Welcome to Calvary Albuquerque.
We pursue the God who is passionately pursuing a lost world. We do this with one another. Through worship, by the word, to the world.
Hi, I'm Ken Mansfield and I used to work with The Beatles.
But a while ago I got an incredible promotion. Instead of working for a band over there, I serve the man upstairs.
I guess you could say I went to the Fab Four to the Big Three.
went from listening to John, Paul, George, and Ringo to reading about Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Tonight's very special to me and I'm really excited about being here. Pastor Skip and I have known each other for a long time. And he keeps saying, why don't you come on down and speak and da da da. We say, yeah, we're going to do it. And we never did it.
So I have a stroke just before Christmas this year. And about two or three months later, guess who calls. Skip. About coming down here. And I thought, you know what? I'm going to make it. I'm going to make it down there. It gave me a goal. It gave me something to inspire me.
So this is a first time I've been on an airplane since December.
And I'm here because I really wanted to be here with you guys. So thank you very much. You've heard some great music. The Lively Hearts Club Band. How about that? Redeemed lyrics. I do love that a lot.
And you've seen the film. The film was done a few months ago. But because this is a classy place I told my hairdresser to kind of put some gray in my hair. Thin it out a little bit so I just appear more mature for you guys. That's all.
And then I'm going to give my testimony. But I do have a limited time tonight. So as Taylor Swift always tells her new boyfriends, I won't keep you too long.
I became a believer very late in life. And I had a problem from the get go. And a lot of you are going to identify with this. I had a problem with a thing called prayer. Now here I'd been such a stinker for so long and all of a sudden now overnight I can come before God Almighty himself. I can talk to Him. I can tell Him my troubles. I can make a requests. I can tell Him what's on my heart.
It just didn't really make sense to me that I could do that. But what He did-- the minute I became a believer, He put in my heart that I was to read His holy word every morning. And now this wasn't a works thing. This wasn't me thinking, you know, I'd better catch up here so if He sees me reading the Bible every morning, I'll be in-- it was just something that was supernaturally a part of my being.
So now I'm reading the Bible in the morning. And there's these beautiful prayers in there. And I thought, you know what? If I just change the word here or there, He'll never know where I got this stuff, right? And this is answerable stuff. Paul, David, Moses. Well, this is just me dragging my old worldly way of thinking into this new, beautiful, and merciful relationship.
But this is over 30 years later. And I find every morning when I'm reading my Bible there's a prayer, there's a parable, there's a teaching or something that always stops me. Because even though it's thousands of years old, it has something to do with me at this moment. So what I would like to do is open up with a prayer blessing for each and every one of you here tonight. If you'd please bow your heads. And we will enter God's prayer closet together.
And this is Colassians 1, 9 through 14. I'm reading from the Living Bible. Dear Heavenly Father, tonight I'm praying and asking you to help each of us to understand what you want us to know. I'm asking you to make us wise about spiritual things and you would guide us so the way we live will always please you and honor you. And I ask you to mold us so that our desires will be to always be doing good, kind things for others.
And most of all, Father, that we learned to know you better and better. And everyone who loves to say amen real, real loud, say it.
There you go. Ole and Ina have been married for 60 years. They have probably never been more than 300 yards from each other their whole life. They grew up on the same block couple houses apart. Went to school from kindergarten all through high school. Got married right out of high school.
But this is 60 years later. And it's time for Ole to pass on. He's upstairs in the bedroom. And we're talking hours, maybe minutes, before Ole passes on to the other side.
But all of a sudden this sweet aroma comes wafting up from downstairs and hits his nostrils. We can see Ina. She's downstairs in the kitchen. And she's baking his favorite thing in the whole wide world-- sweet molasses cookies. Ole smells those cookies cooking. He ain't going nowhere.
Until he has at least one more of Ina's sweet molasses cookies. With the last that he has left in him on planet Earth, he crawls out of that bed, he crawls down the stairs, he crawls through the kitchen door, across that kitchen floor. And he gets his hand up on one more. Bam. She hits his hand with a big old spatula.
Ole, you know darn well those are for the funeral.
Well, this sweet smell of my success, shall we say, that was wafting to the man upstairs as Ina's sweet molasses cookies. I guess you would have to say it was more like a stench in the nostrils of heaven. But I had purpose. I was going to come out of those Indian reservation lands in northern Idaho. I was going to come to California. I didn't care what I'd been taught. I didn't care how I'd been brought up.
Sex, drugs, rock and roll, wine, women, song, money, cars, and homes. I was going to come to California. As we used to say in London, it was going to be the toppermost of poppermost of Mr. Mansfield. Thank you very much.
Well, how's that for a spiritual game plan to start your life with? Guess what? Worked for me. I was always in the right place at the right time. I always had the right stuff for every situation. And here lies the deception.
The devil is a deceiver. And he had me believing that the reason I was doing so good is because I was so smart. Because I was such a hot shot. Nothing to do with a loving Heavenly Father who had truly blessed me with talents and abilities and gave me a knack to make it in a very, very tough business.
