hardest riffs

pipe organ

When I was 18, I lived next-door to the church I attended, and since I was part of the band, I had a key. It was a terrible church with a dark doctrine and twisted culture that hurt a lot of people, but one fond memory I have was my crazed late-night jams on the pipe organ.

The church was a beautiful 19th Century building with stained glass, ornate balconies–the whole gothic works–and at the center of it all, taking up the entire front wall, was the organ. The worship team rarely ever used it in services because they were trying to be youthful and hip so the music focused on piano and rock guitars. But that didn’t stop me from sneaking in there after-hours to unleash my pent-up rage.

What did the neighbors think? I’d go in there at 9 or 10 at night and blast that thing; I’d make those pipes scream. I literally pulled out all the stops, pushed the pedal to the metal, and played the hardest, darkest riffs I could come up with–heavy on the bass pedals, of course, all that glorious, fear-of-God-inducing infrasound. What did people walking by on the sidewalk make of that unholy racket coming from inside a dark church–oh yeah, because sometimes I did it with the lights off. And did I mention this place was haunted? Almost everyone who worked there had glimpsed shadowy figures standing in the corners or moving in the back rooms. I bet those centuries-old echoes of hate and fear loved my jams.