Timeline

This page is an attempt to re-create a timeline of Michael Knott’s life. Many of these events come from recollections that different people shared years or even decades afterwards, so there will probably be many issues and inconsistencies.

Year
Events
~1965
  • Michael Gerard Knott was born in the mid 1960s in Aurora, Illinois to Mary and Howard Knott.[10]
~1969
  • The Knott family was still living in Aurora, Illinois.[1]
  • They were a large Catholic family: six sisters (Kathy, Colleen, Bridget, Laura, Theresa, and Brenda), but Knott was the only boy, second to oldest overall.[1]
  • When Knott was 3 or 4, his Dad had a guitar and he started playing it.[12]
  • Knott’s Mom was a concert organist/pianist worship leader at their church, so Knott took piano lessons. Knott also took drums lessons for six years – he was mainly a drummer until he had to start doing guitar and bass because he only knew drummers.[12]
~1970
  • One of Knott’s first memories is of himself at five years old trying to get his Mom’s attention on the monkey bars, but falling off and hitting his head on the blacktop.[1]
  • Knott started writing songs when he was 5 or 6.[12] At some point, he got frustrated at all of the first songs that he wrote. So he put them in a pee chee folder and buried them in his back yard.[10]
~1972
  • The Knott family moved from Aurora to California while Knott was in the second grade.[1]
  • Knott grew up in Huntington Beach after the move.[4]
~1973
  • Knott was placed in parochial school in 3rd grade.[1]
  • Knott met lifelong friend and band mate Bradford J. Salmon in 3rd grade.[4]
~1974
  • Salmon remembers Knott getting in a big fight in the 4th grade.[4]
  • Knott was kicked out of St. Simon and Jude Catholic School for trying to kiss a girl in the 4th grade.[1]
~1975
  • Back in public school for 5th grade, other kids didn’t let Knott join the baseball team, so he stayed at home and played guitar and wrote songs.[1]
  • At Gisler Elementary School (K-5), Knott had a band with Joe Ongie on bass and Mike Pate on drums. They had no mics, it was all just them shouting. They would practice until the police came to shut them down.[4]
~1976
  • Knott said that his first “working” band was called Sterling Steel. This was when he was in the 6th grade.[12]
1977
  • Knott and Salmon formed their first band when they were 13.[4]
1978
  • Knott has a band called The Hightops, with his sister Bridget, Salmon, and Vince Pangrazio. They recorded at least three songs.[2] Knott and Salmon were 14 at the time. They would play The Cookoos Nest, colleges, house parties, and pool parties in Orange County. Then the band changed names to The One.[4]
1979
  • When Knott and Salmon are 15, they had a band called Michael Knott’s Rubber Band (probably in addition to The One). They would play shows at the KooKoo Lounge, as well as practice in Salmon’s father’s shop.[4]
~1980
  • In 10th grade, Knott had a friend that was born again. Knott prayed the prayer a good 25 times, but didn’t feel like it changed anything. But he started reading his Bible and developing a relationship with Jesus.[1]
  • In high school, Knott was a pole vaulter. He used these skills at a Calvary Chapel concert to run up a wall and do a back flip onto the stage.[4]
  • Knott attended Mater Dei High School. According to Salamon, he was so popular at that high school that wherever The One played half the crowd would be from Mater Dei.[4]
1980
  • The Lifesavors were formed in 1980 by Chris Wimber and Ray Hersom. At some point, Mark Krischak leaves his band The Popsicles to join The Lifesavors.[2]
1981
  • In his junior and senior year, Knott was in a secular rock band (probably The One?) that played clubs. People from his school would come to see them.[1]
  • The One was still active in 1981, led by Knott with Robert Brock, Pangrazio, and Salamon. There is a video recording of the band practicing at Salamon’s father Joseph’s art framing business in Fountain Valley. Knott’s father Howard recorded the practice. The band was rehearsing for a gig at the Cuckoo’s Nest in Costa Mesa the next week.[4]
  • Michael Knott’s Rubber Band also played at least one graduation party in 1981.[4]
  • Brian Doidge had a band called The Chosen Ones that played Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. They put out an ad looking for a singer and Michael Knott drove out for an audition.[13]
  • Knott’s girlfriend at the time went to see a Lifesavors concert at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa (Chuck Smith’s church). She met the band, and introduced Knott to Mark Krischak. Krischak took Knott to some band practices, and then Knott was asked to join the band.[1] He decided to go with The Lifesavors instead of The Chosen Ones.[13] By this time, Hersom was out of the band, and Kevin Lee Annis was a member. Knott was about 17 when he joined The Lifesavors. They were finishing up Us Kids, and had Knott play some on the record.[1]
  • (It is still unclear if Knott was a part of The Lifesavors when they recorded their 3-14-81 live demo.)
