doing well.

Really, when you stop to think about it, anyone who's posted here for awhile has made a post that's funny, off topic or at least bordering on weird...Even those who are a little less prone to silliness than some of us are. :mrgreen: It's kind of unavoidable when you've been posting here long enough. :P :shock: :mrgreen:
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