Well, this is one of the great tragedies of early success. Because you get so full of yourself, you leave no room for God in there. And here's the problem. I got lost. I got hooked on the world's ways. And all of a sudden I found myself making success my God.
But then one day the success went away. And failure came my way. So what I did I do? I found myself alone and confused in a Godless world.
Now you saw the New Age section of that film there. And I'm all over that stuff, but I can still read minds. And I can read your minds. And you're thinking, well, hey, Mansfield. If you're such a hot shot, how could you let that happen?
Well, I can answer that one word-- God. Nothing was in my life about Him. Everything was about me and what I wanted. And I found myself in such a deep, down, dank, and dirty place that there was no way I was going to get out of there on my own.
But I learned something down there. I learned when you're down to nothing, God's up to something. And I told you had a stroke. And because of that, my mind wanders. So I gotta stick with my notes.
So my notes said-- when I said that, everybody yelled Amen. So let's try it one more time so I can go ahead on. When you're down to nothing, God's up to something.
Ah, this better.
OK. Pastor Skip is giving me this real squirrelly look down there. That's called pulling an amen in the business, you know? And so I'm not going to do that again. I feel very at home here. If you want to say amen, say amen. If I say something, you don't want to say amen, don't say amen. OK.
I spent 30 years in the music business and I spent five of those years as an executive at Capitol Records. And one of the jobs I had when I was there was called National Promotion Manager. And what my job was, I had like 50 guys that are spread out across the United States that worked for me. And when the new records came out, they took the records to the radio stations, they took the artists around when they were on tour and took them around, promote their careers.
And in those days, we wore suits and ties. Now my man in Chicago-- and we all had one of these in the workplace. He not only wore suits and ties, he wore fine hats. Hats weren't required. He just had this thing for hats. He had the greatest hat collection. I think he took out the garbage in a fine hat. The guy was just crazy about it.
He went out one day. And he bought a hat for $50. Now you do the math. This is the late '60s. If a hat cost $50, can you imagine what that hat would cost today? This was a fine hat. This was his favorite have. This is a hat he wore like when a special big name artist came to town.
So here he is one day. He's on his rounds. He's got his famous artist in tow. He goes around-- wait, I did say he was my man in Chicago, didn't I? The Windy City?
Hat blows off. It rolls out in the street. Car runs over it. Hat is gone. I get his expense report the next week. There it is. Hat, $50.
Well, we didn't have a clothing allowance at Capitol and that was just his tough luck. I cross off the hat. I check the rest of the report. It's OK. I sign off, send it in for payment minus the hat.
I get his expense report the next week. There's that hat again. I cross it off again, check the report. It's OK. Sign off again. Send it in for payment minus the hat again.
I get his expense report-- this is starting to become old hat. Oh, I didn't say that. I didn't say that. I didn't.
Well, wait a minute. He got the message. The hat's not on there. I checked the report. It's perfect. I'll just sign. He put an asterisk at the bottom of the expense report. The hat's in there somewhere. You find it, boss.
And that's a true story, by the way.
My circumstances, like this hat, like this expense report, God was in there somewhere. I just needed to find Him. I finally realized that I needed help. I finally understood it had gone beyond me and what I could do. I knew in my heart it was time to start seeking God's face.
I thank God every day in my life for those circumstances that drew me to Him. Because I know me and I know how I used to think. And if it wasn't for those circumstances, I would have never come to Him.
When it's natural, Skip.
It's so much better when it's natural like that, isn't it?
OK. I talked about bottoming out. And if this is a three-day seminar, I still couldn't cover how long and how bad my life became after I failed. It was just the most amazing thing. Nobody in the music business had a better resume at that time than I did.
I came to work at Capitol Records. Within months I had everybody working for me there. I was made a director at Capitol. Now I'm working with The Beatles at Capitol. And we hit it off.
And they asked me to become the US manager of their record company. Went to London, helped them set it up. And then when The Beatle thing was falling apart and the Apple thing was falling apart, I left and went to MGM. I was a Vice President of MGM Records. Then Andy Williams hired me away to be the president the CBS label that he owned.
And I thought to myself, you know what? I'm making all these big bucks for these big companies. Why don't I make the big bucks for myself? So I set up my own corporation called Hometown Productions. And I was producing some pretty big acts in those days.
Now a lot of you don't recognize these names. But Andy Williams, David Cassidy, Don Ho, Flying Burrito Brothers. These were big bands in those days. But all of a sudden, I quit getting hit records. I quit getting the big project for my company. And the company starts falling apart. And now I'm spending all my time trying to just hold things together. No more creativity. Just hanging on to things.
Well, eventually the company goes under. Takes me down with it. And now I'm broke in LA and out of work. So I realized, you know what I got to do is I just have to suck it up, go back and get a job at the corporations again, the record companies. And I was the kind of guy that didn't make enemies on the way up.
And also, half the people that were running these companies that were guys I'd mentored, that I'd hired. They were in those positions because of me. No problems, right? Can't get a job. Doors were closed. Didn't make sense to me because I didn't know how the Lord works at the time. But I couldn't get a job in LA.
