I was addicted to applause until I met a friend called, "HERION." That friend took me off the stage into living in a cardboard box on Skid Row. I was on the Highway to Hell and then someone introduced me to HOPE! - Bobby Hayden Jr.
Announcer: It's time now to Get the Hell Out of Your Life. A weekly broadcast with real people, sharing real struggles and offering real hope. Today's show will encourage, inspire and empower you to face life's challenges with a bold confidence and renewed hope. Now let's join our host, Ron Meyers.
Ron Meyers: Listeners. So good to be with you. Another powerful show today. In fact, this is one of the ones that probably one of my favorite shows. Today I have a guest that he was a Rockstar. He started as a child prodigy, was on many national broadcast, even performed on the Grand Ole Opry stage. His name is Bobby Hayden Jr. And right in the middle of all this fame and applause and having a good time well, he met a friend called heroin. In fact, he fell in love with heroin so much that he moved to Los Angeles, lived in a cardboard box on skid row for close to 10 years. And one day he prayed for hope. He said, "God, send me some hope." And hope came knocking the next day. So you're going to hear a powerful story today from Bobby Hayden, Jr. Bobby, welcome to the show. How are you?
Bobby Hayden Jr...: Hi, I am great. Thank you so much for having me.
Ron Meyers: Well, I just, the name of this show is Get the Hell Out of Your Life. And when I was watching some of your videos and read some of your story, I think you had more hell in your life than any of my guests I've ever had, but you are an overcomer. You're a new person now through Christ. And we'll get into that in just a little bit, but first tell us a little bit about who is Bobby Hayden?
Bobby Hayden Jr...: Well, at a very, very young age, five or six years old, I started piano lessons and I started climbing up on the piano stool and I wrote a song called the Son of Abraham. And I was raised Catholic, and to tell you the truth at that age, I didn't know Abraham from Peyton Manning, but for some reason I wrote this song called the Son of Abraham. And my mother heard me singing this particular song on the piano every day. And then she got out the Frank Sinatra records, the Judy Garland records, the Al Jolson records. And she started training me every day after school to sing along with these records because she was a big fan of Judy Garland and all the Broadway shows and the old standards. So I started singing the songs around my hometown of Evansville, Indiana, and one thing led to another.
Bobby Hayden Jr...: I went to Chicago and I was runner up on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour. And one thing led to another and I found that we found ourselves in New York at the Johnny Carson show, the Milton Berle show. I came to Nashville, I did the Grand Ole Opry and it just, I was a legend in my own mind by the time when I was 10 years old, singing these old standards. And then the Beatles came on the Ed Sullivan show, and I sit there on that Sunday night and I said, "Mom and dad, that's what I want to do." And they didn't agree with that decision. So they pulled the plug a year later on my musical career. And because I had a big, big void to fill from that euphoric feeling of show business and traveling the country and I became addicted to applause at a very young age.
Bobby Hayden Jr...: And as you might have heard, or you might know, it doesn't really work out good for a lot of child stars. They usually end up going through something. So I ran away at 16, started playing in rock and roll bands, wound up in Hollywood in 1980, and then the party started.
Ron Meyers: A big party, huh?
Bobby Hayden Jr...: They call it the glitter feel, the glitter filled halls of MTV. And I moved in with some guys in Hollywood in 1980 and they worked, they went to work for Ozzy Osborn and they become great friends of mine. And the whole '80s rock music scene, a lot of it took place right there in North Hollywood, which is San Fernando Valley. And I played all those gigs around town with all the well-known bands, Poison, Motley, Crue, Guns and Roses, Randy Castillo played for Ozzy for 13 years.
Bobby Hayden Jr...: And so the touring started, the party started and in the '80s there was a pandemic cocaine problem. And we were snorting cocaine, it was a social thing. However, I didn't know the seeds that I was planting, same thing with alcohol. The drinking became a social problem, but it later on it became alcoholism. The cocaine became an addiction. The lifestyle became an addiction. My life was all about me Ron, me, me and me. And it led to a very, very dark place.
Ron Meyers: Listeners, if you just tuned in Bobby Hayden Jr. A child prodigy started as a, just a rock star on TV. As a youngster grew up into many of the national acts touring with them. And then one day somebody introduces you to heroin. Wasn't it, in Detroit, it was your taste of heroin?
Bobby Hayden Jr...: Yeah. It was the late '80s and the pandemic cocaine problem had actually led into trying to relax at the end of the day. And the heroin became popular. It became popular in Seattle. It became popular in Los Angeles, and it was a way of just unwinding and sedating yourself from all the hoopla and the gigs and the accolades. And it was life in the fast lane and all of a sudden this heroin slowed it down, but in the meantime, the addiction that it brought, it took over my life.