  • Two weeks after joining the band, Knott started dancing around on stage during a Lifesavors concert at Calvary Chapel Downey and encouraging the people there to do so as well. This led to the band getting in trouble and being banned from playing churches for 8 months. This forced the band to play clubs instead. The Lifesavors became a popular band on the club circuit, often opening for larger bands.[1]
  • Knott began writing songs for what would be the next album (Dream Life). Knott described the years when he was 18-20 years old as a great time.[1]
  • According to one comment from Salamon, Idle Lovell might have started as early as 1981.[4]
1982
  • The Lifesavors started playing new songs in concert meant for their next release on their own label. Many of these songs were never released. They also had other members like Brandon and John in the band.[2] At one point, Salamon was also a part of one of the transitional line-ups of The Lifesavors.[4]
  • At some point, Krischak leaves the band due to tension between members. The Lifesavor are now to Knott, Wimber, and Annis.[2]
  • The Lifesavors record and release the You and Me single.[2]
  • Knott also added vocals to two Worship Songs of the Vineyard projects: All The Earth Shall Worship and He’s Worthy To Be Praised.[2]
1983
  • Brian Goins joins The Lifesavors, but only one live concert was played with this line-up.[3]
  • The band begins to record the first version of Dream Life with Knott on vocals. Word Records and a few other major Christian labels were interested in the band. The band had gotten involved with Wimbers’ Dad’s church the Vineyard. The Vineyard wanted the band to become a traveling missionary band that went into small towns, played concerts, witnessed to kids, and then started churches with those they reached. Knott didn’t think this was the best option for him, so he left the band. Kirk Heiner was brought in as Knott’s replacement, and the lead vocals and guitar were re-recorded with the new band members. Knott’s guitar and backing vocals were left in the mix.[2][7][10]
  • The Lifesavors release Dream Life on Refuge Records.[2]
  • When Knott left the Lifesavors, he formed Idle Lovell as a band with a theatrical element to the stage show[1] (people painted white that posed as statues, various things like spaghetti sauce poured on stage, objects like apples and daggers thrown around, etc[4]). Salmon, Pangrazio, Doidge, and Jim Richards were a part of the band.[2] They played in clubs like The Golden Bear (where Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin had played), opening for such bands as Zoogz Rift and Earth Dies Burning.[5]
  • Knott formed Blond Vinyl Records as a way to help Passion to Pass release their single.[2] Idle Lovell also started recording their EP.[1]
  • Knott wrote one song for The Lifters that they recorded on their debut album.[2]
1984
  • Goins was unable to tour with the Lifesavors, so Krischak was brought back to complete the tour. The Lifesavors also recorded the Lost Nashville Sessions in a very large studio. After this recording, the band went on a large tour with Rick Cua and Jerusalem.[7]
  • Blond Vinyl became Blonde Vinyl, and Idle Lovell releases Surge et Illuminare.[2] Brian Healy was the band’s manager and “default psychiatrist.”[3]
~1985
  • Sometime before 1986, The Lifesavors broke up, but various people started calling Knott to do Lifesavors shows at churches again. So he reformed the Lifesavors as Lifesavers with Doidge and Annis and started playing shows. The name change was simply to avoid legal hassles. Soon, they were playing more Lifesavers gigs and that took over Idle Lovell.[1]
  • At some point in his 20s, Knott was taken to the Santa Ana jail for having too many parking tickets. Brian Healy came to bail him out, but he still had to do community service by picking up trash along the highway. One time, while getting gas, someone in the car was spinning the radio dial and happened to land on Knott singing. He didn’t seem to like the song. This became the inspiration for the Lifesavers song “Dreamin’.”[3]
1986
  • Lifesavers signed with Frontline Records and released Kiss of Life.[2]
  • Knott started dating Windy Lyre during the recording of Kiss of Life.[1]
  • Knott co-wrote one song for Wild Blue Yonder’s debut album.[2]
  • Knott sang back-up vocals on a song on Daniel Amos’ The Revelation album.[2]