So I thought, well, I'm bombing out here. I spent five years in Nashville, very successful. I was a producer to the outlaw movement. Waylon, Willie, and the boys. So I thought, I'll just go back and I'll just pick up where I left off. I went to Nashville and I couldn't even get arrested. Well, I could get arrested, the life I was leading.
But I was looking for a job. Doors were closed again. It didn't make sense. I just couldn't figure it out. I couldn't get a job in the mail room of the companies that I used to run.
Now picture this. I was The Beatles executive and I can't get a job anywhere. Well, I finally did get a job. I persevered and I got a job in my business. They had just built a brand new amphitheater outside of Nashville called Starwood. And I don't know if you've ever heard of it. It was about 10 miles outside of town. And it seated 15,000 to 20,000 people. And every band in the world wanted to play Starwood because it was Nashville, Tennessee. It was just a hip place to be.
And we were a nonunion shop. So here I am. I'm a 50-year-old guy. Almost 50 years old. And I get a job as a stage hand, which means I'm schlepping all this heavy equipment that the 20 something year olds are doing. And let's say a show goes up to seven o'clock. Five o'clock in the morning the semis start backing up to the stage. And we're in the bowels of these trucks unloading this heavy equipment, rebuilding.
When the heavy metal bands came to town, we would build a whole little town on that stage. And with flying, the sound, and the lights and all that. And because we were nonunion, the show goes up at seven. If we were running behind, we didn't get a break.
Now you I picture this. Nashville, Tennessee. 93 degrees, humidity 92.5%. And after about 10 hours of this you're one funky dude. I'll tell you.
You don't look good. You don't feel good. And I promise you, you do not smell good.
Now I mentioned some people that I'd worked with that you didn't know, but I know of one person I worked with that you do know. And that's a gentleman named James Taylor. And James, a lot of you don't know, was when the first people we signed to Apple Records in London.
So here I am. I'm in London with James. I'm the guy in Carnaby Brothers suit with a suntan from California. And here we are. We're with The Beatles and all that. It was really a great experience.
And he and Peter Asher, his producer, when they left they went to Warner Brothers in LA. That's when I went to MGM. Now we're in a Hollywood. And it's a small group of people, a kind of a clique. It was Ringo and myself, Harry Nilsson. Just a small group of people that were with the Beatles.
And I'm hanging out in the studio with James and Peter. They're cutting little records like "You've Got a Friend." These kind of things. "Fire and Rain." And then over in my offices we've got a little band call Eric Burdon War. We were just on top of the world. We were invincible.
Well, I got to work with James a third time. And he was headlining at the Starwood amphitheater. And it was my job to walk up to him and say, Mr. Taylor, where would you like me to put your amps for tonight's concert? And James looked at me. And I had like a five foot smell radius and I'm standing there. And sweat's running down my face. I'm dirty and grimy.
And he's looking at me. And it took him a while just to kind of recognize who it was. And when he recognized, I could just see the pain in his eyes, what he felt for me. But this was during my bottom. And this is when I had come to the Lord. And God had to take care of something in me right away. And he got on it right away.
And I don't know how many times Skip is up here and talked to you guys about a thing that God hates, and that's pride. And I had a boatload and He'd gone after that right away. But I'll tell you when He really got in my soup and turned my noodles around was the night of the Whitney Houston concert. And Whitney was at the top of her stardom. And she comes out on stage and she sings her first song. And she did not like the way her monitors were placed.
So she stepped back and signaled for stage hand to come out and sort out the monitors. Now I'm not about to go out there in front 15,000 and 20,000 people. Because I used to be a big man in that town. I didn't want them to know what had happened to me. I turn around. I start to shove one of the young dudes out. And God said, look, hold on here, hoss. We're going to take a big chunk out of that pride tonight so you get your happy buns out there because you work for me now.
I suck it up. I walk out on stage. And wouldn't you know, Whitney made me get down on my knees to arrange those monitors. I'm down on my knees. I look up. And the Starwood Amphitheater just kind of went from the stage back up like that. And the front row is just about as close as this front row. Sweat's dripping down my face.
I look out and there's all the record company presidents and famous producers and executives that I used to be one of. I used to sit in those seats with those people. And they've been wondering what happened the Ken Mansfield. Now they knew. And they're looking at me. They're blinking like frogs in a hail storm. They just can't figure out what's going on.
I looked in their faces and I looked up in the night sky. I said, Lord, Father God, this is the single most embarrassing moment in my life. I've never been so humiliated. But Father God, I love you more than anything I've ever loved. I want what you want more than anything I could ever want. Father God, I understand what we're doing here. I'm with you. Games on.
I arranged those monitors like monitors have never been arrange in the history of rock and roll. August 18, 1987. Nashville, Tennessee. Starwood Amphitheater Whitney Houston concert. Those monitors were arrange to the Lord.
You can't do better than that, can you?
God loved me so much that he knew I had to be broke so that I could be broken. Now here's the good news tonight. And this is about the good news. God is the single greatest economists of all time. He will use our past-- good, bad, or indifferent-- for His glory.
Doesn't matter how ugly a sinner we've been. Doesn't matter how long we've been bad or how terrible we've been. Or wait, maybe you're the kind of person who only committed one little bitty sin your whole life.
