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In Memory of Dr. John Cole Tatum by Larry Schweikart

April 27, 2020

In remembrance of John Cole Tatum (March 12, 1948- Dec. 2, 2019) by Historian and friend Dr. Larry Schweikart.

NOTE: This is not an official obituary nor is it meant to take the place of an obituary. This is my personal remembrance of my friend John Tatum.... 

John Cole Tatum, husband, father, Christian believer, and musician, died on December 2 of complications related to Alzheimer’s. John grew up in Arizona, went to Coronado High School, earned a BA in Music and a BA in Education from Arizona State University. He went on to teach music and band at Thunderbird High School, composing and conducting one of the first “rock operas” ever performed in the state.

            My acquaintance with John began when I was a young rock drummer and had heard about his band, “Goldmyne,” which was a popular favorite around the Phoenix area. It was a nine-piece horn band in the style of “Chicago” and “Blood, Sweat, and Tears.” As my friends and I would hang around during breaks and talk to John, I learned of his deep appreciation for music of all sorts and that he found rock and roll confining. At the time he was married to Alice Tatum (now Alice Chuba), and as we continued to meet and talk, he discussed expanding his rock composing to an entire orchestral approach. 

            In these discussions, we learned that John had been a member of a group called the “Earwigs,” which was renamed the “Spyders” with a lead singer named Vince Furnier. They had moved to Los Angeles and renamed themselves “Alice Cooper” and struggled through tough times before making it big as a theatrical stage act. John had stayed in Phoenix to form “Goldmyne.”

            About that time, John had seen a band of mine called “Shotgun” in a “Battle of the Bands” in Mesa. He decided to abandon the larger horn band and return to rock and roll basics with a guitar, keyboards, bass drums, along with Alice on vocals, so he brought me, Kevin Staley, and Randy Gage aboard (drums, keyboards, bass, respectively)—but kept the same name. This led to some interesting club dates when club owners, expecting a nine-piece horn band, instead got a five-piece rock and roll band. Before long, John had us touring all over Arizona, then beyond. In 1972, literally the weekend after I graduated from Arizona State with a BA I political science, John had us in a van headed to Peoria, Illinois, where we opened in a Holiday Inn. We were setting up when the manager came out and said, “You’re too loud!” (We hadn’t even plugged in our amplifiers!) Nevertheless, we managed to please the crowds and kept the gig. Over the next year, we played throughout Michigan, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Finally, as often happens, the band broke up over internal spats and we all headed back to Arizona by separate paths. 

            Not long after that, John contacted me again, this time working with a Mesa band (of all LDS members of which, he, at the time, was one) called “The Family Way.” Instead of rock and roll, this band was aiming for more of a Las Vegas show type of material, with flashy satin outfits and renditions of “Carpenters” songs. Before long, I was replaced and “Family Way” went on the road. But the music was not meeting John’s need for something more “rock and rollish.” He worked out an exit whereby bassist Dan Dorian (formerly of “Gabriel”, another horn band) and I would join John and Alice and “Family Way” on the road and would alternate sets, until we had learned enough material for the new “Goldmyne” to go on the road on its own. One of our most memorable gigs—from which I still have live tapes—was at “Norm Silver’s Moustache Club” in Montreal, Canada. The band was extremely hot, but, again, fell apart due to differences of direction. Once again, we all returned to Arizona via separate routes. 

            John began working at Milano’s Music Store and I began to lose touch with him as I went on to some other bands. But sometime around 1978 we met up again and reminisced. He had a new, hot rock and roll band. Again, we drifted out of touch. I later learned that John and Alice had been divorced. 

            I cannot remember how we made contact again. All I know was I learned that he was working as the sound, music, and lighting technician at Universal Studios in Burbank, California on the Globe Theater (the main stage). He would later receive an special recognition from then-governor Arnold Schwartzenegger for his work there. John and I met at Universal one afternoon and he was extremely happy. He had been able to continue his recording in his home studio while holding a union job at Universal. Over the next several years, I learned he had remarried, to Rebecca Lee, in 2000. 

            The next time we met in person, I learned that John had renounced his LDS background and accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. This was an amazing leap from the rock and roller I once knew. (I once was interviewing Alice Cooper [Vince] who recalled that in the Spyders John was the guy they sent to beat people up who were causing trouble!) John entered into nearly full time Christian music ministry, turning out many songs and a great album, “Christ Jesus is the King.” The title song remains one of the favorites on my 3000+ playlist. After retirement from Universal, John played and sang with Rebecca as worship leaders in many churches and had a weekly Christian radio show. John went on to write a book called The Victory Prayer, a useful prayer for any Christian seeking a model in structuring prayer.

            In 2009, Rebecca noticed that John was having difficulty remembering things. A piece of metal lodged in his head form youth made it impossible to do a full MRI of the skull, but the doctors generally concluded he had dementia, specifically the Alzheimer’s variant. Over the next few years, John would work as he could on his final album, including (I was surprised to find) a song called “Father of Lies” for which I had written lyrics years earlier and completely forgotten. John died in peace in his bed with his dog on one side and Rebecca on the other. His last words were, “I love the Lord and God bless it”.

 

My Dad...in honor of those whom have moved on...

