September 6, 2008 by

Hidden Treasure


Categories: fun, what I did today

Anyone heard of Charlie Peacock?

If you have listened to Christian music in the past 20 years, you may not have heard of him, but you’ve felt his influence. He is a true musical veteran–an artist, singer, songwriter, and producer in Nashville.

Ever hear the dcTalk song “In the Light?” Charlie wrote it. In fact, he recorded it first, several years earlier; dcTalk only covered it. And Charlie’s produced numerous artists that you probably have heard of.

I’m MySpace friends with Charlie, and the other day I got a message that he was doing an impromptu gig in Oklahoma City. So The Director and I got in the car and drove there.

Turns out Charlie was teaching a class at a local college the following day, and he decided he’d rather play some music than sit around bored in his hotel room. So his hosts arranged to have him set up and play…in Starbucks.

To me, it was one of those rare and almost magical moments that most people miss. There, sitting five feet in front of me, was one of the most seasoned veterans in the music industry, sitting at a keyboard, no band behind him…playing his songs for the sheer fun of it. For free. In Starbucks.

So I listened while the guy who wrote “In the Light” played it, down-tempo, on a solo keyboard, with a little bit of improv thrown in. He actually played it again at the end, by request, and it sounded totally different than the first time. I was like, “Coooooool.” 🙂

Man, I figured the place would be packed. It wasn’t. Only a handful of people gathered around. Nobody knew about it because it hadn’t been scheduled. There were people sitting outside studying the Bible, not even aware of who was performing inside. I was sitting there looking at them thinking, Don’t you know who’s playing inside this Starbucks?? It’s CHARLIE PEACOCK!!

(Okay…so maybe studying the Bible is more important.)

This wasn’t like a Charlie Peacock: The Starbucks Tour or anything. This was impromptu, happenstance. I felt like I’d been given a rare privilege in just happening to get the information in time. He didn’t “rock the house”; it was a regular coffee house type gig, except you could tell he knew what he was doing on that thing. It was good music, performed by a guy who obviously hasn’t let the music industry crap rob him of his love for playing and performing–and a guy who obviously still isn’t above playing anywhere he has a chance. I knew, even if no one else in the room did…someone with those credentials doesn’t spend an evening playing in Starbucks unless he loves what he does. And that’s what made it such a hidden treasure.

Oh…and I also shook his hand, introduced myself and The Director, thanked him for playing, got an autographed CD…and handed him a demo.

Musician. Composer. Recovering perfectionist. Minister-in-transition. Lover of puns. Hijacker of rock song references. Questioner of the status quo. I'm not really a rebel. Just a sincere Christ-follower with a thirst for significance that gets me into trouble. My quest has taken me over the fence of institutional Christianity. Here are some of my random thoughts along the way. Read along, join in the conversation. Just be nice.

7 Responses to Hidden Treasure

  1. Karenkool

    That is SOOOOOO KOOOOOL!! Of course I know Charlie Peacock… but then again, we are from the same generation. It’s great that the director got to have that experience. I wonder what he thought.

  2. Jeff McQ

    I dunno, bro…Marietta/Atlanta isn’t big stuff like OKC. 🙂
    Or maybe it’s that you need to be MySpace friends with Charlie…ooohh, I forgot. You ditched MySpace, didn’t you??? Oh, well.
    (I have a feeling I’m going to pay for this somewhere down the road…) 😀

    The Director loved it…thought he was great stuff. He has a wide range of musical taste, and loves the jazz element, which Charlie certainly has. Charlie talked to him, too, and encouraged him with his guitar playing.

  3. tysdaddy


    I ain’t too proud to say that I hate you.

    Charlie Peacock?!?!

    I would have crawled on my hands and knees, from Indiana, to be there.

    Charlie’s “Love Life” CD is a virtual marriage seminar in a box. It remains one of my favorite CDs ever. Regardless of genre. He’s right up there with The Choir (Circle Slide) for me. I respect him so much, and to have been there and seen an acoustic performance . . . I hate you!

    I had a similar experience a few years ago with John Fischer. Anyone remember him? Probably fewer than remember Charlie Peacock. But I have always been a fan. Both of his music (Lord of the Dance) and his books (Making Real What I Already Believe). He’s the real deal. And he made a stop at a local Christian bookstore. And no one came. My wife and I were literally the only ones, besides the staff, in the audience. A few trickled in as his set went on, but it was embarrassing. He handled it with grace and wit. We sang, laughed, and hugged. He signed the book I brought with me, amazed that anyone remembered it. I was floored.

    We are forgetting the pioneers, methinks . . .

  4. Aaroneous

    Just FYI:

    I (along with 1,901 other people) am one of Charlie’s FACEBOOK friends. See, Charlie knows what app to use…he’s just trying to help the old MySpace crowd along…

  5. Jeff McQ

    Don't hate me 'cause I'm Okie. 🙂

    Yeah, I remember John Fischer–definitely a pioneer. One of the most influential voices in the emerging Christian music industry at one point. As a teenager I heard him do a talk and a Q & A at a local music festival in the Bay Area–he was saying some of the same things *then* that the industry is doing *now.*

    Now you see? I TOLD you I was going to pay for it…. 😀

  6. euphrony

    Jeff, I don’t hate you because you’re an Okie. I hate you because you were in the right place at the right time. And because I wasn’t.

    I’m a big fan of Charlie’s work. I plan on seeing him when he hits town on tour with Sara Groves, Derek Webb, Sandra McCracken, and Brandon Heath on the Arts*Music*Justice Tour. FYI, go to NoiseTrade and you can download a sampler of these artists by either recommending three friends or paying what you want. Not a bad deal.

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