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.
Michael Gerard Knott was born in the mid 1960s in Aurora, Illinois to Mary and Howard Knott.
The Knott family was still living in Aurora, Illinois.
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. Knott has said that his large family sung all the time, and joked they were like the Von Trapp family.
When Knott was 3 or 4, his Dad had a guitar and he started playing it. Knott referred to his Dad as a folk singer.
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.
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.
Knott started writing songs when he was 5 or 6.
The Knott family moved from Aurora to California while Knott was in the second grade.
Knott grew up in Huntington Beach after the move.
Knott was placed in parochial school in 3rd grade.
Knott met lifelong friend and band mate Bradford J. Salmon in 3rd grade.
Salmon remembers Knott getting in a big fight in the 4th grade.
Knott was kicked out of St. Simon and Jude Catholic School for trying to kiss a girl in the 4th grade.
Knott took piano and guitar lessons at the YMCA when he was about 10.
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.
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.
Knott said that his first “working” band was called Sterling Steel. This was when he was in the 6th grade.
When Knott was twelve or thirteen, he became frustrated with his forst attempts to write songs. He decided he would never get anywhere in music, so he took all of those songs (about 100 of them) and put them in a peechee folder and buried them in the backyard of his parents’ house. Many years later he went back with a shovel to try and find them, but never could.
Sterling Steel formed for a talent contest when Knott was about 12. They covered “Jumping Jack Flash” for the talent show try outs. They got in the show, so he wrote a song called “Jam Session.” The only words were “it’s a jam, jam session” followed by each person playing on their instrument. The prettiest girl in his school talked to Knott after that, so he decided he wanted to be a musician.
Knott and Salmon formed their first band when they were 13.
Knott has a band called The Hightops, with his sister Bridget, Salmon, and Vince Pangrazio. They recorded at least three songs. 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.
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. Salamon’s father Joseph owned an art framing business in Fountain Valley, California – various bands that Knott led practiced there for over a decade.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Michael Knott’s Rubber Band also played at least one graduation party in 1981.
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.
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. He decided to go with The Lifesavors instead of The Chosen Ones. 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.
(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. In the early days, The Lifesavors would get anywhere from 800 to 3,000 people at any given gig.
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.
According to one comment from Salamon, Idle Lovell might have started as early as 1981.
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. At one point, Salamon was also a part of one of the transitional line-ups of The Lifesavors.
At some point, Krischak leaves the band due to tension between members. The Lifesavor are now to Knott, Wimber, and Annis.
The Lifesavors record and release the You and Me single.
At some point in the early 80s, Knott was write songs with Carla Martin White of The Reflectors while also playing music at her house. It is unknown what became of those songs.
Brian Goins joins The Lifesavors, but only one live concert was played with this line-up.
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.
The Lifesavors release Dream Life on Refuge Records.
When Knott left the Lifesavors, he formed Idle Lovell as a band with a theatrical element to the stage show (people painted white that posed as statues, various things like spaghetti sauce poured on stage, objects like apples and daggers thrown around, etc). Salmon, Pangrazio, Doidge, and Jim Richards were a part of the band. 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.
Knott formed Blond Vinyl Records as a way to help Passion to Pass release their single. Idle Lovell also started recording their EP.
Knott wrote one song for The Lifters that they recorded on their debut album.
In the early 80s, Knott was known as “Captain Rebuko.”
“Plague of Flies” was written about the dungeon-like closet that Idle Lovell practiced in that was part of a makeshift garage/barn of Doidge’s Dad. They stayed here while try to make it in Los Angeles. This area had a cow, which attracted flies, and the band was swarmed by a million flies.
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.
Blond Vinyl became Blonde Vinyl, and Idle Lovell releases Surge et Illuminare. Brian Healy was the band’s manager and “default psychiatrist.” Blonde Vinyl was an impulse name that Knott came up with on the spot.
At some point in the 80s, Knott ended up in jail. At the time, he often wore a military jacket he got at a thrift store. Police were always pulling him over because of it and giving him tickets. Those tickets turned into warrants and he went to jail. Because Knott wouldn’t bribe the public defender, he was looking at a lot of jail time. Healy came and pretends to be Knott’s pastor, and somehow gets the courts to take the sentence down to 8 months of Cal-Trans (highway tgrash pickup). Healy also got him out of jail early after Annis paid $900 bail by pretending to be his warrant officer. The later song “What Am I Supposed to Learn” was written about this incident.
Sometime before 1986, The Lifesavors broke up because one of the new members showed up to a concert noticeably drunk. Word spread quickly of the event, and the band could no longer play Christian concerts.
Different 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.
After Knott had reformed the Lifesavers, they actually played at the church that had banned Knott for dancing on stage years earlier.
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’.”
At some point before the next Lifesavers album, Frontline Records label VP Michael Sean Black was able to mend the relationship between Knott and Frontline.
Mike Knott and Chris Lizotte were dating two women that were also best friends with each other while they all attended the Vineyard in Anaheim. They all dated for a few years and then broke up around 1985. After a couple of years, Lizotte asked Knott if he could ask out his ex-girlfriend, and Knott said “sure she’s not girlfriend anymore.” So Lizotte started dating her in 1987 and then ended up getting married.
Lifesavers signed with Frontline Records and released Kiss of Life.
Knott started dating Windy Lyre during the recording of Kiss of Life. Windy Lyre’s mom is a well-known painter with her own gallery.
Knott co-wrote one song for Wild Blue Yonder’s debut album.
Knott sang back-up vocals on a song on Daniel Amos’ The Revelation album.
Idle Lovell came to an end in 1986. 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.
At some point before Lifesavers became L.S.U., Knott worked as a Youth Pastor at Hope Chapel in Hollywood. This was during the time when Knott lived with Doige and they were playing in Idle Lovell and living at the apartment complex they later nicknamed “The Flats.”.
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.
Chuck Cummings accidentally meets Knott in 1987 when in studio and was asked to do a fill on a song for Shaded Pain that Knott’s drummer couldn’t play.
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. This would be the apartment complex at Sunset and Fairfax where Knott met many of the people that became characters in later songs. 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. In fact, Knott and Doidge’s apartment was rumored to be a place where Iggy Pop once stayed when he was once on a heroin binge.
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.
Knott felt rejected by the music scene that stopped letting the Lifesavors play because he danced on stage, as well as by the band itself when they recorded over the vocals of Dreamlife. He poured these feelings into the music of Idle Lovell. Shaded Pain was actually a collection of Idle Lovell and Lifesavors songs from this period, written before Kiss of Life.
