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Dave talks of the
70s Jesus Movement,
and his musical life.
FM90.3 WJTL Lancaster, PA
Host: Terry Phillips
|Dave learns drums and
sweat in the marching band
|Coming Soon -
Ancient archives & recordings of one of America's first Jesus rock bands.
E-band, 1971. Jesus is moving, Jesus music is rocking.
Joe Grier, Dave Eden, Tom Byler, Dave O'Haver, Greg X Volz
E now 4 in '73: O'Haver, Eden, guitarist Greg Dunteman, Volz.
E down to 3 in '74 tent crusade.
Dunteman, Eden, Volz
Dave played drums, did some singing & co-writing with E.
Post E he wrote & sang on his autoharp, later on piano.
Dave & guitarist Greg Dunteman rockin' for Jesus.
'87: Dave as dad with future drummer son Jeremy.
'05: Dave & kids perform his song "You Fight for Me" in church.
A New Song in Eden
David Eden's Musical Adventures
It started with records. You've heard of them-- big black plastic disks you could put a needle on to hear sounds! Anyway, Dave used to sit for hours listening to his parents', his 3 older sisters' and then his own albums. You name it, he liked it: big band, country, musicals, rock, epecially the Beatles. Dave went to sleep most of those Illinois evenings in the 60's listening to the radio. And a song was born in his heart.
The song began to grow when he
joined the New Lenox Grade School Concert & Marching Band. He remembers almost fainting with the other kids in those sweltering 4th of July parades. There he stood, holding his snare or bass drum, standing forever in hot uniforms at the cemetery ceremony! From such suffering, music dreamers are born!
Dave would work out on his dad's drum set in the garage with a friend or two. Maybe a little Dixieland or a pop tune. His Dad earned extra money playing weekend gigs with various dance bands around Joliet. By the time Dave was 16 he'd gotten good enough to sub for dad now and then.
In high school, Dave met more rock-n-roll conspirators and conceived various bands & plans to rule the world. He'd play the Joliet area with The Dark Ages or travel into Chicago Heights to play with The Wooden Nickels. Soon he was off to college at Illinois State U. But instead of studying to be an art teacher, he spent most of his time
playing gigs with a campus band called The Krosswinds.
Dave and some ambitious buddies moved to Indianapolis in 1969 to start Gidian's Bible. They had no religious convictions, it was just a cool name! They all moved into a house together to rock full-time... and "make it big!" They soon became one of the top bands in Indy, getting to front such national groups like Chicago and Janis Joplin. They played big festivals & little bars, weekends at lounges & afternoons on campuses. They also began writing songs and in 1970 hit the local charts at #12 with: "The Dream". in ou
But for some reason the Gideons Association did not smile upon the band's new notoriety and that name, kindly asking them to change it or else! After some late night yoga meditations and pizza, they decided to be known as simply E! Because it stood for... everything! ...earth, ecology, evolution, eternity, eggnog, earwax, and of course: Eden! Armed with their new identity, their distinctive Hammond B3 sound, Greg Volz' soaring vocals and their new writing skills, they were poised to fulfill their rock-n-roll dream... *
But God had other plans. That summer the earth shook and the dream changed! All the guys in the band had an encounter with the real Jesus! Not just the guru, wizard, holyman, hippie hero, but the living Son of God from the Bible and from Heaven! They were all radically converted. They got baptized and became instant, intense Christian revolutionaries. They left behind their dream of fame & music for a life of faith & ministry. They began playing for Jesus anywhere they could...in lounges, bars, colleges or free concerts in the park, even churches! They were still called "E" but now it simply stood for Emmanuel.
Over the next 4 years E would go on to become
cultural pioneers as one of America’s strange new musical breed: the Christian rock band! They saw many young peers & prodigals discover the same Jesus who had
changed their lives! But the media didn't know what to make of it all!
It was the time of The Jesus Movement. None of these muscians cared about recording contracts or celebrity status. These were wild, hungry days of cultural shaking & spiritual awakening. It was war. But their weapons were love, prayer & God's song. And they took it to the streets.
In 1972 E was scheduled to play at their first big Christian Festival in Texas. They were again about to be thrust upon a national stage. But again, God had other plans. Before that engagement they began break up and to go their separate ways. One to pursue new ministry visions, one to get his personal life in order, others would keep a remnant of the band together.
Eventually Greg Volz would leave to sing for another Indiana Jesus band called Petra. In 1980 Petra would release it's first national hit, "The Coloring Song" written by Dave. They would go on for 2 decades to become one of the most successful Christian bands in history.
Dave took to writing more songs on his autoharp & would perform with friends at churches & coffeehouses. In 1976 Dave met Diane (Gruger).
They traveled America with a Jesus people tent ministry, Christ is the Answer Crusades where Dave, among other duties, played drums with the house band: The Joyful Noise.
In 1980 Dave won an award for the SESAC gospel song of the year. But at the time, He was still a leftover zealous Jesus freak who couldn't understand why this Jesus music ministry was degenerating into a "contemporary christian music industry." He refused the award, gave an uninvited tirade on commercialism & compromise in the church. Half the audience stood in a stading ovation, the other half didn't. Dave had clearly signed his death warrant as an influence in gospel music. But of course, God had other plans...
Over the next 3 decades Dave would devote himself to his family, his art career and various ministry endeavors. He would work as a billboard & mural artist, a sign painter, a pastor & kid's pastor, a cartoonist
and a prison minister.
And Dave has continued to write songs, and to sing them
for children, for prisoners, for churches, but especially for,
as he says... An Audience of One.
Some have been recorded by others, some by himself. But one way or another, God's new song goes on...
Dave has recorded 2 "amateur" projects:
JCU: Songs from the School of Jesus and JCU4kids.
Dave is bi-vocational:
He's self-employed with his own business:
Eden Signs & Murals
And he's a children's missionary
The Edens live in the Dallas area with their four kids.
They attend New Hope Christian Church in Wylie, Tx.