Or maybe you're more like me that had a long, wretched, smelly, just a terrible, horrible life. Doesn't matter. You could bring that one little bitty sin to Him or you can bring that whole stinking mess. God doesn't care. He loves you. All mistakes are forgotten. All sins are forgiven.
When we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, God will turn to good what Satan meant for evil.
And don't make me hold this up again. That's embarrassing, OK?
God will turn to good what Satan meant for evil.
There you go. Let's look at this phenomenon called The Beatles. You think God was unaware of these four guys down here? That He didn't happen to notice how influential, how powerful? These guys were so big. I can't imagine. In those days, they were like the Pied Piper to the world's youth. And I can't imagine that God didn't have a purpose for all this.
So I want to do is listen very carefully to what I'm about to say right now. Because this is not as abstract or as implausible as you might think. I'm asking you to consider the following list of possibilities. That the whole reason for The Beatles' success, the whole reason for my success so that I would come to their attention, and then they would invite me to come to work for them. And then the whole reason for my meteoric rise and then my fall was so I would be brought to a point to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
And then I would be led to write these books about the industry I was in and all the inside stuff. But I also coupled my testimony in that. So people would buy the book to read about The Beatles and you have to wade through some other stuff, right? Now think about. For decades, God was just weaving this tapestry. First time Ringo fell off a bicycle. First plane I got on. First prayer. Everything in our lives was just woven-- things could have been off a minute or an hour or a day.
But everything came down to the point to where I would be standing here before you tonight giving my testimony. Because I think God had his eyes on one person all the way back then. Now you're looking at me like frogs blinking in a hailstorm.
Because that doesn't sound very possible. I'm going to give you an example of something to happen to me that's a true story. I was speaking at a very large church in Southern California. And we were going to do a-- Pastor Skip and I are going to do a question and answer tonight. And the pastor was going to come up and he was going to do all questions from the audience.
But I went a little long on my talk and they were a very large church and they were kind of in a residential zone. So they had to have the door shut, the lights off, by ten o'clock at night. That was it. And so by the time the pastor got up on the stage, he only had time to call on one or two people.
Now I don't know how he saw this lady way in the back of the auditorium. But he called on her. And she stood up. She said, Pastor, I don't have a question for Mr. Mansfield. But I do have a comment.
When I was a young girl, I went to this church and we had the most incredible youth ministry. And we had a fantastic youth pastor just for the girls. And the neat thing, every year, is we'd go away for a full week retreat. And I remember one year me and my three best girlfriends, we went on the retreat. And every day he would have really good lessons and things, activities. And every night he would have something special where it would end up with a real good moral message for us.
She said, I remember it was a Wednesday night. And so we sat down. And the youth pastor said, before we do anything tonight, you're going to do what I ask you. Now you're going to promise-- you're going to commit to me that you will pray for the salvation of a very decadent group of young people.
He said what I'm going to do is I'm going to pass around a hat. You're going to draw name out of a hat. And you promise to make that you will pray for that person's salvation til you know in your heart that they're saved or you have empirical knowledge. The names in the hats were The Beatles and the guys that worked with them. She said to me and my three girlfriends all picked the same name-- Ken Mansfield.
Who's Ken Mansfield? She said, I wanted to pray for Paul McCartney.
That's what I wanted to do. But she said, I had promised. I took that slip of paper, put it in my Bible with Ken Mansfield's name on it. I prayed all through junior high, all through high school, all through college, even when I got in the workplace I prayed for this stranger's name, for his salvation.
She said, I got out in the workplace and I got really busy. I didn't have quite as much time to read the Bible, quite as much time to pray. Then I started having a really good time. Then I really started rocking and rolling. I turned my back on my walk with the Lord entirely. I could have cared less. And I just got deeper and deeper into the decadence.
But about a year ago, my life fell apart. And she said, I have never been so miserable my life. This last year has been-- I can't tell you how horrible it's been. She said, I woke up about a week ago and I felt like God was talking at my heart.
He was saying, hey, my child. Remember what it was like when you were with me? Remember how sweet it was? Look at your life now and look at what it was like then. I got up this morning, I opened the newspaper, and there's an ad in there that said Ken Mansfield, who used to be with the Beatles, is giving his testimony at this church tonight. And she said, it was like that ad was just jumping up at me. It was like God was saying, hey. You think I ever left you? You think I don't answer?
I've come here tonight, pastor, for one reason. And that's just to tell you I'm back.
That's a true story. So what's this all about tonight? This is not about The Beatles. It's certainly not about me. Tonight is about Jesus Christ and a loving Heavenly Father.
Who truly cares about us no matter how shameful and wretched our lives have been. He sees us coming from way off down that road. And He's been waiting there forever with arms wide open, just waiting to welcome us home. He's going to say, hey, it's OK, my child. I forgot all that stuff. I've forgiven all your sins. With just one word, you wiped out decades of decadence.
And that word was yes. Yes, I'm sorry. Yes, I need your forgiveness. Yes, I need your grace. Yes, I need to fresh start. Yes, I need your unconditional love.
