I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends...
by Rich Mullins
From Release Extra 1994
We first met when he was about fourteen and I was in a college retreat ministry. We were doing a weekend at his church, and he was the most obnoxious kid in the youth group! I just knew that Beaker's life was not going to be an ordinary one. He was either going to be extraordinarily bad or extraordinarily good. I think the thing I love about Beaker is that he is one of the most brutally honest people I have ever known. He's really hard on himself. He is also super idealistic and that idealism can sometimes bite you and turn into cynicism. It can kinda flip-flop between being really cyncial and really idealistic in a matter of seconds. But he's just a good person. I'm not sure how to describe it - there's just a goodness about him. He is definitely one of my most valued frinds.
I have a huge respect for Reed because I don't think I know anyone smarter than him. Plus, he intimidates the living day-lights out of me. I never get into an argument with him because it's pointless. He is just so keen and sharp focused. When you respect someone as much as I respect Reed, sometimes you don't love them as much, but one of the wonderful things about Reed is he doesn't ride on his intellect (and he could). In the time we've worked together, Reed has become no less sharp intellectually, but he has grown in terms of the depth of his emotions and in terms of his willingness to be vulnerable with people. That makes me really love Reed.
Rick is one of those guys who has been through it all. And he has not quit. He's an overcomer kind of guy. Really sensitive. Really funny -- I love people who have a great sense of humor and he does. I kinda think of him as a really smart thug with a lot of heat. He also laughsat himself more easily than a lot of people do. I like that.
Jimmy just has this childlikeness about him. He loves to paint and he loves for other people to paint. I was too hung up to do it, cause I was always going, "this looks awful." And he would go, "it doesn't matter - you did it. The important thing is that you do it." And I think that's kinda Jimmy's approach to life. You don't do something because you're great at it -- you do something because it's there to do. That's a characteristic of his that I would really like to imitate.
Phil has an honesty -- and that's really important, especially now, when so many people are so busy finessing each other. Beyond that, a cool thing is, that in the past I have said some things that were really hurtful to Phil. And he was so willing to forgive it. I mean just like at the drop of a hat. He's like ok, fine. Let's go on. Forgiveness is almost as rare as honesty. I don't know Phil as well as well as I know the other guys, but I know a lot of people that know him. One of the things they say when Phil comes up in conversation, is man, he never quits -- he just continues to grow. And I think, yeah, that's the kind of person I want to be around.
Danny is a very musically astute and sensitive player -- a real musician is the way I see it. But I also think that he's one of the most peaceful people I can think of being around. He cares about things. He's concerned about things, but there's a peace that passes understanding in his life -- or else he's a really good faker. He doesn't get thrown by things. I really appreciate that about him. That, and the fact that his name is Irish.
I first met Billy when we were working on my first album. Reed brought him in to do background vocals. At that time, I had no idea what an amazing guitarist he was or that he was an incredible writer as well. But several years later, when I heard the song "Elena" and saw the Any Starlight Night concert, I knew he had a lot more to give than anybody realized. He's one of the most creative men I have ever met. And if I could ever learn to play the guitar solo to "Boy Like Me/Man Like You," like Billy did on my album, well...