Larry In The Spotlight

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Thursday 17th July 2008

The late Larry Norman gets critical acclaim; new revelations emerge

MAINSTREAM music critical acclaim and new controversy have arisen over the life and times of Jesus music pioneer Larry Norman, who died in February. The acclaim has come following the recent release by The Arena Rock Recording Company of a compilation 'Rebel Poet, Jukebox Balladeer: The Anthology'. The CD contains many of the singer/songwriter's best known recordings including "I Wish We'd All Been Ready", "The Great American Novel", "Why Should The Devil Have All The Good Music", "Reader's Digest" and "The Outlaw". Amongst the rave reviews has been one in the influential Rolling Stone magazine.

Controversy has spread with the publication by World magazine and other internet sites of the details of a sexual relationship Larry had with an Australian girl, Jennifer Wallace, in 1988 which resulted in Norman fathering an illegitimate child, Daniel. The revelations about Larry have prompted the writing and recording of the song "Larry's Son" by Scotland-based singer/songwriter Sammy Horner, now available for download. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

Reader Comments

Posted by Markley in Santa Clara, CA @ 03:28 on Apr 21 2010

I thought the fallen Angel movie came across in a way that obscured the point that holds the most weight which in my opinion is getting Daniel legally recognized. It would have been a complete movie just to explore Daniel's situation and stick on that one unassailable fact. That might be something that one COULD do in a loving way that could treat Jennifer, Daniel AND Larry with respect. That could be truly a 'Bible Story'. Can't we handle difficult subjects without trying to completely destroy those that have a different perspective? But by trying to cover so much in so little time but from only one side of the controversy the film comes across as very unfair and unbalanced and hardly 'christian'.

A friend I brought to the movie (who didn't know anything about Larry Norman before seeing the movie) said they felt drug through the mud and said to them it seemed like what they called a "hatchet job".

Several of the articles said that Norman had been diagnosed with bipolar trauma, but for some reason this important point goes unexamined in the movie.

Some rebuttal to some of the points in the movie:

Posted by brian jewkes in dudley @ 17:56 on Jan 26 2010

Mathew , my comment stands. The truth will eventually come to surface, whatever it is. Why so hostile? I was not saying Daniel is lying, as i dont know him and feel great sorrow for any hurt he may feel. I dont however feel this film has any merit , as it is a one sided hatchet job, and as we all know life is much more complicated than a film script. I have no further comment. May you find the peace you seek.

Posted by MB @ 16:55 on Nov 13 2009

Having watched the documentary, it's true that it's quite a shocking expose of the very human side of Larry. It wasn't a comfortable viewing for a fan but as Stonehill summarises at the end, if you're shocked by those relevations then you've completely missed the point. It doesn't onlt focus on Daniel either but the strained relationship with a lot of his close friends, the re-writing events putting himself in the best possible light etc... things many of us are probably guilty of but have the benefit of relative anonymity and have not been put upon a pedestal by many.

The film is well worth watching - it made me re-visit more of Larry's music while appreciating the frailties of our shared human nature.

Posted by Andrew in Newcastle Australia @ 08:13 on Jun 22 2009

Daniel appears in the new documentary of Larry's life. It can be purchased at

Thanks Andrew

Posted by andrew in Australia @ 07:38 on Jan 4 2009

The following is a link to a youtube trailer for the documentary "Fallen Angel: The Outlaw Larry Norman"

Posted by billbot in Canada @ 09:31 on Nov 12 2008 he-wanted-but-in-the-wrong-way

This story may be more fact than fiction... who knows.

Posted by Brian Jewkes in DUDLEY @ 11:38 on Nov 1 2008

I think ill let Larry speak for himself.
You wanna talk about my life,
hey listen to me.
You got your facts all backwards ,
one two three.
Spreading rumour and gossip,is a real bad game.
The only name to spread is Jesus name.

Reply by Matthew in Aiustralia @ 14:52 on Jan 22 2010

So Brian you have the facts I take it and believe that Dan is Lying? todate No DNA has been done so how is this rumour and gossip Untill the Normans are willing to do a DNA test you can not say it is a lie. I see most posts where in 2008 we are now in 2010 still no DNA I need to ask why anyway Cheers Matthew

[report abuse]

Posted by steve in atlanta @ 03:12 on Sep 29 2008

This sounds more like a play for money than for acceptance by the Norman family. I read where Jennifer's lawyer sent a letter to the Norman family asking about royalties, ownership of companies, etc. Doesn't sound right to me.

Reply by meme in washington @ 03:59 on Feb 21 2009

It seems to me that if Jennifer's son just wanted a relationship with his dad, why didn't he pursue this while Larry was still here instead of waiting till he had passed on and there was no chance of ever being part of his life. We never heard about any of this while Larry was alive. Therefore, it appears that there is some greed here, and these people are hoping for a settlement from Larry's estate. It should not be too difficult to provide a paternity test, yet these people have yet to do this. Why?

[report abuse]

Posted by GosipTired Christian in Salem, OR @ 05:12 on Aug 5 2008

Christians PLEASE! Look to yourself and you without sin please continue to cast stones. The only man without sin I know who lives has not yet returned to earth to my knowledge. Are you here yet Jesus? oh and it is still an allegation not proven.

Posted by Truthseeker in Parts unknown @ 10:58 on Jul 31 2008

No other group of people avoid the truth like Christians do. These people in Australia were led on and manipulated by this guy, and because they wish to speak out about it, they are doing something wrong. These people have rights too.

The opinions expressed in the Reader Comments are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms.

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