Yes, I believe you died for me. Yes I accept you as my Lord and Savior. Yes, I want to spend eternity with you, Jesus.
You see this awesome God. Think about it. The creator of everything that ever has been or ever will be. The one true God that knows everything about each and every one of us. This magnificent wondrous God wants to live inside of each and every teeny little one of us.
He wants to heal us. He wants a prosper us. He wants to love on us. He wants to forgive us. He wants to grant us His unbelievable peace. It's a peace that you can understand. It's the peace that passes all understanding. And you can't understand it until you have it.
I'm here tonight to tell you that there's nothing out there of value without Him. It's pretty obvious. I've been there and I've done. Think about it. The limos couldn't have been any longer. The hotel suites couldn't have been any more luxurious. The restaurants couldn't have been more exquisite. The people I was with couldn't have been more famous. The place we went to couldn't have been more exotic.
But when I look back now on myself, instead of seeing this hot shot, this guy that's really on top of the world, it's like I'm looking at myself through this-- kind of this darkened screen. And I just see this young, pathetic, pitiful young man trying to fill a haunting emptiness with stuff.
You see, I did. I lived in the biggest states and ate off the gold plates with the silver spoons. But I was also eating the pods of the pigs in the pig sties. And I was wallowing in the decadence and the slime of the high life and the low life. And I'll confess you tonight, I squandered the inheritance of a loving Heavenly Father.
One day I realized that the lower servant in the House of the Lord had better than I ever did when I was in the world. So what did I do? I asked for a fresh start. Just like that, He welcomed me home. He put his robe around my shoulder, His ring on my finger, and His love in my heart.
Now I did. I lost the world, but I got on the right side of eternity. And nobody stood taller than me the night I got on my knees and asked Jesus to come into my life. Eternity, you know, that's going to be the real long part of our existence.
I think it's really worthwhile just asking yourself where do I want to spend the long part. And I opened up with a prayer blessing tonight, and I would like to close the prayer. This is from Psalm 90 Verses 12 to 17. And if you have your Bibles, don't open up. This is just how I take God's word. Make the prayers my own. So please bow your head once more.
Lord Father God, I'm asking you to teach us how to number our days. Help us to recognize just how few they are. Help us to spend them as we should. And Father, come and bless each and every person here tonight.
Give us constant joy to the end of our lives. Give us gladness in proportion to our former misery. Replace the evil years with good. And let us see your miracles and let our children see the glorious things that you are. And Lord Father God, I'm asking you to favor us by giving us your kind of success so that we could have your kind of permanence in all that we may do.
And everyone who likes to say amen real loud, say amen.
Amen. Ken Mansfield.
Ken, I'm going to bring you this way.
Have a seat, please. Just for a minute. Not you can, Ken. Well, you can in a moment over here.
You're right over here.
And I'm right here.
I must be in the front row, right? OK.
So that was a great. That's a real testimony, isn't it? I mean, that--
I've heard this and I've read it and I'm moved by it every time I hear it or read it. But in the time remaining, I have a couple questions, Kenny.
In the little film we saw at the very beginning when it showed The Beatles and Capitol Records. They were sort of at the apex of their career. You were down there in the bottom. There it is. You're 27 years old in this photograph. And The Beatles are like 24, 25, 23. Something like that.
So they're like young kids and they're world famous. How does fame change a person? What have you observed?
Well, I think with The Beatles and most of the people in that, you don't expect it and you don't understand what it really is. And what you do is first of all your start believing your own press releases. And then it becomes like a different world entirely. It's just like you forget what's normal anymore.
And then so many things are offered to you. And what I did and most of us do, is I gave away a little piece of myself. I said, well, OK. I know that's not right, but that's just a little thing. I'll go ahead and do that. And after a while you give away so many pieces of yourself there's really nothing left.
And so there's just a thing after a while where you're just the center of attention and everybody's just going crazy over you. That's what happens.
George Harrison had a spiritual side to him.
He got into kind of Indian mysticism and Indian religions. And you mentioned that he even influenced you. Is that right?
Yes, he did. George was probably-- George was truly seeking God. There's no question about it. But he just was a little deceived, you might say. And he put such an example for me. He was so kind and he was so gentle.
I would be in London. And I was scared to death because I had to keep it together with The Beatles. Those were my marching orders from Capitol Records. The Beatles were 50% of our business.
And they'd asked for me to be their guy. So if I made one mistake, well, the president of Capitol Industries said, when it comes to The Beatles, Ken, there's no margin for error.
You can do what you want. Your expense report. Do whatever you want. We won't question it. Just keep it together with The Beatles.
And I forgot what the question was.
George had a spiritual side.
And he sort of got you into having like a guru.
Yeah. So I would be in London. And he would be more concerned about me being tired or was I OK. He actually-- I was sitting in a meeting late one night and I start nodding off. And he came over, and he said, hey. Come on, Ken. And he took me to the hotel and put me to bed. That's the kind of guy he was. Because he knew the pressure that was on me. And basically he said, I'll cover for you.
So did you kind of get into meditation like he did at that time?
