With My Eyes Wide Open by Korn’s Brian “Head” Welch – Reviewed by Steve Ross.
Yep, banned on the Amazon just like Uncle Luke was banned in the USA. Had the top review with the most helpful votes and then Poof! it was gone. They said I was paid to write it, therefore my review was a conflict of interest. Look Amazon, if I was paid to write it, I would have logged in to buy a quesadilla maker, not post a book review. So now it goes to State-Lines, where ain’t nobody gettin’ paid.
WITH MY EYES WIDE OPEN Miracles And Mistakes On My Way Back To Korn by Brian “Head” Welch as reviewed by Steve Ross – for free…(not saying I won’t accept a back stage pass or an autographed copy of the new Love & Death album for my efforts).
T hose whose lives were seriously affected by his first book, Save Me from Myself, have been anxiously waiting to hear what happened to cause Brian “Head” Welch to return to KoRn. Many cried foul and said it was a huge mistake.
“Another temporary trip into Christianity by an addict.”
“Typical phony who only cares for fame and fortune.”
We live in a culture similar to the ancient Greek city of Corinth – a Vegas-style city, known for philosophy, affluence, influence – a culture where everyone has got the life, but cannot claim a solid set of beliefs and values.
Who would ever go to Corinth and share the story of the life-death-resurrection of a man from a small town in a foreign land?
Someone whose life was changed so powerfully and so completely that he had to share this amazing paradigm shift with all who would listen (Acts 9). Someone with so much new found love inside, that he set out to share it with everyone, especially those who did not look nor act like he did.
That man’s name was Paul and he understood that although the Corinthians had their issues, that in all of their experimental lifestyle choices they were simply looking for something real and true. Not just a way to live in the moment, but the way to live forever.
So let’s consider what this looks like for us.
Can modern-day culture benefit from someone who has experienced a life-changing transformation?
Are the people who enjoy listening to the musical style of KoRn searching for something real and true?
When they take a look in the mirror, what lies beneath the tattoos, the long hair, and the piercings?
The answer is (like all of us) they know they are worth something and long to find out how much – or at the very least, hear they are loved as much as someone who wears a cardigan and listens only to NPR.
Isn’t that what we all want?
And if someone we look up to or enjoy being around finds something that changes every aspect of their life, wouldn’t we want them to care enough to share the discovery?
If they were to keep it bottled up inside and all to themselves that would make them evil.
Looking again at Corinth, Paul was commissioned to go into all the world (Matthew 28:19) and did so by finding common ground within each subculture he addressed (1 Corinthians 9:19-22). He sought those who would never, never set foot inside of a church and told them all about how his life got flipped, turned upside down.
Let’s visit a rock festival – you know, the ones with a massive a sea of head-banging revelers, moving in sync to the speed and melody that is pumped out of the loudspeakers. And look over there, a small group is walking through those huge crowds (witnesses if you will), inked and styled and full of talent, but most importantly, full of love. Love for their brothers and sisters who have come to hear something good from the performing artists. Two of them go by the names of Fieldy and Head and they are ready to embrace all who may feel lost and are hurting deep inside.
Silver or gold, they have not, but what they do have is powerful. More powerful than the 90db that will shake the ground during their live set on stage. They have an account of a man, who when he died, also caused the ground to shake. He was dead for three days, but is alive for evermore, preparing a place for all who believe in him.
Head recalled looking out over a music festival crowd (page 126) and said it was like God whispered into his heart, “These are my people, and I want them.”
Consider I Corinthians 1:27-29, which says those who are seen as “lowly” and even “despised” will be used by God to bring shame to those who claim superior wisdom and perfection. Then consider how many inked-up metal-heads will be in the next life. Some of them may even live right next door to one of the religious elite. There goes the eternal neighborhood!
Head has been through enough pain to understand that in suffering, strength is made perfect so that he may now relate to those who are either standing at, or rapidly approaching the edge.
In With My Eyes Wide Open we follow along as he goes through one difficult time after another. Things get bad, and then much worse, and round off into terrible. Head asks God to show him how to use these circumstances to do what he was created to do.
This book fills a lot of gaps between the end of SMfM and now, and describes a devastating event in the first few pages. Something that shakes Head to his core and places him (and his faith) at a crossroad. It is at this crossroad where we hear him say volumes by not saying anything at all.
Head does not shake his fist in the air and shout, “I’m done with this!”, nor does he have a crisis of faith questioning the love and freedom detailed in SMfM. His faith endures even as his daughter is self-destructing.
Shocking to some – including Head – he returns to KoRn. Returns not as a failure but as an unshakable and powerful Christ-follower, equipped to have meaningful conversations with thousands of people who are avoided and looked down upon by the aforementioned religious elite.
He left KoRn to prepare for his true purpose in this life.
He returned to KoRn to fulfill it.