It was around this time that Knott started painting. Knott chose to use his middle name to sign paintings so that people will see it as a different side to him. Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet, Dega, and Renoir are some of his favorite artists.
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.
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.
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.
Knott records vocals for two songs on Ojo Taylor’s Relative album.
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. At one point, Capital Records was also interested in signing the band as well.
L.S.U. Bible Studies started at some point in 1988 and lasted until 1990. They would send out invites by postcard to the L.S.U. mailing list. Knott would usually lead worship on acoustic guitar, sometimes accompanied by Mel from The Living. Sometimes Michael Pritzel of Violent Burning led worship. Knott would teach a bible study after worship. Attendees included Kevin Lee Annis, members Cafe Noire, Brian Doidge, and Windy Lyre.
At some point before 1990, Chuck Cummings and a few other friends were hanging out at Knott’s apartment in Trabuco Canyon. Knott started talking about how he was going to revive Blonde Vinyl and start releasing records.
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).
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.
At some point in 1989 (while 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.
Knott wanted to record an album about the K.C. Prophets in 1989, but people talked him out of it at the time.
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.
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.
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.
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. The only requirement to be signed to Blonde Vinyl was that the band had to be musically off the grid. Knott secured distribution through Spectra, and got his Dad to invest. They set up an actual office in an industrial park. The label was initially a success, bringing in over $1 million in the first year. The overnight success made other labels and bands a bit jealous.
Chuck Cummings’ wife’s father and step-mother passed away in 1990 while the Cummings are living in England. They came back to the States and find themselves stuck in America due to the Gulf War breaking out. Cummings feels like he is in a spiritual desert. His situation influences the L.S.U. song “Chucky.”
Knott was able to talk Chris Colbert into to recording 10 albums in one month for $10,000 for Blonde Vinyl Records. He wanted to do 10 releases at once because it would be a lot more space on Christian bookstore shelves, which would make the company look like a big deal to customers.
L.S.U releases This is the Healing on Blonde Vinyl Records. The band is now Knott, Jeff Sebens, Mike Sauerbrey, and Annis.
L.S.U. played several shows with a band called Sincerely Paul. They developed a relationship with Knott, so Knott asked them to sign with Blonde Vinyl (which they did). Knott met Gene Eugene Andrusco at a concert when Eugene asked him why he signed Sincerely Paul.
Windy Lyre releases her self-titled debut on Blonde Vinyl Records with Knott playing several instruments.
Windy Lyre was successful at the time. They were going for a very underground Cowboys Junkies feel. A couple of years later Knott received a letter from a Deep Blue Something that said they used some of the ideas from the solo on “Field of Flowers” in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”
Lifesavers releases Poplife on Blonde Vinyl Records. The band is now Knott, Sauerbrey, and Steve Hindalong.Poplife was recorded in one night. The band showed up at 8:00 pm and recorded the album through the night. Knott would write a song, they would record it quickly, and then move on to the next song. Then Knott recorded the vocals in the morning.
Knott provided the cover artwork for Dance House Children’s Songs & Stories on Blonde Vinyl Records.
Knott helps out with some instruments and songwriting on Shelley Rogers’ Dreaming Awake album on Blonde Vinyl Records.
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.
At some point early in the first round of label releases, Knott met with all of the first bands he had made records for through Blonde Vinyl at hotel bar and released them from their contracts. He didn’t want them to be caught up in the legal matters to control their own work. But he told them they could record another album if they wanted to. And most did.
Stormie Lane Knott was born on December 9, 1991.
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.
Knott hired Cummings as the Director of Operations for Blonde Vinyl in 1992, which is also the same year that Cummings joined Dakota (later Dakoda Motor Co).
At one point around 1991 or 1992, Cummings was a member of five bands: L.S.U., Undercover, Dakoda Motor Company, Knott’s solo band, and Sass O’Frass Tunic.
At some point in early 1992, Blonde Vinyl’s distribution company Spectra went under, making several future Blonde Vinyl Records releases hard to find.
Knott provided background vocals for a couple of songs on Plague of Ethyls self-titled debut on Blonde Vinyl Records / Voice of the Youth.
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.
Knott provides background vocals for a couple of songs on Dead Artist Syndrome’s Devils, Angels and Saints album on Eden Records. For this second DAS album, Healy wanted to change the publishing and copyright to his own name instead of the Blonde Vinyl label. Knott told him he couldn’t do that, so Healy got angry and left. Knott sold the album to Eden Records to make back the money he spent on it, and it was released there.
Knott’s first solo album Screaming Brittle Siren was released in April 1992 on Blonde Vinyl / Voice of the Youth.
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. This album is a rock opera based on the events of Knott’s experience with the K.C. Prophets. Most of the people that played on the album had no idea what the record was about. Knott would gather friends and ask them to play parts. Sometimes those parts didn’t make sense until Knott brought all of the parts together.
After Cornerstone 1992, several people went to Chicago to hang out. Steve Scott recalls that one night in a hotel room with himself, Steve Fairnie, Riki Michelle, Mike Knott, Jim Abegg, and others present, Fairnie attempted to hypnotize Knott. Fairnie had actually been in the Guinness Book of World Records for hypnotizing chickens.
L.S.U.’s Wakin’ Up the Dead was remastered and released on CD for the first time by Blond Vinyl Records.
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.
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.
Several bands from the Blonde Vinyl roster recorded videos. These were collected on the Video Compilation.
Blond Vinyl started getting a large number of returned cassettes that couldn’t be explained. Knott investigated and found out that Spectra was duplicating their own cassettes and keeping the profits while returning the real cassettes to the label. Knott called Spectra one day pretending that the FBI was coming after him, and the next day the company declared bankruptcy. Spectra owed Knott over $375,000. He took a day job selling Wyland paintings in Laguna Beach to try and keep the label afloat.
When Blonde Vinyl finally folded due to Spectra going bankrupt, this left Knott with $116,000 of investor deb to pay back. Blonde Vinyl went with Spring Arbor for a little bit, Spring Arbor distributors ended up 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. Running Blonde Vinyl by himself put severe pressure on Knott, which is what some believe is what led to his drinking.
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. 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. The first few years were slow-moving, playing mostly shows in Los Angeles to try and get the attention of major record labels.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Deitiphobia was also said to have signed with Siren Records, but never released any albums for Siren Records.
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. Two other albums – globalWAVEsystem’s Life=Death and X-Propagation’s Conflict – were also a part of this trade. Knott was going to release that on his own, but he didn’t have the money. So he leased it to Metro One Records.
