My name is Tommy Scarcello. I was born in Bronxville, New York, and raised in Eastchester, New York. I attended Catholic school and went to mass. I believed in God but never felt Him.
I loved to sing. At the age of around 9 or 10, I would go under bridges and sing a capella with some of my friends, which were few. I just didn’t seem to fit in. So, as I grew, I came out of Catholic school into public school. When I was in the 2nd or 3rd grade, I remember being punished by a nun. She made me sit under a piano while she played it really loudly.
So time went on. As I grew, many of my acquaintances were really into sin, but I was not. I attended mass and tried to be good. One day, I came out of church and said to myself, “That’s it. I am going to sin like all the others,” and I started to do just that. I did not realize I had the Adamic sin on my soul from birth, and I was lost and on my way to Hell.
By the time I was 12 or 13, I had gotten together with a rock group and we started doing bar mitzvahs and parties—I was a singer.
I began to really see corruption, and it bothered me. I hated when someone would take God’s name in vain. I would tell them, “Curse if you want, but don’t take God’s name in vain.” A few years went on, and I was so miserable and lonely. My only consolation was music and singing; it became my life.
I had a paper route and worked at a florist shop delivering flowers part time, and also shoveled snow in the winter, then sang with my group on the weekends. I never once touched drugs. I was now around 16 or 17 and our group, the Savage Generation, began to gain notoriety. We would travel doing different gigs, and then we started writing original songs. A few years went by, and then we started doing gigs where we were the front group for big acts like the Lovin’ Spoonful, Beach Boys, and the Animals.
Now I had a vision of being number one, but misery followed deeper and deeper. When I saw Eric Burden, the lead singer for the Animals, come off stage staggering, trying to keep from falling over, I said to myself, “Is this where I am heading?” and I became more disillusioned with life.
We started going to Bermuda on Spring break, playing at the Buccaneer club, and I thought how lost this all is.
Something happened in my life where I had to make a decision what I was going to do with my life, and my decision was bad. I took so many drugs that night, then went to a party in the Bronx. When the front door opened, I looked in and instead of people I saw their heads as the heads of demons. I was scared. I went in and some guy came to me with a note. I read it and it said, “LSD, implement of self-destruction.” Even though I read this, I continued to stay there.
Getting back to our group the Savage Generation, we wrote a song called “Birth of a Savage.” I would come on stage wearing a priest's white robe with a long afro and beard and would light myself on fire with lighter fluid and the stage as well. We would sing our song, and then as things were burning, I would pick up a large empty shell that looked like a mini bomb, and I would scream, “Peace, peace, or destruction!” and then fling it out into the audience.
All this was Satan trying to take me to a point where I would be so far into the darkness of this world that I would become so proud and I would reject the day of my salvation.
We went on and recorded an album at the first 24-track studio owned by Jimmy Hendrix in New York City. We had a big promoter named Wes Farrell who was pushing us to be his new underground group. He was the promoter for the groups Every Mother’s Son, The Cowsills, and others.
After this, I rented a house in Pelham, New York, and it had several floors. I would have all manner of people there. During this time I was so miserable. I remember laying in a parking lot one night and crying out to God, “Help me, help me!” Some cops came by and said, “What’s wrong, man? Did you have a bad trip?” I had never heard about salvation or being born again. By then I was going on 20 years old.
At one point we were doing a gig in the hills of upstate New York somewhere, and our drummer took me to a chapel. I went in and the drummer and the minister prayed. I left there and felt different. I would go to the top of the hills in my priest’s white garment and talk with the air and to God and hear the birds chirping and nature all around me. I soon went back to town and I said, “This is it. I have found God.” I called this girl I knew, and I told her about a Bible I bought. It was a kid’s Bible, and I began to read some to her. As I was reading, the phone booth filled up with this power. I thought it was because I was talking to her. I now know it was God’s Holy Spirit dealing with me.
After this, I found a book by some false prophet. I started holding meetings and teaching out of this book. One night I was sleeping in a bed in this house. I woke and saw Satan sitting on a chair in that room. I had an altar I had built and a glass mirror above it. My TV was off and I was asleep. I woke to a crashing noise. The mirror had come off the wall and broken on the floor, and the TV was on with someone singing, “He could have summoned 12,000, angels but He died for you and me.”
After this I had a dream, and in it I could see the world shaking and people screaming falling off of it. It was the circle of the earth they were falling off of.
I was so lost with no hope that I had decided to leave New York and go to Australia. I headed to the airport leaving that house and all my goods behind. I ended up in Los Angeles and got off the bus in Hollywood. I was on my way to see a couple of guys from my group who were out there. Well, someone handed me a piece of paper stamped, “Repent or perish, Jesus is coming soon.” I took the piece of paper, found the guys I was looking for, and told them about the paper. They all started laughing at me and mocking me, “Are you gonna go and repent, huh Tommy?” They were with a guy named Buddy Bruno. I had a headache so I went to sleep and had a dream. I was in a room and someone was in a chair. Their head fell back and Satan’s head popped up, swaying back and forth, laughing at me. I woke and the next day I went out searching for those people who had handed me the piece of paper. I had a guitar in hand walking down Sunset Strip. I ran into a tall girl from the Tony and Susan Alamo Christian Foundation who they called Jane the Baptist. She started to tell me about Jesus. It was like a huge bell covered us. I could not hear anything around us; I could only hear her preaching about Jesus. Then after about 5-8 minutes, I could hear the crowds walking around, and I told her I had to go. She told me about Hell, and that’s where I was going if I didn’t repent. I found my way to the Tony and Susan Alamo Christian Foundation on Crescent Heights Blvd. in Hollywood.
Tony and Susan Alamo were at the pulpit preaching Hellfire and brimstone. Testimonies were given, and when the altar call came, I went down, and I accepted Jesus into my life and became born again of the Spirit that night. Thank God!
I had a tangible experience and received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. I moved into the church that night. This was 43 years ago, May 1, 1970, and I am still happily with this ministry today. Today the same offer is there to you if you don’t know Jesus. Come unto Him and learn of Him for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.