"I was a history buff," he says. "All I'd read about was the horrible things religion did." Reading authors such as Camus in high school, Bar Am says he identified with existentialism. Still, he was intrigued by Judaism. "I'd always been curious about Judaism," he recalls. Even during his 30s-a decade during which Bar Am played guitar in the band Stepmother Mary and fully embraced the sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll lifestyle-he felt something was missing. "I was a borderline drunk," he remembers. "I wasn't a very good person. Even though people knew who I was and they played my music on the radio and I had groupies, I felt empty. I was depressed. I had no one to share my life with."