Metro One Records re-issues L.S.U.’s Shaded Pain on CD. The album was remastered and featured extended artwork with new paintings by Knott. The master was apparently messed up, so it took longer to release than they wanted (finally coming out in September 1993).
Broken Records releases Radioactive Hits, a compilation of Blonde Vinyl bands. Knott was involved, and L.S.U. has one new song on this compilation.
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.
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).
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. Knott is still listed as the Executive Producer on Wish for Eden’s Pet the Fish album.
Aunt Betty’s Ford records one version of “Rocket and a Bomb” in November of 1993.
Sometime in 1993, Knott was part of a Brainstorm Artists International promotional video with Ojo Taylor and Gene Eugene. This was released in 2007 as part of Daniel Amos’ DVD compilation Instruction through Film.
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.
L.S.U. releases Grace Shaker on Alarma Records. The band is now Knott, Carter, Doidge, and Jeremy Woods on drums.
Knott joins forces with Gene Eugene and Terry Taylor to create the Alternative Worship album Prayers, Petition, and Praise for Alarma Records.
Knott provided guest guitars and vocals for two songs on Deitiphobia’s Clean n Myx Records.
Aunt Betty’s Ford records their second demo in November of 1994.
“Double” was the one song out of all the Aunt Bettys songs that got Knott a publishing deal with Rondor International.
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.
At some point, Knott performed “Deaf and Dumb” live on the Trinity Broadcasting Network.
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.
In February 1995, Knott was invited to travel to New York for a meeting with London Records.
February 27, 1995 – the video shoot for “Tattoo” from the upcoming Strip Cycle solo album was completed in Southern California.
Aunt Betty’s Ford would play with a diverse range of other bands, like Voodoo Glow Skulls, the Aquabats, Fastball, and Kenny Wayne Shepherd.
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.
Cush was first conceptualized in the Spring of 1995, as an idea for a band that would be “faceless, nameless, and just have a word that you could associate with it.” It started as an idea during the Prayer Chain’s Mercury period as the members realized that Mercury would be their last studio release. They were discussing how ego can affect band relationships.
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.
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.
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.
Aunt Betty’s Ford officially signs with the EastWest division of Elektra Records. 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.”
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.
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.
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. The album release was delayed for about six months due to the legal issues with the name.
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.
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 “Toddler’s Twisted Tuning” and recorded the whole album with that sound.
Flying Tart Records released the Live Long and Perspire compilation. It had two L.S.U. songs – one was an unreleased song. Knott was not aware that the songs were on this compilation until at least 1999.
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).
Alarma Records re-issues Lifesavers’ Kiss of Life with a slightly different cover.
Metro One re-issues Wild Blue Yonder’s only album with a different track order, two new songs, and a different cover.
Sometime in late 199, but before 1996, Knott formed a band with Rob Goraieb of King Holiday that recorded some for Elektra Records. Also in the band were Fred Friend and Debbi Devore of Sass’O Frass Tunic, Benrock, and Carter as well. Their recordings have never been released.
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.
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.
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.
The Aunt Bettys release “Skinny Bones Jones” as a 7-inch single on Che Orrore Records before the release of their label debut.
Aunt Betty’s self-title debut was released in July of 1996 on EastWest / Elektra Records. 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.
The song “Mother Trucker” on the self-titled Aunt Bettys debut was originally a solo song for Strip Cycle, but it was turned into an Aunt Bettys song.
The Aunt Bettys release the song “Jesus“ as a single on EastWest / Elektra Records.
The Aunt Bettys release “Skinny Bones Jones” as a CD promo on EastWest / Elektra Records.
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.
Aunt Bettys’ “Jesus” single didn’t catch on, so the band started writing new songs. 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.
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).
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Knott later said that the song “Crash” was supposed to be an Aunt Bettys song, but it ended up fitting more as a solo song.
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.
Knott produces Kevin Clay’s Watch Me Fall album for Alarma Records.
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.
The Aunt Bettys self-titled debut was included in the Top Ten Records of the Year list by the L.A. Times – Orange County edition.
The Aunt Bettys took some of the songs they recorded for the second Elektra album and released them as their third and final demo. The band really didn’t last much longer than that. Doidge was kicked out of the band at some point, and they continued on with another bassist.
A Bomb Bay Babies song (“American Dream”) was licensed for use in the movie Sworn to Justice, released on February 21, 1997 by B Just Productions, Inc.
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.
One live track from L.S.Underground is included on the Live at the Strand compilation on Bulletproof Music.
May 30, 1997: the masters for Dogfish Jones were finished. Chuck Cummings and Lloyd Shawn Epperly picked up the masters and listened to them. However, due to various label problems, the album was not released until 1998.
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.
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.
Cush officially started as a band sometime in 1997.
Knott visits Jeff Elbel’s bedroom studio to record a new song (“Popsicle Stick” for an Aunt Betty’s compilation. He also works on a song called “Saint of the Gutter” but can’t quite get it right. This song was rumored for an upcoming tribute album to Mother Teresa, but that never happens.
One Knott song () was used in the movie Shadow Builder, released February 7, 1998 by Apple Creek Productions.
L.S.U. release Dogfish Jones for Platinum / Flying Tart on July 1, 1998 (although most people could not find it in stores). Knott described the album is a parallel to his life. Knott’s parents were involved with album – his Dad performed on the album and wrote a couple of songs. His Mom got his Dad dressed up and took him down to Dana Point to take the picture of him in the liner. Knott also tells the story of how his Dad went to 5 or 6 Christian bookstores to buy the CD, but none had it. They said Knott is not a Christian, so they couldn’t carry it. Dogfish Jones was Knott’s third rock opera. It took me six months to complete, even though some magazines reported that he did it in three weeks. After it was complete, Platinum Entertainment fired everybody and lost the artwork, so this led to delays in the release. Platinum Entertainment was going under before they took Dogfish Jones on. They didn’t have any money to promote it, but they still ended up selling every copy they had.
Aunt Bettys release Ford Supersonic for Marathon Records. This album is a collection of demos recorded after the band’s first album was released. Some were taken from digital masters, others were rescued from tapes saved by Knott’s manager David Jenison. “Popsicle Stick” was recorded specifically for this collection..
Browbeats release Wither Wing for Alarma Records. Several of the songs are re-recorded Aunt Bettys songs. Unlike the first Browbeats album, this collection is electric and features Knott on all songs with various guests brought in for vocals. “Stoner Girl” was an unfinished Aunt Bettys track – Knott used older studio tracks and added new lyrics.