Yes, I did. I got a guru. Not the one The Beatles had. And I got into meditation. And I was told, you can do the meditation just to calm yourself. You don't have to follow a guru or anything like that. The meditation practices were designed by a guru, but you don't have to follow him.
And then I'm told, hey, the guru is coming to America. Would you like to meet him? And the guy was wonderful. He was a really cool guy. Next thing I know, I'm teaching meditation. I'm doing advanced meditation. I'm doing all these tratak and candle things and astral projection and crystal healing and all that. And I spent 10 years in that thing.
You had a line in the little film that I thought it was like one of the greatest pickup lines of all history. You said when you met Connie-- who's now your wife-- when you met her you said, well, I'll change gurus for you or something to that effect.
Is that right?
Yeah, I did. Well, she was a sold out Christian. And she had actually set herself a sign for years just to press in closer to the Lord. And she wasn't dating or anything. This is when everything fell apart for me. I come roaring into Nashville. I'm a stoner, I'm broke, I've got a bad reputation with the ladies. And all these things.
And I was-- if she put an ad in the paper-- if I put an ad in the paper, nobody in their right mind would answer that. But we met one night and something just clicked. So we started dating.
Now here's she's sold out the Lord. And it really bothered her I carried a picture of my guru in my pocket. She thought that was pretty weird.
So we would have these arguments. She'd say, well, Jesus is the way. And I said, no, He's a way. She said, no, He's the way. And I said, you know, He is. He's an ascended master. He's one of the greatest of all times. And He is one of the biggest. But there are many paths to the top of the mountain. She said, no, He's the way.
And so we just get kept having this argument. And so we'd been dating for a little while. And then she finally said, I need to talk to you tonight. And she said, I cannot be unequally yoked. I have to choose between you and Jesus. And she said, I choose Jesus.
Now what she'd been doing-- she'd been talking the talk. She was taking me to all the Christian concerts, taking me to the churches in Nashville with the good musicians and all that just trying to get to me that way. But when she walked out her walk, I thought, wow. I want to have something like that. I'd never thought I would have something I would be willing to give up something that I wanted to have, that would be willing to give up. I want to have something as precious as that is to her.
And that was my conversion right there.
So she's the one the Lord put in your life to bring you to Christ.
She is a patient woman.
Totally. Totally. Because she had no business dating me. She--
And she said, I'm not doing missionary dating here. So--
Back in 1966, John Lennon was having a conversation with somebody from The London Evening Standard, a British newspaper. And he set off the cuff-- and as I remember it was a private conversation.
But I remember hearing about this is in church from the priest who was getting all over The Beatles. And John Lennon made a statement that The Beatles had become more popular than Jesus.
And that hit the world press.
And you were-- You came a little bit at the tail end of that.
I came in at the tail end of that, yeah.
That followed them, didn't it?
Yes, it did.
You caught some of that fray.
In fact, he said we're bigger than Jesus. But he was making a point, and it was more or less a private conversation, that there was something wrong with the world youth that they were worshipping a band instead of, like, Jesus. Now he wasn't say they should worship Jesus. He was just using that as a good example.
But that's what he meant. He was just trying to make a point that there was something wrong with the youth. He could never get out from underneath that. In fact, I talked to somebody that was with him shortly before he died. And they said that John was still troubled by that. No matter how much he apologized, no matter how much he tried to explain himself, that that actually followed him to the grave.
Wow. I remember hearing that statement. But then I also remember thinking that what he said was true.
Is that I, as a young person at the time-- and I was really-- it was-- The Beatles was really my older brother's band. I was just kind of a wannabe. But I remember when that statement-- I thought, well, it is true. Because when I came to church, it was so boring to me.
And the music was like a cure for insomnia.
And the only reprieve from that was lively music. And they produced it. And it was sort of an indictment of the church that they had just kind of gotten into this rut and they didn't need to be that way because John Lennon and Paul McCartney met at church function.
They did. Yes.
A lot of people don't realize that. And of course they were playing outside the church. And I've always thought, you know, if Chuck Smith, my pastor, would have pastored that church, he would have invited them inside the church--
Yes, he would.
--to play and encourage them to do it for the Lord.
That's right. And they would have seen all those long-hairs in there and stuff and they-- yeah.
So, looking back in your life Ken Mansfield, what's your greatest accomplishment? What do you want to be known for?
I want to be known for loving the Lord. I want to be known for coming out of such a dark hole and a dark life and coming forward to tell about what I feel about Jesus and about the Lord. And I want to be known that just sitting here with someone like you and in the ministry. I just-- I'm proud to be here.
Looking back, what was your darkest moment? You've had a few pretty tough spells.
Yeah. I've had two serious battles with cancer and then this stroke recently. I think the worst point in my life is when I totally bottomed out and I was just desperate. And I had nobody to go to. And here's a funny thing, is I had all kinds of friends. But when I bottomed out, I was alone. And I had no one to go to.
And then later on, when I've had these series battles, I've got somebody to go to every time. He's always there. He's always with me. He's got all the answers. He's got a rule book that has all the answers in it. And there's no question.
