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Music Tuesday: Andy Gullahorn’s “That Guy”

Andy Gullahorn is a guy that will sneak right past you without you noticing, if you let him. A supremely-talented songwriter and guitarist, Andy has perfected the songwriting technique I’ll call the “Gullahorn Gut Punch”, GGP for short. His song tells a story, gets you all involved, and then at the last moment sucker-punches you with a conclusion or moral to the story that you were not expecting… and that takes your breath away. I first experienced the GGP when I first heard Andy as he sang “Holy Flakes” during a concert back in 2005. But Andy takes it to a whole ‘nother level in the song I want to share with you today.

The song is called “That Guy”, and is on Andy’s latest album, called Reinventing the Wheel. It starts out this way:

He scoped out the market
All the women and kids
With so many distractions
Nobody noticed him
Nobody noticed him
He had a jacket a size too big
A skullcap on his head
And a couple of homemade bombs
He duct taped them to his chest
He taped them to his chest

You’re already into the story, right? What’s gonna happen? The first time I heard this in concert the audience was breathlessly on the edge of their seats. For real.

God loves that guy
God loves that guy

Now there’s the Gullahorn Gut Punch. Whammo. All those horrible things you were thinking about this terrorist are suddenly reproved as Andy reminds us that yes, God loves that guy. Ouch. Then comes verse two and the bridge:

He followed his heart
To a co-worker’s bed
He could have salvaged his marriage with kids
But he chose to leave instead
He chose to leave
He thought it was love
But it was just a mirage
So he sits in his idling car
Parked in a closed garage
Inside a closed garage

God loves that guy
God loves that guy

Me on the other hand I can write somebody off
Like the last check for a student loan
I can love when it’s convenient
But it’s not always convenient
It’s not always the easy road
I want to look past the outside to the well-meaning heart
To the good they forgot that they had
Teach me to love, teach me to love
Teach me to love like that

OK, if the song ended right here it’d already be an awesome song. But Andy takes it up another notch here with a sort of reverse-GGP.

He messed up again
Wanted to disappear
But he can’t ‘cause he’s easy to find
I see him in the mirror
I see him in the mirror

God loves that guy
God loves that guy

And here’s the beauty of the song. For two verses we’ve been remonstrating ourselves about our lack of love for others, feeling down on ourselves. And then in this third verse, Andy sneaks up on us and gets us back, telling us to remember: God loves us, too. Wow.

You can buy Reinventing the Wheel and Andy’s other CDs at the store. (Jill is Andy’s wife, and she’s the one with the fancy website… Andy’s is less-fancy but hysterical, well worth a visit.

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