Garth Brooks and dc Talk made the news this week

By Tom Sinclair
Updated October 23, 1998 at 04:00 AM EDT

Talk Talk Christian rock trio dc Talk’s new single, ”My Friend (So Long),” has started fans buzzing about something other than the Second Coming. The song chastises an act for abandoning its spiritual principles for superstardom, taking its subject to task for glib Rolling Stone interviews and big-bucks music videos. ”And I remember when you used to say/Jesus is the way/I never thought I’d see your light/Begin to fade,” run the lyrics, begging the question of just who the song is directed at. ”[That] comes up quite a lot on our website,” says dc Talk guitarist Toby McKeehan. ”They’ve been saying it’s about everyone from U2 to Amy Grant to our friends Jars of Clay.” Actually, it’s about none of the above; McKeehan claims it’s pure fantasy. ”We conceived [the character in the song] as a phantom fourth member of dc Talk who leaves the band to become a major rock & roll star.” Ironically, dc Talk are currently contending with secular success: Their new album, Supernatural, debuted at No. 4 on Billboard‘s pop chart two weeks ago. Hey, fellas, there’s some guy named Beelzebub on the phone for you.

Ad Crock Garth Brooks may have feigned aw-shucks surprise when he won the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award for the second year in a row, Sept. 23, but in some quarters Brooks’ win seems to have been a foregone conclusion. HBO, which produced Brooks’ Concert in Central Park last year, placed an ad congratulating him on roping the award in Daily Variety on Sept. 22. (Funny, we always thought the winners were supposed to be a closely guarded secret.) A CMA rep denies that it leaked the results: ”It was totally a mix-up on the part of HBO. They didn’t realize he was a nominee and not an award winner when they purchased the ad,” and a spokesman for Brooks was quick to distance the singer from his latest controversy: ”We had nothing to do with the ad from this office.” An HBO flack, meanwhile, was relieved at the outcome. ”Oh, God, can you imagine if he hadn’t won?”

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