Those of you who know who Larry Norman was probably know that a filmmaker named David Di Sabatino has made a documentary about Larry called “Fallen Angel: The Outlaw Larry Norman, A Bible Story.” (Serious? “A Bible Story?”) At first I was fairly excited about the film, being an old LN fan (I still have original copies of several of his early albums). I saw Larry give one of his final concerts the year before he died.
As I started reading things about Fallen Angel, I was bothered by the fact that all of the people who appear in the film were people who were not only critical of Larry, but those who had something to gain by being involved in the film. It just didn’t feel right.
Then, I thought about Di Sabatino’s prior documentary about Lonnie Frisbee; while both Frisbee and Norman are key figures in the early Jesus movement, both figures are shrouded in mystery, rumor, and myth. And both films appear to be highly controversial and sensationalist (based on the reviews I’ve read; I’ve not seen either film). In fact, I decided not to watch Fallen Angel after reading a number of reviews and deciding the film looked too much like a hatchet-job.
Now, a Norman family friend, Allen Flemming, has put together a website called Failed Angle. While the site is still being built (there are a few “coming soon” pages), there’s a lot there already. Larry’s family has given Flemming access to all of Larry’s correspondence, which supports the facts the way I remember hearing them, not the way Di Sabatino apparently presents them.
What is really interesting is that the official Fallen Angel Facebook page (I presume Di Sabatino is behind this page) has a post about the Failed Angle site which states, “How cool is this? The Larry crazies…defending him to the end.” Is there anything about this attitude that is remotely Christ-like?
In matters of “he said – she said,” it’s hard to know who’s right; however, when Christians are involved I have found that it’s more beneficial to try to find the fruit of the Spirit. I don’t sense any of it coming from Fallen Angel, which I’m truly sorry to say. Flemming, at least, appears humble and sincere. At least he hasn’t called anybody crazy yet.
My point in posting this is just to say that if you were buying into Di Sabatino’s view of Norman, at least check out Flemming’s site and look at all the evidence.