Music Legend Barry McGuire Shares Personal Struggles, Spiritual Breakthrough with Bi-polar Disorder
His highly gifted son, for whom he wrote the famous song Bullfrogs and Butterflies, is afflicted with the disorder.
(Irvine, CA) Barry McGuire is an American singer-songwriter best known for the hit song Eve of Destruction, and later as a singer and songwriter of Contemporary Christian Music. He became a born-again Christian in 1971 after a brief encounter with evangelist Arthur Blessitt. In the 1980s, McGuire left the music industry, and settled for a time in New Zealand with his New Zealand wife Mari (former secretary of McGuire’s Agape Force associate, Winkie Pratney).
Anyone who knows Barry McGuire is always struck by his incredible personality and joyful persona but, on this occasion, he shared with me about one of the most difficult periods of his life when he discovered that his son, Brennan, who was born in Anglesey, North Wales, had Bi-Polar Disorder.
At first, we didn’t know it, said Barry. We just thought that Brennan had behavior problems, but then, as he grew older, his mood swings would go from super volcanic angry to weeping tender when he would say, ‘I’m so sorry.’
Then when he was twenty-one years old, he had his first psychotic break and he was diagnosed as having Bi-Polar Disorder. We understood then what was going on and then it was the march of trying to find out what kind of medication you know would stabilize his brain chemistry in a way that he could actually function on a semi-normal level.
But what it does is that it takes the fire out of them. He is an awesome concert pianist and writes the most phenomenal music you’ve ever heard in your life, but since he’s been on his meds the fire’s gone out of his piano and the passion is gone. And he misses that, and he longs for that, and yet he realizes that that is the price he would have to pay.
I said, [to God] ‘Where’s Your healing power? It either works or it doesn’t work. There’s no two ways about it. You throw the switch and the light is on and you can then throw it off and it turns off.’ That night I said, ‘Forget it. I’m out of here. I’m gonna walk away for all of this.’
Then I thought about my years in Christ and what God had done in my life and the transformation that has taken place within me. I realized what Peter said which in essence was ‘Where would I go? You’re the only One. There’s no life outside of Christ.’
So, on that night in Ireland I said, ‘OK God, I’ll never ask You for anything again. Do with me as You will.’ And, so from that night that is when I totally surrendered my life to Christ and it was no longer my will, but Thy will be done.
From that day onwards, I let go. I have no agenda. I have no plan for the future. All I have is this moment with you here and this microphone, this conversation, and I don’t know what God’s gonna bring next. A seven-forty-seven could come right out of the sky. We don’t know what the next moment [will bring].
Click on the link provided to read a more complete bio of Barry McGuire and also the testimony of being a Christian with bi-polar from another Christian.