  • Idle Lovell came to an end in 1986.[1] Knott said it was probably a combination of things, but mostly because the bass player was dating his sister, and most of the band was mad that he was releasing Lifesavers albums.[10]
  • At some point before Lifesavers became L.S.U., Knott worked as a Yout Pastor at Hope Chapel in Hollywood.[19]
1987
  • Knott felt that too much in the Church was fake and surface-y. The Lifesavers decided to address this by writing darker, more serious music. However, they were afraid that Frontline Records and the churches would hate it, so they changed their name to L.S.U. – Lifesavers Underground.[1]
  • L.S.U. was living in a small apartment they called The Flats, watching black and white movies until 5:30 am, and then sleeping until 2:30 am.[1] This would be the apartment complex at Sunset and Fairfax where Knott met many of the people that became characters in later songs.[2] Knott first lived with Salmon at these apartments, then Doidge. At one point, both Darby Crash and Iggy Pop were said to have lived at these apartments as well.[3]
  • L.S.U. released Shaded Pain on Frontline Records. The label didn’t really promote the album, and no churches called for them to play for two years. A few writers took notice.[1]
  • Bob Parr had been working on a Hi-NRG song that he brought to Knott. Knott added some lyrics written to his (then) girlfriend Windy to the song, and it was recorded as “Want Me” at a studio in Dallas, Texas. Parr took the track to Michael Holm, a famous German Producer. Holm got the track to Vision Records, that released it as a single under the name of Michael Moret with three different mixes of the song. The album became an international hit, and even got a positive mention in Billboard magazine. A major label wanted to sign Knott, but Knott did not want to be known as a Hi-NRG star. So he refused to sign the contract and burned every copy of the single he could find.[2][6]
  • At some point, Knott started a glam punk band called Skinny Elvis with Doidge, Jamie Makarczyk, and Neal Vorndran. This was his secular band that played clubs, while L.S.U. would continue to play churches. After a few months, Doidge left the band to form Ball and Chain, and the name was changed to Bomb Bay Babies.[8]
  • Bomb Bay Babies started recording some demos as early as 1987. They soon were packing out clubs on the Sunset Strip like the Whisky-a-Go-Go, the Anti-Club, and the Coconut Teaszer.[8]
1988
  • Knott records vocals for two songs on Ojo Taylor’s Relative album.[2]
  • Knott painted the cover for the Broken Christmas compilation.[2]
  • The Bomb Bay Babies continued to gain attention, to the point that Windswept Pacific A&R representative John Anderson confessed that he believed punk rock would make a return. Anderson signed the Bomb Bay Babies to a publishing deal that saw several of their songs used in TV shows and movies in the future.[8] At one point, Capital Records was also interested in signing the band as well.[9]
1989
  • Due to lack of response to the last album, L.S.U. got some funding to record Wakin’ Up the Dead on their own. The band played Cornerstone 1989, which was a turning point for the band. Then the album came out on Blonde Vinyl. Mike Delaney of Spring Arbor and John J. Thompson of True Tues were two of the main outlets to sell the tape. It was manufactured with a regular cover and a special edition cover (limited to 500 copies).[1]
  • Michael Knott and Windy Lyre were married in 1989. They lived in The Flats for about two months, until Windy had enough of the conditions there and they moved to Orange County.[1]
1990
  • Delany was fired from Spring Arbor, so Knott decided to get his own distribution. He approached Word Records, Benson Records, Sparrow Records, and Spectra Distribution. Spectra was the only one that decided to distribute Blonde Vinyl Records.[1]
  • The ACM Journal #1 compilation CD was released, with several tracks from future Blonde Vinyl artists like L.S.U. and Windy Lyre. The rumor was that this compilation was a preview of upcoming Blonde Vinyl bands.[2]
  • Knott lends his vocals to two songs on Dead Artist Syndrome’s independent release, Prints of Darkness. This band was led by Knott’s long-time friend Brian Healy.[2]
