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Michigan, USA – “The man is an inspiration to the whole world. The Pope climbed down the stage to kiss him,” says Gabby Kajy. “I didn’t know much about him until I saw him at the ECRC festival at St. Thomas. I bought all his CD’s which he signed with his feet. He was incredible and I have been a fan ever since.”
Kajy is talking about the famous Tony Melendez. It was on September 15, 1987, he played his guitar for Pope John Paul II in Los Angeles. Born without arms, he performed a touching song entitled Never Be The Same. When the Pope approached him from the stage to kiss him in appreciation, it seemed to reflect the sentiments of the entire country.
Never Be the Same was an appropriate song Melendez sang for the Holy Father, for those few moments changed Tony Melendez' life and brought his unrestrained abilities as a guitarist into national attention. It seems to be a fitting place for a man who has spent his life putting personal confidence above his handicap. The international marvel has been featured on Life On A Rock, The 700 Club, Good Morning America, The Today Show, CBS This Morning, NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw, Home Life Television, and Entertainment Tonight to name just a few of his countless television appearances.
Melendez is being called back to an encore presentation for the ECRC festival to be held at St. Joseph Chaldean Church campus in Troy this Friday, September 26. The concert is open to the public and tickets are being subsidized to the bargain of only $10 for a two-day concert pass.