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John Davis: Rocking at Heaven’s Door

By Ricky Blair and Zsa Zsa Palagyi
The 700 Club

CBN.comThe power-pop rock band Superdrag recorded four albums, got major MTV airplay, and performed before thousands of die-hard fans. Being in the band was a dream-come-true for 19-year-old front man John Davis, but eventually his dream shattered.

I recently met up with John on famed Music Row in Nashville at the House of David where John loves to record. The studio has a rich, musical heritage, and the first thing he showed me was the Elvis door, installed just so “the King” could secretly enter from the garage below.

“He could walk right up the staircase and right over to the microphone without having to see any fans,” John explains. “Nobody knew he was here.”

John’s own love of music began with his mom and dad.

“My dad is a banjo picker. My mom plays some piano and guitar just by ear. They harmonize really well together.”

Another important part of John’s childhood was the devout Christian faith of his family.

Says John, “My grandfather used to own the land that the church sits on. My mom and dad were married there, and my wife and I got married there, so it’s a real sentimental place. I was baptized there, as a 10 year old.”

But even from a young age, it was his music -- not his faith -- that motivated John. By age 18, he had formed the rock band Superdrag along with his friends. In 1995 they signed a major recording deal.

John Davis as the front man for Superdrag“As if by magic, we went to playing for a couple of hundred people a night to playing for a couple of thousand people a night. Then the next thing you know, you’re on the Conan O’Brian show and your terrified,” says John.

John was now living his dream, but there was a growing uneasiness in his soul. Then, in December 1998, John’s beloved grandfather died.

“We had a close bond with one another,” says John. “It was nothing to him at age 70 to come out to a rock concert. It broke my heart. I was inconsolable over it because, by that time, I was a pretty confused guy. It got harder after that.”

Along with the growing skepticism and heartache, John was also falling into a trap of drug and alcohol abuse.

“The most vivid memories I have are those hours every night waiting to go on stage,” he says. “My pre-show routine would be to sit there by myself and drink a bottle and cry.”

His beverage of choice: whiskey.

“I never felt sadder in my life,” John recalls.

But one night in November 2001, as he drove down a highway near Knoxville, Tenn., God intervened in John Davis’ life.

“At first, I started to feel really uncomfortable,” he says. “I just started to feel funny, and I didn’t really know why. The next thing I knew, for lack of a better term, I just went into a cold sweat. All of a sudden, I just knew that God was dealing with me. I would compare it to a car going from zero to 60. It was like going from zero conviction, to maximum conviction, in a heartbeat. I knew that the void in my heart, my life, would never be filled with a liquor bottle, or anything else, but Him. I said, ‘Lord, I’m tired of running. I’m tired. Give me peace.’ It was like a cool breeze, a cool wave.”

John says his desire for drugs and alcohol completely disappeared. “God delivered me from it,” he says.

John and Wendy DavisGod had rescued John Davis, and with him, his bride-to-be, Wendy. After seeing the healing in John, she knew the change was real.

After John fulfilled his commitments to Superdrag, he left the group. God has given John and Wendy a new son, a new solo record deal, and a newfound purpose for his rock-and-roll.

“If it’s one person that walks up to the T-shirt booth with tears in their eyes and says ‘Man, I don’t know what you’re doing up there, but it really spoke to me,’ if that’s the purpose of this long, drawn-out tale that we’ve been going over, let that be the purpose, and I rejoice,” says John.

John Davis
John Davis

(Rambler Records)

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