You may recognize Frank Hart from his 10-year reign as worship leader of CrossPoint Community Church. Or maybe you know him as the lead preacher and worship leader of NewChurch in Katy. You might recognize him as the frontman of his hard rock band from Texas, Atomic Opera. However you know him, Frank tells his story in Joyride, a 500-page peek into the secret closets and junk drawers of an almost-famous rock star.
This is a candid look at a Midwestern son of a coal miner who couldn’t decide between a pulpit and an electric guitar. Here he is at the start, a 14-year-old boy staring up at the stars and staring curiously at God for the first time. And here he is at the end, a “post-jaded” man in his 50s still staring curiously into the future but with the faith now to share intimate, unshakable truths about God.
In between, Frank takes us on a loose ride from his “white-trash bloodline” to becoming part of the “Houston Sound” created by Wilde Silas Musicworks. We ride high, through the vivid rush of signing with Warner Brothers Records, releasing four albums, and touring with Dio. We teeter with Frank on the brink of becoming the next great rock band, coming so close to his wildest dreams that we can lick them with our tongue. We also ride low, peering helplessly at him with his unloving father and, later, when his dreams suddenly wither.
We’re introduced to the special players in his life, especially his wife, whom he calls his hero. She’s our hero, too, because Frank’s tone lightens when she enters the story, peaking with a hilarious scene on their wedding day.
The best moments are when Frank admits the things we’d all rather avoid about ourselves, like his fear of being unliked or that he “lives in the tension between insecurity and arrogance.” He’s afraid we’ll find out he’s a fraud, but then so are most of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, and that’s what makes Joyride a worthwhile read.
Through the triumphs and struggles, Frank remains a man who follows his talents and the call of God. “You know the difference between a happy ending and a tragedy?” he asks. “It’s all where you stop telling the story. . .”
Joyride: A Beginning in Every End
By Frank Hart
VIP Publishing, 522 pages.