Knott contributes on of the songs from his industry demo to the RIM v. beta compilation released in July 1998 by Bigwig Enterprises. It was only available here until it was released a year later on the Definitive Collection.
Several Knott related songs (“Rock Stars On H,” “Sugar Mama,” “Transister Sister,” and Aunt Bettys “Feel”) were used in the movie Boogie Boy, released December 8, 1998 by Lion’s Gate.
In an interview with HM magazine that was printed in January 1999, Knott said that his wife was expecting a second child. This interview probably happened in 1998.
At some point by 1998, Knott sold the rights to The Grape Prophet and Screaming Brittle Siren to Rob Woolsey’s Lion Communications because he needed some cash. The re-issues were delayed due to internal conflicts at the company that bought them.
The original idea for an album called Life of David came from Brian Ray, Crystal Lewis’ husband around 1998. Ray gave Knott some money for the album. The first version of Life of David was early surf music beat and jungle drum exotica. Rocketfish was the name of his backing band. Knott felt it sounded good without vocals, but was having trouble coming up the vocals because it was a strange approach.
Knott met Dennis Danell of Social Distortion through a friend in 1998. They decided to form a band called Strung Gurus. They started working together recording songs at Social Distortion’s studio in Fullerton, California in October of 1998. Violent Femmes and Bob Dylan were major influences. Knott also says that the Strung Gurus are a mixture between Strip Cycle and Rocket and a Bomb. It also turns out that Knott’s mother is the music director at a Catholic church in Newport Beach where Dannell and his family attend.
In January 1999, Knott’s management finds out from Lion Communications that the label is in trouble and that The Grape Prophet and Screaming Brittle Siren re-issues will no longer happen.
A Bomb Bay Babies song (“Energy”) was used in the movie The Deep End of the Ocean, released march 12, 1999 by Columbia Pictures Corporation.
An unknown Bomb Bay Babies song was used in the Days of Our Lives soap opera at some point in 1999.
An unknown Bomb Bay Babies song was used in some ESPN Commercials at some point in 1999.
On March 16, 1999, the official Michael Knott website announced that Knott would record an acoustic album of fan favorites. They asked fans to send in their favorite three songs. The due date for entries was April 30th, and the results were announced on May 16th. Out of the 17 songs that got votes, 14 were going to be picked.
By April of 1999 Strung Gurus had already finished a six song demo of mellower acoustic material. KRAQ also made the Strung Gurus song “Sun-Eyed Girl” their Catch of the Day.
In April of 1999, Knott went on a brief tour with Eugene backing him on piano.
M8 Records releases Live at Cornerstone, Volume 1, a collection of recordings from L.S.U.’s Cornerstone sets in the early 1990s. The source for these songs were VHS concert bootlegs.
KMG Records releases The Definitive Collection on April 6, 1999 – a greatest hits compilation of Michael Knott / L.S.U. songs from the albums they have access to. It also includes two songs from Knott’s industry demo as well as new paintings by Knott.
A Bomb Bay Babies song (“American Dream”) was used in the JAG television series around or before May 1999.
M8 Records releases L.S.U.’s This is the Healing in August 1997 with 3 bonus songs, Lifesavers’ Poplife with 3 bonus songs, The Lifesavors’ Us Kids with 9 songs from another Krischak band called The Jaded, and Lifesavers Underground’s Wakin’ Up the Dead with Live at Cornerstone Volume 2 as bonus tracks. The bonus tracks on This is the Healing and Poplife are a combination of unreleased Idle Lovell and Bomb Bay Babies songs.
By June 1999, Strung Gurus had seven songs recorded and another eight planned. They were planning to shop the record to some labels soon.
Knott has two jobs as if June 1999, one of which is at an art gallery for his mother in law, Ruth Mayer (who also trains and mentors Knott).
Cush began recording their first album in December 1999. The original plan was for the band to have different lead singers for each song, but things were going so well with Knott they decided to have him do most of the vocals. Cush made it a goal to focus on more uplifting lyrics than the band members usual dark and gloomy lyrics in other bands.
In December of 1999, Knott is given a large advance to record an album called Pennies for Stormie Lane for Marathon records. The original plan was that Knott would record piano and vocal for an album’s worth of material dedicated to his daughter, and that the production would be completed at Jeff Elbel’s with other musicians. The album is never completed.
By December of 1999, Knott had mostly finished his vocal and acoustic guitar tracks for the L.S.U. acoustic album of fan favorites album. These parts were recorded at Matt Wignall’s Jackson Rubio studio facility. Members of Havalina Rail Co. were going to be enlisted to fill out the arrangements. A few songs were to have drums, but most would be acoustic. This was the last that this project was heard of.
At some point in 1999, Strung Gurus signed with Masterpiece Records. The Strung Gurus debut was scheduled to be the second release on Masterpiece Records in late May 2000.
Knott toured non-stop through 1999 and 2000. His goal was to leave with 20 paintings, set them up behind him while playing, and hopefully have them sold by the end of the tour.
M8 had plans to release twoanthologies of Lifesavors albums, but they were never released.
In January of 2000, Knott mentions he is painting full time at this point, working at an art gallery in Laguna Beach.
When asked about the rumored Life of David album (still not finished at this point), Knott also mentions another solo album he calls Halo.
Knott released Things to Come, Things I’ve Done as a CD-R on Ear Pistol Records. This was a sampler of stuff that Knott had (at the time it was released) recently released and would release in the future. It included four Strung Gurus songs.
Knott provided additional guitars for one song on Value Pac’s Incognito for Four Door Entertainment. Dennis Dannell produced the album.
Dennis Danell died on February 29, 2000 at his home of an aneurysm at the age of 38.
Members of Cush and the Aunt Bettys joined Knott for a Dennis Danell benefit concert at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. The line-up also included Pennywise, Offspring, X, and Social Distortion. Knott also sang vocals for one song (“Sheena Is a Punk Rocker”) during the Punk Rock Karaoke section of the tribute, with the band featuring Eric Melvin (NOFX) on lead guitar, Dez Cadena (Black Flag) also on guitar, Mike Watt (Minutemen) on bass, and Derek O’Brien (original Social Distortion drummer).
Gene Eugene died in his sleep at the age of 39 from unknown causes on March 20, 2000 at the Green Room. Eugene passed away the day that he composed and recorded the string parts for Cush’s “Starry Starry Seas.”
On June 1, 2000, Marathon Records released a collection of Bomb Bay Babies demos and live songs called Volume 1.