  • At some point around 1990, Michael Knott was leading a Bible study for bands with the Anaheim Vineyard churches. A speaker named Bob Jones came from the Kansas City Vineyard to speak at one of the Anaheim Vineyards. People from Knott’s Bible study went to see him speak. Jones made some wild claims through an “interpreter.” Knott was not buying it, but over half of his Bible study left to follow the “K.C. Prophets.” Knott faced a rather harsh ostracism for questioning the prophets, but soon the group was exposed and the Vineyard released a statement about how they had been wrong to let the prophets come to their church.[10]
  • At some point by 1991, Blonde Vinyl Records was officially started as a label with two goals: to finally give artists/bands a fair shake with the record deals, and to broaden the scope of what Christian rock mean beyond corporate rock.[1]
1991
  • L.S.U releases This is the Healing on Blonde Vinyl Records. The band is now Knott, Jeff Sebens, Mike Sauerbrey, and Annis.[2]
  • Around the time of This is the Healing, the Bomb Bay Babies recorded an album’s worth of demos as well.[2]
  • Windy Lyre releases her self-titled debut on Blonde Vinyl Records with Knott playing several instruments.[2]
  • Lifesavers releases Poplife on Blonde Vinyl Records. The band is now Knott, Sauerbrey, and Steve Hindalong.[2]
  • Knott provided the cover artwork for Dance House Children’s Songs & Stories on Blonde Vinyl Records.[2]
  • Knott helps out with some instruments and songwriting on Shelley Rogers’ Dreaming Awake album on Blonde Vinyl Records.[2]
  • Dead Artist Syndrome’s Prints of Darkness is re-issued by Blonde Vinyl Records.[2]
  • Knott provides vocals for one song on At the Foot of the Cross Volume 1.[2]
  • Blonde Vinyl Records also releases Acoustic Shack’s self-titled debut, Black & White World’s self-titled debut, Breakfast with Amy – Dad, Deitiphobia – Fear of God, Fluffy – Fluffy Luvs You, Love Life – Goodbye Lady Jane, Lust Control – Fun Fun Feeling, N Side Out – Quiet Assurance, and Sincerely Paul – Grieve in 1991.[14]
  • Stormie Lane Knott was born on December 9, 1991.[1]
1992
  • Knott joins with the Mozart Gypsies to record a demo on January 17, 1992 to showcase the vocals of Chris Rumbaugh, also know as Mr. Rhumba (former manager of Breakfast With Amy and one of the few people to be employed by Blonde Vinyl Records). Omar Domkus of Scaterd Few and Chuck Cummings of Uthanda also participated in the recording sessions.[2]
  • At some point in early 1992, Blonde Vinyl’s distribution company Spectra went under, making several future Blonde Vinyl Records releases hard to find.[2]
  • Knott provided background vocals for a couple of songs on Plague of Ethyls self-titled debut on Blonde Vinyl Records / Voice of the Youth.[2]
  • Knott is credited with writing “a lot” of the songs on Fluffy’s Go,Fluffy, Go! album on Blonde Vinyl Records / Voice of the Youth, as well as background vocals on one song.[2]
  • Knott provides background vocals for a couple of songs on Dead Artist Syndrome’s Devils, Angels and Saints album on Eden Records.[2]
  • Knott’s first solo album Screaming Brittle Siren was released in April 1992 on Blonde Vinyl / Voice of the Youth.[1][2]
  • L.S. Underground’s album The Grape Prophet was released in June 1992 on Blonde Vinyl / Voice of the Youth. At this point, the band is Knott, Doidge, Sauerbrey, and Cummings with several other guest musicians.[1][2] This album is a rock opera based on the events of Knott’s experience with the K.C. Prophets.[11]
  • L.S.U.’s Wakin’ Up the Dead was remastered and released on CD for the first time by Blond Vinyl Records.[2]
  • Blonde Vinyl Records also releases Black & White World – Life Explodes, Black Carnation – it remains the same, Breakfast with Amy – product # bvcd 3482 (love gift), Dance House Children – Jesus, Deitiphobia – Digital Priests – the remixes, The Hounds of Heaven – Virtue & Virginity, Sass O’ Frass Tunic – As Blue as the State Allows, Steve Scott – The Butterfly Effect, Tribe of Dan – Shook Up Shook Up, SLAVA Compilation – Voice of the People, Veil of Ashes – The Young and Reckless: The Regression of Veil of Ashes, Wigtop – Revelation 1921, and Writ on Water – Sylph in 1992.[14]
  • Knott had plans to get several buses and put together a Blonde Vinyl tour with several bands. Possibly even two tours, one for rock bands and one for industrial acts.[1]
  • When Blonde Vinyl finally folded due to Spectra going bankrupt, this left Knott with $116,000 of investor deb to pay back. Spring Arbor distributors were also holding up about 45,000 albums (which was half a million in retail sales) until they got their money. Knott decided to try and get a mainstream record deal to pay them back.[12][15] Running Blonde Vinyl by himself put severe pressure on Knott, which is what some is what led to his drinking.[21]
