Chapter 29

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After the departure of Jerry and Steve, we asked Lawrence Bishop to join us permanently. He agreed. He really wanted this gig and I knew we could depend on him. Lawrence was as good as his word. Mark Maxwell a local musician and music store owner turned me onto this young 17 year old drummer named Michael Loy. Michael was a Bride fan and had learned 11 songs in two days for a try out. Since Lawrence wasn't available at the time Mark played bass for the try outs. Michael didn't miss a beat. He admitted he was nervous but played with real ferocity. I knew after that audition that there was no need to look any further. Michael fit the band perfectly plus he brought needed youth back to the group.

This really felt weird not to have a label. We talked among ourselves about starting our own label and it was beginning to sound like a very good ideal when I got an email, which caught my eye. It was from Dez Dickerson, who we had worked with at Star Song. He had his own record label called Absolute Records. He was asking if we would be interested in touring with his newly signed band "These Five Down." I wrote him back and said yes, plus I ask him if he were "interested in working with an old dinosaur band like Bride." His answer was yes and we begin to seek God's counsel about this.

In the year 2000 we negotiated and signed a deal with Absolute. We would try to play shows that year without a new album as we wrote for the future but would only come up playing less than 20 shows. Bride intentionally stopped touring in the year 2000 to concentrate on song writing. We gave full attention to composing a new CD. Bride compiled a library of new songs. These songs were examined, rehearsed, rearranged, changed, and modified until the band felt they had the very best songs they had ever written. If we had recorded the third CD for Organic with Dino we would have missed the mark for sure. Our direction had changed again musically and we were venturing in uncharted territory for Bride. We figured we needed to stay heavy but yet stay modern. A new style of music had weaved itself into the music industry. This new form was rapcore. We knew little about but were not afraid to explore the genre. We figured a few songs with that style would put us on top again. But we never expected the unforeseeable delays which would plague us again.

The question came up, now who will produce this work? Many producers were considered but one name continued to be brought up. The name was "Plinky" who produced and engineered the Snakes in the Playground CD for Bride in the early nineties. Bringing the winning combination of bride, Plinky and Dez together would be the same formula as we had with the Snakes in the Playground CD. How could we loose?

Bride and Plink met in Nashville, in a whirlwind recording session, the songs were tracked, and then they waited. Plink returned to Jersey where he lives and Bride went to Puerto Rico and Brazil to tour while waiting for a date when these new songs would be mixed.

In Puerto Rico on Oct 28th. This had to be one of the weirdest gigs of all times. Puerto Rico is a province of the United States but we found out real quick that freedom of speech a part of the U.S. constitution that they ignored. Everything about he show was out of kilter.

This outside event was to promote Jesus Christ to the island. Several local bands were scheduled to play. We begged to go on sooner Bride went on earlier than originally scheduled because of the late hour. Bride played old favorites like Psychedelic Super Jesus, Would you die for me and even played a few tracks from the up coming release "Fist Full of bees." Troy, Michael and Lawrence were high energy.

After the musical portion of the show Dale picked up his Bible and began to minister to the mixed crowd of Christians and secular Gothic folks that had gathered. The anointing of the Holy Spirit was flowing and the folks with the black shirts on advertising a well-known secular rock star began to become agitated. They had remained during the music portion trying to intimidate Bride by glaring at them and at times making foul hand gestures.

However, as the Word was breathed out something began to happen. The Christian folks began to praise God and shout. Those who were there to intimidate began to move further away from the stage. Once they stood in the front and at even one point walked as a group in circles in the foreground but after a few minutes of Dale's ministering they were repelled back further and further. Dale allowed the Holy Spirit to speak through him.

By the end of the sermon, the subject being "that we have heard the gospel and there is no excuse," the secular gothic group of people had moved away from the area. The Word of God either draws the lost or divides in such a way that a lost person cannot stand to hear it. However, the seed was planted.

After the preaching Bride was informed that the police had come and shut down the remaining portion of the concert. The promoters were told that speaking about Jesus and salvation was not permitted. The Word of God and prayer would be the final Word of the evening.


In Brazil we played in some incredible places such as Rio, Salvador, Brasilia and Recife. We did the tour with Out of Eden and Burlap to Cashmere. It was an odd combination and an even stranger atmosphere this time in Brazil.