Heroin became my mama, my daddy, my girlfriend, my career, and the people in Los Angeles recognized this. And a lot of those people gave up on me. So the gigs throughout the '80s got smaller and smaller. And by the '90s, I went to Michigan because the classic rock scene became a big around the country. So I was doing a lot of classic rock shows with Mountain and Quiet Riot was actually considered classic rock. And that's where I became addicted to heroin, in Detroit and ended up taking a bus back to Los Angeles in 1998 and went down into skid row, purchased some heroin and went to sleep behind a row of bushes and stayed there behind that row of bushes for actually a year before I got me a cardboard box.
Ron Meyers: So you lived behind a bush for a year, and then you got a cardboard box and lived in that for how many years?
Bobby Hayden Jr...: I was downtown Los Angeles in skid row for nearly eight years. And what I would like to take a minute and just paint a picture of the darkness that I was set free from. When you're homeless, Ron, you don't bathe for a year at a time. You stand on the side of the freeway with a sign that says, "I will work for food," and you stand there all day, all afternoon, and most of the night to feed this addiction of heroin. There's a big, downtown Los Angeles heroin is very, very easy to get. It's sold on every street corner. And when you're addicted to heroin, you have to be close to it. So it just takes over your life. I injected heroin eight to 10 times a day. My arms were so scarred with needle injections that I had to revert to my legs.
Bobby Hayden Jr...: So I would take the needle, stick it right through my blue jeans, into the muscles of my legs every day, five to 10 times a day. Well, my body was totally scarred. I had poison oozing out of my legs. Bus drivers would see me on a corner waiting for the bus, and they would notice that I was, who I was and they would drive right on by. So I started waiting on buses that never came. And when I would go to the hospital, they would, for such things as scabies, or fleas from sleeping on broken down mattresses, they would make me stand on the sidewalk.
So this idea of life I had in the '80s of being this rock God, for lack of a better term, I had become a broken man pushing a shopping cart with aluminum cans, standing and begging on the side of the road for eight years and one day near death, a homeless man came up to me and said, "Bobby, you are dying. You need to pray in the name of Jesus." And Ron, I looked at him and said, "Dude, I know who God is. I'm a Catholic." And he said, "Well, Bobby, how's that working out for you?" And right then he pulled out that Bible and started showing me verses about speaking the name of Jesus out my mouth.
He told me Ron, that there would be a cashless society one day. And that's what got my attention because all my dealings with people on the side of the road to get money for my addiction was always cash. So I thought to myself, "Wow, if there's no cash, how in the world, am I going to afford my heroin that I live off of and keeps me moving around?" And so God used just the right things to capture my imagination, to find out more about this man named Jesus.
So this man named Mark that was talking to me, came by my camp every night and I ended up calling him Jesus. I would ask my friends. I said, "Hey, have you seen Jesus tonight?" And they'd go, "No, he hadn't been around in a couple of days." And then a couple of days later he'd come back and we would read verses just easy verses like, "I am the way the truth and the light. No one goes to the Father except through the Son." So this word of God was getting on the inside of this broken, heroin, homeless man, myself, and one day in a dumpster, I was hiding from the police and I was injecting heroin and I was eating pizza garbage out of the dumpster. And the ants were biting me on the inside of my throat and I couldn't scratch them Ron. And I had come to the end of my rope, right where God's office usually is, and I cried out, "In the name of Jesus, send me some hope."
Ron Meyers: Send you some hope.
Bobby Hayden Jr...: I just needed some hope. I was broken. I couldn't do it anymore.
Ron Meyers: You couldn't do it.
Bobby Hayden Jr...: The only thing that I can virtually yell out of my mouth while I was breaking in this dumpster and crying my eyes out was, "If your real, in the name of Jesus, send me some hope." Because that's what this guy had told me to speak his name out my mouth.
Ron Meyers: Welcome back listeners on the phone with me is Bobby Hayden Jr. The little piece of music you just heard, he wrote that. He wrote that after hope, visited him in a dumpster and he met Jesus. Tell us a little bit, we want to get back to how you met, how you were transformed, but that song the Same as Beautiful, tell us a little bit about that song that you wrote.
Bobby Hayden Jr...: Well, I was in Indianapolis. I came back to Indianapolis to visit my family. All the relationships were renewed. I actually met Jesus in 2008 and I was saved. And when I got back to Indiana, I continued my walk and my music just started changing from lightened songs like, "Baby, baby. You're my baby, baby, honey, honey. You're my honey, honey." I just dove a little deeper. And the songs started coming. And the clergy around town and people that have mentored me, they started coming to my house and they said, "Bobby, where are these songs coming from?" And I told them, I just, and one man told me one day, he said, "Bobby, when there's an earthly brokenness, there's a heavenly openness." And I never forgot that.