Bomb Bay Babies Volume 2 was mentioned in the Volume 1 liner notes as well as many interviews, but was never released.
In June 2000, Rebel Base Records released …the least of these…compilation with a live Knott track and a Strung Gurus track.
Marathon Records took the earlier Things to Come, Things I’ve Done and re-released it in July of 2000 as Things I’ve Done, Things to Come. Two songs were dropped from the original, while 7 more were added.
Also annouced in the Things I’ve Done, Things to Come liner notes was a collection of unreleased demos called Things Jenison Found in a Closet. It was sometimes referred to as Eclectica in interviews. The plan was for it to be a collection of stuff that Knott’s manager David Jenison dug up from different periods, from demos with bands to stuff Knott sang in the shower. There was reportedly enough material for two CDs, but the plan was to just release one. This collection was never released.
Marathon Records also released Live in Nash-Vegas, a live recording of an unplugged coffee house show at Jammin’ Java in Nashville, TN from November 7, 1999 with Steve Hindalong of The Choir on drums.
To prepare for Cornerstone Festival, Knott went into detox for a week. The song “Detox Radio Station” was written about this time.
At the Cornerstone Festival in July 2000, Knott performed at several shows. One was a solo live set that was recorded for release later that year. Another was the first live show with Cush. The final one saw Knott join several other singers and the surviving members of Cush to record a live tribute to Gene Eugene.
The July / August 2000 edition of the HM Magazine Hard Music Sampler had a picture of Knott for the cover, with the following explanation: “Unsung Heroes of Christian Hard Music: Mike Knott. *Not without past mistakes or flaws, but exhibiting courage and daring… and not given much credit.”
M8 Records released the Adam Again Tribute Show as Live at Cornerstone 2000 Vol. I. Knott performed vocals on 5 songs. This collection was a boxset with three discs, the first two containing live bootlegs of earlier Adam Again live sets at Cornerstone.
At the end of 2000, Knott asked Ray if he was still interested in the Life of David album, and then re-recorded the whole thing at The Velvet Elvis in Laguna Niguel. The new version of Life of David incorporates the previous Halo album with some of the elements of the older Life of David. There is no more Halo project after this point.
By early 2001, touring had become Knott’s main source of income. He would go out on the road (or fly in) with his acoustic guitar and tour manager (who sets up merch tables, finds hotels, and books venues). He usually toured three weeks out of each month.
In February 2001, Cush began recording for a new EP. However, the day that Knott came in to record the vocals, Cush and Knott had “a difficult separation.” The band decided to make the ep with other singers, while keeping the theme as a biographical tribute to Knott.
Knott releases the final version of Life of David for Metro One Records in May of 2001.
On May 5, 2001, Metro One and HM Magazine announced a contest that asked fans to write lyrics for the next Michael Knott song. The deadline was June 1st, after which Knott chose the winner.
Knott & Noah Riemer jointly release Mother Nation as an independent CD-R. It is a collection of songs that were written and recorded in various hotel rooms around the country while the two were on tour together in March 2001.
Knott and Lyre were divorced at some point by 2001.
Knott contributes vocals to one song on Lost Dogs’ Real Men Cry for BEC Recordings.
Northern Records releases some of the songs from the Gene Eugene Memorial Tribute Concert as an album called A Live Tribute Recording for Gene Eugene. Two songs from L.S.U. / Michael Knott are included.
Northern Records releases Cush’s ep in July 2001. This is the album that served as a biographical tribute to Knott.
Freestyle Meets 2-Step (Soundland Productions) becomes the first of many CD compilations to include Michael Moret’s “Want Me.”
In September 2001, the official Michael Knott site announced that the September / October 2001 tour would be filmed for documentary by Bob Wilkinson. After the tour, it was announced that Wilkinson was busy editing all of the footage from the tour. Then it was never heard of again.
L.S.U. releases Finding Angel as an independent CD-R. At a concert in October of 2001, Knott revealed that he had originally tried to pitch this album to Tooth & Nail Records, but they said “they couldn’t do it right now.” At the time he pitched the album, it was titled “Music Explosion” and the cover depicted a huge nuclear explosion. Recorded in August of 2001, the songs were all about the world exploding and buildings coming down. In September of 2001, the 9/11 attacks occurred as Michael was painting at 4am (California time). This freaked him out because he had just recorded this album about the same type of stuff happening. So he decided to change the title of the album to “Finding Angel” and change the cover artwork.
One of the songs on Finding Angel also talks about how Knott met and proposed to his new fiancée.
At the end of November 2001, Knott posted a message on his website’s message board that he had just finished a 3 1/2 day hospitalized medical detox at South Coast Medical Center in Laguna Beach and a 30 day live in rehabilitation at Lifestyles for Recovery in Lake Forest,California.He said that drawing custom artwork for each CD of Finding Angel kept him busy.
At some point in 2001, Knott recorded vocals for a song originally slated to be on Charity Empressa’s self-titled debut. That song was not included on the final release. Eric of Charity Empressa later had this to say: “I can’t recall what song he sang on… I just remember that he gave a great performance. His voice was, just too big and his performance was too large, to fit into something as boring and delicate as my one note jams.”
During one interview in 2001, Knott states he is working as an art dealer, selling a lot of peoples’ art in Laguna Beach because there is a big art community there.
In 2002, a documentary film maker was chronicling the lead singer auditioning process for a new band (initially jsut referred to as “The Project”) formed by Slash, Duff McKagan, Matt Sorum, and Dave Kushner. The band recorded three instrumental songs and sent the songs to singers who were interested in auditioning. The singers were asked to write and record vocals over the tracks. The film maker was a fan of Knott’s, so he was able to convince Knott to record some vocals. The band decided to choose Scott Weiland as their vocalist, and finally named the band Velvet Revolver. The documentary was released as (Inside)OUT: The Rise of Velvet Revolver. Knott also briefly put his three songs up on MySpace. These songs are often refereed to as Velvet Knott Elvis.
During the Canadian leg of the 2003 tour, Knott also sold a CD-R of Hearts of Care Demos. These were rougher demo versions of the songs released on the official Hearts of Care release recorded with members of Ticklepenny Corner, including one unreleased song.
At Cornerstone 2003 during the 20th Anniversary Birthday Bash concert, Squad Five-O aksed Knott to join them on the main stage during their two-song set to sing “Rock Stars on H.”
Knott wrote, performed, and produced one song for the Come as a Child or Not at All compilation on Andy’s Angel Records. This compilation was produced by Terry Taylor, and was envisioned as a tribute to Andrew Obrastoff by his father Theo. Andrew battled Cystic Fibrosis for 15 years before pasing away.
