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The Songs of Jesse Adams

Peter Mckinnon
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The Songs of Jesse Adams
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The Songs of Jesse Adams

Peter Mckinnon
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Set in the turmoil of social change and political unrest of Australia during the 1960s, The Songs of Jesse Adams traces the meteoric rise of a boy from the bush - a farmer's son who breaks away to follow his heart, his dreams and his love of music. But, as Jesse travels with his band and the crowds gather, it becomes clear that something else is afoot. This rock singer captivates and transforms a host of fans who hear his songs and encounter his touch.

Lives are changed in unexpected ways and the enigmatic Jesse becomes a symbol of hope and freedom for those on society's edge. But not all will celebrate the rising tide of influence of this charismatic figure whose words and actions challenge those in power - the media, the politicians, the church. In one tumultuous week this clash of ideals comes to a head - with profound consequences.

Awash in all the protest and collapse of conservative Australia, the colour and madness that was the sixties, The Songs of Jesse Adams is a tale of conflict, betrayal and tragedy, but ultimately the triumph of love.

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About "The Songs of Jesse Adams"

Set in the turmoil of social change and political unrest of Australia during the 1960s, The Songs of Jesse Adams traces the meteoric rise of a boy from the bush - a farmer's son who breaks away to follow his heart, his dreams and his love of music. But, as Jesse travels with his band and the crowds gather, it becomes clear that something else is afoot. This rock singer captivates and transforms a host of fans who hear his songs and encounter his touch.

Lives are changed in unexpected ways and the enigmatic Jesse becomes a symbol of hope and freedom for those on society's edge. But not all will celebrate the rising tide of influence of this charismatic figure whose words and actions challenge those in power - the media, the politicians, the church. In one tumultuous week this clash of ideals comes to a head - with profound consequences.

Awash in all the protest and collapse of conservative Australia, the colour and madness that was the sixties, The Songs of Jesse Adams is a tale of conflict, betrayal and tragedy, but ultimately the triumph of love.
- Koorong

Set in the rurmoil of social change and political unrest of Australia during the 1960s, 'The Songs of Jesse Adams' traces the meteoric rise of a boy from the bush - a farmer's son who breaks away to follow his heart, his dreams and his love of music. But, as Jesse travels with his band and the crowds gather, it becomes clear that something else is afoot. This rock singer captivates and transforms the host of fans who hear his songs and encounter his truth.Lives are changed in unexpected ways and the enigmatic Jesse becomes a symbol of hope and freedom for those on society's edge. But not all will celebrate the rising tide of influence of this charismatic figure whose words and actions challenge those in power - the media, the politicians, the church. In one tumultuous week this clash of ideals comes to a head - with profound consequences.Awash in all the protest and collapse of conservative Australia, the colour and madness that was the sixties, 'The Songs of Jesse Adams' is a tale of conflict, betrayal and tragedy, but ultimately the triumph of love.
- Publisher

Meet the Author

Peter Mckinnon

For seventeen years, Peter McKinnon held senior roles in the frenzied world of high finance, the last five sitting at the top executive table of Australia's then largest financial organisation, NAB, reporting directly to the CEO. As a psychologist working inside large organisations, he had spent a lifetime studying human behaviour and the way big companies work. Life was fast, privileged, exhilarating.

Then, in one twenty-four-hour period, everything would change. The largest trading scandal in Australian financial services history would break and leave people, profits and reputations shattered in its wake.

Disillusioned by what he had experienced, Peter stayed a year then cast himself adrift of corporate life. Then, a surprise phone call from a friend since childhood, World Vision Australia CEO Tim Costello, literally turned his world upside down once more, and he and his wife found themselves living and working on the other side of the world in Los Angeles and putting their hands to changing the lives of others around the world. Responsibility for forty thousand employees in over one hundred countries in the largest humanitarian NGO in the world, World Vision International, shifted his view of the world and underlined for Peter, once again, the importance living a life that made a difference to others.

When he returned to Australia in late 2009, he determined to pursue a more creative and purposeful life and began to write.

Decades earlier, with the help of his wife Julie (who had appeared for several years on the ABC television series Bellbird) he had written and produced an amateur musical on a similar theme to The Songs of Jesse Adams. Many thousands attended and celebrated what became an acclaimed local hit.