  • Knott, Doidge, and Cummings form Aunt Betty’s Ford in 1992. They place an ad in a magazine and find Andrew Carter as a guitarist.[20] The name of Aunt Betty’s Ford was a play on The Betty Ford Clinic (because 2/3 of the band were alcoholics), as well as reference to how all four band members had an Aunt Betty.[21] The first few years were slow-moving, playing mostly shows in Los Angeles to try and get the attention of major record labels.[20]
1993
  • Knott decided to form Siren Records as a “side-label” of Blonde Vinyl Productions. It was originally to be a smaller label with less releases that he could run out of his house.[15]
  • L.S.U. was going to sign to Broken Records for a bundle of money, but because some major secular labels were interested in the band, they decided to pass.[15]
  • L.S.U. begins to transition the band name to Cash in Chaos. They release one album as “L.S.U. Cash in Chaos” called World Tour on Siren Records. The band is now Knott and Doidge (who switches to guitar) with Erick Coomes on bass and Ed Benrock on drums.
  • L.S.U. never fully switches to Cash in Chaos after this World Tour.[2] The main reason for the change was because several major labels were interested in the band, but felt the name would confuse them too much with Louisiana State University. The name Cash in Chaos is a reference to the bankruptcy that Knott had recently been through, as well as how so much chaos in the world is based on cash. The album title World Tour was a reference to all the things in the world, as well as the Biblical verse of “be in the world, but not of the world.[15]
  • L.S.u. also performed a legendary show to close out the the 1993 Cornerstone Festival. The band came out in various masks (Cookie Monster, Troll, etc). Various objects were tossed in the crowd, Knott doused himself with various foods, and then sung the encore song of “Shaded Pain” in a clown outfit.[17]
  • Michael Knott also recorded his second solo album Fluid for Siren Records (which he originally called Liquid), but it was not released before Siren Records folded.[15]
  • Siren Records only other release was to be the third Dance House Children release. But confusing artwork led people to believe that the band had changed names to Rainbow Rider. The album was called Beautiful Dazzling Music Volume 1.[14]
  • The “Story of Starflyer 59” says that Jason Martin was recording some songs in 1993 for a release on Siren Records. This release never happened, but the songs probably made it onto the first self-titled Starflyer 59 album.[16]
  • Deitiphobia was also said to have signed with Siren Records, but never released any albums for Siren Records.[2]
  • Knott was so broke that he started asking old Blonde Vinyl bands if they would let them sell their music to other labels in exchange for his old music. Wally Shaw was one that said yes, so Knott sold Deitiphobia (possibly their album Clean?) to Frontline in exchange for the rights to L.S.U.’s Shaded Pain album.[15] Two other albums – globalWAVEsystem’s Life=Death and X-Propagation’s Conflict – were also a part of this trade.[14] Knott was going to release that on his own, but he didn’t have the money. So he leased it to Metro One Records.[15]
  • Metro One Records re-issues L.S.U.’s Shaded Pain on CD. The album was remastered and featured extended artwork with more paintings by Knott. The master was apparently messed up, so it took longer to release than they wanted (finally coming out in September 1993).[15]
  • Broken Records releases Radioactive Hits, a compilation of Blonde Vinyl bands. L.S.U. has one new song on this compilation.[2]
  • Knott puts together the Brow Beat compilation for Alarma Records. This album features alternative bands recording acoustic songs. Knott contributes a new solo song and a new L.S.U. song.[2]
  • Knott contributes some vocals to a song on The Throes Fall on Your World album (which is really a funny answering machine message he left for the band’s leader).[2]
  • At some point in 1993, Knott is contacted by Brandon Ebel. Ebel wants to start a label and sign two bands – Wish for Eden and Focused. But Ebel thinks that no band would take him seriously. So he talked Knott into being the face of the label. Both bands signed with Tooth & Nail thinking they were signing with a new Knott label. Ebel would pay Knott for this, while also secretly slipping money to Knott to pay for dinners with the bands. Knott only went along with this for two to three weeks before he called up Ebel and told him he wasn’t going to be a part of his label.[18] Knott is still listed as the Executive Producer on Wish for Eden’s Pet the Fish album.[2]