So no matter what happens, I have His promises that He will turn good into evil, He will [INAUDIBLE]. And so that's what the comparison of a darkest time of my life and happiest time in my Life. It's such a difference.
Did you ever doubt during those times?
Oh, boy. I was telling Skip earlier. When I had the second cancer, it was brutal. I've never realized that there could be so much pain. And I saw it coming. And I made a deal with God. And that's kind of-- I guess you really shouldn't do that. Like somebody once told me, this is not a negotiation.
But I just told Him, I said, Lord. I'm going to promise you right now, because if I make this promise to you, I can't back out. I promise you I'm never going to back away from you. I'm going to stay with it. I don't care what happens. I'm in. I'm in to stay. And I'm going promise you that right now. And he was faithful.
We were talking before the service about the pain during that time and that you were speaking about making a deal with God. You just said, Lord, just to let the pain be so bad. And then what happened after you prayed that? The pain got worse.
I asked him just to back off a little bit. And it got worse.
So-- but I made a promise.
So what do you do when those things-- how do you get through that?
Well, to say maybe I wasn't a little mad at God, to maybe-- I tried telling Him where He was all wrong in this thing.
And told Him how He should--
How'd that go for you?
Told Him how He should do things. And just really how upset I was and all that kind of stuff. And how horrible it was. And then I realized I wasn't complaining. I was praying. When you talk to God and when you tell Him what you're are honestly feeling, you're praying.
That's right. You're pouring out your heart to him like David said.
Yeah, you are. I was doing everything that I thought I should do. But I didn't realize that I was doing it. But when you're that close to Him, it's just automatic. And I realized, gee, I just really prayed to you, didn't I?
And then the pain got worse. No, it didn't.
Kenny, you're a happy person. You're not a bitter person for all of that.
The lows in life. Being a stagehand after being way up at the top with the Fab Four. The cancer, the stroke. How did you fight bitterness during that time?
I think that's something that's in your heart. Every time I start to feel bitter or feel sorry for myself, it seemed like He would bring an example into my life. I'd see something on TV. And I'd say, gee, I don't have it so bad after all.
And then I had His promises. It was just something about-- I told you once I had a saying that carried me through all that. It is either you believe or you don't. You can't take the Bible and pick the things out that you like and say, yeah. That's for me. But that there I don't care about. Either you believe or you don't.
And if He says something, it's either true or it's not. And I'm not going to call God a liar. I'm never going to do that. So I just carried me through His word, His promises. And there's just that thing he puts in your-- he puts something inside of you. He fills that haunting emptiness, as I said. And you just know where to go.
A final question. The role of music. This has been your life.
You've been a music producer, director. What do you see God's intention for music? And I ask that question-- and that's a very broad question.
Yes, it is.
Because every single culture has a national anthem.
We move our feet and move our bodies to music. Commercials. It's all meant to move a person. What was God's deal with music?
I think he gave us the music as a vehicle for the poets and the teachers of our day to reach people through. And I don't care how bad the music gets and how decadent it is. The music that really pays out and lives out is the gospel music, the music of the word. And I think that's what God gave us music for.
It's a beautiful thing. So He doesn't give us beautiful things. It was just that we make a bad thing out of it. That's one thing. But His music is His heart. And the Psalms, that's all-- those are songs, as the Bible says. So they obviously-- they're a pretty good thing.
OK. I lied. I have one more question.
OK. Wait, that's the end of the list.
So, yes. It's not on the little list I wrote up. But you reminded me of a question I asked you when you spoke at our church Ocean Hills years ago, a decade ago in California.
And I think I asked you, Ken Mansfield, if you could do it all over again, would you do it all over again?
Skip asked me that on stage and I never had anybody ask me that question before. And it kind of floored me when you did that. And I thought about it. And went, no. And you said, that's the right answer.
And I realized that everything that I've gone on my life was it give me a purpose in his purpose. And let's take the New Age thing for just a second. I was in New Age for 10 years. I got up every morning. I did my meditations and my chanting. I did my New Age devotions and all that.
When I became a Christian, next day I got up. And I had a Bible. And I prayed to God. I was like, I've been training my whole life. He used that whole ten years of that. Nobody can speak to heroin addict better than somebody who was a heroin addict. And then it gets cured and gets saved.
No one can speak to a New Ager better than I can because I was there. I was in the heart of it. You go-- He puts-- allows. He allows them. I think that's the word. Allows these things to happen so that you can carry on for Him.
OK. So finally, and this is not a question.
But you have-- besides being a record producer, you have written five books I'm looking at here, right?
And you're going to be in the foyer afterwards signing books if anybody would like to get one. You'll be there, which is great. So the first one I read, and I remember just taken by this book. It is called The Beatles, The Bible, and Bodega Bay, where you lived. And that is a journey-- that's your testimony.
That's your journey through music, through life, to come to know the Lord, right?
OK. So then your second book--
Oh, this is the second one.
--was one. Oh, yeah. And I love this. It's called The White Book. And if you're familiar with The Beatles' White Album, it's embossed on the front. It looks just like the White Album.
It's exact replica, yeah.
Right. So-- and the White Album was that great, crazy album with such hit songs as "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey."