Bobby Hayden Jr...: And when God does a big thing in you, he does it because he's got a big thing to do through you and my life flipped upside down. I told this story on many Christian TV programs, Hour of Power, 700 Club, starts and formed a ministry, Cardboard Box Ministries. And it just hasn't stopped Ron. When it looks real dark to someone out there, what it actually does Ron, it causes one to start looking for the light switch. And that light switch in my case was flat out Jesus.
Ron Meyers: So that hope that came to you that day in a dumpster and transformed your life, and that was back in 2008, you said is when you came to Jesus. And so that's what 12, 13 years ago?
Bobby Hayden Jr...: Yes. And I might as well say this I've had no triggers. I haven't had a drink of alcohol. My heart did a 180 and the desires of my heart changed. And it all started just by walking through that door that said, Jesus on it. It just changed my way of thinking. Revelation started coming to me about things that I missed and where I actually was on this planet. And I just got to know, let me just look back up and just tell you what really happened.
In 2007 while in that dumpster, I cried out, "In the name of Jesus, send me some hope." The very next day, a man knocked on my cardboard box by the name of Mr. Esperanza. And he said, "I'd like to put you on a bus, to a rehab in Phoenix, Arizona." I got on that bus Ron and when I got to that rehab, they told me that Esperanza in Spanish actually means hope. And that's the way God communicates with you. He's been showing me beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was pursuing me and that he loved me. And I just started reading the word and finding out, I didn't understand a lot about the Bible Ron, but I noticed there was some red parts in the back, and I just started reading them red parts. And when I got to that rehab, they had me on 140 milligrams of methadone. One day, I just decided, you know what, I'm not going to take this methadone every day and I started decreasing on my own. 30 days later I was cigarette free, alcohol free, methadone free, for the first time in 40 years-
Ron Meyers: Hallelujah.
Bobby Hayden Jr...: I was a hundred percent clean. I was 55 years old when this happened.
Ron Meyers: And you are a fireball for Jesus today. You haven't turned back. You have a ministry called Cardboard Box Ministries, and we'll give that contact information in just a little bit, but Bobby there's people listening right now. This is not only on radio, but through podcast all over the world. There's people listening right now that are dealing with addiction of some sort in their life. And they have no hope and no even time to mess with God they think, but now they're divinely listening to this program. You got a few minutes, a minute to talk to them. What would you tell that person?
Bobby Hayden Jr...: I would tell that person to simply open that Bible and get alone with Jesus and just learn about Jesus. Read the scriptures, read the Proverbs. When I read verses like, "My people are being destroyed for lack of knowledge," I was being destroyed. And the knowledge I was missing was about Jesus. And he'll give you back the years that have been wasted, all these verses started speaking directly to me. But if you don't open that book and surround yourself with people that know the real Jesus and through them, Jesus will love that hell right out of you.
So many times, I wished that I could just start over and reprogram and reboot my brain so I didn't know anything about drugs. I was looking for that freedom and where the Lord is, there is freedom. And who the Son sets free is truly free indeed. And I found out who I was in him and that he was my dad, it's as easy Ron, you just need to find out who your daddy is.
Ron Meyers: Who's your daddy.
Bobby Hayden Jr...: And once you do, your thinking starts changing. And remember, correction is not rejection. See I had that mixed up. I thought correction, that people were rejecting me, but it's actually a better way for God to show you how to deal with things.
Ron Meyers: Listeners on the phone is Bobby Hayden Jr. A rock star, heroin addict, today on fire for Jesus, has a ministry Cardboard Box Ministries. How do they find more information about you and your music Bobby?
Bobby Hayden Jr...: We're on social media, cardboardboxministries.org, Facebook, Bobby Hayden, Jr. It's very easy to find on Facebook. I do a lot of churches, a lot of shelters, all I do now, Ron is just show up with this inside of me. And it's as easy as just putting your arm around a guy and say, "Hey, listen, it's going to be all right." And he will love the hell out of them people right through me. And it has nothing to do with me. It's all him.
Ron Meyers: It's all him.
Bobby Hayden Jr...: It's just a beautiful thing.
Ron Meyers: It's all him. And we're going to work on getting you down here to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and do a big event. We're just going to put that in the hands of God, we'll plant that little seed out there. So Bobby, you're a little fireball and I appreciate you sharing your story. One of the questions that I ask all the guests is, the title of this show is Get the Hell Out of Your Life. So somebody listening, how do you get the hell out of your life?
