Last year, an independent label in Otho, Iowa (Junior Motel Records) released a post-humous recording by David Koresh. The CD, Voice of Fire, contains two songs and a 40-minute sermon by the self-proclaimed son of God. The cover plays up the exploitation factor to the max. It shows the flaming compound, with a pencil etching of David Koresh superimposed within the flames. The phoenix-rising-from-the-the-flames cover was so pee-yew, I decided further investigation was needed to find out just how sincere this release was. What follows is an interview conducted with label owner Kirk Kaufman and Koresh’s ex-girlfriend, Sandy Berlin. Sandy has possession of the original tapes used for Voice of Fire which were given to her personally by David Koresh.
Talking with Sandy, you would never think for a minute that the horrible passing of her ex-lover had touched her in the slightest. In fact, she seemed only a bit war-torn from the media circus surrounding the release of this CD. At times, it seemed like she was reading from a press release. She was more than helpful with answers and facts, often without even being asked. Apparently Sandy has learned the art of moving units.
Sandy Berlin: “David and I had a relationship 15 years ago that lasted about two years,” says Sandy. “He even once approached my father and told him that God had personally told him to take my hand in marriage. In fact, he considered me his wife right up ’til that fateful day in Waco.”
Vice: But c’mon Sandy, that was 15 years ago. Don’t you think a lot of people might find your reasons in releasing this a bit questionable?
“Well, David kept in contact with me right up until four years before the genocide at Fort Apocalypse.”
My favorite Sandy story is the one with her and her mother driving to church while David tried to force them off the road by screaming sermons out of his car window. Sandy says she released the tapes as a way of letting David have his say. Maybe if she had released them before the Waco incident, she could’ve prevented a lot of dented passenger doors.
But, Sandy, you are getting money for this.
“We’re not making any money off this,” counters Sandy. Later on in the interview she mentions a portion of the profits are going to David Koresh’s 13-year-old daughter. A little confused, I asked how much of a percentage was going to the daughter.
“I’m not allowed to answer that.” When I asked, "Why not?" it marked the end of the interview. The phone was then passed on to Kirk Kaufman, who seemed pretty sick of talking about the whole thing and tried to tell me about the new “alternative” stuff coming out on his label. Needles to say, I wasn’t buying.
Basically, he said Voice of Fire opened some doors for the label, but after he exhausts the last 1000 copies of the 3000 printed, he’s discontinuing production.
The CD itself is a beaut! The two songs, “Book of Daniel” and ‘Sheshonahim”, sound remarkably similar to bird-of-a-feather songsmith Christopher Cross. It really made me wonder why the son of God would possibly want to cop Christopher’s licks. Personally, if I waited 2000 years for a second coming, I’d at the least be sitting down to the new Kyuss record with guitar in hand. The tour de force, of course, is the sermon. David Koresh dissing Amy Grant could spice up any answering machine message guaranteed.
If this Junior Motel release doesn’t turn your crank, then Kirk tells me the next release will be Sandy’s special brand of Christian rock. Kirk describes it as a cross between ABBA and the Moody Blues. When I asked him if there will be any songs reflecting on her relationship with Dave, he replied, “She’s thinking about it”. I don’t know about you, but I’m counting the days.
Voice of Fire is available for $10 (US) from Junior Motel records, Route 1, Box 138, Otho, Iowa, USA, 50569
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