Yeah. And "Why Don't We Do it in the Road?"
Is that right?
Did I say the song right?
OK. So this has got great photographs in it.
And what is this one about?
This one is about-- there was a Christian publisher that wanted a Christian author to write a book about a non-Christian topic that Christians could read.
And it was a follow-up to this book, where my testimony was in that book. So--
I love this book.
Yeah, well, it's a pretty cool book.
Inside stories that you wouldn't get anywhere else unless you were you.
Now here's a problem. This book is out of print. They only made 40,000. They're individually numbered just like the White Album. And I've only got like eight left. Now they're here.
You have eight left?
Yeah, I've got-- yeah, well, I've got a few more of them.
You might want to get in line now.
Anyway, this is a real collector's item.
OK. Then was this your next one?
This was your third one. Stumbling on Open Ground.
No, this is my next one. Between Wyomings.
Between Wyomings. What on earth does that mean?
That is a-- well, I was born in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania. And then I grew up in Idaho. And I was on my way halfway between those two city once. And I thought, gee, I'm between Wyomings right now.
And this book is about my time with the different famous people I worked, whether it was Glen Campbell or The Beach Boys or whatever. And I take these stories and get in a van called Moses. And retrace our steps. Like when I was with Waylon and I'd drive n to Austin and I'd tell a Waylon story. Then I'd go along and I'm out in the desert. I would talk to God. Then we'd get to Nashville and I would tell a Nashville story.
And that's what this book is just kind of a Travels with Charley. Except it was with my wife, not a dog. And Charley is a dog, but the way. I'm sorry.
This is also a good book. Because I love the stories of the different people that you've either managed or rubbed shoulders with.
OK, this one. Interesting title. And I think we're-- Lenny and I are even mentioned in this book.
Yes, you are.
Stumbling on Open Ground-- Love, God, Cancer, and Rock and Roll.
Rock and Roll.
Wow. What a subtitle.
Yeah. That's based on the Jeremiah thing, if you stumble in Jordan. Or what is it?
Yeah. If you stumble out on open ground.
Yeah. Anyway, Stumbling on Open Ground. I'm home free. I'm a Christian. I believe everything God has to say. And when I have doubts and stuff, I'm on open ground but I'm stumbling still. And we all do that.
Yeah, the text says, if racing with mere men has worried you, how will you race against the horses? If you stumble and fall on open ground, what will you do in Jordan's jungles?
Yes. I should memorize that.
Or just read it off your cover.
I'll buy my book, yeah.
OK. And then the last one is called Rock and a Heart Place.
What does that mean?
This is about rock and roll. People who become very famous and some of the biggest bands of all time. I've been on the stage in front of hundreds of thousands of people. And their lives fell into decadence no matter how they'd been brought up or what they'd been taught. And then their redemption, their conversion into Christianity.
And these stories are just beautiful. There's such a common thread through everybody about what they went through in their walk with the Lord. And so while you can see there's people from Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, Grand Funk Railroad, Kansas, Korn Brian Head Welch is in there. Pointer sisters, The Ronettes, The Turtles. Really fascinating stories.
Of all the people you've met-- I just had another question pop in.
Of all the people met, famous stars, rock and roll stars, which one did you like the most?
Wow. Well, Ringo and I actually spent the most time together. We've worked together since 1965.
Is that Ringo?
Ringo Starr. Yeah.
Oh, right. Ringo.
Ringo. I'm sorry.
Ringo. That's right.
And then in the '90s I represented him again. Our lives fell apart together. Our lives got back together. So I've really had the longest history with him, I think, of anybody.
And of all the famous people you've ever met, which one did you like the least?
He can be a jerk, you know. No. Oh, I don't know.
You just can't say those names. I just put you-- I did like a Larry King just now.
Yeah. If you can't say something nice--
Say something mean.
Well, Ken, you've been a friend and I love you.
Listen, on behalf of the band, we miss you.
Oh, yes. Yes.
But thank you for being here. Can we just close-- can I just pray for you? Can we pray for you?
Oh, you sure can. Please.
Father, just thank you for Ken Mansfield and this incredible, crazy, wonderful journey he's been on where he is not only met and rubbed shoulders with but helped manage and produce some of the world's famous musical talent. But Lord, thank you how that through all of that craziness you brought him to a relationship with the woman who pointed him to Jesus.
That woman, his wife Connie, who's with him tonight. And the two have become one. And they love each other so deeply.
Thank you for that testimony of marriage and love. And Lord, thank you, Lord, that he's representing you and honoring you. And even though he's had some setbacks, some physical struggles, that he's back wanting to minister to people and point people to the truth.
Thank you for these books. It's just so well written and a lasting legacy, Lord, of encouragement. So bless him, strengthen him physically. Give him stamina, Lord, as he gets back on the plane and goes back home. And I pray he'd feel encouraged by just being here.
In Jesus' name.
And praise God.
What binds us together is devotion to worshiping our Heavenly Father, dedication to studying His work, and determination to proclaim our eternal hope in Jesus Christ.
For more teachings from Calvary Albuquerque and Skip Heitzig, visit calvaryabq.org.