WCBW 104.9 FM Interview

by Sandi Brown

St. Louis, MO Early 1993



Sandi: One of your artists is Rich Mullins, who is a favorite here in St. Louis, very popular, and nationally, I'm sure. Tell us, though... it seems as though we've been hearing things about... that maybe there is a twist, or a change coming in his career, less touring and all that. What's goin' on with Rich?

Reunion rep: Well, basically, last year he said that, "I'm not gonna do any more of these three-, four-month runs," where he runs out and does, you know, 60 shows, or 40 to 60 shows in one shot. And he said, "You know, I really want to go back to school. I really want to continue in music. And I..." He's real involved with the camp that he does on weekends. It's kind of a retreat-type thing, and he's real focused on that. And so, he's back in school in Wichita, so obviously that takes a lot of his time right now. And, we're continuing on working The World As Best As I Remember It, Volume 2, which is his current record. And then, when his summer break comes along, (Sandi laughs) we'll get back into the studio and start working on the next record. And so, there's definitely a future in music for Rich. He just has other ambitions, you know?

Sandi: Sure.

Reunion rep: A lot of times, people just want to do records, or they want to tour a lot. And he's saying, "Wow, I've been out on missions trips, and I've been around. I want to teach. I want to teach music." And so, he has a lot of priorities in his life that he wants to do and accomplish while he's here. So that's what he's doing. And his next record they're talking about is a 14-song record.

Sandi: Wow!

Reunion rep: And it's kind of gonna be an event, I think. I mean, he wants to bring in real good musician friends of his and just play. Not come out all polished and, "Oh, go back and do that line again. It's not quite right." He wants to say, "This is what we do, and this is... you know, we just sat down and played, and we recorded this for you."

Sandi: Kind of like a live studio sound?

Reunion rep: Kind of; but it'll be probably a little more polished than that, because I'm sure they'll go back and re-do some things.

Sandi: Right.

Reunion rep: But just not to the extent of so produced, and that kind of thing. Bring in Reed Arvin, who's produced all of his records, great piano player. Maybe Jimmy A, come in and play guitar, and some things like that. It's all real initial right now, and they're still throwin' ideas around. And he was talkin' about titling it. He loves long titles... (Sandi laughs)... "The Liturgy, the Legacy, and the Ragamuffin Band." (They both laugh.) Gosh, I hope I can say this... but anyway, that may not all come out...

Sandi: Right...

Reunion rep: So if it's not ever in the store, don't blame me. But he wanted to come out and do some of those traditional hymn-type songs on half his record, and half his record, do his typical songs that he likes to write. And so, it could be an interesting concept for a record. Leave it to Rich to come up with something interesting, because he sure... he certainly can.

Sandi: Yeah.

Reunion rep: He always does.

Sandi: I was just gonna say, if there's one thing you can expect from Rich, it's the unexpected. Because he is incredible.

Reunion rep: It's true. He travels with his dogs in his truck, and... (Sandi laughs) drives all across the country in his pick-up. Yep, (Sandi still laughing) doin' concerts. And comes out with no shoes on. He does own shoes (Sandi laughs again.) And he does own jeans without holes in them. People have asked me that. (Sandy's still laughing.) So, trust me. Got his hair cut... he has short hair these days.

Sandi: I didn't know that.

Reunion rep: Yeah... so he looks like he did back in the early days on those records. We're kinda teasing him, but don't tell him that. He doesn't like that.

Sandi: Huh, how wild! Well, you know, I would love to be a like a little fly that flies around Wichita...

Reunion rep: Yeah, yeah...

Sandi: You know, he's goin' to school now. I heard that he's actually leading the choir in his church.

Reunion rep: Yes, and let me tell you his degree...

Sandi: Oh, okay, go ahead.

Reunion rep: It's going to be in music-ethnicology. I don't know. I do not know.

Sandi: What does that mean?

Reunion rep: Well, the other thing that he said about it was that he wants to teach music on a reservation. He has a real interest in Indians and that type thing. So... but he really wants to study the history of music, and, I mean, you can hear on his records, just all the different instrumentation that he's so interested and intrigued with.

Sandi: Right.

Reunion rep: And, we gave him a hammered dulcimer recently this year.

Sandi: I heard that. Yeah!

Reunion rep: And he was just shocked. His had gotten damaged on the road. And I mean, you don't just go out and buy a hammered dulcimer.

Sandi: Right.

Reunion rep: So there was a guy, I think it was in North Carolina, that hand-makes those. And so we presented him with one. And it had an extra octave and we didn't even know. He's like, "Wow, this has an extra octave!" (Sandi laughs.) And we're like, "We knew that all along." (Both laugh.)

Sandi: There probably wasn't anything you could have gotten, a plaque or an award would have meant nothing to him.

Reunion rep: In fact, I did give him one for his Number One song, "Sometimes By Step", at the same time. He left it behind.

Sandi: (laughs) Did he really?

Reunion rep: There you go. That's Rich Mullins. (They are both laughing.)

Sandi: That's neat. That's great.




Interview transcibed by Robin Woodson,
used with permission from

A Tribute to the music
and message of Rich Mullins





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