WARSAW — Keith Thibodeaux, the drummer in Christian rock’n’ roll band David and the Giants, is coming to perform at Touch Of Life Church, 2339 West Old Road 30, at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 19.
The band, which began its career in 1964, began to experience their most commercially successful in 1969 with the arrival of Thibodeaux. Thibodeaux had been a professional drummer since he was three years old, and had spent some time as the character of Ricky Ricardo Jr. in “I Love Lucy.”
“I came to the studio with my dad and Lucy said, ‘Well, he’s cute but what does he do?’ My Dad told her that I played the drums and she said, ‘Oh come on, he’s too young.’ There was a drum set nearby and when I started playing all the stagehands stopped and came over.. Desi started playing with me and afterwards he stood up and said, ‘I think we found our Little Ricky,'” Thibodeaux said, remembering his audition.
Thibodeaux describes his time working with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz with the eyes of an adult revisiting the memories of his childhood. “I was assigned to a seven year contract because I looked so much like Desi and I could play the drums. I became great friends with their (Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball) children and got to know them really well off set. It was really interesting getting to know them and spending time at their homes in California, which in a lot of ways was sad. Even though they had all those things there wasn’t a lot of love in their homes,” Thibodeaux said.
After the show was cancelled, Thibodeaux spent some time working on “The Andy Griffith Show,” but his time as an actor shortly came to an end. He remembers the financial difficulty that this put his family through. “I had to go on the unemployment line when I was nine years old to get compensation,” he said.
Later, Thibodeaux took his skills with the drums and went to work with the rock ‘n’ roll band, David and the Giants in 1969. “It was a time when music was just sex, drugs and rock and roll … That was the point in my life when I slipped into depression and a lot of troubles caused by my life without God began,” he said.
After he made a decision to become a Christian, Thibodeaux returned to the band.”I went back to the band and told them about my experience, saying that we should play the same music but change to more Godly lyrics … It was a bit of a joke until they (the rest of the band) began to see that it wasn’t something that was wearing off of me,” Thibodeaux continued.
The rest of the band converted to Christianity a few years later and began to remake themselves.
“We’re sort of reviving the original David and the Giants, and we’re doing concerts all over the U.S. … It’s really a blessing to do it,” Thibodeaux said.