Dead Artist Syndrome’s Prints of Darkness was independently re-issue by Brian Healy as 13th Anniversary Edition with bonus tracks.
KMG Music re-released L.S.U.’s Dogfish Jones as a part of the Mega 3 Collection: Alternative Christian Rock box set with 2 other bands (Resurrection Band’s Light Years and The Choir’s Speckled Bird).
Knott re-issued Comatose Soul in January of 2004 with full CD arwork, new songs, and a new track order.
Cornerstone Festival released a DVD called Twenty Years & Counting on January 11, 2004 that contained some live clips of the 1993 L.S.U. Cookie Monster concert.
Knott made a secret background vocal appearance on Squad Five-O’s Late Breaking News released on June 29, 2004 on Capitol Records. Due to union rules, they couldn’t credit Knott – but band members have confirmed that he is in there if you listen.
Cush and Northern Records released a live compilation called Live and Rare in July of 2004. Knott is the lead vocalist and songwriter on many of these songs, even though no credits were listed.
At some point in 2004, Knott and Rick McDonough started recording a project that would later become known as Struck Last May.
Retroactive Records remastered and reissued L.S.U.’s Dogfish Jones in May of 2005. Knott was not involved in this reissue, even though the label wanted him to be.
Halfway through 2005, Knott and Rick had recorded several songs together and were bouncing project names off of each other. Knott tells a story of when he was playing an indoor show in May after Breakfast with Amy. BWA had left orange juice on the stage. When Knott grabbed the microphone, he was knocked over by an electrical shock. He was taken to the hospital, but secretly left out once he woke up because he didn’t have insurance. He says that ever since then his music got more creative, because the right side of his brain was shocked. This was when they came up with the name Struck Last May. Knott described the band’s sound as something like Sesame Street meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Around Posted on February of 2006, an official Michael Knott MySpace page was launched that became one place that Knott released songs he was working on.
Starting in March of 2006 and continuing through October of 2006, Knott released 8 songs on his MySpace page. Some were self-covers, one was an original songs, others were covers of other artists. Most were available for download, but some were only streaming.
Knott released the The All Indie E.P. in December of 2006. This was a limited CD-R of 500 copies with artwork by his father.
Knott also began working on a new solo album in 2006 called Even Star with Doidge. Knott described the album as a light and trippy album, inspired by Liv Tyler’s character in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Knott had also planned to do the cover art of this album. The original plan was to have the album out by Christmas of 2008, but so far the album has not been released.
In November of 2006, Knott started an online gallery website for his artwork, new and old. Gerardartwork.com featured galleries of paintings for sale and already sold. There was also a place for people to submit images of artwork they had bought.
Starting in January of 2007 and continuing through November of 2007, Knott released 3 songs on his MySpace page. There was one cover song and two original songs. All were made available for download.
The Rovers Three’s self-titled debut album was independently released by the band on CD-R sometime around May of 2007.
Sometime by June 2007, Knott had decided to reform L.S. Underground and record their heaviest album to date.
Knott had also formed a band in early to mid 2007 called The Rover’s Three. This band is a traditional Irish band with his Dad Howard and their friend Chuck Daniher.
Knott and his sister Kathleen opened the Art Loft 205 gallery in Southern California on June 9, 2007. This gallery included Knott’s artwork, McDonough photography, and other artists.
Struck Last May’s debut album 16 Flowers was released on June 29, 2007 on Hill deg Maria Records. The album is “a journey loosely based upon a fictional couple who encounter emotional peaks and valleys as they experience each other, as well as the world around them.”
A couple of Knott’s songs (“Comatose Soul” and “The Bomb”) were used in a Bible Study / Movie called The House of Spiritual that was released in October of 2007.
A MySpace bulletin posted on November 12, 2007 announced that a second Struck Last May album was in the works, with an initial target release date in summer 2008.
Daniel Amos released a DVD compilation called Instruction through Film in 2007. It contained a Brainstorm Artists International Promotional Video starring Knott, Ojo Taylor, and Gene Eugene that was filmed in 1993.
On March 23, 2008, Knott and McDonough released a cover of “Games Without Frontiers” as a download on MySpace.
The Rovers Three independently released their second CD Go Irish in April of 2008. It included five re-recordings of songs from their first CD, as well as a cover of “The Boyos” off of L.S.U.’s Dogfish Jones.
Terry Scott Taylor released a compilation of rare and unreleased songs called Random Acts & Hodgepodge. This compilation included the songs he did with Knott for the two Brow Beats projects and the Alternative Worship album. This was a re-issue of the 2002 version of the compilation, but the Knott-related songs were not on the earlier version.
At some point by mid 2008, Joshua Lory had commissioned Knott to do a painting of the Ramones. Lory mentioned that he had a studio to record Knott, and that led to Knott inviting Lory to join L.S.U. Lory invited several of his friends to join the PTSD project, one of which was Masaki Liu of Dime Store Prophets fame. Liu suggested Jim Chaffin of The Crucified for a drummer, so Lory reached out to Chaffin on MySpace and Chaffin joined in. Knott also recruited McDonough and Doidge to join the project.
At some point in 2008, Knott and Lory decided to start work on a new Lifesavers album. They got Andy Verdecchio from Five Iron Frenzy to join on drums.
In August of 2008, Knott began offering PTSD for sale as a pre-order. Everyone that pre-ordered by October 15th would receive a signed and numbered photo copy of a few song pages from Knott’s lyric book.
Windy Lyre released her second album Overflow in October of 2008. This album featured Knott and McDonough as her band.
In October of 2008, Knott reported that Losing Angel had been ditched.
As of October 2008, Knott was still the curator of Art Loft 205. The gallery had transitioned into being a completely online gallery for selling artwork.
Throughout 2008, Struck Last May was working on their second album. Knott described the album as a fun record that is less experimental than the first one. The release date had been moved up to early 2009, but it has yet to be released.
Knott was also helping McDonough mix and co-produce the first album for McDonough’s solo project Hidden From Blackout.
On February 19, 2009, Knott and McDonough added three Beatles covers to their MySpace page. These were originally three songs McDonough had asked Knott to play at his wedding in 2007. They decided to record them in 2008 for McDonough’s first anniversary.
McDonough released a solo project as Hidden From Blackout called Breakups and Fur Coats. Knott helped produce and mix the album, as well as provided some guitar work for one song.
