I was approached by Richard about a year ago to help him write and produce rock songs for a Christian rock opera that would be based on the Book of Revelation. Having worked with Richard for the last few years I knew this would be a serious challenge and I would have to be all in or not at all.
The challenge, having never worked on a rock opera, before was very intriguing to me. The fact that it would be Bible-based on the book of Revelation was particularly exciting. Richard had filled me in on the approach by Rebecca and John Tatum and he wanted to help them finish their dream project when John became ill.
I know exactly why the Tatum’s chose Richard Klender to bring this project to completion. Richard is one of the most tenacious people I’ve ever known. He cuts no corners, takes no shortcuts, he is all in.
Having written many songs with Richard over the years I have a deep appreciation of his talent as a singer/songwriter and producer. This would be different in many ways. We would be completing someone else’s dream and it would have to be as exciting and powerful as the book of Revelation itself.
My first encounter with the project was John and Richard’s song, “I’ve Just Seen Heaven”. To say I was blown away would be an understatement. The song itself is a masterpiece. Impeccably produced with a vocal performance by Richard that literally brought tears to my eyes. As soon as I heard it, knowing that John was not doing well, I pleaded with Richard to get it to him right away. I was afraid that John might pass away without actually hearing what Richard had done with it.
Richard wanted some guitar lines before he sent the completed track to L.A. for John and Rebecca to hear. I did my lines as fast as possible so John would be able to experience the song as I had. Fortunately the song got there and John and Rebecca were thrilled with the results.
I remember driving from Sacramento to Paso Robles in December of 2019 to work with Richard on finishing the songwriting/recording for this project. When I arrived, I was told that John had passed away that morning. I was heartbroken that John would not get to hear the opera in its entirety but also relieved that he was out of pain and with God.
That week, Richard and I wrote the final six songs of the opera. We both felt John’s presence throughout the session and the creativity level was in high gear the entire time.
Afterwards, Richard and I communicated almost daily about every aspect of this project for almost nine months. I thought my part was done and I would move onto other things. Richard called and dropped a bomb, “Bob, What would you think about playing the melody parts in the Overture?” The Overture being a mash-up of several prominent songs in the opera. I said “sure” before I had a chance to think about it. Richard was doing the lion’s share of everything involved in this project so what could I say? It took several days to finish my melodies on the Overture but we are all proud of the outcome.
This rock opera rocks. I couldn’t be any prouder of the work we all put into this thing we call, AN ORDINARY DAY… THE REVELATION ROCK OPERA. Thank you Richard, Rebecca and John for inviting me to help move this along. What a ride it has been.
Sample of “Overture…Eat the Scroll” (feat. Bob Huff on guitar)
Sample of “Overture…Trumpets of Terror” (feat. Bob Huff on guitar)