  • Aunt Betty’s Ford records one version of “Rocket and a Bomb” in November of 1993.[2]
1994
  • Aunt Betty’s Ford releases their at least first demo and Demo # 2.[2]
  • Knott’s third solo album became his second one to be released when Rocket and a Bomb is released by Brainstorm Artists International / Word Records. This album becomes one of many landmark albums for Knott. The songs on this album have probably been played more times in concert than any others. They were also re-used on several other albums. The subjects of these songs are based on real people that Knott knew while living in The Flats in Hollywood.[2]
  • L.S.U. releases Grace Shaker on Alarma Records. The band is now Knott, Carter, Doidge, and Jeremy Woods on drums.[2]
  • Knott joins forces with Gene Eugene and Terry Taylor to create the Alternative Worship album Prayers, Petition, and Praise for Alarma Records.[2]
  • Knott provided guest guitars and vocals for two songs on Deitiphobia’s Clean n Myx Records.[2]
  • Aunt Betty’s Ford records their second demo in November of 1994.[2]
  • The majority of Aunt Betty’s Ford songs came from real events that happened at a small dive bar called the Helm in the heart of Orange County.[22]
1995
  • Aunt Betty’s Ford was in a lengthy negotiation process with Island Records for a possible two album deal. They even recorded a demo for Island Records.[21]
  • In February 1995, Knott was invited to travel to New York for a meeting with London Records.[24]
  • Aunt Betty’s Ford would play with a diverse range of other bands, like Voodoo Glow Skulls, the Aquabats, Fastball, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.[9]
  • Len Fagan, booker and sound guy at The Coconut Teazer, raved about Aunt Betty’s Ford to Lara Hill, Director at A&R Elektra Records. He hands her their demo. She instantly loved it and decided to come see them live.[21]
  • On March 21, 1995, Hill saw Aunt Betty’s Ford live for the first time, meets Knott, and tells him she wants to sign them on the spot. She decides they need to keep Aunt Betty’s Ford from signing with Island Records.[21]
  • The next day (March 22, 1995), Hill convinces Seymour Stein to fly out to Los Angeles the next day to see Aunt Betty’s Ford play a show.[21]
  • Stein sees Aunt Betty’s Ford play on the 23rd of March in 1995, and agrees to signing them. After the show, the band, Hill, and Stein go to dinner at Chateau Marmont to discuss details. Knott sees Quentin Tarantino there and talks to him about putting a song in his movie.[21]
  • Aunt Betty’s Ford officially signs with the EastWest division of Elektra Records.[21] Once Aunt Betty’s Ford signed to Elektra, Cummings noticed that the band members were being attacked on AOL chat rooms, because people assumed they were no longer Christians. On the other hand, the vice-president of Electra Records would say things to him like “A lot of the stuff you’re talking about sounds really spiritual.”[23]
  • Aunt Betty’s Ford signed with Elektra because they allowed the band to have complete creative freedom. Knott was given a check, and he could choose the studio and a producer he wanted. Knott was also allowed to help produce the record as well. All of this was mostly unheard of back them.[23]
  • Aunt Betty’s Ford record their album in the Green Room with Gene Eugene and Mark Rodriguez – usually with few to no practice sessions. Many of the songs came out in only a few takes.[21]
  • The band’s attorney received a cease & desist letter stating they couldn’t use the words “Betty” and “Ford” in the name of the band. The band decided to do with Aunt Bettys.[21] The album release was delayed for about six months due to the legal issues with the name.[23]
  • The Lifesavers release their next album Huntington Beach on Brainstorm Artists International. The band is now Knott, Doige, and Cummings. The first song on the album (“When She’s Gone”) was a song Knott wrote when he was 18 or 17. It would later be re-written as a Strung Gurus song called “Numb.” Knott also released three songs by The Hightops as bonus tracks.[2]