My Trip to Brazil

By Alex Thompson (Dale's oldest son)

During the fall of 2001 I took a trip with my dad and his band to Brazil. We were going down to Brazil to play many festivals for the upcoming weeks. This trip not only was a blast but an experience of a lifetime. I got to see things in a whole different perspective. Like how in other countries things are a lot different and we may not have it as bas as it seems. What I seen helped me to change and grow personally and me think about taking certain actions towards certain situations.

The day we left was a very hectic morning. The people that went on this trip included my mom, and my dad. My dad is the lead singer of the band. My uncle went who is the guitar player. Lawrence who is the bass player and Michael who is the drummer. My uncle ran out of pages inside of his passport so he had to get a new one made. Therefore, we had to stall the airlines by saying we woke up late and missed our flight so that my uncle could go pick up his new passport. It turned out ok and we actually made it to the flight. On the way to Brazil, we ended up flying to Cleveland and the to Newark. In Newark we had a 5 hour delay, which was boring as heck. There was nothing to do but sit around which I was doing enough of on the plane. Basically Michael and I listened to our CD players and played cards for the whole 5 hours. The delays in the other airports were not as bad. The flight to Brazil was very long. I think it was about an 11 hour flight. There were not as many people on the flight so my mo and I got one of the big long seats to ourselves in the middle of the plane, and laid down.

Upon arriving in Sao Paulo it was very different. When I looked out of the plane window, I saw so many soccer stadiums. Sao Paulo is also the second largest city in the world. It is also known as the city of concrete. We first had to go through customs and we made it through that ok. Then we went to get our bags. After we had gotten our bags, we met our interpreters. The first one we met was a guy named Tom. He was a pretty nice guy. After we had gotten our bags and met the interpreters we boarded a tour bus to head to the hotel. We were also traveling with two other bands. One was Out of Eden; they were a pop group like Destiny's Child. The other was Burlap to Cashmere; they had more of a Dave Matthews Band type feel.

When we arrived at the hotel we went and got checked into our rooms. I was sharing a room with Lawrence. After we checked into our rooms the bus came and got us to take us to eat. We went to a place that we called barbecues. Barbecue is a place where they bring you all kinds of food, mostly meat on big swords and slice the meat onto your plate until you say stop. Then they bring you all kinds of deserts to chose from. The salad bar they have is huge but its not your typical salad bar it has a lot of raw foods. After we were done eating we went to the place that we were playing. The place looked like Woodstock. The place could hold over 100,000 people. The stage was huge. The stage had huge silver sheets on the sides and in the back and had huge screens in the background which would show us on stage. After gazing at the place we had to do a sound check. The went find and it was time to go back to the hotel and rest.

At the hotel we met up with another interpreter named Danielle. She was very nice and she was only 19. She spoke English probably better than me. When Lawrence and I got back to the room, we called an old friend from the last time we were in Brazil. We had him come meet us at the hotel to hang out with us. He also spoke good English so he became another interpreter for us. Tom went with the other band Burlap to Cashmere so we did not see much of him anymore. We went back to the hotel for a minute and then we went and rested until the show. Then later that night we went to the show. It was Friday night and the place was packed. Friday is the smaller show but there was still 85,000.

After we got to the show, we met another friend. Her name was Vanessa. We know her real well; she has even come to our house and stayed for a week. We got her backstage and she also began to help us interpret. The show went great and everybody loved the show. My dad's band is one of the most famous bands in Brazil. After the show it was about 11:45 p.m. We went back to the hotel to get some sleep because we were still tired from the trip to Brazil. We had to get up early because we were going to go to a Hippy Fair. Lawrence and I stayed up through the night before until about one watching movies. When we got up we went down to the lobby and ate breakfast. Then just our band got onto the bus and we headed to the Hippy Fair. A Hippy Fair is a place where people are on the streets selling different things, we looked for mostly creepy stuff that you cannot get in the states. So we spent about two hours at the Hippy Fair and the it was time to go to another Barbecue. So when we finished eating we had to go to sound check for the next show. When we finished the sound check we went back to the hotel and we jumped in the pool. We stayed in their for about 45 minutes then headed back to the rooms to go to sleep.

