Story Behind The Name

It is with hesitancy and excitement that I am choosing to share with you the backstory behind the name RedGoneWhite. First off let me share with you that I have been a songwriter for 33 years.  I became a Christian when I was 20 years old.  Prior to that I was never in a glee club, band or had written any songs. Within a few weeks, I found myself singing a song that I didn't know where I had heard it or why I was singing it.  I was struggling to "remember" all of the words. The song was called "Surrender".  About halfway through the song, it dawned on me that I was actually creating the song as I went.  It was telling the story of how God enters someone's heart via 'surrender'. It had two verses, a chorus, and a bridge.  It literally stands up to anything I have ever written.

Within the next week or so, I wrote another two songs.  Each very different from the other. Each one had to do with this newfound faith.  Prior to that, about a month before my conversion experience, I had picked up the guitar for the first time and started teaching myself how to play. After this third song, I knew that something had changed and that something big was going on. I sat on the edge of my bed holding my guitar and made a covenant with God.  I said simply. "You made me. You made this instrument. You are the source of all truth, wisdom, beauty, and melody.  Anything worth hearing comes from You.  If You continue to give me songs, I will continue to give them to You." That was it. Done deal.

 

So by the end of the first year, I had written 39 songs.  By the end of the third year, I had written over 100.  I wrote 15-20 songs a year for very many years.  I stopped counting quite a few years ago. But my best estimation is that I have written somewhere around 400 songs.  Clearly, God has honored our little arrangement.

Perhaps you have heard the phrase "Your gift can be your curse and your curse can be your gift." Well, I understand that truth all too well.  You see, I was not formally taught how to play guitar or to write songs.  This was a very organic and intimate thing between me and God.  It was very much a form of journaling but to music.  Along the way in order to be able to capture, document and even remember what I wrote, I came up with my own methods and words and hieroglyphics that made perfect sense to me but were babble and foolishness to any "real" musician. This made it difficult for me to understand and to be understood by other musicians over the years. If I did manage to get the attention and time of someone interested in hearing and/or learning any of my songs; when it became known that I had written hundreds of songs, they would almost invariably get intimidated or freaked out.  The outcome was always the same.  That door would close and I would feel more and more frustrated and like a freak of nature.  Time and again I would see, writers with only a handful of songs get recognized, heard and respected.  I felt like I was getting none of the above. 

If you read my Music Bio, you will see that I did have sprinklings of success over the years. Most of it I felt like I had to make happen (instead of waiting on God's perfect timing). This went on for 30 years (1984-2014).  By then I had matured enough (or just got tired enough) to stop forcing it.  I remembered God's promise to me that echoed for the last 30 years.  Every time I would cry out to Him (in my Spirit) in anger and frustration as to WHY do I have all these songs if I am the only one who will hear them-the answer was ALWAYS the same. "You keep doing what I am asking you to do and WHEN I move, you will know it is Me".

In May of 2014, I found myself at the opening night of The Bridge Coffeehouse in Berwick, Me. featuring Paul Colman.  It was being run by Mike Squier.  I knew of him from a band I had seen in years past called Where Are The Nine. I thanked him for inviting me and introduced myself.  I let him know that I was a Christian songwriter.  Also that I was getting the itch to get out again to share my songs.  I said that he could call on me if he had a hard time filling an evening or if someone fell out of a lineup at the last minute or something.  (Kind of like an Ace up his sleeve). He liked the sound of that and began to share with me his vision.  Next thing I know, after sending him a couple sets of songs he got excited and said that these are exactly what he was looking for.  I am thinking that these are the kinds of songs that he would want to be played at the coffeehouse-NOT that these are the kinds of songs that he wanted to play in a band! He was actually in between bands looking to do something original and pointing to God without being preachy. 

I continued to go to the coffeehouse to show support and to meet more friends. Mike agreed to let me play 5 songs about 5-6 weeks down the road. I asked him to back me up on his drums since he would be there anyway.  He agreed and then immediately had me turn around to meet two people that he had invited.  One of them was Eric Pelchat. Eric is a bass player and the other friend Bob is an electric guitar player.  Mike informed them that he had asked me to play a set about 6 weeks out and that he would be joining me.  He then asked them if they wanted to play along as well.  They looked at each other and quickly were on board.

 

Just like that, I had a band. In my Spirit, I knew that this was "it".  God said WHEN I move, you will know it is Me.  I KNEW.  I was so honored that these guys would be taking time out of their lives over the next 6 weeks or so that I wanted to honor them. I did not want it to be 'David Anderson and friends' like they were accessories or something dispensable.  So without their knowledge, I set about trying to come up with a cool name (even if it were going to be for that one night alone).  I thought of Mike's vision and how he wanted to be culturally relevant and engaging while clearly pointing to God and the things of God.  I came up with names like "Lazarus" and "Dead Man Rising".  Every time I Googled a name it was already taken.  This went on for a couple of hours.  I finally got myself completely tucked in bed and was about to doze off when I realized that I had approached the name thing all wrong.

Let me preface what I am about to tell you.  I am most definitely a Christian and even a Pastor and a ministry leader.  And as much as I can tell you that I "speak" with God and God "talks" to me; I have NEVER heard the audible voice of God.  He has spoken to me in nature, through Scripture, through other Believers, even through a sense or a knowing in my Spirit. However, that all changed on this night!

Although I was not speaking audibly for anyone to hear, I was speaking loud and clearly in my mind. I was kind of giddy and chuckling at myself that I was so stupid.  So I said, "Here I am working so hard to come up with a name for this band when if anyone should be naming the band it should be You-RED GONE WHITE!!" In a split second, many things happened.  First off it was as though God were cocked and ready and very sober (almost irritated with me).  Kind of like He was saying 'About time you asked Me!'  I assure you that I had never before in my life put those three words together prior to that moment.  

In the same split second, it was as though a screen had come down and Scriptures, phrases, song snippets, concepts, and images were all coming at me rapid fire.  They all were speaking to the various meanings and leanings of the phrase Red Gone White.  For now, I will keep those details to myself.  But I will share with you that the overriding meaning had to do with a change from the sinful old life to a holy new life.  In essence, it was about overcoming and victory and hope.  In that same moment, I mentally scanned over 30 years of writing and 400'ish songs and realized that I couldn't think of a truer and more concise banner to wave over my music.  It eloquently and efficiently summed up most of what I have ever written about.

Although I was lying in bed, I felt as though I were pushed back on my heels (barely able to maintain balance).  If I didn't "know" it was Him before, I certainly did now! I thought to myself, "That was amazing! I probably should get out of bed and write that down" I then realized how tired and comfortable I was and quickly thought,"Naw!' and went to sleep.

The very next day for a couple of hours while walking around I kept trying to think of a better name.  At some point, it was as though I had received a tap on the shoulder and I looked up and felt as though God simply said "Really?!"  I laughed out loud and finally conceded that I probably wouldn't be able to outdo God on this one. haha

So there you go. Don't judge me. :^)

But that is my story and I am sticking to it.

David Anderson Songs

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