  • Knott records his fourth solo album, Strip Cycle. It becomes his third solo album to be released, which was on Tooth & Nail Records. the album contains a unique tuning for Knott’s acoustic guitar. According to Knott, when he went in to record this album, he found that his daughter had been playing with the tuning keys of his guitar. He liked the sound that this new tuning produced, so he dubbed it “Twisted Toddler Tuning” and recorded the whole album with that sound.[2]
  • Gray Dot Records releases the Summer 95 Sampler compilation, which features cover art by Knott. This art is basically a stamp that is used to stamp the artwork on various squares of paper (like paper bags or toilet paper).[2]
1996
  • March 1996: Aunt Bettys played a big ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) showcase at SWSW (South by Southwest) in Austin. They were on same bill as Placebo and Fastball.[21]
  • When the Aunt Bettys and Elektra Records met to decide on a lead-off single, the band and label wanted “Addict.” Knott really wanted “Jesus,” and kept pushing until that was the first single.[21]
  • The Aunt Bettys record release party was at the Mercury Lounge in the East Village of New York City. They played for the entire Elektra staff. Apparently, this show didn’t go well due to Knott’s drinking, and he said some things about the LGBTQA community that upset the record executives.[21]
  • Aunt Betty’s self-title debut was released in July of 1996 on EastWest / Elektra Records.[21] Due to the long delay in the release, the label gave little support. Cummings only recalls there being two ads in any magazines . The album sold about 10,000 copies with no promotion – all word of mouth.[23]
  • The Aunt Bettys also release the song “Jesus as a single on EastWest / Elektra Records.[2]
  • The Aunt Bettys also release “Skinny Bones Jones” as both a 7-inch single on Che Orrore Records and as a CD promo on EastWest / Elektra Records.[2]
  • Christian stores refused to carry the Aunty Betty’s album. When the product manager at Elektra Records found out about the band’s connection to the Christian industry, they told Knott his past could ruin the band’s career. Elektra would try to twist his lyrics out-of-context to focus on the darker elements.[25]
  • Aunt Bettys’ “Jesus” single didn’t catch on, so the band started writing new songs.[21] The band was informed by their lawyer that they had until September 22nd to finish their second record. Their lawyer thought they had lost support of the label, so he suggested that they get in the studio and record as many songs as they possibly could and turn them into the label to see if the label thought they were ready for a second album. So the band recorded 35 demo songs.[23]
  • One day Knott played the new Aunt Bettys demos for Hill. She liked them, but didn’t feel they were as good as the band’s existing material (these songs were eventually released as Ford Supersonic).[21]
  • Hill was woken up early one morning to a phone call from Elektra Records CEO Sylvia Rhone telling her the Aunt Bettys were going to be dropped. The timing of the call (the morning after Hill heard new songs), gave some the impression that they were dropped because of Hill’s thoughts on the songs. This was not the case – it was a combination of the single not doing well, the destructive behavior of the band, and possibly the fact that Knott kept calling the CEO of Elektra constantly with complaints about the business side of the debut record.[21]
  • Hill was shocked the Aunt Bettys were dropped, but apparently so were many other people. Cummings apparently heard people at a the Zoomba publishing company saying “Are you kidding me? If ever a band I thought would be an absolute multi-platinum smash, it was Aunt Bettys.”[21]
  • Apparently there was also a power struggle behind the scenes at Elektra Records. Stein was heading up a division of Elektra called EastWest, but all of the bands on that side of the struggle were dropped or moved on from the label. Because the Aunt Bettys were already ready to turn in another record, the label actually had to buy the band out of their contract instead of just dropping them. They were actually paid to walk away from the label.[23]
  • The Aunt Bettys talked to several other labels, like Island, Revolution, and Silvertone. A BMG joint venture actually did put down a contract offer. It was no where near as good as the Elektra contract, so they sat on it for a while as talked to other labels. Knott wanted to go with the BMG deal, but the rest of the band didn’t – so they never did.[9]