So when I got in the room I took a shower and then laid down. I prolly rested for about 2 hours and then it was time to go back downstairs load on a bus and get ready to perform the biggest show of the tour. When we arrived there was about 110,000 people there on Saturday. The show went great all except for one thing when my dad went to run off the stage to go shake hands with the crowd there was a big security guard and a drop off at the end of the ramp. My dad didn't know about it and he ended up severely twisting his ankle. He hobbled back onto the stage to finish the song. Thank God it was the last song. There was a doctor at the show and the examined his foot but my dad wouldn't go to the hospital. Then on top of that we found out we had to stay an extra day in Sao Paulo.

On the extra day, we went to the Sao Paulo zoo. However, we did not go into the zoo we went on a safari that they had there. The safari was where the animals were loose and you got to drive by them and some you could pet. I one place, they had it where the monkeys jumped onto your car. They also had tigers, zebras, hippopotamus, giraffes, reindeer and all other sorts of animals. So as I was saying after the safari, we went to another barbecue and then we went to the hotel so that we could pack our stuff to catch a plane to go to Rio de Janeiro. After we were packed we went to the Apostle's church before we had to leave that night to go to Rio. However, my mom and I were supposed to go back but the apostle invited us to stay. My mom could not stay because of my brothers. She said that I could stay if I wanted to so of course I said yes. Later that night we took my dad to the hospital so that he could get his leg in a cast. And then they took my mom to the airport. Then while he was at the hospital Lawrence, Michael, Phillipe, his fiancÚ, and me went out for pizza.

Then early the next day we went to the airport and got ready to go to Rio.

We boarded the flight and we were on our way to Rio. We arrived very early

and we checked into the hotel. In Rio, we had new interpreters. They were not as nice nor was they as good at speaking English as our interpreters we had in Sao Paulo. The hotel was not very nice either so basically I wasn't looking forward to this place. After we finally checked in we all went to another barbecue. It was different looking inside but it still had the same type of food. After the barbecue the bands went their separate ways. Some went to the beaches and some went to the malls. My dad and Lawrence went to the beach but Troy, Michael, and me went to see Christ. Christ stands on a huge mountain in Rio and it is 125ft tall. We had to take a train up the mountain to get up there to see him. When we got up there I took a bunch of pictures and I even took pictures of Sugar Loaf Mountain. After that we went to the gift shop and I bought a bunch of stuff.

So, when we got back it was late so we hung out in the hotel.. Then we went to another barbecue, but when we got back we went to bed. Then Troy , Michael, and I woke up at 8:00 a.m. the next day to go to the beach. We could not get in the water though because it was way to cold. So, we just walked along the beach for awhile. We then went back to the hotel to get my dad and Lawrence. But first Michael and I showered. After showering everybody but Lawrence went to breakfast. Later that day we went to a mall. We had to push my dad around in a wheelchair. The best interpreter we had in Rio was a man named Tula, he was pretty nice and he helped out a lot. He went with us to the mall for a little while until it was time to go to another barbecue. After the barbecue it was time to go and do another sound check.

We were playing in an indoor stadium this time, which was big. It was right next to the Rocking 'n' Rio stadium which is the largest stadium in the world. So we sound checked and we went back to the hotel. That night at the show there was about 55,000 people there. My dad had to play with a broken foot. So, after the show we went back to the hotel to pack. Then we went to the airport to catch our flight to go to Salvador. We had to catch a flight late so that we could arrive early in Salvador because we were only spending one day in Salvador. So we caught our flight and the flight was about three or four hours. I could not really tell you how long because we all slept through the flight.

We arrived very early so we checked into the hotel and went to bed. This hotel was worst than the one in Rio. The beds were very thin, and the pillows smelled like cat urine and they were about as big as a Taco. The rooms also were very small. We were so tired from the flight we went straight to bed anyways. We all slept for about 4 hours, then woke up and went to sound check. The show in Salvador was on the beach facing the ocean. It was really cool. This show I think was the second best, the best show was the one in Sao Paulo. My dad did not make it to the sound check because he needed to stay off of his foot as much as possible.

So, after sound check we had the rest of the day to do whatever we wanted to because all the bands had separate vans. So Lawrence and I went to the beach with an interpreter named Bruno. He was a very good interpreter and a pretty nice guy. The beaches in Salvador were great, they had nice soft sand and the water was very warm. When Lawrence and I got into the water all of these Brazilian kids started looking at us funny and they tried to talk to us in Portuguese. Lawrence said that he felt he was a fish in an aquarium. Well after we got back from the beach it was almost time to leave for the show. So we showered and got ready and left. Well like always that got us to show five hours early. So, we had to sit for a very long time.

