How My Cousins Pranked Me at My Own Concert

Most attendees at the Aster Cafe in Minneapolis that night likely thought it was a drunk, oblivious stranger passing by.

They weren’t far off.

It was my slightly inebriated cousin Erik, doing a dare by his likely much more sober brother Karl. They were only sorry that the shenanigans just so happened to be during my most introspective song, called “Faith and Doubt,” about a person’s struggle with Christianity. If you were at this concert, on behalf of them and me, I apologize. Rather than reflecting on religion, “Faith and Doubt” was probably more about your struggle to keep from laughing.

The truth is, Karl and Erik are a big reason I got into music in the first place.

Growing up, we’d often spend holidays at their parents’ house. They introduced me to The Beatles, Nirvana, and Simon & Garfunkel. Since my parents didn’t allow secular music in our house, the only artists I could introduce them to were Michael W. Smith and Sandi Patty.

Karl started playing guitar before me. When I got interested, he’d show me how to play different guitar riffs. I was in awe of his band in high school; they got actual paying gigs. And Erik had a cover band in college called—and I kid you not—Bridge Over Bottled Water.

It’s funny how we all have people influencing us, even right now, and we have no idea how big of an effect it will have until our story unfolds further down the road.

For me, Karl and Erik are two of those people. And while they may have pulled a prank on me, it was a gift. A photo representing more than just a funny prank. It represents family and the undeniable influence they’ve had on me, for which I’ll always be grateful.



Ever had someone influence your life in an unexpected way? Or maybe a funny or memorable story involving friends or family? I’d love to hear about it! Share in the comments below.

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