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CBN.com Scott Ross: Marty, I’ve read your [book]. I get to the back of the book, and I was flipping through some pictures. There is a picture of a club in New York City called The Scene. It was owned by a guy named Steve Paul. That’s where my wife Nedra and I had our wedding reception.
Marty Angelo: Get out! Get out! At The Scene? (laughs)
Ross: That’s going back in time, and here we both sit living and breathing.
Ross [reporting]: As a child, Marty Angelo listened to rock music and dreamed of singing in a rock'n'roll band. Instead Marty managed a band called The Raven and opened for big bands at Buffalo’s top nightspots.
Angelo: This group was good. I knew good musicians but I knew that they weren’t going anywhere in Buffalo. No one was making it out of that town and so the logical thing would be to go to NY.
Ross [reporting]: So Marty took a trip to New York City to The Scene.
Angelo: When I went in there, I was seeing rock stars. I mean not just people that were walking around like you would meet in a bar but these were Janice Joplin, Blood, Sweat and Tears. In walks Jimi Hendrix. I went up to him and said, “Jimi, would you like to hear a good band?” I figured he’d say, “Man, get out of here.” No, he says, “Yeah, sure I’d love to.”
Ross: He put his blessings so to speak on it.
Angelo: Well yeah. Jimi was like that.
Ross: Sadly enough of course Jimi Hendrix died subsequent to all of that. That’s the world you moved into. You moved into that music scene and the accompanying lifestyle -- the drugs, the booze, the broads, sex, drugs and rock n’ roll.
Angelo: Yeah, I didn’t know that there was a title to it at that time, but yes, I walked right into it. Blindly.
Ross [reporting]: With Hendrix’s endorsement, The Raven became the nightclub’s hottest band. The group eventually signed a recording contract with Columbia Records and released their debut album. Marty had finally hit the big time.
Angelo: But I got introduced to John Lennon through my friend. When I first met him, he had a little bag of heroin. He said, “This is the finest heroin in the world.” So I did it with him. Snorted it.
Ross [reporting]: When The Raven split up, Marty managed other bands. He also started selling drugs, and he stayed high for days at a time.
Ross: You got to a point where you must have been in such despair so dejected, despondent, that you literally tried suicide.
Angelo: I saw my whole life just a complete mess. I said, “That’s it. I gotta get out of this life.”
Ross [reporting]: Marty’s sister began sending him gospel tracts in the mail. Then she sent him a tape about the music industry.
Angelo: The clincher was if you don’t serve God, you serve the devil. You’re already serving the devil if you don’t serve God. I thought, Well, I know I’m not serving God. But I never met the devil. He never gave me a paycheck. Maybe I should find him somewhere. He’s got some money he owes me. I didn’t understand but that cut right through me.
Ross [reporting]: With no bands to manage or records to promote, Marty was out of a job. He turned back to using and selling drugs.
Angelo: I was visiting some friends in Florida, and they were already under investigation as being drug dealers. So I walked right into this thing. It was already two months into the investigation. When they found me, they figured they had this big music business connection. So I got arrested.
Angelo: Busted. Four ounces of cocaine in my pocket.
Ross [reporting]: Marty was in the crisis of his life. He turned to his sister for help. Before he was indicted, she invited him to come and visit her.
Angelo: I just said, “I don’t know what to do, and if you tell me that I can meet this Jesus right now, I’m gonna meet him.” They said, “Are you willing to turn from your sins?” I said, “Yes, tell me how?” They laid their hands on me, and all of a sudden three loud clashes of thunder and lightning came right through this house at the same time.”
Ross: Oh, come on, come on!
Angelo: Honestly, honestly and it felt like. It surged through my body three times each time. Thunder, lightning. It was kind of like a Damascus Road experience because I was not looking for this.
Ross: Did you ever go back to drugs?
Angelo: God took the desire away and delivered me from it.
Ross: Did you have to go to prison?
Angelo: Two weeks later I get indicted. I go, Wait a minute. Is God gonna leave me now? Is that it?
Ross [reporting]: But God was with him. Instead of serving a 60-year prison term, Marty was sentenced to six years and only served two and half years.
Angelo: I was happy. I was at peace. Never had peace in my life. I realized that God was never gonna leave me.
Ross: In this conversation we’ve talked about Jimi Hendrix who’s dead. We talked about John Lennon who is dead. We talked about George Harrison who is dead. There many other names of people who have crossed my path our paths in New York City and in this business. Why are you sitting here?
Angelo: By the grace of God. God had a plan for my life.
Ross [reporting]: Marty now shares Jesus with inmates across the country. He wants them to understand the power of God to change lives.
Ross: For people who may be watching this now who have gone the drug root...
Angelo: I would just ask them to change their prayer to whatever it takes. That’s really that’s faith because whatever it takes just leaves God an open door.
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