This hurt my dad very much because he took his pain medication to be ready to play the show without any pain, but since it was starting to wear off it would make the show even more difficult for him to do. So finally they played and everybody loved them. The show was really good and there were about 45,000 people there crammed on the beach. After the show we headed back to the hotel to pack and then we headed off to Brasilia. When we arrived, the took us to the hotel. We played the show on the second day. We had settled in at the hotel, we went our to eat at a barbecue. Then when we were done eating it was time to go back to the hotel.

There was a mall right across the street from the hotel. So, we went over to the mall. We tried to find a wheelchair for my dad but they wouldn't let us have one. So the band split up and we went our separate ways throughout the mall. I borrowed some money from my dad in case I saw something that I liked. I went with Michael and we took Karili she was an interpreter who was with Burlap to Cashmere but went to the mall with us. While shopping I found a soccer jersey and I bought it. So after about 2 hours we went back to the hotel to rest because we were so tired from all of the flying that we had done in the past week. So later that night the Bishops were taking all of the bands out to eat for pizza. But Lawrence, Michael, and I went to the movies instead and ate McDonald's food for once. It was very good oddly enough. We ended up seeing the movie Bedazzled.

We met up with the keyboard player from Burlap because he didn't go eat pizza either and we all seen the same movie. After the movie everyone went back to the hotel except Lawrence and I. We went bowling at the bowling ally in the mall on the third floor. After we finished bowling we went back to the hotel and we went to sleep because we had to play a show tomorrow. We woke up about 10:00 a.m. and we went and sound checked so that we could have some of the day to hang out. After sound check we went and ate at a Barbecue. After getting back at the hotel we went back to the mall.

After the mall we all decided to sleep some more and rest up for the show. We went to the show this time there was about 50,000 people there and the stage was huge. The show went great. My dad had a cane so that it would be easier to walk around on stage and other places, because before he had crutches. So, after the show we had to pack and get ready to go to Recifie. When we got back to the hotel it was late. We had to get up early so we went straight to bed. When we got up we loaded all of our gear onto the bus and we went to the airport. We got on the plane and it was about a two and a half hour long flight. Well when we arrived we met our interpreter and we went to the hotel.

This hotel was beautiful. It was so big. It had a huge pool with a waterfall and it had three smaller pools connecting off of them. They also had beautiful beaches. The rooms were huge. They had a living room and then a door you walked through to get to the beds. Well we dropped off our stuff and we went to a barbecue. Well they took so long and we wanted to have a while to spend at the beach so we went to the venue. They were ready for us to sound check so we just told them what we needed and then we went back to the hotel to change and go to the beach. My dad went to the gym because he could not walk around nor could he get into the ocean. Michael said he would rather hang out at the pool.

So Lawrence and me went to the beach. There beach was the most beautiful that I have ever seen. However though in Recifie you couldn't get too far out in the ocean because they were known for shark attacks. After about an hour and a half we headed back to the hotel to change and eat some dinner. Because as soon a we got back from the show we had only about three hours until we had to be ready to go to the airport. The show that night was in a place that looked like Alcatraz. The show went great as usual and there was roughly 35,000 people at this show. After they finished the show we went to the hotel and slept for about two hours. Then it was time to get our stuff and head to the airport.

When we got on the plane we had to stop in Salvador and pick up people and then we had to stop in Rio but we finally made it back to Sao Paulo. We had to go back to Sao Paulo because it was the only international airport in Brazil besides Rio. After arriving in Sao Paulo we took a little nap at a hotel we stayed at for a few hours before flying back home. Vanessa came and visited us until it was time to go. We said our goodbyes and boarded onto the plane. I didn't want to leave but I kind of missed home.

In Brazil not only did I have a good time it was a great experience, yet there were some downfalls. Seeing how people lived and what they went through everyday really changed me. What really got me though was the poor kids that lived in cardboard boxes under intersections. This trip had a really positive effect on me and made me realize how lucky I was.