A third Rovers Three album was recorded at the beginning of 2010, but the release was delayed.
L.S.Underground independently released PTSD on March 16, 2010.
L.S.Underground’s classic album The Grape Prophet was finally re-issued digitally on April 5, 2010 through BandCamp. Shaded Pain followed soon after that on May 6, 2010.
Knott helped to mix the debut release from Paravell: Galactic ep. This ep was released on May 1, 2010.
A new re-issue company called Intense Millennium Records appeared in July 2010, with Michael Knott listed as one of many artists they would be re-issuing. The label quickly folded, and no Knott albums were re-issued.
Aunt Bettys Ford reunited for a reunion concert on September 14th at the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa, California. According to sources at the concert, Brian Healy was at the concert and he and Knott were able to reconcile their friendship after the concert.
The reunion concert went so well that Aunt Betty’s Ford returned to the Detroit Bar December 18th, this time as a benefit concert For Music Saves Lives And S.L.A.M Scene.
On January 8, 2011, the Lifesavers launched a Kickstarter to fund their new album, Dog Days of an Indian Summer. The campaign was successfully funded on April 9, 2011.
Kevin Clay independently re-mastered and re-issued the Knott-produced Watch Me Fall on July 29, 2011 through BandCamp.
Aunt Bettys Ford had another reunion concert at the Detroit Bar on July 2nd, this time joining Echo Echo to open for We Are The Pilots.
Knott released a remastered version of his first solo album Screaming Brittle Siren on September 8, 2011 through BandCamp.
On December 30, 2001, Joshua Lory announced he would be putting together a Michael Knott tribute album for the end of 2012.
At some point in 2011 or 2012, the Lifesavers decided to change the name of Dog Days of an Indian Summer to Heaven High.
Around June 2012, some of the people that were involved with Losing Angel started posting on Facebook about mixing some of the songs from those sessions. There was renewed interest in releasing the album for about another year, but still no release.
Knott and McDonough posted their cover of Cohen’s “Hallelujah” on August 8, 2012 on BandCamp for free. This was the same recording they had released on MySpace in 2006.
Retroactive Records re-issued a remastered legacy edition version of L.S.Underground’s PTSD on August 10, 2012.
At some point in 2012, Mark Krischak re-released The Lifesavors’ Us Kids to Spotify and iTunes through his own Xchak Records.
Lifesavers’ Heaven High was released on BandCamp for the general public on June 17, 2013.
Brian Healy hosted Knott on two more episodes of the Frontline Records Rewind Podcast: Episode 24 on August 16, 2013 and Episode 28 on October 18, 2013.
Brainstorm Artists International released Remembering Gene Eugene in March of 2014. It contains some unreleased Gene Eugene songs and several interviews with former band-mates and friends of Gene’s. Knott is one of the people interviewed.
Retroactive Records re-releases the Lifesavers’s Heaven High in April of 2014. This version contains a slightly different mix and artwork than the Kickstarter version.
Knott provides guest vocals and keyboards for one song on Rick McDonough’s side project Eymard on their second release Light, released on May 21, 2014.
At some point in 2014, Tooth & Nail Records released a documentary about the foundling of the company called No New Kinda Story. Knott is featured prominently in the beginning of the story as several people tell stories about his early involvement with the label. Clips from Knott’s video for the song “Tattoo” are also included.
The Rocket and a Bomb album live concert happened on November 7, 2014 at the Christ Community Church in Concord, California. Dead Artist Syndrome was the opening act and Michael Knott was followed by a special set by Michael Roe (the 77’s and Lost Dogs).
On January 10, 2015, Knott reported to fans that he had suffered a heart attack and went to hospital. Surgery was successful and his heart was restored back to fully operational status.
Brian Healy hosted Knott on two more episodes of the Frontline Records Rewind Podcast: Episode 50 on August 17, 2015 and Episode 51 on September 25, 2015.
Dead Artist Syndrome released Kissing Strangers on October 31, 2015. Knott provided acoustic and electric guitars. Additionally, DAS covered two Knott songs on the album: “Drone” (by Idle Lovell) and “Jesus Holder Me Closer” (an unreleased Lifesavors song).
The ep recorded thanks to the Rocket and a Bomb Kickstarter was released to Kickstarter supporters on May 21, 2016. On June 25, 2016, Songs From the Feather River Highway EP was released digitally by Young Earth Records through BandCamp.
In June 28, 2016, Joshua Lory announced that the Songs From the Feather River Highway EP was upgraded to a one-sided 12-inch random color vinyl. The original plan was to release the ep as a 7-inch. Also, on August 2, 2016, it was announced that the first printing of the CD would have Rocket and a a Bomb Live! as bonus tracks.
Blonde Vinyl Records released Knott’s Rocket & a Bomb Live! on August 8, 2016 through BandCamp. This was the recording of the concert recorded in 2014.
In September of 2017, Sean Patrick Doty (of Veil of Ashes) announced a plan to record and release a new solo album. He also shared that several people would be writing and recording music for the album. Knott was listed as one of his collaborators. The album is still in the works.
At some point in 2017, the long delayed third release by The Rovers Three called A Pot of Gold was released.
At the very end of the Rocket and a Bomb Live! DVD, a mysterious “Fear Knott” website was advertised at the end. The website was empty for a while, but at some point in the first half of 2019 it went live. It was a website for an upcoming Michael Knott documentary called Fear Knott: The Musical Message of a Rock ‘n’ Roll Chameleon. Several people connected to Knott were interviewed for the documentary. Also, the website indicated there would be a special soundtrack of some kind for the documentary. However, the website is now down and the project appears to be delayed.
Joshua Lory announced on July 28, 2019 that Retroactive Records was taking over CD design and manufacturing of the Wakin’ Up the Dead re-issue.
Retroactive Records officially launched pre-orders for the L.S.U.’s Wakin’ Up the Dead CD re-issue on September 10, 2019.
On November 13, 2019, Knott and McDonough posted a video of new song they were working on. They hinted it would be for Strip Cycle II, but no details have been given yet.
Some of the Strung Gurus recordings were finally officially released when Blonde Vinyl Records released Chelsea’s Chasin’ Dragons EP on December 21, 2019 through BandCamp. It was featured on the front page of BandCamp as well.
Brian Healy (of Dead Artist Syndrome fame), long time friend and collaborator of Knott’s, passed away on January 12, 2020.
Michael Knott & Rick McDonough released a new single “Rack of Lamb – Ode to a Friend” as a tribute to Brian Healy on January 22, 2020 through BandCamp.
