Every autumn at the church I go to, their 20's-something ministry has a month-long series where they bring in a different person each week who can share his or her unique experiences from the work that they do. This series is always refreshing because we get to hear stories and perspectives from people who don't live in our geographical area. (Sometimes these people come from overseas, sometimes they're celebrities, etc.)
Anyway, one of the teaching pastors had his brother, Justin Dillon, who's a rock musician, come in and share his story with us back in October.
Nobody on either side of Dillon's family tree had any known musical talent (nobody played instruments, sang, etc.). However, at age 16 he decided he wanted to learn guitar and be a rocker. So he began taking lessons and got to be pretty good. He formed a band and they started playing small gigs, gradually working their way up. Dillon was making progress, but when it came to closing the deal with a record company, he was a strikeout - repeatedly.
Every time he made the 6-hour drive down to L.A. for an audition, the trip got longer and longer; and of course, the rides back home without a record deal were even longer. Many a time he found himself on the phone saying to his brother that it was all over and time to quit music.
One night, when he was a little over 30 years old, he got a prank call from somebody claiming to be from New Line Cinema, saying that they wanted to use one of his songs in a movie. Of course, Dillon wasn't duped by this prankster. However, the caller persisted, "No, seriously, we think you have a hit on your hands." Dillon finally said, "Okay, e-mail me right now if you're legit." So the caller e-mailed him and sure enough, he was legit. This wasn't a prank call afterall.
So Justin Dillon's big break came in the chick flick How to Deal. (His song, Promise Ring, starts to play when Mandy Moore is making out with some guy, which is ironic considering that Dillon wrote the song several years earlier for a friend who was going through a divorce).
Anyway, Dillon sang Promise Ring and Room 139 for us at church. (Room 139 is loosely based on Psalm 139 -- O LORD, you have searched me and you know me...). I can personally testify that Dillon's voice is amazing in a live performance. Also, it's neat that he's decided to give 50% of all his first album's royalties to charity.
Justin Dillon's band is Tremolo. Their album is Love Is the Greatest Revenge. Check them out. (If you act now, you can download O, Holy Night for free on their Web site.)