June 17, 2017
In honor of Fathers Day I want to share a poem written for my dad when he went to heaven:

My Dad in living his life I saw so much victory
But at times he and I never much about that agreed
His life in his eyes sometimes wandered in the wrong
Because to him life seemed really hard and long
In the final analysis of this man
My dad was unconditionally loved, truly admired I was a fan
The ways in which he is missed still com on so strong
He could certainly make you mad
A moment later or so, well I was so ...

Continue reading...
 

The Most Hopeful Story Ever Told

May 4, 2017

The most hope in a story ever...

This one is simple it is the most hopeful story ever told. In 10 lines or less here goes. In the beginning God created the earth and its abundance. He made man in the image of himself and placed them in God’s garden…the garden of Eden where it was a forever deal. No bloodshed occurred in the garden. Man chose to disobey his one command as we do and fell. Now we are living in the permissive will of God not his perfect will. A fallen world is...
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The Season of His Second Coming...

February 22, 2017

The Season of His Return. 

   I have spent a good deal of time thinking about reading and researching and talking about the 'end times'

   The end times...that terms sounds a little gloomy and so this blog, well it is the same message but a different delivery with a positive connotation by using instead "The Season of His Second Coming" and talking in the affirmative that you are going to be ready. Are you ready? You know what I had never expected is that although the end times will be intens...


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Amber's Angels

July 12, 2016

                                      AMBER’S ANGELS

         On January 26, 2011 my beautiful 16-year-old niece Amber Lynn Hiker died. How Amber died is still a small bit of a mystery. The doctors do say it was her own hand-a suicide. Her mom believes that there was too much evidence to overlook the possibly that someone else was there and may have been involved. I have asked the Lord so many questions surrounding her passing and He has answered every question quickly and t...


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The Big 'C'

July 22, 2014

  The Big ‘C’

There is one time that when God says no-it is the best no heard. No you are not going to go anywhere I’m not finished with you yet. 

     The day I was diagnosed with cancer was not be the best day of your life. Adenocarcinoma. I remember seeing this in black and white on the lab form. And the doctors face as she told me. She seemed more upset than I was and she was so sweet.  

Then, my mind kind of switched. I went back in time. I still remember one of...


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Bold Audacious Faith

June 20, 2014

BOLD, AUDACIOUS FAITH...

 

I spoke to my friend Andrew today by way of facebook. It can’t be more direct communication than that because he lives in Ghana Africa and I live in America. So, we write on facebook. Andrew is young enough to be my son. He is a beautiful man in every way. A better son I could not have prayed for, but he has his own mother and father who call him ‘son’. He is also a son of God.

Recently, we had both experienced a big disappointment in the sa...


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Simple Grace

June 13, 2014

Simple Grace

 

     Some days I forget...I forget that I have a mansion in heaven. Somewhere I call ‘home’. I will see my daddy face to face who went before me. My grandmother Annie who was my rock on earth when I was a girl. I will see and hug tightly all the others I so dearly miss like my dog Brittany whom I loved with wild abandon. She was my baby. I will never shed another tear or have a thought called fear. Nor will I worry again-ever.

I will have eternity to exp...


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Now Faith and Today God

June 9, 2014

NOW FAITH AND TODAY GOD 

Faith is a house with many rooms.Plenty of room for doubt. Why? Doubt creeps in there and tests our faith…keeping it alive. Ever think about it this way? You might not even know what faith is until it is tested.

It will be…maybe you don’t have enough money, or your very ill, someone you know is in big trouble like a spouse or child, maybe your best friend and you don’t agree and can’t remedy things…maybe your loosing your job. 

 

Then, you ...
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When God says "No"...

March 4, 2014

    When God says no...

There is usually a reason for it. My dad taught me once that when we ask the Lord for something, He always answers. His answer is either “yes”, “no” or “not now”.
My dad was a true prophet. He was never wrong-not even once when asked a question about anything. He sought the Lord, and the Lord always gave him the right answer. But you’d better be prepared to hear it because it was always a word from the Lord. My father once 3000 miles away a...
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"A Bright Light in a Dark Time...John"
 "My dad Tom Gerald Swoope"
"The Most Hopeful Story" is Hope...Period. 

"The Season of His Second Coming" is going to be beautiful... 

This is a photo of Amber she took of herself about a week before she passed. She looks like an angel.

The Evening of the Movie Premier in the blog 

"The Big 'C'."...

      This is Andrew in the blog "Bold Audacious Faith"...

My Grandmother "Annie" who inspired "Simple Grace" and yes that is me sitting on her lap...
My Daddy who was always certain when it came to God the inspiration for "When God Say's No"...
My husband John who living with my man has taught me "You Can Be Right Or You Can Be Happy"...
"Prayer Works" and this is dedicated to my best friend Dee Dee. Thank you John for this blog...
"Got Peace" is dedicated to so many I know and love as His sacrifice is for us all...this one is also in honor of our memorable tour: The Dream Tour with the Dream Team Below.
"Satisfied" is dedicated to my husband and our baby girl who make everyday great and my Lord whose life and death allow us to be satisfied with ours...
"You Choose" is dedicated to the One who no matter what He chooses YOU...

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