Aunt Betty’s Ford released all three of their demos as the Demo Collection 1994-97 on March 30, 2020 through BandCamp.
On February 11, 2020, Lost in Ohio Records launched a Kickstarter to re-issue L.S. Undergound’s The Grape Prophet on Vinyl, CD, and digital. The campaign was successfully funded on March 13, 2020. The original goal was to include a bonus 7-inch with new acoustic recordings of two of the songs from the album. A stretch goal was added to expand this to four songs on 12-inch with a string quartet back playing on the songs.
In June of 2020, Lost in Ohio launched pre-sales for a vinyl release of a remastered version of Fluffy’s Go, Fluffy, Go!. These were shipped in July 2020.
Also in June of 2020, Lost in Ohio released both Windy Lyre albums (her self-titled debut and Overflow) on BandCamp through their Lost Archives division.
On September 4, 2020, the film Electric Jesus first premiered in a streaming online event. The film utilized a Lifesavers song in the soundtrack, as well as having several references to L.S.U. One of the characters was shown doodling on a Kiss of Life record cover.
On November 28, 2020, the original mix of the Bomb Bay Babies collection Volume 2 was released on BandCamp.
Also on November 28, 2020, streaming-only version of Idle Lovell’s Surge et Illuminare and The Lifesavors’ Dream Life were released on BandCamp.
On April 1, 2021, Lost in Ohio started shipping The Grape Prophet reissue packages that did not include vinyl.
On April 23, 2021, Lost in Ohio released The Grape Prophet to all major streaming service.
(to be continued)
 “Exploring the Alternatives with Michael Knott” by John J. Thompson. True News, Volume 3 Issue 4. Spring 1992  Michael Knott Discography  Facebook comment by Michael Knott  Facebook comment by Bradford J. Salmon  Concert Flyer  Comment left on this website  Facebook comment by Kirk Heiner  Bomb Bay Babies Volume 1 liner notes  “A One Man Industry; From Bomb Bay Babies to Strung Gurus.” by Timothy Buchanon. True Tunes, 2000?  Concert story  “K.C. themes fill L.S.U. album” by Michael Lucchi. KCS Christian Arts and Entertainment Guide. August 25, 1992.  Servant’s Heart Music Audio Interview, September 1999.  “Brian Doidge: In His First Interview Ever” by Steve Ruff. Down the Line Zine. January 2009  Blonde Vinyl discography  Cornerstone 1993 Press Conference Story of Starflyer 59 by J. Edward Keyes Cornerstone 1993 live footage No New Kinda Story: The Real Story of Tooth & Nail Records  “On Bettys, Lifesavers, Cuss Words, and Hard Times…” by Todd Brown. True Tunes circa 1998  “Aunt Betty’s: Quality is Job 1” by Jo-Ann Greene. Mean Street Magazine, July 1996  “Aunt Bettys Story” by Lara Hill (Former Director A&R Elektra Records)  “O. C. Cruise: Sugar Ray’s Forgotten Roots and Knott’s Family Attractions” by Jennifer Vineyard. BAM Magazine, Issue 513, July 11, 1997  “Chuck Cummings: Opening the Four Door” by Treble Bandoppler. Bandoppler Radio, 2001  “Reeling in the Big One” by Jeff Elbel. LIGHTHOUSE, April 1995  “The 120-Minute Power Hour” by DJ Anderson (radio transcript). November 1999  “Concert Review: Mike Knott solo The Stag September 10, 1997” by Jeff Elbel  “Massivivid – Dressed to the Nines” by Doug Van Pelt. HM magazine. June 2003  “Michael Knott” by Daniel Johnston. HM January/February 1999  “Michael Knott: Behind the Shaded Pain” by David Vanderpoel. Visions of Gray December 1993  “Michael Knott: A Life of Shaded Pain & Screaming Sirens” by Brad Caviness. CCM March 1994  “Michael Knott: The Dreams of a High School Nerd” by David Jenison. Syndicate Magazine #39 September 1994  “L.S.U. Street Worthy” by Sheree Marion. Harvest Rock Syndicate, January 1988  Cush BandCamp page.  “Strung Gurus,” Mean Street Magazine, April 8, 1999  “Social Distortion Guitarist Dies” by David Jenison. E! News, March 1, 2000.  “Remembering Gene Eugene” by Dave Urbanski. CCM Magazine, June 2000.  “Mike Knott: The Family Man in Black” by Keith Giles. Fuse Magazine, June 1998.  “Mike Knott interview” by Todd Brown. Building Adam, Summer 1999.  “Mike Knott interview transcript” by Derek J. Anderson. The 120-Minute Power Hour, November 1999.  “L.S. Underground and the K.C. Prophets” by Steve Roth. Notebored, Sept / Oct 1992.  “Michael Knott Interview.” Sweet Disaster, 2001.  “Michael Knott Interview.” Stranger Things. January 25, 2000.  “Cush: Familiar, But Brand New” by Thom Gladhill. 7-Ball Magazine, Mar / Apr 2001.  “Michael Knott: Unusual, Unflinching, & Unmatched” by Bruce Adolph & Shawn McLaughlin. Christian Musician, Mar / Apr 2001.  “Mike Knott: Diary of a Murderer-King” by Chris Estley. HM Magazine, May / June 2001.  “Chuck Cummings: Deconstructing Four Door” by Jeff Cloud. HM Magazine, May / June 2001.  Old Michael Knott website announcement page. Definitive Collection liner notes.  “Michael Knott: A ‘Where Are They Now?’ Vignette” by Steve Ruff. HM Magazine, July / August 2007.  “The Story Behind Struck Last May” author and source unknown. April 12, 2006.  “The Return of L.S. Underground” by Steve Ruff. Down the Line Magazine, October 2008.  “9 Questions for Joshua Lory of L.S.U.” by Matt Crosslin. Down the Line Magazine, October 2008.  “Slide / Sincerely Paul: An Interview with James Preston and Mike Baker” by Matt Crosslin. Down the Line Magazine, April 2009.  “Gene Eugene: His Family and Friends Remember. Down the Line Magazine, March 2009.  Knottheads.com News update.  Kickstarter supporter update. Daddy Unscripted Podcast with Chris Lizotte  “Feel the Gastro-Ambient Love” OC Weekly, May 18, 2000. Steve Scott Interview combined with Facebook comments by Steve Scott.  Facebook comments by Marcus G. Larson and Paul Pedersen.  Facebook comment by Lloyd Shawn Epperly.  Liner notes in the 2021 re-issue of The Grape Prophet.