Rich Mullins Last Song "The Breaks"

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Dr2TXgbWes[/embedyt] This video was filmed by Sharon Henryson in 1997. In September of that year, Rich Mullins and Mitch McVicker stayed with the Kruse family while recording Mitch’s first solo album in Illinois. During their 3 weeks of staying there, Rich and Mitch were kind enough to perform some of their music. This video was taken about 2 weeks before the car accident that tragically took Rich Mullins’ life on September 19 of 1997. I was 16 at the time, and this meeting of Rich influenced my life greatly. I recently asked my mom what the noise in the background was. She said she was making dinner for everyone and she apologizes for the loud cutting noise!
In September of 1997 some family friends asked my parents if they could host “a few musicians” for “a few weeks”, not saying who the musicians were. My mom agreed, and Rich Mullins, Mitch McVicker, Eric Hauck and Michael Aukofer showed up a few days later. When they arrived, my mom thought Rich was joking when he told her his name!
I remember the first time I met Rich Mullins in my living room. “Isn’t Jesus amazing…” he said. It shocked me, and I agreed with him simply out of conviction. But he meant it! Also – he told me that his managers told him he “looked like sh*t”. To hear that word come out of Rich’s mouth kind of shocked me at the time, though I know that Rich had a reputation of speaking honestly and occasionally shocking people.
One day during those three weeks, Rich and Mitch invited my family and a couple of friends to the studio for a day. The studio was an old abandoned church in Elgin (Chicago suburb) filled with thousands of dollars of equipment, instruments and computers. I remember ash trays filled with cigarettes in the studio upstairs as Rich and Mitch were meticulously recording Mitch’s first album.
I also remember showing Rich my first song that I had written. He listened intently and told me, “Not bad for a first song”. Honestly, though, he was just being generous – something Rich did quite well.
One story my mom told me was when Rich came home from recording late one night and shared with her that he was going to write a new song that night. “How do you just write a song?” My mom asked. “How do you cook as well as you do?” He asked back. The next morning my mom asked him if he had written a new song last night. He then performed a finished “All The Way To Kingdom Come” for her.
This “encounter” with Rich also created new friendships. Among other amazing experiences, I have had the opportunity to work as a musician and learn from Rich Mullin’s percussionist – Michael Aukofer. Michael has become an award winning international composer, and he currently leads the music program at West Ridge community church in Elgin, Illinois, where I also get to perform on a regular basis. It’s amazing how a moment can alter the entire direction of our lives!