  • Knott’s second solo album Fluid finally sees the light of day on Alarma Record. The album was recorded as a concept album. It recounts how a girlfriend of Doidge’s got upset when he broke up with her, so she stole his car and crashed it, leaving her in a coma. The records recounts how Knott envisioned Jesus and Satan fighting over her soul.[2]
  • Gray Dot Records releases what is billed as the final L.S. Underground album Bring It Down Now. It is a collection of fan favorites, remixes, live tracks, and new songs.[2]
  • Knott produces Kevin Clay’s Watch Me Fall album for Alarma Records.[2]
  • Due to their work with the Aunt Bettys, Knott, Eugene, and Rodriguez are asked to mix one song on the Penny Dreadfuls self-titled album for Restless Records.[2]
  • Knott is also credited as producing the Americana Demos for Starflyer 59 for Rondor Music.[2]
  • At least two compilations feature Michael Moret’s “want Me” – Miami Freestyle (Vision Records) and Miami Beatz (OS Music).[2]
1997
  • The Aunt Bettys took some of the songs they recorded for the second Elektra album and released them as their third and final demo.[2] The band really didn’t last much longer than that.[9]
  • Seven major labels were eyeing Knott once the Aunt Bettys were dropped. Some had hinted that if Knott went solo, there would be possible record contracts. Knott recorded 20 to 30 songs, described as early Beatles meets the Wallflowers meets Third Eye Blind. Knott claimed he was going to be the male Sheryl Crow so that he could support his wife and daughter.[22]
  • Knott produces Quayle’s self-titled debut for Sublime Records.[2]
  • Knott produces Ruby Joe’s Sinking the Eight Ball for Sublime Records. He also provides some additional background vocals and guitar.[2]
  • Knott produces Every Day Life’s American Standard for Alarma Records.[2]
  • One live track from L.S.Underground is included on the Live at the Strand compilation on Bulletproof Music.[2]
  • At some point after Aunt Bettys got dropped, Knott used some of the money from the deal to form a production company called Ear Candy Productions. One of the bands he produced was a new project from Deitiphobia’s Wally Shaw called Vivid. They recorded and released a demo before the band decided to change names to Massivivid and signed with Tattoo Records.[27]
  • At a September 1997 solo show at a dive bar in Costa Mesa, California called the Stag, Knott announced the end of his attempts to break into the mainstream as a rocker. He had decided that he would be going in a mellower singer-songwriter approach kind of like The Dave Mathews Band.[26]
1998
  • (to be continued)

[1] “Exploring the Alternatives with Michael Knott” by John J. Thompson. True News, Volume 3 Issue 4. Spring 1992
[2] Michael Knott Discography
[3] Facebook comment by Michael Knott
[4] Facebook comment by Bradford J. Salmon
[5] Concert Flyer
[6] Comment left on this website
[7] Facebook comment by Kirk Heiner
[8] Bomb Bay Babies Volume 1 liner notes
[9] A One Man Industry; From Bomb Bay Babies to Strung Gurus.” by Timothy Buchanon. True Tunes, 2000?
[10] Concert story
[11] “K.C. themes fill L.S.U. album” by Michael Lucchi. KCS Christian Arts and Entertainment Guide. August 25, 1992.
[12] Servant’s Heart Music Audio Interview, September 1999.
[13] “Brian Doidge: In His First Interview Ever” by Steve Ruff. Down the Line Zine. January 2009
[14] Blonde Vinyl discography
[15] Cornerstone 1993 Press Conference
[16] Story of Starflyer 59 by J. Edward Keyes
[17] Cornerstone 1993 live footage
[18] No New Kinda Story: The Real Story of Tooth & Nail Records
[19] “On Bettys, Lifesavers, Cuss Words, and Hard Times…” by Todd Brown. True Tunes circa 1998
[20] “Aunt Betty’s: Quality is Job 1” by Jo-Ann Greene. Mean Street Magazine, July 1996
[21] “Aunt Bettys Story” by Lara Hill (Former Director A&R Elektra Records)
[22] “O. C. Cruise: Sugar Ray’s Forgotten Roots and Knott’s Family Attractions” by Jennifer Vineyard. BAM Magazine, Issue 513, July 11, 1997
[23] “Chuck Cummings: Opening the Four Door” by Treble Bandoppler. Bandoppler Radio, 2001
[24] “Reeling in the Big One” by Jeff Elbel. LIGHTHOUSE, April 1995
[25] “The 120-Minute Power Hour” by DJ Anderson (radio transcript). November 1999
[26] “Concert Review: Mike Knott solo The Stag September 10, 1997” by Jeff Elbel.
[27]Massivivid – Dressed to the Nines” by Doug Van Pelt. HM magazine. June 2003.