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Chasing the Rock Star Life

“Music was a big part of my escape,” said Chad as a Rock ‘N’ Roll track hit, “that became what I aspired to be since I didn't have a good father to set an example for me.”

As a young boy in the small, mountain town of Raywick, Kentucky, Chad felt the absence of a father who was in and out of prison for repeat drug and alcohol charges.

“I never could understand why he kept getting in trouble,” said Chad with a small chuckle, “but it's all I had, you know?  He was my dad and I would get excited every time I would see him. He’s still my dad.”

Chad’s parents had divorced by the time he was three. But mom wasn’t around much either. She remarried and took to the road with her new husband - a truck driver - for weeks on end.  Chad spent most of his childhood with his grandmother.

“My mom was gone, my grandma was doing the best she could, so I didn't have anyone to take me to a baseball game or to get involved in sports with me,” said Chad. “I was feeling left out, alone and rejected.”

There was little to do in the small town, so as Chad got older, he started getting high with his friends. He also discovered a passion for playing guitar. By high school, Chad thought he had found his purpose in life when he started a band, with dreams of becoming a rock star.

“You know, they had the money, they had the cars,” said Chad of his rock idols. “They had everything that looked like that would fulfill you and bring you happiness and joy and not feel rejected.”

To Chad, part of being a rock star was partying and using drugs, including cocaine.

“Because these rock stars I was looking up to, you know, that's what they did. In my mind I was going to be a Rock 'N' Roll guy,” said Chad. “I was going to party until something big happens with the music.”

After high school and into his early 20s, Chad and his band were gigging and partying hard every weekend hoping to make it big. But soon the band broke up, leaving Chad alone once again.

“I didn't have the flashy music and the flashy band to hold me up and give me some type of identity, I was becoming a washed-up drug addict,” Chad confessed. “The drug binges would go on for days at a time and then I would come home from partying, out of money and really just depressed.  And it was really dark, you know, desperate times.”

At 24 years old, Chad’s dream was shattered, he was out of work and now, facing charges for drug possession.

“That was probably one of the scariest things that I had dealt with - the reality of having to go to prison,” Chad said. “The fun was fading way, the party was fading away and it was turning into following in my dad's footsteps.”

Chad ended up with two years of probation. Then, one night, Chad drove up to a stop on the road that was overlooking a cliff.

“Didn't want to live anymore, didn't want to be a drug addict, didn't want to be broke, didn't want to be a loser,” Chad said. “I backed my car up adjacent from it, and I had it revved up - I was going to drive off this cliff in my car.”

Scared to follow-through, Chad abandoned his plan. His thoughts drifted from suicide to frequenting bars.

Then, months later while playing pool, an old high school buddy came in. He had become a Christian and was on his way back to Florida where he was in school studying for the ministry.

“We finished the game and he said, ‘I got my guitar out in the car, why don't you come on out,’” said Chad’s friend. “And I said, ‘yeah man, let's go out there, I'll show you some stuff man. Come on.’ We played a few more songs and I took the guitar and showed him some stuff and I said, ‘I'm going with you.’”

The pair headed to Florida, where his friend took him to a Brownsville Revival Church service.

“Steve hill's doing the altar call at the end and, you know, I feel like he's talking right to me, you know,” remembered Chad. “It’s the things he's saying, you know, ‘you've been on this road to destruction and you're addicted to drugs and I had to say ‘okay, I had to accept Him as my Savior.’”

He returned to Kentucky, and moved out on his own. But now back with his friends, letting go of old habits wasn’t so easy.

“So God was nagging and pulling at me, pulling on me for this next little while after I was saved,” Chad recounted. “So every night I’m in the crowd and mingling and drinking and this and that, ‘God, I know this isn't right. I know You're real and there's more and I’ve got to work on this.’”

One night after an argument with a girl he had been dating, Chad’s frustration reached a boiling point.

“I'm 27, I’ve not done nothing with my life,” Chad said sadly. “I'm broke, and every dime I ever had, everything I lived for, I’m depending on my grandmother.’”

He decided to take it out on his car.

“You know, I’m high, and stoned and drunk,” admitted Chad, “I just started beating the windows out of this car and beating the car up.”

“The next day, I see this car beat all to pieces and glass everywhere and that was the lowest point of my life. And I said ‘this is it. I can't do this,’ said Chad at the end of his rope. “That was the crossroads where I was going to either keep this up, or I was going to be all in for Jesus.”

With God’s help and counseling, Chad overcame his addictions and got his life on the right track. He reconnected with his parents, and even led them both to Christ. Today, he is a business owner, a husband and father.

“I pinch myself every time I pull in the driveway now,” said Chad in disbelief. “I never dreamed that I could have a business and a beautiful wife and two beautiful children.”

As for music, he’s still playing, but now for a higher purpose.

“And so ‘okay God, then I'll do it for You, and that's better,’” smiled Chad. “That’s more satisfying than any success in the music industry, just to sing a praise to the Lord because that’s where the music comes from. He laid the path for me and he sent his Holy Spirit to be with me, to guide me, and fulfil that need and I didn’t feel rejected. He was rejected so I wouldn’t have to be.”


For more information on Chad and to listen to he and his wife’s music, check out the “Afterglow Sky” Facebook and YouTube channels!

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