Thirty years later, Peter, now a full-time writer, has re-imagined this musical in book form, The Songs of Jesse Adams which gives readers an engaging fantasy on what can happen when the unexpected lands on your doorstep...

Customer Reviews For "The Songs of Jesse Adams"

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What Would Jesus Do? Try this: The Songs of Jesse Adams
5 stars By Rowland Croucher, Jul 29 2014
'WWJD?' has been a very popular slogan in Evangelical Christianity since the days of the Jesus People in the 60s70s. Every Christian pastor has preached or counseled asking "If Jesus came to our town what would he be doing? Who would he be with (would he hang out with society's riff-raff again?). What would he say about the evils and self-interest embedded at all levels in our country?" 

Whilst we preachers mightn't be too specific about some things (unless we're ready for another Golgotha: still happens), here's a novel - Peter's first - which in 346 very readable pages tries to imagine Jesus and his followers in the 1960searly 70s Melbourne and its environs.

Peter McKinnon is an interesting man. He's produced two musicals; is au fait with the business-world; and he remembers 'those days' very well. (I knew him in the 1970searly 80s: a multi-talented parishioner, a psychologist, and someone who cared enough about homeless people to be involved with our church's ministry to them).

We who have 'remember when' conversations about Australian life and culture 'back then' will resonate with authentic descriptions on every page: three or four different brands of cigarettes (who recalls the Peter Stuyvesants?), Kingswoods, the paper-boy on his Malvern Star, trams (their 'ding ding ding' provides the music for a disciple's betrayal), Flinders' Street, Fitzroy, Carlton playing the Demons, a country town's chook races, bodgies and bolshies, Albert Langer, Monash Maoists, Vietnam War protests, Kentucky Fried Chicken (the newest food sensation)... There are wordsphrasesclichs I've not heard for decades: 'You've been had', galoots (remember that word?) and many more...

And if you went to Sunday School 'back then' (more of us did) you'll enjoy spotting the Gospels' equivalents of about 30 or 40 characters and events: Mary Magdalene, Jesus' mother Mary, Peter, the rich young ruler ("it's all or nothing Jarret"), the cleansing of the temple (done by Jesse in a Melbourne city church!), 'lost and found' stories, the 'woman with five de factos, six including the last dropkick', the Good Samaritan, one of the lyrics an interesting 'take' on the Lord's Prayer, Judas, the Sadducees politicians, the Last Supper (in a pub, the 'Doubtful'!), the mockery of a trial, the Emmaus-event, and many more...

But above all there are the constants in terms of human sinning ('like a terminal cancer'): an inordinate preoccupation with earning, amassing and stealing money, institutional evil (police, government, church, media et al), widespread antipathy towards society's scapegoats - homosexuals, 'communists', criminal gangs (they're at the bottom and the top of our culture).

Peter's writing-style is quite brilliant. How about this: 'wearing a grin that would charm the stripes off a tiger'? He's mostly restrained, sometimes oblique, until you get to the gripping page-turning denouement events towards the end. The build-up includes some dramatic events - as when Jesse hijacks a mayoral men-only function and invites the women to join them; or interrupts a State parliamentary sitting! Many of these scenarios are somewhat improbable. Exactly!

So here we have a bush-boy who becomes God-man, and whose message is clear: Love is all you need. Love wins no matter what life throws up. Happy is good; free is better. 'I don't want to own anything.' And even 'Peace for poofters' (p. 238).

People from everywhere came just to hear this 'stirrer from nowhere' talk (as well as sing). 'He was The Man' (p.86), his era's most charismatic pop-star, its greatest celebrity - a sort-of cross between the Beatles and Jesus. (I know someone born back then who says "If church can be as good as a U2 concert I'd be there every week!"). But Jesse is humble: "As for who's the best - it's the kid here. Big shots come last in my book" (p. 248). And like Jesus he needed to slip away occasionally to enjoy some solitude (he liked hotel roof-tops and similar places).

Ever thought about this: 'How can a body go missing from a modern city's morgue?' Good question.

I can imagine church youth groups and reading clubs having a wonderful time with this book.

 

Rowland Croucher
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Product Details

Product Details
  • Catalogue Code 412164
  • Product Code 9780987428684
  • ISBN 0987428683
  • EAN 9780987428684
  • Department General Books
  • Category Fiction
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Acorn Press
  • Publication Date Jul 2014
  • Sales Rank #61977
  • DRM Adobe
  • Printable No
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