A fans perspective:

My name is Jim Harding - "A word (or 50) about your show. It has been a long time since I have been moved in the Spirit like that in a Metal show. I really appreciate the level of importance that you all place on the Ministry side of performing. I have been to a few (not more than 20) large name Christian concerts, and have come away saying "was that really a Christian show?" in a few instances - really left a bad taste in my mouth for the industry. There are some newer bands that are staying true, and unfortunately, some get blinded by bright lights and screaming crowds - I am sure I am not telling you anything new. My own personal experience has also been both blinded by the lights and fans (in a local band I was in for four

years) and on the strong side of ministry (the demo that you have now). I had received a clear call from God to lay it all down this winter, as far as performing goes. I did not know at the time whether that was a permanent call or if it was a test to see if I was willing to follow no matter where He led. Now I think it was just a test of loyalty to Him, because after seeing you in Bangor, I WANT TO PLAY AGAIN. And for the record, you were not the first show I had been to since giving up performing. You were, however, the first show that convinced me that it CAN be done in a manner that pleases God completely, and answers my own personal convictions that as musicians, we need to first be ministers... I thank God for you guys - and have been blessed to meet you and see a small slice of who you are off-stage as well. Thank you."

A report from Dale:

I have spent the last week traveling with over 50 young people from Mississippi on an adventure of faith. We worked in a homeless shelter, rode the top three best-rated roller coasters in the world, took a train ride, and went white water rafting and had great fellowship in the Lord. Each night I would open up the Word of God and share a message with them. On the last day of the trip, at the mouth of a cave, standing in the isle of a tour bus, which was being hammered by high winds from a rainstorm, I shared the final message. When the last prayer was spoken, a wonderful thing happened. With eyes full of tears for the joy that the presence of the Lord brings, plus the sorrow that the trip was ending God provided the most enormous double rainbow in the sky. The storm had subsided on the word "Amen" and all across the valley this bright colored double rainbow stretched out God's promise and approval for us. We were truly on the mountain.

I left the group that night as they entered the cave one by one for one last adventure. The next day I found myself on a plane heading towards Kansas City where I would hook up with the rest of the band for two shows. Needless to say, it was a grueling and tiring week for me but most of all it was a week of being in the love and fellowship of God. We traveled through, Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, and Kansas.

I received this letter of recommendation from the youth pastor of the trip some days later.

Last week, a legendary trip for the youth of our church was born. After two years of planning, a trip designed to be an MTV Road Rules-like challenge was planned for 56 teenagers. A full tour bus left on a Sunday light from the First Baptist Church in Florence, Mississippi with the only certainty being that we would return a week later. On Monday morning, June 11 our group pulled into the Shoney's restaurant in Shepherdsville, KY for

breakfast. The kids had been instructed to feed the homeless and their first chance was at hand. Sitting on the front steps of the restaurant was a poor homeless guy who called himself "Rhino". After feeding him and offering him a lift to the homeless shelter (where we were going to do some volunteer work that day) it was revealed that "Rhino" was actually a man by he name of Dale Thompson who was the lead singer of a Christian band named Bride. I had planned this event with Dale for months and it turned out to be the coolest

youth event I have ever had a part in after 10 years in the ministry. Over the next week, we traveled all over the country. We worked at the Wayside Christian Mission in Louisville, KY, we rode the largest roller coasters in the world at Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH, we did some street witnessing in Gatlinburg, TN, we rode a train through the Smokey mountains of North Carolina, we did some white water rafting on the Nantahala River in North Carolina, we enjoyed the Dixie Stampede in Pigeon Forge, TN, we even spent the night spelunking in a cave at Raccoon Mountain in Chattanooga, TN. It was Amazing!

Dale Thompson attended as our guest speaker for the week. He brought a series of messages that dealt with God's love for mankind. He very skillfully explained how important man was to God and who man was. He used a ton of Scripture. But the Lord did much more through him than that. He allowed our group to make a new friend. Dale became close to the hearts of us all. As he told us goodbye the last day, his eyes filled with tears and most of us cried. I think that God used Dale in a way that even he didn't realize was possible. Dale will always be an honorary member of our youth group as well as a part of our lives. My thanks goes to the Lord for Dale and to Dale for bringing us to the throne of God through his kind words, his heart and his smile. Remember the rainbow, Dale, God's provision and peace was made evident!

Scott Herrin

Minister of Students

First Baptist Church of Florence, MS

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