— Guitar —
My name is James Mead. I was born in Danbury Connecticut on the 27th of December in 1982. I grew up in a town called
Ridgefield, until I was 11 years old, and then my Mom and I moved to Oregon. I liked growing up in Ridgefield, my
friends and I had a never ending fascination with baseball, and hockey. I was basically born a Yankees fan, I went to
a lot of games as a child. Baseball is still one of my favorite things in this universe, and so are the Yankees! (I am
prepared for hate-mail about this!)
I grew up right next to an ice skating rink, so I learned how to skate when I was about 3 or 4. Winter was my favorite
thing about Connecticut. We would have close to a month of cancelled school most winters. The best snow sledding hill
in my town was at my school though, (V.P.E.S.) so we were all at school, just not with teachers! In the summer we rode
our bikes all over and played baseball almost everyday at this park near the ice rink. We would finish the day by going
to Roma’s Pizzeria, for a slice. I cut my teeth on that pizza!! So, good.
My Mom and I moved away, to get away from my step-father. They met when I was 7. He moved in with us, and was part of
my life until I was 11. They were married for about a year, right around when I turned 10. At this time my Mom was
studying to get her teaching degree, and working to support me. This left a lot of time alone with my step-father and
I. He was really abusive. I was beat up by him often, usually pretty discreetly so my Mom wouldn’t find out. He once
sat on my bed and hit me in the chest every time I coughed, while I had a cold. He told me I was keeping him up.
All of this finally came to the surface when I was 11 years old. My Mom decided to divorce him, get a restraining
order (because he was psycho!), and have us move. I welcomed anything that would get me out of that situation, so I
was excited to move across the country. We moved to Oregon, and lived with my Aunt and Uncle for a while. They are some
of the nicest people in the world. I loved Oregon as soon as I saw it. The first time I saw the Willamette valley, I
told my Mom I was home. The change of scenery, (and life) didn’t exactly solve the issue of my anger towards what I had
dealt with over the last four years though. I started looking for anything that would serve as an alternative to thinking
about being abused. I got into drugs; using them, selling them to other kids. I also got really into music, and playing
guitar. This was probably the only constructive thing I did with my extra time. All the other stuff was just to numb the
pain, but it was harming my body. The only thing that stopped me was getting caught, at school in eighth grade.
I thought I would be starting High School with a fresh slate. I had to live down a bad reputation. Everyday, kids would
make jokes to me about drugs….testing me out, to see if I would go back, or to see if they could get under my skin. They
didn’t really, I just laughed with them. I knew what I had done was stupid, I didn’t need them telling me that to figure
it out. We all eventually got over it. My friend Josh and I started a band our freshman year, which basically took up all
my time. We were together 24 hours a day! He played drums, and we set up a drum set in my garage so we could play all
the time. We learned songs from all the bands we loved. Silverchair, Rage Against the Machine, the Deftones…..you name
it. Our band started getting really popular at our school, and then the other high school in town. We started playing a
lot of shows, and partying after our shows. So, before I knew it, I was addicted to alcohol.
On my 17th birthday, I drank so much, that I passed out, and slipped in and out of varied states of consciousness over
the next couple of days. I later researched alcohol poisoning, and calculated that I had 8% alcohol poisoning that night,
from how much I had drunk. I felt so crappy over the next couple of days, that I finally started realizing that I had a
problem, and that I had literally drank so much poison, that I almost died. I had been invited to church a lot by friends
of mine, and had always turned them down. After those couple of days, I felt like I needed to make some sort of better
decisions in life. My friends had always seemed to have a life that was filled with joy. So I went to church with them.
I heard the gospel of Jesus Christ dying for my sins for the first time that night. I had heard the stories before, but
had never really listened. That night I realized, I needed Him. I gave my life to Him that night….that’s all I could give
Him. Josh and I both got saved that night; saved from the kind of choices we were making, and just everything that humans
fall short in. Josh is now the drummer of Falling Up.
I met my wife at that church, and I knew she was going to be my wife when I met her. We started dating when I was a
senior, and we got married on January 4th, in 2003. We have a son named Jacob now, he was born on January 26th, 2006.
Lindsay has gone on tour with me a lot, all over this country, and we’ve gotten to do a lot of cool things together.
She is my best friend. The Lord created her perfectly for me. I’ve gone through a lot of change since becoming a Christian,
and gotten to let go of my anger, and gained patience instead. I’ve also been blessed to be in Kutless since 2001, and we
love making music together. My boys are the raddest guys in the world! We’re gonna take over the world. Enjoy Jesus….He
enjoys you, and wants to deliver you from all the stupid kind of stuff we all do, just like He did for me.