Bobby Hayden Jr...: It's a one step program. Admit to yourself, you may have missed a memo or two, and you find out about this man 2000 years ago by the name of Jesus who went to the cross and gave his life so that we will have a life more abundantly. And if you can receive that love, it's a done deal. He will love that hell out of you. And he starts eliminating your termites because Ron, one thing I do know for sure, we all got a lot of termites.
Ron Meyers: Amen. Bobby Hayden, Jr. Bobby, you love life don't you?
Bobby Hayden Jr...: Oh, I had no idea that there could be joy. I just had no idea, it's just taken me by surprise and it never ends. It happens every day.
Ron Meyers: Every day's a new day.
Bobby Hayden Jr...: It's life more abundantly. It's exactly what the word promised.
Ron Meyers: And that's why your story and the stories that I share with this program are so important because there are real people, that real stories, with real hell, with real freedom. A lot of people read things out of a book and they wonder, "Wow. I wonder if that really happens?" Well, you're hearing listeners right now from someone that it really, really happened to, Bobby Hayden Jr. Okay. Your ministry page on Facebook, our social media is Cardboard Ministries?
Bobby Hayden Jr...: CardboardBoxMinistries.org.
Ron Meyers: Cardboardboxministries.org. Well, Bobby Hayden Jr. God bless you. God bless you and thank you so much for what you just shared with the listeners. And I look forward to seeing you down here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and us, wild, crazy Jesus people go out there into the community, okay?
Bobby Hayden Jr...: Yes sir.
Ron Meyers: All right, God bless you.
Bobby Hayden Jr...: Thank you so much.
Ron Meyers: MONOLOGUE:
Ron Meyers: It's always something, isn't it, we get through one problem and another pops up. I want to share with you what helps me keep my sanity and stay positive. I want you to think about all the adversity that you have gone through in life. It has been tough for most of us, but we are here. We have survived and we must not go backwards. You have made progress in your life. You have overcome obstacles, prayed over problems, moved forward for God, but now an unwelcome intruder has invaded your life and is threatening your hope and optimism. God wants you to know your adversary disguised as fear wants to cause you to regress, to go backwards and become who you were before you knew God.
Ron Meyers: Be on guard and understand that the adversary delights in your fear because it paralyzes you, and many of the gains you have made can be erased, setting you on a course to curse God and blame him. You must not give into fear because God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and sound mind. Solomon wrote some wise words, "As a man thinks, so is he." What you think about is what you begin to believe. And if you are not careful, you can turn your thoughts of fear and defeat into believing the worst is headed your way. God said, "Do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you. He will neither fail you or abandon you."
A few years ago, I interviewed a man who told a story of how he and his two boys were out on a boat fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. The boat hit a rock and began to sink. They jumped overboard and treaded water with their life preservers for over 24 hours before help arrived. The father of the boys had no time for God and never went to church with his young boys and his wife on Sunday. But that day, those two little boys were reciting the promises of God to their father. It kept them all hopeful and soon they were rescued. After the rescue, the father gave his life to Jesus. And today is a fine man of God because his boys had kept the promises of God hidden in their heart, and in a time of fear, those promises poured out of their heart and saved their father.
Today Jesus is holding his hand out to you, take a hold of it and quit looking at your circumstances. Quit looking at what experts say and start to look into the eyes of Jesus for your comfort, peace, direction, and destiny. Jesus could not and would not be the son of God if he allowed his children to sink and get swallowed up by the lies of the adversary, remember, God is good all the time. Use this time to reacquaint yourself with God. He has you in the palm of his hands, he has no intentions of ever letting you go. Every time you wash your hands, remember whose hands you are in.
Announcer: Ron will be back in a moment to wrap up today's conversation. We want to encourage you today with God's promise to you. It comes from the book of Jeremiah chapter 29, verse 11, "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and the future." That's God's promise to you when you choose to commit your plans and future to him. Now back to Ron.
Ron Meyers: Well, listeners time is up today. Thank you so much for joining this broadcast of Get the Hell Out of Your Life. Remember this, that God loves you, God has a plan for you, and when you give your life to Jesus, he will get the hell out of your life and let you pursue your divine destiny. I'll see you next week.
Announcer: Today's show was produced by Ron Meyer's Ministries, a listener supported ministry. For a copy of today's broadcast, please visit our website, thepromoter.org. And would you prayerfully consider making a tax-deductible donation so that we may continue to share stories of God's amazing grace with the world. Join us next week for another broadcast of Get the Hell Out of Your Life. Real people, sharing real struggles, and offering real hope.